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Eisenberg and Neuhaus

Monhagen Middle School sixth-grader Logan Eisenberg is Orange County’s Citizen of the Month Award

GOSHEN (February 19) - Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus recognized Logan Eisenberg as the Citizen of the Month Award winner for the month of February.

Neuhaus selected Eisenberg, 11, for organizing “Operation SOCKS” last month, which collected 3,687 pairs of socks for residents at Helping Others Needing Our Resources (HONOR) homeless shelter in Middletown.

“Logan has inspired all of us with his compassion for the less fortunate,” Neuhaus said. “He has a big heart and what he has accomplished with “Operation SOCKS” is incredible. Logan should be commended for his efforts and for his commitment to Orange County and its residents. We are all proud of him and know that he has a bright future ahead of him.”

According to Eisenberg’s mother, Danielle, her son was inspired to start “Operation SOCKS” after seeing a homeless man at a Middletown gas station on a frigid morning in December. Logan asked his mother: “Where is his home?” She informed him that the man was homeless and told her son that he probably lived at HONOR.

A few weeks later, Eisenberg received $100 from his grandparents for Christmas. He asked his mother if he could donate the gift to HONOR, which provides individualized and integrated services to people who are combating chemical dependency, in need of transitional housing, or require crisis intervention. Instead, Danielle suggested to her son that he start a sock drive for HONOR. The family started an “Operation SOCKS” Facebook page and hoped to collect 3,000 pairs of socks.

Eisenberg plays percussion in the Monhagen Middle School’s jazz band and is a member of the school’s technology club and leadership team. His other interests include Taekwondo and playing video games. Mrs. Eisenberg said that in the near future Logan plans to volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

“We all consider ourselves fortunate to have met Logan and his family,” said HONOR’s Executive Director, Chris Molinelli. “He is an incredible young man and is filled with compassion and understanding well beyond his years. Logan’s efforts have touched the lives of so many in Orange County and we are ecstatic that the County Executive has recognized him for his efforts.”

The Citizen of the Month Award recognizes outstanding Orange County residents. To nominate someone, please email or mail a letter to “Citizen of the Month” at 255-275 Main Street Goshen, N.Y. 10924. Be sure to include the nominee’s name, hometown, a list of their accomplishments, why you are nominating them and any other pertinent information. Nominees must be from Orange County.


SUNY Orange announces spring classes in Port Jervis

MIDDLETOWN (February 12) - SUNY Orange will kick off its revitalized presence in Port Jervis this spring by offering four evening classes, with two first-year college-level courses set to begin March 6 and two accelerated skills classes to commence in early April.

The classes are the first to be offered as part of a collaborative effort between Orange County, the City of Port Jervis and SUNY Orange to expand the College’s presence in western Orange County and to bring post-secondary academic opportunities and workforce development programming to the area. The four spring courses will be presented at Port Jervis High School while the finishing touches are being put on renovations to a building at 150 Pike Street in Port Jervis. It is expected that the College’s summer offerings, when announced, will be delivered at the Pike Street location.

The first-year college courses that begin at Port Jervis High School on March 6 include Introduction to Business (offered Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7:45 p.m.) and Elementary Algebra (offered Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8:45 p.m.). The accelerated skills courses beginning in early April include Developmental Algebra (Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. starting April 3) and Basic Writing Skills 2 (Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning April 9). The Developmental Algebra and Basic Writing Skills 2 courses are being offered to prepare students to be ready for upcoming general education courses planned for Port Jervis this summer.

“These initial courses are designed to help students take their first step toward a college degree, or allow them to ease back into the classroom if they’ve been away for a while,” says Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president, who also expressed her appreciation that the Port Jervis School District has made space available at the high school while the Pike Street site is being finished. “For those who may be interested in these four offerings, or might be thinking about joining us in Port Jervis this summer, I encourage them to contact a College representative. Our advisors will be able to help determine how our classes in Port Jervis can fit into their college plans.”

For more information about the Port Jervis classes, call (845) 341-4050 or email Additional details are also available at


Bonsu with Makam

NFA Senior a finalist for New York's Top Youth Volunteers of 2018

NEWBURGH (February 8) - Supriya Makam, a senior at Newburgh Free Academy, Main Campus was named Distinguished Finalist for New York’s Top Youth Volunteers of 2018 by National Program. Along with eight other finalists in New York, Makam was awarded a certificate, a letter of recognition from the President of the United States, and will receive an engraved Bronx medallion at a Board of Education meeting at a later date.

Supriya Makam, 17, of Newburgh, a senior at Newburgh Free Academy, has mobilized more than 100 volunteers to help foster a love of learning in local kids through "Educate Without Borders," the nonprofit she started in 2013. In addition to organizing book collections, learning activities and other events through her nonprofit, Supriya has conducted extensive research on the use of a leading opioid addiction treatment in her county and the barriers to access.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light's HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. These Local Honorees were then reviewed by an independent judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on criteria including personal initiative, effort, impact and personal growth. 

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 23rd year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

“I am so happy for Supriya,” said Pamela Bonsu, School Counselor at Newburgh Free Academy, Main Campus. “She has many academic accomplishments and accolades, but she will be most remembered for her spirit of volunteerism and willingness to help others. This is a well-deserved award." 

“I definitely wasn’t expecting this because it’s such an honorable and competitive award,” said Makam . “I’m very grateful to have been chosen. I really enjoy helping others and the joy that I feel from it is something that I can’t get from anything else, which is why I have continued to volunteer and give back. I absolutely hope to expand on my community service projects in the future.”  

Since the program began in 1995, more than 120,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level.


Calling all Sullivan high-schoolers: send us your drug awareness video

LIBERTY (January 30) – Are you a Sullivan County teenager in 9th-12th grade in public, private or home school? Got a smartphone or video camera handy? Time to put your creativity front and center.

Sullivan County Public Health Services is seeking 30-60-second videos – made by and for local teens – about the dangers of drug abuse.

“Opioid overdoses and deaths are sweeping the nation, and the County of Sullivan isn’t immune,” acknowledges Public Health Services Director Nancy McGraw. “So the County is seeking a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to get young people to think twice about making bad decisions with prescription opioids, heroin or street drugs.”

The videos will be submitted through a special County-created online portal, where they will be viewed and judged by Public Health Services staff and members of the Drug Prevention Task Force. The winning videos will then be featured on the County website and social media pages, including our YouTube channel, and may also be used as PSAs in local professional media. The Legislature will also make a non-monetary award in public session to the top-scoring entry.

Video submissions will be accepted now through March 20, 2018, and the registration form and official rules can be found at or by calling Amy at 845-292-5910.

“This is a great way for teens, either individually or in groups, to make a difference in their peers’ lives, and at the same time showcase their creativity and style,” says District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, chair of the Legislature’s Health and Family Services Committee. “Don’t wait – register now and create something memorable.”


Poughkeepsie Farm Project awarded Farm-to-School grant

HUDSON (January 30) – When Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $1 million had been awarded to 12 Farm-to-School projects across New York State on January 5, Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP) was among the two projects receiving the highest grant level of $100,000. The Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) will partner with PFP, the Poughkeepsie City School District (PCSP) and the Wappingers Central School District (WCSD) to implement the grant.

The New York State Farm-to-School program helps Kindergarten through Grade 12 schools connect with local farmers, increase the use of locally grown food on school menus, improve student health, and educate young people about agriculture. The projects awarded will benefit 219,471 students in seven regions across the state. The program also supports the expansion of the NY Thursdays Program, a school meal initiative that uses local, farm-fresh foods on Thursdays throughout the school year.

PFP will be using its grant to enhance its Farm-to-School program, increasing the capacity of school nutrition teams to prepare and preserve local farm products, increasing the volume and variety of local farm products procured for school meals, expanding the program to the Wappingers district, and implementing a NYS Harvest of the Month campaign. The expanded project will benefit 15,200 students in two school districts.

“We congratulate the PFP on its recent grant award and look forward to continuing to be involved with the two school districts. Having HVADC participate in the Farm-to-School program reinforces our vision of fostering viable local food systems and supporting agricultural enterprise while promoting community enhancement,” said Mary Ann Johnson, HVADC Projects Director.

According to Jamie Levato, the Education Director at PFP, “We are grateful to NYS for this opportunity to expand our Farm-to-School programming. Our Harvest of the Month initiative will serve as a framework for linking local farm product purchasing to food systems education for students and professional development for school nutrition teams at two school districts in Dutchess County. The healthy local school meals served at Poughkeepsie and Wappingers schools will benefit both NYS farms and NYS students!”

“The Wappingers Central School District is thrilled to partner with the Poughkeepsie City School District and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project as part of the grant through New York State to increase the use of locally sourced foods in schools,” said Superintendent Jose Carrion.  “We continuously seek opportunities to showcase local businesses to help increase our students' awareness of the service they provide to our community.”

Currently, PCSD is purchasing about 10,000 pounds of local produce per year including beets, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, kale, apples, and lettuce. This project expansion will support PCSD in increasing the number of pounds of local specialty crops it purchases per year to 16,000. Last year, WCSD purchased approximately 51,500 pounds of local produce, primarily apples. This project seeks to increase the district's purchase of local produce by 5,000-10,000 pounds in 2018. The NYS Harvest of the Month selections are tentatively include: tomatoes (September.), beets (October), kale (November), squash (December), apples (January), beef (February), potatoes (March), carrots (April), radishes (May), and lettuce (June). In addition to Harvest of the Month selections, PCSD plans to procure locally grown stone fruits and fall fruits to include as part of summer and school meals. WCSD is planning to add cherry tomatoes, corn, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.


Monroe-Woodbury High School senior Alex Prizgintas is January’s Orange County Citizen of the Month  

GOSHEN (January 17) – Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus recognized Prizgintas for his diverse contributions to arts and history in the County.

Full details on our Community Page


New Hope Community announces appointment of vice president of philanthropy

LOCH SHELDRAKE (January 15) – New Hope Community, whose mission is to enhance the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, announces the appointment of Edward Winters to the position of Vice President of Philanthropy.

Full details on our Health Page


Final registration for spring 2018 at SUNY Ulster: January 16

STONE RIDGE (January 6) - Final registration for the spring 2018 semester at SUNY Ulster will take place on Tuesday, January 16th from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Hasbrouck Hall, Room 220, on the Stone Ridge Campus. Representatives from multiple academic departments, Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, and Student Accounts will be available for advising and information during these hours. Spring 2018 classes begin January 22nd.

Many Ulster County residents begin their college experience at SUNY Ulster, going on to transfer to four-year colleges and universities or enter the workforce upon graduation. It’s a smart strategy that allows students to gain an excellent education without incurring extraordinary debt. For those transferring, the money saved in the first two years helps finance the last two.

Students just starting the financial aid process may put down a $50 deposit to hold their registration. All other students should sign up for our payment plan or remit payment in full. 

For more information on applying or registering, call (845) 687-5022 or visit





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