CHESHIRE, Mass. — Hoosac Valley High School is the recipient of a grant that will allow it to convert its abandoned tennis courts into a school garden and outdoor classroom.
Teachers Lindsay McGinnis and Amanda Brooks-Clemeno presented their plans for the Cornerstone Grown Project farm-to-school program to the School Committee on Monday night.
"I have worked in other programs before where we have built gardens and it has made such a huge difference in making a connection between students and food and also academic behavior for the positive," Brooks-Clemeno said.
Brooks-Clemeno said Hoosac Valley was one of four recipients of a $25,000 Henry P. Kendall Foundation grant to seed the program. She said the grant process took about a year and eight schools applied.
McGinnis said they will partner with the Wood Technology and Timber Framing class and, over the next few years, students will build the infrastructure needed to run the program. She said they will expend $14,000 from the grant to build three greenhouses, two supply sheds, ten raised beds, and a sheltered outdoor classroom.
"We wanted to involve the students on a lot of different levels not just growing food," she said. "So they would be able to eat healthily but we wanted them to build it, we wanted them to make choices of what is going to go into it so they are getting their hands dirty."
McGinnis said much of the produce will be turned over to the cafeteria directly connecting food grown by students to other students and creating healthy local food options in the district.
She said through summer programming and utilizing a student intern they plan to sell their yield at local farmers markets to help support the program.
"They will be part of the community and represent Cornerstone Grown and bring the proceeds back," she said. "So every year we can reinvest into the garden and buy whatever we needed from seeds...soil and supplies."
McGinnis said the funding is scheduled to last two years so sustainability is a question. She said they plan to solicit more grant opportunities and tap the community for support. This with potential profits from farmer's market sales will hopefully sustain the program for years to come.
Adams Community Bank also gave Hoosac Valley Elementary School a $750 donation. The money will be split between the grade levels at the school and will go toward purchasing school supplies.
"We figured that was the best way to spread it out so all students could benefit," Superintendent Aaron Dean said
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Police Investigating Threat Made at BArT Charter School
ADAMS, Mass. — Staff and students at Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School were instructed to shelter in place on Thursday after a student received a threat via cellphone that was later determined to be "unsubstantiated."
The Adams Police Department posted on its Facebook page late Thursday that the "after a extensive initial investigation, the threat level was unsubstantiated. The threat itself is still being investigated by this department. ... Our initial priority, before anything else, is the safety of our children while at school."
There was a heavy state police presence at the school at One Commercial St. as well as local officers for several hours. Adams Police Chief K. Scott Kelley was also at the school.
The school's Executive Director Jay White sent out a message to the BArT community stating that "a student reported receiving a threat of harm towards our School community. We immediately notified state and local police who arrived at the School to inspect the premises and determine the plausibility of the threat."
Several residents asked Raheb about his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Vermont and his background as a stockbroker. Raheb is running as an independent in Vermont, hoping to take the seat of the retiring Patrick Leahy, who announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election.
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The board voted to dissolve the subcommittee on Wednesday as the building moves toward a tentative re-opening for public use in the spring. Eight years after its formation, Duval said the subcommittee has finally completed the goal it set out to achieve.
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Ruth E. Black Koczela, a 100-year-old World War II Navy veteran, and her family visited on Dec. 14 the chapel at her former duty station, the Nebraska Avenue Complex, formerly the Naval Communication Annex, where she married a fellow naval officer in 1946. click for more
Meczywor, who did a ride-along with the Northern Berkshire EMS last week, started taking her EMT course several months ago. She explained the course was more work than she anticipated, but support from the administration and others at the high school made it a lot easier.
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