Teachers at Crosby Elementary School were getting their classes through the MCAS on Tuesday. They still have lessons to teach. And then there was knock on each one of their doors.
It was Gary Levante or Deanna Markham from Berkshire Bank or it was Jennifer Kerwood from the Berkshire United Way. The teachers didn't know it was coming, but the two organizations were thinking about them because Tuesday wasn't just another school day. It was teacher's appreciation day.
Those are some of the success stories the Berkshire United Way shared on Friday at Cranwell. The organization is perpetually fundraising to continue to support various programs. At the luncheon on Friday, it focused its work on positive youth development, one of three main focuses of the organization.
Prevention is just one aspect of tackling the opioid problem in the county. So far signs show local efforts are working, but that local effort still have a lot of work ahead of them.
Over the last 10 years data collected from the Berkshire United Way is showing a decreasing percentage of county students using alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco products. However, compared to the national average, Berkshire students are still using those substances at a greater frequency than national averages.
Every child entering kindergarten next year will have a backpack full of supplies.
Berkshire Bank employees will be filling 1,200 backpacks with books, supplies, reading lists, and informational fliers as part of the Berkshire United Way's day of caring.
It's coming up on tax time, a chance to catch up on bills, build a savings, or make investments. And there are community groups just waiting to help people with the filing.
The Berkshire United Way and the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity have put together a pool of volunteers to help individuals and families file income tax with the IRS securely and for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.