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The Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association (ACAAA) Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, December 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the CAPCA Administrative Office in Conway, 707 Robins Street. • There will also be a meeting of the ACAAA Annual Conference Committee held from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the same location.
Peer Assistance Review Volunteers needed! 

ACAAA is currently scheduling a Peer Review for December.  •  By participating in a peer review team, you are allowing opportunity for both personal and agency-wide professional growth amongst the experienced in our statewide network. • All expenses incurred are reimbursed by the Association. 

The Peer Review Team reviews the approved standards in these five component areas: 
  • Administration and Governance 
  • Community Relations
  • Personnel Management and Development 
  • Financial Management 
  • Goals, Strategies, and Results 
Referrals are accepted by CAA Executive Directors at rreynolds@acaaa.org.
The Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association (ACAAA) Board of Directors will convene for a two-day board meeting & training session on January 20th & 21st, times and venue to be announced. The board meeting will be held Wednesday, January 20; the training, held the following day, will have a focus on Fundraising and Advocacy and will feature guest speakers Rich Huddleston and Kerri Sernal—Executive Director and Outreach Director, respectively, from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families—and Bill Kopsky, Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel
We are still putting on the final touches—the Members section is at the moment in the last stages of construction—but we hope you will take an opportunity to check out the all-new look of ACAAA’s website at www.acaaa.org!
The 2016 LIHEAP Training Conference will be held on December 3-4, 2015, at Embassy Suites, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, in Little Rock. “This will be an opportunity for Arkansas LIHEAP staff to hear directly from the Office of Community Services (OCS) regarding important changes to LIHEAP policies and procedures and receive training in key areas of program administration.”

For additional information, contact Rosalind Thompson at rosalind.thompson@dhs.arkansas.gov or by phone at (501) 682-8719; you may also contact Shirley Mason at (501) 682-8726 or shirley.mason@dhs.arkansas.gov.
The 2016 Management and Leadership Training Conference being held by the Community Action Partnership (CAP) has been scheduled for January 6-8, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information on registration and hotel rooms, visit the CAP website.
The 2016 Mid-Winter Training Conference for NASCSP—the National Association for State Community Service Programswill be held February 22-26, 2016, in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference “offers a valuable opportunity for professionals from around the country to come together to discuss strategies for [addressing] the complexities of managing the CSBG and WAP.” More information will be available at the NASCSP website as the date grows nearer.
NCAF—the National Community Action Foundation—will be holding its 2016 Legislative Conference on March 15 - 18 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  More information, including a tentative agenda, registration, and hotel details, can be found at the NCAF website here.
The Monitors Training Webinar Series for CSBG being hosted by NASCSP (the National Association for State Community Service Programs) is being held December  7-11.

“[This] week-long training [opportunity] consists of a webinar per day, held from 1:00 pm - 2:30 p.m. Central Time. The information you receive will be relevant if you are new to the program and if you want to tune in to hear the latest and greatest guidance on how to manage these two vital programs. The cost is ... $375 for NASCSP Members / $500 for Non-members.” For more information, or to register, visit here.
CharityHowTo.com is offering a free webinar, “Start Your 2016 Grant Strategy Off Right!,” on Tuesday, December 8, at 12:00 noon Central time. • “Starting your year off with a strong plan and clear goals in place will ensure that you secure the funding necessary to achieve your goals for grant revenue. [This webinar] will provide you with a strong understanding of your success in 2015 and how to set goals for 2016 that will help expand your grant seeking strategy and revenue.  We will also discuss how to successfully engage your colleagues in being part of the grant planning process for the new year.” • For more information, or to register, visit the CharityHowTo website here.
4Good.org is offering a free webinar, “Nonprofit Boards and Effective Governance,” scheduled for Wednesday, December 9, at 12:00 noon Central time. “The nonprofit governing board has been described as an ineffective group of effective people. Why do nonprofits so broadly fail to use their boards wisely? And how might they do better? This webinar will touch upon a comprehensive range of issues in a way that will be relevant to almost every nonprofit board.”  For more information, or to register, visit the 4Good website here.
The deadline to register for the Community Action Partnership’s Learning Community project is December 11. The Learning Community “is comprised of topical Learning Community Groups (LCGs) which consist of a cadre of agencies that are currently working on a program or service delivery strategy related to each of the LCG focus areas.  Learning Community members meet bi-monthly, either virtually or in-person and assist each other by discussing ‘what works,’ sharing data findings, solving problems, and offering support for implementing new ideas, unmet needs, new organizational goals or proving that a strategy works.”  • For more information, or to register, visit the Partnership’s website here.
CFED is offering a new publication—“Top 10 Checklist: How Community Tax Programs Can Help Increase Health Insurance Coverage.” • “Traditionally, the ‘tax world’ and the ‘health world’ have been separate realms, but the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes that. The tax world—including community tax programs—is now a key player in implementing health insurance coverage expansion, and preparers are on the front lines of identifying coverage gaps in the community. This checklist provides community tax programs the tools and resources they need to expand their program’s impact and help more individuals access the coverage they need.” • To view the publication, visit the CFED website here.
VirtualCAP—the resource clearinghouse for the Community Action Network—recommends a newly-released book from a long-term Community Action leader: Navigating the Nonprofit Rapids by Ted Edlich, former president and CEO of Total Action for Progress. • “Navigating the Nonprofit Rapids is based upon four decades of actual experience, the lives of incredible mentors and colleagues and the best of research on the most effective leadership skills and knowledge. It is exciting, inspiring, and contains practical suggestions that can quickly be applied by committed and talented leaders with a mission.” • For information on pre-ordering the book, visit the VirtualCAP website here.
The national Office of Community Services has issued an announcement directed to “state LIHEAP leaders” that there has been an “extension to the A-87 cost allocation exception for the development of integrated eligibility and enrollment systems within a state.” The original deadline of December 31, 2015, has been extended by three years to December 31, 2018. The complete “Dear Colleague” letter can be founded at the OCS website here.
Arkansas River Valley Area Council (ARVAC) and Community Action Program for Central Arkansas (CAPCA) are both participants in the “Amazon Smile” program, which allows Amazon.com customers to designate an organization to which a small percentage of the price of their purchases can be donated. Visit here for ARVAC’s Amazon sign-in page, and here for CAPCA’s sign-in page.
Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council has signed a grant contract for $312,500 that will go towards “helping 16 families build their own homes under the USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, implemented by ... C-SCDC.” For the full story from the Press-Argus Courier, visit their website here, or check out KFSM 5 News’s coverage here.
C-SCDC invites everyone to join them for their 50th Anniversary celebration being held Thursday, December 17, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at The Executive Hotel at City Center – Fort Smith. • “Our guest speaker will be Kathy LeMay. She is the founder, president, and CEO of Raising Change, which helps organizations raise capital to advance social change agendas, individuals and create Generosity Plans to help change the world.” • For information on ordering tickets, visit the C-SCDC website here.
United States Representative Rick Crawford recently paid a visit to Crowley’s Ridge Development Council (CRDC). While there, he enjoyed a game of pool with some of the residents of CRDC’s Transitional Living House (upper photo, pictured also with CRDC’s Director of Substance Abuse Treatment, Awanna Smith [left]) and visited with CRDC’s Director of Weatherization, Joe Mansfield (lower photo; Mr. Mansfield is pictured right) as they toured the agency’s home used for Habitat for Humanity. Of the work being done by the Transitional Living House, Representative Crawford said on his Facebook page, “I got to visit with some of the young men whose lives have been transformed by this effort. It’s good to see these kinds of programs in our area that help young men get their lives back on track.”
Virginia Zermeno, the Family Advocate for the Lonoke Head Start Center, was named the November 2015 Employee of the Month for Community Action Program of Central Arkansas (CAPCA). “Hard working,” “team player,” “involved in the community,” “well organized,” and “wonderful” are just a few of the things her enthusiastic co-workers have to say about her. As writes her nominator, “Virginia is very important to our team … she is my backbone.” For more, visit CAPCA's Facebook page.
Cedric Anderson, a Cook for Crowley’s Ridge Development Council's NEARRC (Northeast Arkansas Regional Recovery Center), recently proved himself a true “lifesaver” when he performed the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking client who might otherwise have suffered serious injury or death. As said one observer, Anderson took Community Action’s promise of “Helping People, Changing Lives” and “elevated it to ‘Helping People, Saving Lives’!”  For more, visit CRDC’s Facebook page.
 
(501) 372-0807 or via email at jmoran@acaaaa.org
Does your family circle of friends need expanding? Why not check out the Facebook pages of these various community action agencies and their affiliates? We bet you’ll see plenty there to “like”! 
ARVAC • Arkansas River Valley Area Council
Black River Area Development Corp. (BRAD) Senior Centers
CADC • Central Arkansas Development Council
CADC Benton Senior Wellness & Activity Center
CAPCA • Community Action Program for Central Arkansas
CRDC • Crowley’s Ridge Development Council
C-SCDC Community Dental Clinic
C-SCDC • Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council
C-SCDC Home Ownership and Asset Development Center
C-SCDC River Valley Regional Food Bank
EOAWC • Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County
EOA Children's House
EOA of Washington County Head Start / Early Head Start
MCAEOC • Mississippi County AR EOC Head Start
NADC • Northcentral Arkansas Development Council
OHC • Madison County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
OOI • Ozark Opportunities, Inc.
Ozark Opportunities Head Start
PBJCEOC • Pine Bluff Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission
SEACAC • Southeast Arkansas Community Action Corp.
SWADC • Southwest Arkansas Development Council
— and don't forget! —
ACAAA • Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association
 
Have we left out anyone from the Arkansas community action network?
Drop us a line at jmoran@acaaa.org and we’ll make sure they’re included in the next issue!
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