Dryades YMCA gets grant from Kellogg

New Orleans — The Dryades YMCA of New Orleans was awarded a $298,190 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., to help make children under age 5 more school-ready.

The three-year grant will be used to implement an Early Learning Readiness program for informal family, friend and neighbor caregivers. The goal is to increase informal childcare provider capacity in Central City neighborhoods.

“Every year we have to wait list a significant number of young children who end up in an informal childcare setting,” said Douglas Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dryades YMCA in a news release.

“This group of friends, family, or neighbor caregivers has a tremendous potential to provide young children with rich experiences that promote early learning and school readiness in the context of loving relationships. This program will support them in doing so,” he said.

Event geared toward entrepreneurs over 50

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

The two organizations will match “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance.

The final event for Louisiana will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the new AARP office located at 3502 S. Carrollton Ave. in New Orleans.

For more information or to register for the event, go to the Louisiana event calendar at www.sba.gov/la or contact Mr. E.C. Coffey, SBA Louisiana’s Lead Economic Development Specialist, at el.coffey@sba.gov.

Council on Aging hosts Senior Fest

New Orleans — The New Orleans Council on Aging will host Senior Fest 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 10 at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena.

More than 800 senior citizens are expected to attend. Major sponsors include Entergy New Orleans, Peoples Health, Dependable In Home Care, Daughters of Charity and Jubilee Respite Services.

Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to Leah Chase and Wanda Rouzan for the value they bring to New Orleans community. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals 60 years or older who have contributed significantly to the older adult population or the larger New Orleans community in any service capacity.

Silver Fox Awards will be presented to Bobby Pierce and Toddy Wobbema, publisher of the Senior Resource Directory.

The Silver Fox award is given to a professional affiliate of the aging network who has made significant contributions through community outreach, proven leadership and advocacy for older adults.

Second Harvest mail carrier drive set

New Orleans — The Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana and the National Association of Letter Carriers are conducting a food drive May 11.

Letter carriers in Orleans and Jefferson parishes will collect nonperishable food items from Greater New Orleans area residents as part of the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

Participants are asked to leave a sturdy bag containing nonperishable food items such as peanut butter, soups/stews, canned fruits/vegetables, canned meats, tuna fish, chili, cereals, beans, rice and pasta next to their mailboxes prior regular mail delivery on May 11.

Letter carriers will pick up the bagged food donations and deliver them to Second Harvest Food Bank for distribution to needy families. Rouses will also have $5 prepared grocery bags from the Stamp Out Hunger display. Rouses customers can purchase and donate their items in the Second Harvest Food Bank barrel at the front of the store.

Bagged food items may also be delivered to local post offices until May 17.

Monetary donations may be made by visiting the Second Harvest Food Bank website at www.no-hunger.org.

Seminar for senior security offered

Madisonville — The St. Tammany SALT — Seniors And Law enforcement Together — Council will present a free Senior Security Seminar at 10 a.m. May 8 at the Madisonville American Red Cross facility, 300 Ashland Way.

Topics are based on preparations for hurricane season. Louisiana State Police Trooper Nick Manale will discuss vehicle, highway and driving safety, especially in the event evacuation is necessary.

Assistant District Attorney Harold Bartholomew Jr. of the St. Tammany/Washington Parish District Attorney’s Office will point out ways to avoid contractor and construction scams, especially following a storm. Red Cross experts and SALT Council members will offer emergency preparedness specifically for seniors, including insurance and Medicare issues in the event of an evacuation and other important issues to be ready for storms.

A complete barbecue lunch from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will be provided by the SALT Council.

The seminar is limited to 60 people and pre-registration is required to be sure adequate food and materials are available for the seminar.

Registration is open to anyone 50 years or older, although caregivers are exempt from this requirement.

Registration is available by email at info@stsalt.org; by calling the SALT Event Message Center at (985) 809-5455 and leaving a name and phone number for call back, or by registering online at WWW.STSALT.ORG.

Children’s Museum holds world’s fair

New Orleans — The 2013 Children’s World’s Fair, presented by Chevron, will explore “A World of Big Ideas” through an International exhibition of crafts, food, music, hands-on projects, literature and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11 at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, 420 Julia St.

The theme of the 2013 Children’s World’s Fair is “A World of Big Ideas” and celebrates cultural diversity in the contributions of great science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) achievements around the world. STEM education is one of Louisiana Children’s Museum’s five strategic initiatives, and an educational focus in each of the country’s exhibits.

Children’s World’s Fair creates an International environment for children ages 4-14 to experience diverse history, culture and cuisine as they travel through eight featured countries.

At this year’s street festival, families can stamp their passports in Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ireland, Monaco, Panama and Vietnam as they travel down Julia Street.

General admission to the Children’s World’s Fair will open at noon. Advance general admission tickets are available for $20 per person, $16 for members. All event-day tickets at the door are available for $20 per person.

For additional information or to purchase tickets call (504) 266-2415 or visit www.lcm.org.

St. Charles wins transparency award

St. Charles Parish — The Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, named St. Charles Parish as one of 250 winners of its fourth annual “Sunny Awards,” which honor the most transparent government websites nationwide.

For the 2013 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 1,000 qualifying government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided.

They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, public records and taxes.

The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.

St. Tammany building permits see increase

COVINGTON — Commercial and residential building permits in St. Tammany Parish are up almost 30 percent in the first three months of 2013 compared with the same period a year ago, parish officials say.

Parish development department figures show 214 permits for single-family home construction were issued in the first quarter of 2013, up from 156 in the year-ago quarter.

Permits for commercial construction also rose, from 46 in the first quarter of 2012 to 63 in the first three months of this year.

St. Tammany officials attribute the increase to continued economic growth and the ability to apply for parish permits online through a streamlined process.

Compiled by the New Orleans bureau and The Associated Press