Category: News & Events

Tuition-free college course guides students back to classrooms

“NEW BEDFORD — Back to school takes on a different connotation this time of year for Mark Santow.

August allows the chairman of the history department at UMass Dartmouth to prepare for his day-job teaching responsibilities. It’s also a time to recruit those who “got knocked off their academic track for whatever reason,” back into the classroom.

“It’s probably the most rewarding thing I do in my life,” Santow said. “I certainly like being a professor at UMass and I am proud of that work, but Clemente has certainly made me a better teacher.”

The Clemente Course along with PACE, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and UMass Dartmouth are partnering for the 13th year to provide tuition free college-level instruction to economically disadvantaged people.

The courses, which also provide transportation and childcare, allows students to earn up to six college credits.”

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To read more, check out this article on SouthcoastToday here.

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PACE Head Start Accepting Applications for Current School Year

PACE Head Start is currently accepting applications for vacancies in their current school year which will be in session until May, 2017. Head Start provides a free family-centered school readiness program for approximately 292 children ages 3-5 from income eligible families living in New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Acushnet.

Head Start children benefit from an individualized early education curriculum which supports their growth in a variety of learning domains and prepares them for kindergarten. The program’s comprehensive approach to learning includes a creative education curriculum, comprehensive health services, parent education, meaningful family engagement and support services. Part and full day preschool options are available at Head Start. Children are free to explore, experiment, socialize, problem solve, master new skills and gain self confidence while guided by qualified early childhood professionals in a classroom environment.

All children enrolled at PACE Head Start receive nutritious meals and snacks. Free busing services are available to and from school. A small fee based on family income is charged to parents whose children are enrolled in the full day option. Child care vouchers are accepted for full day services. Ten percent of enrollment opportunities are reserved for children with special needs.

For more information and an application, call PACE Head Start Family Services Office at 508-999-1286 or 508-984-3557, or visit us at

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PACE Seeking Candidates for Board of Directors


PACE is seeking candidates for the PACE Board of Directors. Candidates will be elected to serve as Low Income representatives through a new election process during the month of March. Candidates must be residents of the City of New Bedford, be at least 18 years old and submit a candidate profile before February 15, 2017. The election of candidates to the PACE Board will occur during the month of March as PACE clients and other low income City residents will be voting at the Main Office of PACE at 166 William Street during regular business hours. Any low income resident of New Bedford is eligible to vote in this new election process and may request a ballot any time during regular business hours during the month of March. Proof of low income status is required for low income voters who are not clients of a PACE program.

Low Income Board representatives are eligible for a $25 stipend for each Board meeting attended to cover transportation and child care costs.

Candidate Profile forms can be obtained at the Main Office of PACE, at 166 William Street during regular business hours. Proof of residency of New Bedford is required.

Completed Candidate Profiles must be received by the PACE Election Committee, located at 166 William Street, New Bedford by 4 PM on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

All qualified candidates for election will be placed on a ballot with their Candidate Profile. Candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to serve on the PACE Board.

People Acting In Community Endeavors Inc., (PACE) The Community Action Agency for the Greater New Bedford Area, is entering its thirty fifth year of service to the community. The Agency serves the towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester as well as the city of New Bedford.

PACE, as it is known today, was incorporated on May 2, 1982, as a private Not For Profit Organization. The community selected the Board of Directors, with the mission of establishing an organization that would advocate for low-income people and aggressively seek out funding to reduce the problems that the low-income population in New Bedford. The Board oversees the work of the Agency and charts its course for the future.

PACE offers FREE services to the community through its Programs including:

  • Housing Search for the homeless or tenancy issues.
  • Fuel Assistance for payment assistance associated with home heating bills
  • Emergency Food Bank
  • Head Start for income eligible families for early care educational instruction
  • Child Care Works for educational development and Child Care Services
  • The Family Center for parent and family support services
  • Youth Build for “at risk youth” focusing on educational and community service
  • Health Access Services for the uninsured
  • Tax Assistance Program through VITA
  • The Clemente Course in the Humanities
  • Grassroots support for other community organizations
  • PACE Community Housing Corp., which was created for smaller housing development projects and home ownership opportunities for low-income people

PACE employs a staff of 165 in addition to over 100 volunteers, and serves more than 40,000 clients who seek PACE services yearly with an annual budget in excess of $65,000,000.00.

According to Bruce Morell, PACE Executive Director: “The Board of Directors has developed a new process to elect representative of the low income population to serve on our Board of Directors. Board members with direct contact to the people we serve, or who are recipients of a PACE service themselves, are valuable in providing direction and feedback about the services we provide in the community. This election process should be very exciting as we expect that there will be many low income individuals voting for their own representatives to the Board. PACE Board Members serve their community and the Agency with pride and distinction with a real commitment to the clients who put their trust in the Organization to assist them with their needs. We are very proud of our Board of Directors”.

Elections will be held month long in March 2017 at the PACE Main Office at 166 William Street, New Bedford during regular business hours.


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PACE in New Bedford: Hoping but not betting for another mild winter

NEW BEDFORD — After one of the mildest winters in recent years, Bruce Morell, executive director of PACE, which administers the area’s fuel assistance program, is not betting on a repeat.

“I’m always fearful that demand will outweigh what we can do,” he said of the fuel assistance program. “Last year was an odd year. Last year was very mild.

“Last year we skated through. I don’t think it’s going to be a mild winter again,” he said. “It’s very rare that you have two mild winters in a row.”

The winter of 2016 was so mild that PACE recorded a surplus of about $70,000 out of about $8.5 million in its fuel assistance program, which was returned to the state to be rolled over for use this winter season, he said.

Morell said he has read the long-range forecasts about the winter of 2016-2017, which predict more snow and colder temperatures and they just add more of the proverbial fuel for the fire.

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New Bedford mother of 3 wins first home, ‘a place memories will be made’

From the article:

“Executive Director Bruce Morell of PACE bought the house at a bank auction and said getting it was a gamble.

“This house had been vacant for a number of years,” he said. He recalled bidding $54,000 and was hesitant about going any higher. He was reminded renovating the home would be good for the neighborhood. He bid another $1,000 and won.

“I didn’t even know this part of the city existed before.” Morell said. “It’s a hidden gem.”

He said private developers wouldn’t buy the house because they wouldn’t make money, but that’s not the goal of PACE.

“Our driving force is to improve the lives of the neighborhoods,” he said.”

Read more at SouthCoastToday here and on the City of New Bedford’s website.

For information about PACE YouthBuild, visit their page here.

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Clemente Course now accepting applications

Clemente Course is ‘life-changing program’

NEW BEDFORD — PACE, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announce that the Clemente Course in the Humanities is recruiting applicants for its 12th year of operation.

Classes will begin Thursday Sept. 8, at the PACE Head Start Center at 247 Smith St.

The Clemente Course in the Humanities provides tuition free, college-level instruction, for up to 6 college credits, to economically disadvantaged individuals aged 17 and older. Course participants take classes in literature, art history, moral philosophy, American history, writing and public speaking from college professors. Instructors are chosen for their engaging and dynamic presence in the classroom and their commitment to working with non-traditional learners.

Classes will take place on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. starting in September and ending with a graduation ceremony in May. The classes are offered free to qualified participants. PACE will provide on-site childcare for them and transportation assistance along with paying for all textbooks and supplies. Students will take trips to art museums, and to see plays and performances.

The Clemente Course grants a certificate of achievement to all students who finish the course and six college credits to those who complete it at a high level of academic performance. The credits come from UMass Dartmouth, and can be transferred to any community college or university.

Dr. Mark Santow, academic director for the program and History chair at UMass Dartmouth, said “the Clemente Course is based on the idea that anyone can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to enrich and transform his or her life. It is a wonderful, life-changing program. Since we began in the fall of 2005, the New Bedford Clemente Course has graduated over 125 students, and dozens of them have gone on to Bristol Community College and UMass Dartmouth.”

Anyone interested in enrolling in the Clemente Course in the Humanities should call PACE at 508 999-9920 and request an application or pick one up at the PACE main office at 166 William St., New Bedford.

People may also apply online at All applicants will be interviewed by Santow. For more information, contact Bruce Morell, executive director of PACE at 508 999-9920, or Santow at

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PACE Health Access Program announces addition of Senior Health Intake Specialist

PACE Inc., and the PACE Health Access Program are pleased to announce the addition of an Intake Specialist for clients over age 65.

The Specialist will see clients by appointment on Mondays from 1PM-3PM and on Fridays from 9AM-1PM. Persons over age 65 will be assisted with their Medicare applications including Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D; Medigap Insurance, Medicare HMOs, retiree insurance plans, prescription drug programs, Medicaid, Medicare assistance programs (QMB, SLMB and QI) and other programs for people with limited resources.

The PACE Health Access Program continues to assist persons under age 65 with their health insurance needs. Trained Navigators assist clients who do not have health insurance by helping them apply to the Massachusetts Health Connector and/or Mass Health for coverage.

For more information or to make an appointment call 508-999-9920. As always, our services are free.

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PACE Food Bank to benefit from new ownership of “Building 19” property

NEW BEDFORD — A long-vacant North End warehouse with more than $370,000 in property tax debt has a new owner who’s creating a positive impact on the region, by freely providing loading dock space that could significantly boost Greater Boston Food Bank deliveries for local pantries and shelters.

Food Bank workers and local volunteers unloaded three semitrailers Tuesday at the former Building 19 facility on King Street, using the sorely needed space to stack nearly 70,000 pounds of produce, canned goods, frozen meats and more, for distribution to 19 participating SouthCoast agencies. Food Bank spokesperson Courtney Johanson said the delivery contained enough food for about 58,000 meals.

The monthly deliveries could increase to twice a month this summer, creating a huge increase in local food supplies for the needy, Johanson said.

“It’s a very, very good thing for this area,” said Emma Melo, director of the food program for People Acting in Community Endeavors, or PACE, which provides food to numerous local families and individuals out of its downtown office on William Street…

To read more, see the article on SouthCoastToday:

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PACE Head Start partners with NBPS, other providers to expand preschool access

From SouthCoastToday:

“NEW BEDFORD — The School Department and four area preschool providers are working together to find ways to provide free preschool to about 80 3-year-olds next year.

It is part of an effort to get young kids learning early to improve their education over the long term.

The School Department received a $40,000 planning grant in January from the state Department of Early Education and Care to examine what is needed to increase access to high quality preschool programs for children who are 2 years and 9 months old through kindergarten. The city has partnered with NorthStar Learning Center, the YMCA, Little People’s College and PACE Headstart, which would provide the space for the children. The plan is due June 30. It is only a planning grant, however, and does not include funding for actual implementation.

About 80 youngsters would be able to access the free program under the plan. In the second year, another 80 kids could join the program, adding new kindergarten and preschool classes under the proposal, school officials said.

“It is extremely important in this community. There are so many families who are not accessing the services,” said Jill Fox, director of PACE Head Start.”

To read more, please visit the article on SouthCoast Today here.

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PACE Fuel Assistance Extended Until May 13th



April 22 2016


The Federal Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) known locally as the Fuel Assistance Program has been extended to May 13, 2016.

Persons who have never applied to the PACE Fuel Assistance Program and have either paid or owe their heating companies for oil, propane, kerosene or N-Star Gas and Electric (now Eversource) are urged to apply before the program ends on May 13th.

Those who apply will receive a retroactive credit to their utility company if they are income eligible. This means that although they may have paid their bills this past winter, since November 2015, the PACE Fuel Assistance Program will issue a credit to their heating company for the amount they have already paid or still owe up to their eligible amount.

According to Bruce Morell, PACE Executive Director, “Even though we had a relatively mild winter, many area residents still struggle to pay their monthly heating bills.”

All interested persons from New Bedford, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. When applying, each household must provide the last four weeks of gross family income, regardless of how it is received, along with a current utility or oil vendor bill. Other information may be requested.

The PACE Fuel Assistance Program is located at 166 William Street, New Bedford. Office hours are 9:00AM-11:30AM and from 1:15PM-3:30PM Monday through Friday. For more information or to make an appointment, please call PACE at 508-999-9920.

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