Students Return to the Classroom

The classrooms are filled with the sounds of children and we are so delighted! CKCAC Head Start returned to in-person learning on March 1 allowing children in the classrooms 2 days a week. Triage begins the day to ensure every safety precaution is being followed to keep students and staff safe. Parents continue to be given the option of keeping their child on a virtual learning schedule at this time.


Over the last year, every effort has been made to keep families and children engaged. Head Start employees have kept in contact with parents via Zoom, phone calls and every other way imaginable to keep students engaged and to assist with any crisis that the family may have been facing. From ensuring that families had adequate food, shelter, utility bill assistance, addressing physical health and mental health issues, CKCAC Head Start staff was there. We were the original “Door Dash” in delivering supplies to continue education services and meals for family’s porches. The dedication and determination of Head Start staff to provide services to the families we serve was astounding during this pandemic.


Head Start is accepting applications for this year and for the upcoming school year. Applications can be taken in-person as well as on-line and by mail.Applications for employment is also being accepted at this time, please call your local Head Start to apply or visit our website at www.ckcac.org. Jobs are also posted to the CKCAC FaceBook page.


Our new Head Start centers in Springfield and Lebanon are nearing completion. We are looking forward to starting the new year in our new centers. A virtual tour will be planned during summer so that we can share our beautiful new facility before school opens in August. Stay tuned for additional information.

New Regional Network Coordinator & CCC Program Director Named

CKCAC is proud to announce that effective immediately Ms. Ronda Bertrand will serve as the new Regional Network Coordinator and CCC Program Director.


Bertrand lives in Nelson County and prior to her recent promotion, had been an in-home CCC worker for 3 years. In her position as an in-home CCC worker, Ronda has been exposed to the realities that come along with the CCC Director position as she will continue to build and maintain the existing Regional Network that is comprised of community partners from family and child-serving agencies as well as parents and other local citizens.


Bertrand has been married to Mike for 26 years and has 2 grown children, Bailey and Thomas. Prior to working at CKCAC, Ronda worked for Nelson County Public Schools for 14 years as a special education assistant and a Family Resource Youth Services Coordinator Assistant. She graduated from St. Catharine College in 2016 with a degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Social Work. In her free time, Bertrand enjoys sewing, crafts, and exercising.


To learn more about the Regional Network and CCC services, please contact CCC Program Director Ronda Bertrand at 270-692-7553. More information can also be found on the CKCAC website at www.ckcac.org.

Food Program Participants Persevere through COVID-19 Closures

The beginning of 2021 was a rough start for the Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) and Unaffiliated Centers (UC) on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Family gatherings during the holidays led to many 10-day temporary closures for our homes and centers because of positive COVID-19 cases. There were a total of 6 centers and 5 homes that had to close and quarantine for 10 days during the month of January. Unfortunately, daycare staff are still not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine and until they meet criteria, we anticipate future closures.

Little Lakers, LLC. in Russell Springs recently passed their health inspection and were able to receive a temporary state license. According to program regulations, centers and homes must be licensed in order to participate in the food program. The homes and centers must pass a health inspection before being granted a license. Unfortunately, due to COVID many local health departments have not been able to enter the facilities to complete the health inspections. Little Lakers, LLC will begin submitting their monthly food report in March.

Kyle’s Korner Learning Center in Lawrenceburg is still awaiting a health inspection. We are hoping that this facility will be able to submit a food report in April.

If you are interested in opening a childcare facility, or know someone that is interested, please reach out to the FCCH and UC Director, Jane Claire Hupman, at (270) 402-1977 or jane.hupman@ckcac.org.

Goode News

March 2021

Earlier this month, I spoke to the Marion County Salvation Army in Lebanon.  Salvation Army – just what do the bell ringers do?

FIRST, they assess the needs of each community in which they serve. The Salvation Army works to understand the obstacles, hardships, and challenges native to the area’s particular population.

NEXT, they build local programs designed to offer immediate relief, short-term care, and long-term growth in the areas that will best benefit the community.

THEN, they invest in the Community. The Salvation Army can offer and support the local programs to the local community, working to continually optimize their efficacy via spiritual, physical, and emotional service.

Here is a look at the Marion County numbers for the year 2020 at Central Kentucky Community Action. We were able to assist approximately 80 individuals and spent approximately $800. Salvation army funds allows our agency to assist people in many ways other than bill assistance. CKCAC was able to find temporary housing for a couple that was sleeping in their vehicle. We were able to help individuals pay for medications that weren’t covered by insurance. We provided a client vouchers to purchase kerosene for heat. 

Salvation Army has allowed Central Kentucky Community Action to assist families in ways that complement other programs. If a client has a need and the vendor will accept the funds or terms of payment from the Salvation Army, CKCAC is able to help the client with up to $100 of assistance, once a year. For 2021 we have already assisted 10 Marion County households.

Please think about this next time you are making a donation or just dropping something in the Salvation Army kettle. With the help of the Salvation Army, YOU are investing in YOUR COMMUNITY. 

https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/

More to come…..much more.

RSVP VOLUNTEERS RECOGNIZED

Four RSVP volunteers received a Walmart gift card in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 18, 2021. 

Ms. Irenia Jett has nearly 1,600 volunteer hours at Hosparus Thrift Shoppe in E’town. She started volunteering with RSVP in November 2015. 

Barbara & Bob Livers are a husband and wife team that have been with RSVP since February 2015. Mrs. Livers has over 4,600 volunteer hours and Mr. Livers has nearly 2,100 volunteer hours at The St. Vincent De Paul Mission Store in Bardstown. 

Mr. Joe Logan joined RSVP in November 2014. He volunteers at St. Vincent De Paul Bread for Life Food Pantry and The Bardstown Senior Center. He has nearly 3,500 volunteer hours.  

RSVP is always looking for more volunteers! You must be over 60 years old and be willing to work in Hardin or Nelson County. Most RSVP volunteers choose to volunteer 5-10 hours per month but others work 100+ hours per month. The number of hours is up to the volunteer. We currently have 12 work stations in Hardin County & 5 in Nelson County. 

Feel free to contact RSVP Director, Melissa Bland at 270-734-1059 or RSVP.Director@ckcac.org if you would like more information.  

COMPANIONSHIP PROGRAM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS & RECIPIENTS

The Senior Companion Program recruits senior volunteers to provide in-home services to the frail, elderly population to help them remain living independently in their own homes. Listed below are the eligibility requirements for volunteers and clients. 

VOLUNTEER ELIGIBILITY: Be 55 years of age or older. Be capable of understanding and working with a recipient with exceptional or special needs. Must meet the CNCS income eligibility guidelines.  Be able to serve 5-40 hours per week or (260-2080 hours annually) determined by a physical examination and a TB assessment.  Be willing to accept professional supervision. Be able to pass all background checks, including NSOPW, Court Net, and FBI fingerprint checks.   

 SELECTION OF RECIPIENT TO BE SERVED:  Volunteer staff, in conjunction with the SCP staff, shall be responsible for the selection of the individual recipient to be served by each Senior Companion. A Senior Companion is assigned to a recipient who has one or more physical, emotional or mental health limitations and is in need of assistance to achieve and maintain their highest level of independent living.
The development of a close personal relationship with the Senior Companion is encouraged, appropriate, and can have a significant effect in improving the recipient’s physical/mental health. The assignment will be of significant duration. Determination of the length of time each recipient should receive the services of a Senior Companion will be determined by the Volunteer Station. The assignment has a possibility of helping a recipient remain independent in their home. Senior Companions are assigned to recipients with special needs and not everyone is suitable for each type of assignment. Every effort will be made to find an assignment that is both comfortable and rewarding for each party.

Please contact Amanda Hodgens at 270-734-3604 for more information.

Milliner Named as Grayson County Site Director

It is hard to believe it’s been 11 months since our seniors have gathered inside our senior center. Almost a whole year – unbelievable! Although we continue to serve meals to those 60 or older we miss our senior center participants.


Seeing them once a day when they pick up their meal just isn’t the same. We are so excited to have a vaccine. Having this vaccine means things will return to normal soon and we can welcome our participants back into the senior centers.


We are averaging around 245 meals daily. I worried our numbers would significantly drop this winter, but surprisingly they haven’t. Congregate Meal staff have been amazing through this pandemic. They have shown up to work EVERY SINGLE DAY! Our cooking staff has been incredible. I am very grateful for each one of them and proud to be able to work with such an amazing team.


I would also like to welcome Lynn Milliner to the Congregate Meal family. Lynn has been hired as the new site coordinator at the Grayson County Senior center. We are excited to have her and I know she will do great things for the senior citizens in Grayson County. Shown in the photo is Lynn with her husband Eddie, son Cordale, and daughter Maggie.


The only requirement to join the congregate meal program is you have to be 60 or over. That is it. If you know of someone who could use a hot, nutritious meal daily please give us a call at 270-289-4885!

Transportation Needs Assessed During Recent Coordination Meeting

CKCATS started out the year with 16 new, low-floor mini vans and 4 SUVS. These vehicles were made possible by 5311 Cares funding. We are currently awaiting delivery for one 12 x 2 bus and 3 more SUVS.

CKCATS hosted a Coordination Meeting on Feb 9, 2021 by Zoom. This meeting is held every year to prepare the 5310, 5311, and 5339 grants. The meeting was aimed at providing for better utilization of existing services and planning future transportation services as well as identifying opportunities for planning and coordination to address transportation needs in our service area. The grants are due on April 1, 2021, at the Office of Transportation Delivery and we will meet that deadline.

The Office of Transportation Delivery received a letter from the FTA that the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA Funding) in the amount of $11.6 million for Section 5311 rural transit providers statewide. This funding will be provided at 100% Federal Share, with no local match required and will be used for Operating Expenses only.

GOODE NEWS

February 2021
With COVID-19 the new emphasis of working from home has heightened, as well as has internet capacity.  Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced last week that the state of Kentucky needs your help with the launch of the Kentucky Broadband Speed Test, a crowd-sourcing project that will gather data from Kentuckians needed to expand internet home access for distance learning, telework and telehealth.
Kentuckians can take the free, anonymous speed test from Jan. 19 to Feb. 18 at http://ewdc.ky.gov/Initiatives/Pages/KBI.aspx
By participating it will provide the needed data to spread internet coverage around the state.  
To participate, the device must be connected to your home Wi-Fi service and disconnected from a virtual private network (VPN) that may be connected to a workplace or school. For the most accurate results, ensure that no one else connected to your home internet is using a substantial portion of the internet bandwidth for activities such as streaming video or gaming during the test.
Individuals without Wi-Fi access in their home can visit their local library or other locations such as stores or restaurants that offer free internet access to submit the address of a home with no available service.
Governor Beshear has noted that the budget proposal he recently offered up before the General Assembly contains $50 million dedicated to the last mile of broadband to areas in need. This historic investment would be the first time state money funded an expansion of broadband, which the pandemic has shown to be crucial to schools, telehealth, business and more.
This announcement comes after the Beshear-Coleman Administration first dedicated $8 million in CARES Act funding to broadband expansion in August 2020. Since then, Kentucky has reduced the number of students without internet access from 35,000 to 13,000. The speed test marks the second step in the state’s initiative to build a better Kentucky for everyone through expanded broadband access.
In addition to finding out their own upload and download speeds, Kentuckians who participate in the speed test will help detect slow spots around the state and where Wi-Fi access and affordability are lacking. The speed test can be done from any device connected to the Wi-Fi signal in your home.
“There is a digital divide in households across Kentucky, especially in rural areas, that has become even more apparent during the pandemic when so many people need it to attend school, go to work, get government services and conduct personal business from home,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “As an educator, I am especially concerned about the 13,000, or 2%, of Kentucky students who lack internet access at home so they are basically cut off from their teachers and classrooms. We have to do better by them.”
Although the Federal Communications Commission maps internet speeds, its results are sometimes based on the results of one location within a census block, which can cover several square miles in rural parts of the state. Those results are often inaccurate for residents or businesses in those locations.
Kentucky is partnering with geospatial engineering firm GEO Partners LLC, as well as The Center for Rural Development, to obtain actionable data.
To see images of the Speed Test in-progress, click here.
For more information about the project, visit http://ewdc.ky.gov/Initiatives/Pages/KBI.aspx

CSBG SEES ONE OF THE BUSIEST SEASONS ON RECORD

Normally this is the busiest time of year for the Community Services staff, however; this year has been exceptionally busy. We have just completed the Subsidy Component LIHEAP. We dispersed $657,144 for the Healthy At Home Program in just 10 days when the money ran out state-wide. We collaborated with other facilities and organizations in our communities for a successful Christmas Program. Our food Pantries have had numerous families come in for assistance. We also prepared the second quarter CSBG Service and ROMA reports. And, all of this happening amidst our offices being closed to the public during a nation-wide pandemic. Luckily, all programs proceeded smoothly, with only a few problems, thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff members.  

LIHEAP SUBSIDY In our eight county services area assisted 3300 families with home heating assistance of $606,200.00 This program began on October 12, 2020, and ran through December 20, 2020. LIHEAP Crisis began on January 4, 2021.
We, in the Central Office, continue to work to pay all of the vendors and balance the programs. 

We are in the process of completing the annual Needs Assessment Survey Process.  An email link has been sent to the Board of Directors for their input. If you are a Board Member for CKCAC, please complete our survey as a board member. This survey information will be entered into a database for accurate compilation. The results of the Needs Assessment Survey will determine the work plan for the next program year. The information will also be available to other programs and to the community. 

WINTERCARE – The Wintercare Program is available to families for utility assistance. These funds are donated by utility customers as they pay their utility bill, and sometimes matched by the utility company. This program is used for families who are over income for LIHEAP, but under 200% of the federal poverty level. These families are often the “working poor” that fall between the cracks in income level eligibility.

Emergency Food and Shelter Program Phase 37 and CARES monies are being spent in Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties. This money is available to families for utility and rent/mortgage assistance. Preparation for Phase 38 is taking place and is currently being advertised.

Thanks to all of the staff members who work so hard to balance all of these different programs and assist those in need. Their extraordinary efforts are greatly appreciated. We have a great team!