Washington, PA – Blueprints’ (formerly Community Action Southwest) Adult Education & Family Literacy Programs are enrolling new students/families. The Adult Education program assists residents age 17 or older to obtain their GED and/or increase their learning skills in order to secure employment or attend a trade school or college.

The Family Literacy Program helps parents improve parenting and literacy skills so they can better help their children achieve educational gains.

A full schedule of classes is in-place in Washington and Greene Counties. Classes are taught every Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week at the Greene, Mon Valley and Washington PA CareerLink sites. Additionally, Blueprints also offers classes in Canonsburg, Carmichaels and Bentleyville each week.

Upon enrollment and orientation, PA-Certified Instructors work with students to determine the appropriate level of classes they will attend in addition to establishing their weekly class schedule.

Students enrolled in the programs are also partnered with a trained case manager who will work with them on job development and trade school or college enrollment procedures. With the help of their case manager, students are able to explore their career options and overcome their barriers while being connected to some of the area’s largest employers and postsecondary schools.

Blueprints’ receives funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Postsecondary & Adult Education in addition to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development to operate its Adult Education Program.


For additional information or to register for classes, please call 1.877.814.0788 ext. 530.

Blueprints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has served and strengthened communities in southwestern Pennsylvania for 52 years. Adult Education and Family Literacy are an integral part of Blueprints’ continuum of services designed to Break Barriers and Build Futures.

[Retired and Senior Volunteer Program]

WAYNESBURG, PA – There is no better time than NOW to make a difference in your community by volunteering your time and talents. Blueprints is recruiting adults aged 55 and over for RSVP, a part of Senior Corps, to volunteer a few hours each week to help neighbors throughout Greene County. RSVP volunteers enjoy many group benefits including supplemental insurances; special recognition events; opportunities to meet new people; helping the transition into retirement; flexible placements with regard to time commitments; and the satisfaction of making a difference in the community.

Current RSVP opportunities include distributing home delivered meals to homebound elderly; educating older adults about financial literacy; preparing taxes for senior citizens and low-income families; providing telephone reassurance to isolated seniors to ensure their well-being; and mentoring children in Head Start classrooms.

Stacy Stroman, Program Director at Blueprints says, “Joining RSVP is a great way to become more active in your community and to help others. There is research that demonstrates the mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations.”

Senior Corps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service. CNCS engages millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs and leads volunteer and civic engagement initiatives for the nation. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

For more information about RSVP, please call Jill Peth at 724-852-2893, ext. 520.

DATE: 9/25/17

Pennsylvania, Washington/Greene County – Blueprints [formerly Community Action Southwest] is proud to announce the launch of a brand new initiative designed to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors who struggle on a daily basis.

A Little LIFT [www.alittlelift.org] is a community led initiative designed to eliminate barriers to stability and independence for clients engaged in services at Blueprints.  

Blueprints works with thousands of people in programs that strengthen and sharpen minds, stabilize and secure homes, preserve and improve wellbeing, and earn and balance a livable wage. However, there are barriers that block progress and hinder community stability for many Blueprints’ clients.

“Our clients can do everything right, be moving in a positive direction, and things happen that sets them back miles,” says CEO Darlene Bigler, “there are barriers that cannot be eliminated through traditional funding sources.”

That’s where A Little LIFT comes in. For example, mom has a decent job, a car, current on bills, but little financial cushion beyond being able to meet basic needs; a common story in our community. What if the car will not pass inspection without 2 new tires at a cost of $200? Mom can’t afford it, has no credit, no resources to draw from. She is now at risk of losing her job/her income, possibly her home. And it gets worse from there.

This family needs A Little LIFT. Through crowd funding, this family can avoid being set back months if not years because a dozen or so neighbors were kind enough to come up with $10-$20 each to help.

Check out www.alittlelift.org

FOR MEDIA RELEASE                                                 CONTACT: Darlene Bigler
DATE: Friday, September 7, 2017                                 PHONE: 724/228-8125
                                                                             EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Community Action Southwest Changes Name

 

Community Action Southwest has served and strengthened Washington and Greene county communities for the past 52 years. Originally known as Washington Greene Community Action Corporation, the organization adopted its current name in 1994. In 2014, CAS acquired Try-Again Homes, adding foster care and adoption, and youth and family services to its wide array of programs which include Early Head Start, Head Start, PA Pre-K Counts, WIC, senior services, adult education, job development, financial literacy, homeownership and others. The merger also expanded the organization’s service area to neighboring counties as well as parts of West Virginia. Today, the organization’s $21 million operating budget and 340 employees inspire 20,000 people each year to break barriers and build futures. 

According to Darlene J. Bigler, CEO, “In recent years, our organization has expanded into new areas of service and geographic locations; we are rebranding to clarify those services and amplify our impact. We see this as an opportunity to increase awareness of our organization and services, and bridge the gap between who we are and who people think we are. Our new name, logo, and taglines will help us create a clear, compelling story.

The organization will now operate under the name Blueprints, symbolizing the role we play in the futures of the members of our community. With our help, our neighbors can establish a new master plan for their lives regardless of which program or service they need. Our new name affirms our organization as a helpful authority but also positions us as a resource that inspires people to help themselves. Our tagline, “break barriers – build futures” implies that we bridge divides and close gaps. Our secondary tagline, “powered by community action” acknowledges our proud legacy and helps us transition to our new name. Our new logo, a heart made of thumbprints, represents the human experience of co-designing life solutions with our clients.”

Blueprints offers a myriad of services and programs that appeal to multiple constituencies. We’ve identified common themes that unite our efforts, which will be used to capture and describe our work. Our services will be categorized as fitting into the pillars of mind, home, health and wallet.

Michael Chaido, President of the Board of Directors said “In the past, we joked that our elevator speech, a quick introduction to our agency, would require a 50 story building. Now we can share our elevator speech in thirty seconds. Blueprints is a change agency that shapes futures by equipping and educating people to improve their lives. Independence is gained when we break barriers and build futures.”

Bigler continued “Powered by community action, we serve our neighbors from cradle to grave.  We co-design solutions that encourage self-made stability. Anyone can achieve a personal revolution with tools that power the mind, home, health and wallet.” 

In the coming months, the organization will complete their rebranding campaign with new signage on their buildings in Washington and Greene counties, and Fairmont and Parkersburg in West Virginia. A new website is under development, and will be supported with printed materials about Blueprints and its services.

Chaido said “Our name and the way in which we tell our story is changing, but our mission remains the same. We are a catalyst that mobilizes the resources of the communities we serve to enable families and individuals to attain the skills, knowledge, motivations and opportunities to become self-sufficient.” 

Blueprints invites you to follow their impact throughout our community at myblueprints.org.

 

 

Pennsylvania, Greene County – Community Action Southwest announced today that it has received a Senior Corps RSVP grant of $78,577 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support 88 RSVP volunteers serving in Greene County, Pennsylvania. The grant will expand Community Action Southwest’s presence in Greene County, which was previously unserved by a Senior Corps RSVP project.

“This award is a great opportunity for CAS to enhance the services to seniors in Greene County and we are excited to engage this population even more than before,” says CEO, Darlene Bigler.

The funds were awarded as part of a Senior Corps grant competition to expand RSVP to new geographic areas. Through Community Action Southwest, RSVP volunteers will package and distribute home delivered meals to homebound elderly; educate older adults about financial literacy; prepare taxes for senior citizens, low-income individuals and people with disabilities through the VITA tax assistance program; provide telephone reassurance to isolated seniors to ensure their well-being; and mentor children through intergenerational activities in Head Start classrooms.

Volunteers can sign up by contacting Community Action Southwest, Director of Senior Services, Stacy Stroman, at 724-852-2893 or by visiting our website at www.caswg.org.

Established in 1971, RSVP engages Americans age 55 and older in citizen service that addresses the nation’s most pressing challenges. While serving, RSVP volunteers also improve their own lives, staying active and healthy through service. A growing body of research points to mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations.

In 2016, more than 208,000 Senior Corps RSVP volunteers served in communities across the country. Through community and faith-based organizations, RSVP volunteers served more than 300,000 veterans, mentored more than 78,000 children, and provided independent living services to more than 797,000 older adults.

According to the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America report by CNCS, more than 21 million Americans 55+ contributed more than 3.3 billion hours of service in their communities. Based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, their collective service provides a yearly economic benefit valued at $78 billion.

Community Action Southwest offers a myriad of programs and services including Early Childhood Services, Family Economic Success, Nutrition Services, Senior Services, Foster Care, Adoption and Child Welfare Services.

Senior Corps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service. CNCS engages millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs and leads volunteer and civic engagement initiatives for the nation. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.