PO Box 3516
Kingston, NY 12402
Staff: 1 full-time/3 part-time
Program Supervisor: Megan Weiss
PRIMARY FUNCTIONS: Kingston Cares is a program Family established to work with all segments of the community to help address the issues of poverty, prevent and reduce substance abuse, and improve the quality of life for youth and families in the City of Kingston and Kingston City School District. The program works with youth and their families to respond to critical concerns such as food insecurity and homelessness. While we respond to such short term immediate needs, the primary focus of the program is to build an environment in which young people gain skills, build confidence, share positive social experiences and create a vision for their futures. This work is accomplished by program staff who work with the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department to supervise after school and summer activities at the Everette Hodge Community Center in Midtown Kingston and the Rondout Neighborhood Center in Downtown Kingston and to provide quality and nutritious after school and summer meals.
ANCILLARY SERVICES: The program is committed to building opportunities for community members to work together to make Kingston a healthier community, one which promotes and acknowledges positive behaviors and decision-making among youth. The program also collects data and maintains statistics to analyze the success of program initiatives and identify significant new community trends.
In spring 2017, the program established a popular “Walking School Bus,” which facilitates a supervised walk from George Washington Elementary School to the Hodge Center every afternoon. This new initiative has enabled greater numbers of children to participate in programming, many of whom did not have reliable transportation or a safe method to get to the program previously.
In fall 2017, program staff assisted the Kingston City School District to launch an “Attendance Matters” campaign, highlighting the connection between school attendance, academic success, and health and well-being. In addition to a popular video created, the initiative includes the placement of attendance mentors at both the Hodge and Rondout Centers to assist youth struggling with attendance and truancy issues to access additional support services as necessary.
The program hired a CACFP Coordinator in late 2017, whose responsibilities include collaborating with the Case Manager/Chef to create CACFP-compliant menus, purchasing all food, assisting in the preparation and serving of meals to youth, and reporting all required data to program leadership and CACFP. This position has assisted the program in meeting the high standards of CACFP and offering good quality and nutritious meals to hundreds of children and adolescents.