Barrett Fund Awards $75,000 to Eight Community Groups

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SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announced today that the William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy recently awarded grants totaling $74,763 to eight nonprofit organizations in those three towns.

"Berkshire Taconic is proud to be the steward of Margery Barrett’s legacy,” said Jennifer Dowley, president of the foundation. “Margery was born in North Adams and spent most of her life as a teacher in Adams. Her dream was to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Adams, Cheshire and Savoy. She would be thrilled today to see the great good it has done over the years."

The Barrett Fund was established in 1995 by Margery Barrett using Pfizer stock inherited from her father and husband. Barrett remained anonymous until she died in 2000, when the remainder of her trust was added to the fund. The fund has since distributed more than $2 million to worthy projects.

The nonprofit groups that received Barrett Fund grants include: Adams Police Department ($10,000) for the Police Athletic League, a program that allows the department to work closely with area youth in a structured athletic setting through basketball; Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School ($7,003) for promoting health and wellness; Berkshire Nursing Families ($10,000) for the North Berkshire Lactation Project, a program that provides comprehensive breastfeeding support services for families in Adams, Cheshire and Savoy; Cheshire PTG ($4,200) for the Berkshire Theatre Festival Residency Program; Child Care of the Berkshires ($7560) to support  science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum; Elder Services of Berkshire County ($8,000) for Meals on Wheels and group meals for seniors; Elizabeth Freeman Center ($10,000) for the Child Safe Child Strong Program; and Youth Center ($18,000) for Community Programs and Outreach.

Child Care of the Berkshires will use its Barrett Fund grant to improve learning opportunities for young children in Adams and Cheshire. Anne Nemetz-Carlson, executive director of Child Care of the Berkshires, said, "Children are avid learners, and STEM will allow them to be involved in fun hands-on math and science activities. The grant we received will also help support the new STEM curriculum so that our children will be ready to enter kindergarten. We are very excited to have the opportunity to start this new project."

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity.
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Hoosac Valley Braces for Potential Budget Cuts to Close $480K Gap

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The School Committee will see different budget presentations in March.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School District is bracing for a tough budget cycle and will work with Adams and Cheshire to make up budget gaps.
Superintendent Aaron Dean told the School Committee on Monday that he has already met with Adams officials to discuss the fiscal 2021 budget that in its early form is $480,000 short.
"The reality is that we have to close a gap of $480,000 at this time given the numbers on the cherry sheet and the normal increases in the budget," he said. "We will restructure and we will continue to do great things with kids we just have to find ways to consolidate and do things differently." 
Business Manager Erika Snyder said the conversation with Adams would have happened sooner but there was still some uncertainty around the cherry sheet that details the district's state revenues and debits. Dean added that he will soon meet with Cheshire officials to continue this discussion.
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