The pupils in Dzierga's summer class were visited by Hall, a Lenox musician who regularly performs with Arlo Guthrie, on Monday afternoon.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The children in the summer school program were excited to return to Rosey Dzierga's classroom at Brayton Elementary School on Monday.
After all, they had a visitor — Terry "A La Berry" Hall, the well-known Lenox musician who performs a song the class has practiced over the last six weeks while learning about positive re-enforcement.
One child exclaimed, "This is the most exciting day of my life!"
Hall's visit highlights the kindergarten's summer session of the MindUp program, which strives to create an optimistic environment and re-enforces positive thinking and behavior.
Dzierga's class focuses on the lessons from the book "Have You Filled A Bucket Today" by Carol McCloud. According to the book, everyone carries a bucket, metaphorically, that can be filled with compliments and positive actions. Inversely, negative behavior empties the bucket.
Every pupil and assistant has a "bucket" hanging on the wall and each day they fill each other's buckets with messages written on paper stars.
Kindergarten teacher Rosey Dzierga holds two of the stars from Hall's 'bucket.'
"It's a really nice, good-feeling kind of thing," Dzierga said. "It's a real positive motivator."
"It's great when you see teachers who really care and make an effort," Hall said.
The class worked hard in preparation for Hall's appearance. On one wall, a blue banner hung with a cut-out of each student and assistant along the bottom. On the top center was a cut-out of Hall standing on the world, with a rising, crescent moon to his left and a setting sun on his right, which relates to the chorus of his song, "One People," which they practiced singing for weeks beforehand.
They also built Hall his own, bigger bucket, signed by each pupil and flowing with message-filled stars.
Just a couple minutes after recess, Hall entered the room to a loud applause from the 21 pupils. The class surprised him with his bucket before taking him through their daily routine — reading their bucket poem, singing their bucket song, and then singing "One People," written by Hall's friend Bobby Sweet.
"Whoa, this is great," Hall said as he received his bucket. "Oh, that's beautiful. Wow."
In unison, the class said the message on Hall's bucket, "You fill our buckets with music."
"The truth is, you are the guys that fill my bucket just by being here," Hall responded.
Afterward, the class accepted Hall's invitation to sing to the rest of the school with him in the cafeteria.
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State Declares 'Green Friday' in Support of Local Xmas Tree Farms
UXBRIDGE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration has declared Friday, Nov. 27, as "Green Friday" to encourage people across the commonwealth to visit their local farms and nurseries for Christmas trees, holiday plants, and holiday decorating needs.
To celebrate, state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux participated in a Christmas tree-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge. In an effort to support the commonwealth's Christmas tree industry, the declaration of Green Friday encourages people throughout the state to visit their local Christmas tree farms to purchase their trees, holiday plants, ornamental swags, and wreaths to fulfill their holiday decorating needs.
"Our administration believes in the importance of supporting our farms by shopping locally and purchasing holiday decorations from one of the commonwealth's many family-operated Christmas tree farms," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Now more than ever, it is a great time to spend quality time with your family while partaking in this outdoor activity which allows for proper social distancing."
Christmas tree season in Massachusetts provides hundreds of seasonal jobs at approximately 264 Christmas tree farms on approximately 2,801 acres of land from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. The sale of more than 82,524 state-grown Christmas trees contributes approximately $3.5 million to the commonwealth's economy each year. Christmas tree farms, which are often sited on soils that cannot support other crops, stabilize soil, which helps prevent erosion and protect water supplies. When chipped, the trees can be used as a renewable source of energy to be burned as fuel, used as mulch, or composted.
The mayor's remarks were largely to remind residents of the virtual tree-lighting ceremony being broadcast on Northern Berkshire Community Television starting at 6 p.m., that City Hall offices will be closed Thursday and Friday and as will the transfer station.
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The hashtag "GetBackMass" is part of the latest public awareness campaign launched by the commonwealth. The focus of television and digital advertising will be to promote the idea that "normal" activities can only resume after the threat of the novel coronavirus has subsided.
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