Carbondale library celebrates Earth Day

The Carbondale Public Library wants to help residents celebrate Earth Day.

Together with Penn State Extension master gardeners, the library at 5 N. Main St. is hosting a special event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22. In addition to planting demonstrations, the library and Penn State Extension will give away packets of seeds and herbs for planting.

No reservations are necessary. The event is free.

Scranton YMCA targets learning loss

Greater Scranton YMCA is focusing on learning loss with two programs offered for the summer.

“For years, the Greater Scranton YMCA has worked to combat the achievement gap and provide all children in our community with the tools and resources needed to continue developing academically during the summer,” said Trish Fisher, president and CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “In light of the pandemic, we understand summer learning programs are more important than ever before and we are so proud to continue providing our community with these invaluable resources.”

QUEST is a learning program integrated into our summer day camp. The program serves all campers in kindergarten through eighth grades and is offered at no additional cost.

QUEST is held four days per week. Weeks one and two include pre-testing, weeks two through nine are program weeks and week 10 includes post-testing.

During each of the four days per week the program is held, children filter through different subjects, including math, literacy, geography and sign language.

Summer Scholars is a free research-based six-week summer learning program with a goal to get elementary students on track to read at or above grade level by the start of their next school year.

This summer, the program will serve rising first and second grade students attending the Mid Valley and Dunmore School Districts. Breakfast and lunch, as well as transportation at the Mid Valley School District, are provided. Since the program began in 2016, more than 125 students have been served.

Summer Scholars participants’ days consist of 2 1/2 hours of literacy in the morning followed by lunch and enrichment in the afternoon. Enrichment activities include field trips (dependent upon COVID-19 regulations), as well as trips to the Greater Scranton YMCA for use of the pools.

The program is instructed by certified teachers, as well as Y staff. The program will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays from July 5 and to Aug. 12.

To learn more, contact Fisher at tfisher@greaterscrantonymca.org or 570-828-3130.

Beautiful Blocks coming to Carbondale

Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural year of Beautiful Blocks in the City of Carbondale.

Beautiful Blocks is a home improvement program which provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes.

After two successful years in the City of Scranton, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to partner with the City of Carbondale to expand the program to residents of the Pioneer City.

The Beautiful Blocks program seeks to make neighborhoods throughout Carbondale more attractive places to live. Eligible exterior improvements include everything from painting and mailboxes to larger projects like sidewalks and lamp posts. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application process. Applications will be judged on project impact, coordination and the likelihood of neighbors continuing to work together in the future.

Pre-applications are being accepted until April 30. Awards will be announced in June, with work taking place throughout the summer. Residents must match their grant awards dollar for dollar, unless they meet certain income guidelines. Residents whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income are only required to provide a 20% match.

For example, if a resident meets these income guidelines and receive the maximum $1,000 grant award, they must personally contribute at least $200 towards their project. Otherwise, participants must match the $1,000 grant with $1,000 of their own funds.

“After a successful two years in Scranton, we look forward to expanding the positive impact of Beautiful Blocks to the City of Carbondale,” said NeighborWorks President and CEO Jesse Ergott. “We appreciate the support of our community partners in supporting this expansion, and encourage Carbondale residents to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in this exciting program.”

Beautiful Blocks in Carbondale is made possible with support from Lackawanna County Commissioners Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick and Chris Chermak; with additional support from Charles W. Grimm Construction, Inc; CLIDCO; CC Cleaning; Brian Kelly and Associates; Adams CATV; Northeast Inspection Consultants, Inc.; Carbondale Family Health Center, Part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers; Cipriani & Werner, P.C.; Reuther Bowen; Pleasant Mount Welding; and Community Bank, NA.

Carbondale Residents interested in participating in the Beautiful Blocks program can download pre-application instructions and access the pre-application document by visiting www.nwnepa.org/programs/beautiful-blocks.html. More information is also available by contacting Gerard Hetman, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania community development specialist, at 570-558-2490 or ghetman@nwnepa.org.

PennDOT accepting partnership proposals

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Office of Public-Private Partnerships is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through April 30.

The submission period applies to PennDOT-owned projects and infrastructure. During this period, the private sector can submit proposals offering innovative ways to deliver transportation projects across a variety of modes including roads, bridges, rail, aviation and ports. Proposals can also include more efficient models to manage existing transportation-related services and programs.

Instructions on how to submit a project and information on the unsolicited proposal review process can be found on the state’s P3 website, www.P3.pa.gov.

As part of the P3 law, the seven-member Public Private Transportation Partnership Board was appointed to examine and approve potential public-private transportation projects. If the board determines a state operation would be more cost-effectively administered by a private company, the company will be authorized to submit a proposal and enter into a contract to either completely or partially take over that operation for a defined period of time.