Around the Valley: Small Business Relief Grant, second round trout

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Small Business Relief Grant announced

Gov. Dan McKee, along with the RI Small Business Coalition, has announced a new grant program he says is focused on supporting smaller businesses hardest hit by the pandemic.

The program is touted as being simplified and streamlined, with just a single page to fill out, and businesses that qualify will receive $5,000

“Even businesses that opened in 2020 qualify and most industries are eligible,” noted a release.

The online application opened today, Thursday, April 15 and those interested can learn more at commerceri.com/reliefgrant.

EnrollRI

The Rhode Island Department of Education has announced the launch of a series of public engagement sessions available to community members to learn more about EnrollRI, a new system for families to browse and register for a wide array of supplemental courses, including summer 2021 opportunities. The tool is reportedly in alignment with the work and recommendations of the Learning, Equity, & Accelerated Pathways task force, which was convened by RIDE and has been meeting over the last two months to determine how Rhode Island can rebuild its educational system post-pandemic, get students back up to speed, and offer enriching opportunities to historically-marginalized students.

Currently, families can use EnrollRI to sign up for two available, ongoing courses, free math tutoring and free SAT prep through Schoolhouse.world, a nonprofit launched by Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy. Starting on May 3, students will be able to view all available All Course Network courses which will include enrichment, AP, career credential, dual enrollment, and work-based learning opportunities; as well as check a child’s eligibility for each course; and pre-register for classes for this summer and next academic year.

RIDE launched the ACN during the 2015-16 school year to provide a statewide course catalog of courses for students. The ACN now allows students in grades K-12 to take free courses offered by community-based organizations, private Rhode Island colleges, municipalities, and other Local Education Agencies. Last summer, RIDE created the Summer Academy for Interactive Learning program to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. SAIL built on the ACN platform to provide wide-ranging virtual programming to students impacted by COVID. The program was enormously popular; over 4,000 students participated and 30 percent were from urban core districts.

For summer 2021, RIDE is merging the summer SAIL initiative into the year-round ACN program. RIDE has reportedly made a number of improvements to the ACN for the coming year, building on feedback from SAIL providers and the recommendations of the LEAP Task Force. All courses will be available for viewing and registration on EnrollRI, RIDE’s new user-friendly enrollment website. RIDE has also created a “free course postings” functionality for local education agencies on EnrollRI. While the ACN has previously only hosted RIDE-funded courses, this feature will allow LEAs to post courses they manage and fund on EnrollRI, so out-of-district students can fill empty seats. EnrollRI says it has also made the ACN more accessible, user-friendly, and will dramatically improve reporting, so RIDE can adapt the program to meet the state’s changing needs and demographics.

RIDE has scheduled multiple opportunities for the community to learn about EnrollRI in the coming weeks.

Below is the schedule of upcoming EnrollRI events:

Wednesday, April 28, 6-7:30 p.m. – EnrollRI Family Engagement Session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87548963912?pwd=c09ZZVNDemtMQ05hTHh3QUNPV0RFUT09

Wednesday, May 5, 3 -5 p.m. – ACN office hours (come with your questions) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/96159368628?pwd=enRxYVgydU9PWFA0Ykh6NGtSd2JPZz09

Wednesday, May 12, 6-7:30 p.m. – ACN Virtual Provider Showcase https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85643367223?pwd=K2M5c0Jrbis1SVVRbEE3YkxYdm9sUT09

Wednesday, May 19, 6-7:30 p.m. – EnrollRI Family Engagement Session https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85147705004?pwd=aDNuQWZsM2Z3VEQycnZTNEQzMnRPQT09

Second Round Trout

The Department of Environmental Management has announced that the second round of spring trout stocking in Rhode Island ponds and lakes will take place next week. Popular and heavily fished areas will be restocked. Also, due to improved conditions, three additional fishing areas will be stocked including Foster Green Acres in Foster,
Memorial Park Pond in Lincoln and Geneva Brook and Pond in North Providence.

DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will begin stocking additional fish on Monday, April 19.

Click here for a complete list of stocked waters.

Anglers are reminded that those who catch a golden trout from April 7 through April 20 will receive a free golden trout pin. Take a picture of your catch and send it to dem.fishri@dem.ri.gov.

A 2021 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older. A Trout Conservation Stamp is also required of anyone wishing to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or “fly-fishing only” area. Trout Stamps are not required for persons possessing trout taken from a lake or pond that shares a border with Rhode Island. Fishing licenses can only be purchased online at www.dem.ri.gov/huntfish.

Anglers must follow these guidelines during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

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