Written by Phil Cerroni
This holiday season, The Salvation Army is giving people a new way to donate to its traditional red kettles at 21 locations in and near Irving. Until Christmas Eve, local red kettle stands will display two QR codes – one for a $5 donation and one for a $10 donation – that can be made by scanning the codes with a smart phone. The donations will specifically support The Salvation Army in Irving.
With fewer people carrying cash in their pockets or purses, this new opportunity provides a viable giving option for compassionate people who might come up dry if they reached for some change or a dollar.
Although carrying cash is a declining trend, more and more people are carrying smart phones. According to Nielson, nearly half (49.7 percent) of cell phone users now have smart phones, which is a 38 percent increase over last year.
For those who have a QR code app that reads the codes, this will give them a new way to give to help the less fortunate in their community.
Source: The Salvation Army
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 December 2012 22:24
Written by Phil Cerroni
The Senior and Community Center at Grapevine Springs will lower its age requirements and extend its hours of operation to accommodate increasing use by the numbers of active adults who desire to use the facility. Located at 345 W. Bethel Road, the Senior and Community Center at Grapevine Springs will now provide programming for members ages 50 years and older.
Age requirements for membership at the Senior and Community Center will change Jan. 2 from 55 years of age down to 50 years. With more baby boomers retiring or nearing retirement, these active adults are discovering that the center offers a tremendous number of programs and activities designed for the older adult.
Senior Center Manager, Laci McKinney says that lowering the age was necessary.
“We are seeing more and more active adults come through the doors and use this facility,” McKinney said. “Many of them are still working and can’t use the facility until later in the day or the early evening. We want to meet their needs.”
Director of parks and recreation, Brad Reid agreed, “The center is booming and we’ve had a number of request from community members that aren’t quite of age wanting to join under our current membership.”
The Coppell Senior and Community Center at Grapevine Springs efforts go beyond your typical program offerings of flu shots and bingo. While bingo is still an important staple, today’s senior wants more and has the wherewithal to find it.
“Some of the traditional classes you might find at many centers around the nation can be found here, like bingo, line dancing and low impact aerobics,” McKinney said. “But our customers want more and we have a facility that can provide things like personal training, art classes and pool tournaments.”
Facility amenities include a fitness center, activity room, arts and crafts room, fully functional kitchen, multi-purpose room, game room, lounge with fireplace, computers, library and outside trails. A commons room provides an excellent setting for people to socialize or just enjoy the view of the park. The center also has rental space for birthday parties, and wedding or baby showers held outside the normal hours of operation.
“I think we will continue to see center attendance grow as baby boomers finally find a little time for themselves,” parks director Brad Reid said. “It’s only going to grow and this is a valued member of the community that we serve. We need to do this right.”
The Senior and Community Center at Grapevine Springs is located at 345 W. Bethel Rd. Beginning Jan. 2 the new hours of operation are Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Source: City of Coppell
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 December 2012 22:23
Written by Phil Cerroni
With the holidays fast approaching, students at North Lake College (NLC) are spending less time in the mall and more time practicing the art of giving. Donation items range from holiday cards for the troops to clothing and food for the Genesis Women’s Shelter.
“I purposefully do not offer extra credit to my students for donating items,” said psychology professor Enrique Otero. “I prefer that they donate out of genuine goodwill.”
Despite the lack of external reward, however, North Lake students remain eager to give. In fact, students recently filled an entire empty office with donations for Terrell State Psychiatric Hospital. Led byNLC’sPsi Beta Honor Society, the fundraiser produced a wide range of donation items, including track shoes, Frisbees and winter coats.
Also making the season bright is the NLC Blazer Student Store. Operating year-round, the Blazer Student Store functions much like a thrift store, but instead of U.S. currency, it uses Blazer Bucks. Students may acquire Bucks in a variety of ways, including classroom participation, trading items from home, and winning them at campus events. Plus, every December, each student is freely given 30 dollars in Blazer Bucks to shop for their holiday needs.
“Spending time in the store has helped me considerably with my own personal struggles,” said student Regina Fischer in the October edition of the News-Register. “When I feel like I am having a difficult day, I go down to the store and volunteer. Helping others puts my life in perspective.” Students experiencing a hardship are given Blazer Bucks or Blazer Food Vouchers free, no questions asked.
Source: North Lake College
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 December 2012 22:22
Written by Phil Cerroni
Irving ISD is one of 487 districts across the country invited to participate in the AP STEM Access program, created to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority and female high school students who participate in Advanced Placement® courses in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines.
A $5 Million grant made from Google as part of their Global Impact Awards to DonorsChoose.org will make it possible for this program to invite Nimitz High School, MacArthur High School and Singley Academy to start new AP math and science courses and to encourage traditionally underrepresented minority (black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native) and female students who demonstrate strong academic potential to enroll and explore these areas of study and related careers. The AP Program offers willing and academically prepared high school students the opportunity to study at a college level, enabling them to develop the critical thinking skills necessary for college success.
“In Irving ISD we want to ensure that all of our students get the same opportunity to succeed,” Dr. Dana T. Bedden, Superintendent of Schools said. “In a diverse district like ours, this new program will encourage some students who may not have seen AP courses as an option to challenge themselves as they prepare for post-secondary education. All of our data indicates that students who take an AP course do better in college. We continue to expand our AP offerings and to increase the number of students taking AP courses as part of our efforts to make more students college and career ready.”
These three schools will start the new AP STEM courses in fall 2013 and will make a commitment to offer new AP courses for a minimum of three years to enable them to become an integral part of the overall array of AP course offerings within the school.
The funding for this AP STEM Access program was awarded by Google to DonorsChoose.org with the $5 million grant as part Google’s new Global Impact Awards, which provides support to organizations using technology and innovative approaches to tackle some of the world’s toughest human challenges.
Source: Irving ISD
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 December 2012 22:20
Written by Phil Cerroni
The Irving Heritage Senior Center was alive with Christmas spirit during the 4th Annual Holiday in the Heritage event on Dec. 7.
There were songs by Doug McAlister, Ms. Mature Irving 2012 Kay Waters and the Heritage Singers. A toe tapping performance was presented by the Heritage Tappers. Dancers from Dolly Salas' Irving Dance Conservatory were a highlight of the evening with dancers from age 4 to 15 offering delightful dance interpretations of favorite holiday music. The night finished with a wonderful concert by the Irving High Band Alumni Association ensemble
There were Christmas activities in the Heritage dining room too, with a workshop to make gingerbread houses. Grandparents and their grandchildren had a blast creating these Christmas confections. Mrs. Santa was on hand to tell stories and visit with the children. It was an enjoyable time for all in attendance, and a wonderful way to start the Christmas celebrations.
Source: Irving Heritage Senior Center
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 December 2012 22:19
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