Local Turlock – February 19, 2021: Valentines Grams, Mathnasium Tutoring, Safe Schools 7-12 Reopening Plan, Emergency Rental Assistance

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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of February 19th. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. First story, Turlock florist spreads love with her Valentine Grams project which delivered over 400 floral arrangements to the senior community. Next story we have here, Mathnasium tutoring in Turlock provides mental exercise for students. Moving on, Turlock Unified School District eyes mid-March return for secondary students. Good news, Stanislaus County and the City of Modesto are pleased to announce that an Emergency Rental Assistance program supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You can make a difference in the life of a foster child in Stanislaus County. Join Every Child Matters, a virtual event on Feb 27! Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business spotlights this week. Also sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast. 

Turlock florist spreads love to senior community

Valentine Grams project delivers over 400 floral arrangements


Valentine’s Day is a holiday all about spreading love, and one Turlock florist did just that on Sunday by delivering flower grams to the local senior community.  Heidi Sisco of Heidi Hearts Flowers has made it a point to boost the spirits of those living in skilled nursing facilities and senior living homes throughout the pandemic, delivering beautiful floral grams with well wishes to remind them they haven’t been forgotten during this time of isolation. The idea began first with bouquets last year, then with poinsettias for Christmas when she delivered 500 of the beautiful flowers to the area’s elderly in December. It took a team effort to create over 400 Valentine Grams, with over 30 volunteers dedicating their time to the effort starting on Thursday. People traveled from as far as Sacramento to help with the project, Sisco said, and the Denair High School floral class was on hand every day to assist in creating the floral arrangements. Roses, carnations, anemones, ranunculus and more were purchased by the thousands from the San Francisco Flower Market and Dutch Roots Farms in Ripon to be used in the bouquets, and no arrangement was the same thanks to the wide variety of volunteers. For Mother’s Day, Sisco plans on making floral grams available for purchase on her website for those who want to deliver the gift of flowers this spring.

Mathnasium tutoring provides mental exercise for students

Name of business: Mathnasium

Type of business: Tutoring center

Location: 2842 Geer Road in Turlock

Hours: 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Contact information: 209-348-6284

Specialty: One-on-one math help for students

After Mathnasium’s original plans to open last year were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Turlock’s newest tutoring center is now serving the community during a time when students may need services the most. Mathnasium has over 1,000 locations nationwide, and owner Ramona Eshagh wanted to add another in Turlock in order to provide more science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunities for local students. The Turlock resident had originally hoped to have the new tutoring center up and running by April 2020, but COVID made it difficult to obtain permits in a timely manner. While Mathnasium solely offers math tutoring at the moment, Eshagh originally wanted to open the center in order to provide STEM opportunities like coding camps, chess clubs and robotics classes to students. The pandemic has put a hold on those plans for now, but she believes that more chances to host STEM-related activities will arise as conditions change for the better. Tutors at Mathnasium include seasoned tutors from other franchise locations, as well as math majors from the University of California, Merced, and Stanislaus State. Safety measures in place at Mathnasium include mask wearing, plexiglass barriers, air purifiers and more. All new students receive a free assessment in order to determine their grade level and package pricing and options are then provided to prospective families.

TUSD eyes mid-March return for secondary students

As Turlock Unified School District presented its plan to bring secondary students back to campus in the coming weeks to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening, a group of parents, students and other community members gathered outside of the meeting to say the proposal doesn’t meet their expectations. The district’s “Safe Schools 7-12 Reopening Plan” would see junior high and high school students return to school for two half days per week. In order for secondary schools in Turlock to open under the plan, Stanislaus County must be in the red tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy for at least five consecutive days.  The instruction plan for secondary schools is described as a blended learning model with synchronous instruction and would see students at each school split into two groups. Group A would attend half of the school day on campus on Mondays and Thursdays, while Group B would attend half of the school day on Tuesdays and Fridays. All students would participate in distance learning on Wednesdays, as well as the remaining half of the day when they spend the morning on campus. Patterson and about 80 others convened outside of the Board meeting on Tuesday for a peaceful protest, calling for the full — or more large scale — reopening of secondary schools. The full secondary reopening plan, including other safety measures which will be put in place to protect students and staff, can be viewed on the TUSD website, www.turlock.k12.ca.us. TUSD is currently targeting mid-March as the reopening date under the presented plan, and will host a staff forum Q&A and parent forum Q&A on Feb. 17 and 18, respectively. A communication and commitment survey will be sent to parents on Feb. 19 and TUSD will host a COVID-19 staff and parent/student training and submit a health and safety agreement the week of Feb. 22. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Stanislaus County and the City of Modesto are pleased to announce that soon funding will be made available through an Emergency Rental Assistance program supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Emergency Rental Assistance program makes available $25 billion to assist households unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are provided directly to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes. Government agencies must use these funds to provide assistance to eligible households through rental assistance programs. A minimum of 90 percent of awarded funds must be used for direct financial assistance, including rent, utilities and home energy costs, as well as other expenses related to housing. Remaining funds are available for housing stability services, including case management and other services intended to keep households stablely housed, and administrative costs. Many of the specifics regarding a timeline of funding availability is unknown at this time. In the next few weeks, the federal government is expected to release detailed guidelines on the use of these funds, at which time information will be released to the community regarding application instructions and eligibility details. For program information currently available, please see the following link: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rental-assistance-program

Every Child Matters

You can make a difference in the life of a foster child in Stanislaus County. Become a resource parent. To learn more, please join Every Child Matters, a virtual event on February 27, 2021 from 9 am to 11 am. The event will feature a panel of former foster youth sharing their foster care experiences and stories of inspiration. Resource parents (formerly referred to as foster parents) are individuals, couples, or families who act as caregivers providing out-of-home care for children in foster care. To learn more about the annual Every Child Matters event and how you can become a resource parent, please register by going to LoveAllOurKids.com/every-child-matters In partnership with the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency, the event is sponsored by Love All Our Kids, a community organization that helps find resource parents for foster youth.

Lander Auto Service

Location: 1328 Lander Ave Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number: (209) 664-9900
Operational Hours: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday – Friday) Sat & Sun (Closed)

Lander Auto Service is a Turlock, California family owned auto repair shop company. Since 2009 Lander Auto Service has established an auto repair shop division, offered car mechanic and developed a brake repair service service for its Turlock clients in Stanislaus County. Lander Auto Service has become Turlock local auto repair shop favorite!

Willie's Pizza & Wings

Location: 2050 E Canal Dr Turlock, CA 95380

Phone Number: (209) 667-9455

Operational Hours: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Mon-Sat) 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Mon-Sun)

After seven years of serving burgers, fries, and ice cream to the finest community a restaurant could ask for, Lulu's has decided to expand their business to include Willie's Pizza & Wings. Their goal is to provide a fun and rewarding work place, great food, and customer service so that everyone who leaves Willie's does so feeling better than when they arrived.

Coronavirus update, Feb. 18: Stanislaus hospital cases go back down. Deaths at 910

Stanislaus County reported five more deaths to COVID-19 on Wednesday as total cases approached 50,000. The county Health Services Agency put deaths at 910 since the pandemic arrived last spring. Stanislaus added 138 cases Wednesday, for a total of 49,266. The county also has 429,062 negative test results and 46,808 people who are presumed recovered. According to the Los Angeles Times COVID-19 tracker, Stanislaus County has the eighth-highest rate of infection per 100,000 residents in the last week among the state’s 58 counties. Its rate of death if 15th highest. Since the pandemic’s start, its infection rate is 15th highest and death rate fourth highest. The county’s five hospitals reported 158 patients with confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, down from 167 on Tuesday. The count has stayed under 200 for 12 straight days and was over 300 in early January.  As of Wednesday, 55,550 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Stanislaus County, unchanged for several days. This includes 26,625 doses to health care providers and 28,925 to public health. Information regarding vaccinations in Stanislaus County is on the county dashboard at http://schsa.org/coronavirus/vaccine/. Geographically: Modesto has 18,126 positive cases, Turlock has 6,652 and Ceres has 5,057

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!