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It's Been a Long 14 Months 😷

UPDATES FROM THE MLK COMMUNITY CENTER Friday, March 21, 2021

AN IMPORTANT NOTICE TO MLK CLIENTS, FAMILIES, STAFF, AND VOLUNTEERS:

It's been a long 14 months! Effective today, Friday, May 21st, the MLK Community Center will join the State of Rhode Island and the CDC in adhering to the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines. Adults who are fully vaccinated* will no longer be required to wear a mask/face covering or physically distance when inside or outside the MLK Community Center, with the exception of all staff, visitors, and children in youth programs with participants under the age of 12 years old. Those who are not fully vaccinated* are still required to wear a mask/face covering, and social distancing throughout our facility is encouraged for those folks. Any vaccinated individuals who do not feel comfortable without a mask/face covering are absolutely welcome and encouraged to continue taking these precautions. All are asked to please respect and embrace your neighbors’ personal preferences. This decision was carefully considered with the safety of our youth in mind. Students enrolled in the MLK Preschool, After School, and Summer Camp programs will be required to wear a mask/face covering for the foreseeable future, as will all staff in these programs while in the presence of students. As we have throughout the past 14 months, the Center will continue to notify the community of any possible amendments to these guidelines as they develop, via social media and via our weekly email newsletter. *Fully vaccinated means you’ve received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 14 days have passed since the final dose. Sincerely,



Heather Hole Strout Executive Director Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center

CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS: The MLK seeks volunteer photographers

Great images of special events, programs, and our community play a huge role in telling the MLK's story. Are you a photographer (amateur, hobby, or otherwise!) and willing to volunteer your time on a short-term or long-term basis?


This is a great opportunity to gain experience, build your portfolio, and give back to the community in a creative way. You're welcome to bring your own equipment, or use our DSLR. As long as the Center can use your photos and you're sensitive to client confidentiality, we would love to work with you. Please help spread the word!


Volunteer opportunities also available for Spanish Translators and Breakfast Cooks.


Submit a Volunteer Application Today!

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

Grow a Row update from community gardeners

In April, we asked if, while planning this summer's garden, you might consider "Growing a Row" for the MLK. Whether you can spare a row, a bed, a container, or a shelf beneath the grow lights, our community could really use the excess bounty from your garden. We're expanding our Produce to the People veggie distribution program starting June 1st to twice per week, as well as continuing to distribute fresh produce in the Food Pantry, Mobile Food Pantry, & Food 2 Friends pantry delivery program.

Unsurprisingly, the response has been amazing. Neighbors have reached out to let us know they're growing extra for the MLK this year, and sent along amazing photos documenting their progress.


"I would love to share some of my garden veggies with the MLK!" said one grower, whose seedlings are pictured (right column). This gardener by the sea shared that the plants she started from seed are hardening off and ready to get into the ground. Pictured is the garden of husband and wife duo really maximize space in their gorgeous backyard 30 square foot vegetable garden. In fact, this couple is the inspiration behind Grow a Row, as they've donated their excess produce to the MLK for years now. We asked them about their garden and told them about the program. "We love the idea of Grow a Row! It's so easy to just grow a little more to share," she said. "[My husband] grows his plants from seeds, tends the garden, and harvests everything. I wash the veggies and have the fun job of either cooking, freezing for later use, or sharing with family, friends, neighbors, his coworkers, and the MLK Community Center!" ...Is it just us or is this #RelationshipGoals!? Dynamic duo alert! If you have photos documenting your Row's progress so far, feel free to send them along via email, or drop us a line and we can provide you with a number to text them to.

CLOSURE NOTICE: MONDAY, MAY 24

This coming Monday, May 24th, the Center will be closed from 2:30 pm onward so staff can participate in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshop. There will be no After School program on Monday, Preschool will close at 2:30 pm, and donations will not be accepted at this time. The Center will reopen for regularly scheduled programming again the following morning, Tuesday, May 25th.


The Center will also be closed the following Monday, May 31st in observation of Memorial Day. Thank you for your cooperation!

JUNE BRINGS MORE NEW PROGRAMMING TO THE MLK

We'll tell you more about these new programs in next week's enews, but here's a sneak peak so you can mark your calendar:

  • Produce to the People @ Newport Heights: Produce to the People (formerly Veggie Days), the Center's free fruit & vegetable distribution program, is hitting the road for the summer and will offered 2x per week. Tuesdays the program is offered in Newport Heights, on W Evans St. behind the Florence Gray Center. Tuesdays 10am - 1pm, while supplies last, starts 6/1

  • Produce to the People @ MLK: Thursdays 10am -1pm the program is offered on-site at the MLK. Community members may attend either Produce event weekly, but not both.

  • "Live from the [Loading] Dock," the MLK's new summer music series, will be held on the second Weds. in the summer. Weds, June 9th at 4:30, bring a blanket/chair and enjoy the music of Yacouba Diabate, thanks to the generosity of music sponsor Jeff Brooks, Realtor - Hogan Associates. We'll be serving up hamburgers & hotdogs for dinner. Mark your calendar for the other performances, too: Weds, July 14 & Weds, August 11

  • Inspired by Aboudia - Community Collage Workshop: Join the Jamestown Arts Center in celebrating the work of Aboudia, whose work is featured in their Africa Avant Garde exhibition, with this free community collage workshop. All ages welcome with parental supervision, all materials supplied. Sat, June 5, 11am-1pm. RSVP here

Your generosity sustains the MLK. Click here to donate.

HERE TO HELP

View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events


Please note: Beginning next week, community members will have the ability to register for Community Programs online! So, you would no longer have to call or email the Center in order to RSVP. Of course, anyone who is unable to register online will still be able to call, but we hope this new technology adds convenience and flexibility to your lives and schedules.

The Center will be closed this coming Monday, May 24th from 2:30 pm onward for staff to participate in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshop. There will be no After School, donations will not be accepted, and Preschool will end at 2:30 pm. Thank you for your cooperation!


The Center will be closed on Memorial Day: Monday, May 31st. Please plan food pantry shops accordingly. Thank you!

  • Grab & Go Breakfast Mon-Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. (Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance)

  • Food Pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and Wednesday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm; first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 12 pm

  • Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors. Contact Ed for more info

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to low-income housing communities. Schedule

  • Daily Bread: Mon-Fri at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance, while supplies last

  • Produce to the People @MLK (formerly Veggie Days): weekly vegetable distribution, Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm or while supplies last.

  • Produce to the People @ Newport Heights: The Center's weekly free vegetable distribution is hitting the road for the summer! Beginning June 1st, every Tuesday throughout the summer from 10 am - 1 pm (or while supplies last), get free, local produce for you and your family. Located at West Evans St., between Girard and Fahley, behind the Florence Gray Center in Newport. More details to come!

  • Grab & Go Lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Free! Presented in collaboration with McGrath's Clambakes & Catering. Menu TBD. Main Entrance on Marcus Wheatland Blvd

  • Summer Music Series - Live from the [Loading] Dock: Nothing says "summer" like an outdoor concert! June - August, bring a blanket/lawn chair to the Center's front lawn on the 2nd Wednesday of the month for upbeat music from diverse musicians and a meal. Wednesday, June 9th at 4:30 enjoy the sounds of Yacouba Dibate on the kora (traditional West African stringed instrument), thanks to the generosity of our music sponsor Jeff Brooks, Realtor - Hogan Associates. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served. Other dates: Weds, July 14th & Weds, August 11th (details TBD).

  • NOW ENROLLING: Preschool for registered students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Tanya by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x117

  • After School program for registered elementary school students. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209

  • NOW ENROLLING: Summer Adventure Camp: Offered June 28 - August 20, 2021 Monday - Friday, 8 am to 4 pm for registered campers. Rising 1st through 5th graders eligible. Campers enjoy daily field trips around Aquidneck Island, and make & maintain academic strides in math, literacy, science, & more through daily lesson plans. DHS accepted & generous scholarships available. Contact Jeanine by email or by phone: (401) 846-4828 x209. Registration documents available to download online

  • Newport Music Festival Concert for MLK Education Families: On Friday, July 9th at 4:15 pm, the Newport Music Festival is putting on a special concert for families of the MLK Community Center's education programs, thanks to generous sponsorship from Betsy Blair & Jim Van Winkle with additional support provided by BankNewport and NewportFed Charitable Foundation. GRAMMY Award-winning Chicago-based quartet Third Coast Percussion will perform. The concert will be held behind the Center. Registration in advance is required, but a special code is needed to reserve online. Please ask your child's teacher for the registration code! More info & performers here

  • SafeSitter Babysitting Safety Course: This free class, presented by LifeSpan, will introduce aspiring babysitters ages 11-14 to essential babysitting safety guidelines, including first aid, CPR, sitter safety, and more. Wednesday, June 30th, 8:45 am - 2:30 pm. To join the waitlist in case of any cancellations, contact: Jeanette Nessett, LifeSpan: email or call (401) 444-8088.

  • Inspired by Aboudia - Community Collage Workshop: On Saturday June 5th from 11 am - 1 pm, join the Jamestown Arts Center in celebrating the work of Aboudia, whose work is currently featured in their Africa Avant Garde exhibition, with this free community collage workshop. All ages welcome with parental supervision, & all materials supplied. RSVP here

  • Yoga Class: Yoga is offered at the Center every Tuesday and Friday morning at 8 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome! RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124.

  • Toning in '21 Fitness Class: Every Wednesday at 8:30 am, this full-body workout aims to improve balance, bone health, flexibility, and strength of participants in a safe, welcoming, and fun environment. All skill-levels & all community members welcome. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124

  • Zumba Fitness Class: Every Thursday morning at 8:30 am. All skill levels & all community members welcome. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124

  • NEW: Sabores Latinos: Every Monday at 5 pm, Spanish speakers are invited to join Yoli and Chef Carmen for Sabores Latinos, the MLK's first cooking class offered completely en Español. Yoli will teach recipes from around the Latin world, while Chef Carmen of Sprout & Lentil will teach plant-based recipes & nutrition. Participants cook alongside the instructor, take home a meal for their families, and learn a new recipe. Classes will alternate between traditional (taught by Yoli) & plant-based (taught by Chef Carmen). Spanish speakers are invited to attend & RSVP in advance: email or call (401) 846-4828, ask for Jose. *Note: No class will be held 5/24 or 5/31. Class will resume on June 7th with Chef Carmen.

  • LivFit Cooking & Nutrition: Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 pm. to approximately 6 pm. Participants explore healthy, low-cost recipes using ingredients commonly found in the food pantry. Participants cook alongside the instructor, take home a meal for their families, and learn a new recipe. RSVPs required with Kristin via email or text (401) 368-7614.

  • Lunch & Learn, the MLK's lunchtime meal and lecture series for older adults, will return to the MLK for a recurring schedule starting in May. Registered seniors can enjoy a hearty meal, socialization, and a fun activity or informative speaker every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 12 pm. Tuesday, June 1st's activity is Bingo. RSVP with Mel: email or call (401) 846-4828 x124

  • Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, presented by the Bazarsky Family Foundation in partnership with the MLK Community Center, puts books into the hands and hearts of children all across Newport County. They partner with local communities to mail a hand-selected, age-appropriate, high-quality book each month to registered children from birth to age five, completely free of cost & regardless of family income. Registration & more info

  • Food Pantry Donations: We accept donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household cleaning and person