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Northern Berkshire Students Garden Virtually

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire 2020 Summer Youth Works program went virtual this year with a seven-week virtual gardening Program.
 
The Northern Berkshire Summer Youth program typically places students in paid internships with local companies but, like most things this year, COVID-19 forced the Berkshire Workforce Board (BWB) to adapt.
 
Through funding from the First Congregational Church of Williamstown and MountainOne, the BWB converted programming to a seven-week virtual gardening program.
 
The Berkshire Workforce Board partnered with Greenagers, a youth environment group, who supplied each student with a container garden. Greenagers provided lessons and students learned about gardening and its impacts on food insecurity and social justice. Students also learned about cooking with vegetables.  
 
North Adams Growing Healthy Garden Program also provided daily instruction, mentoring, and videos. Students learned gardening tips and tricks and tried a variety of new foods. 
 
All vegetables harvested were delivered to the Berkshire Food Project. 
 
The final service-learning project was at the Louison House where students built raised garden beds.
 
McCann students Ashlyn Belisle, Molly Boyer, and Camryn Belisle participated in the program as well as Abby Bird, Vernon Lewis, Talia Rehill, and Hanna Shea from Hoosac Valley. Mount Greylock student Madison Helm also participated.
 
Staff Heather Shogry-Williams, Kat Toomey, Michele Boyer-Vivori, and Molly Meczwor recruited, selected, and mentored students with continued support from the MassHire Berkshire Career Center who provided weekly stipends to the participants.
 
A socially distancing celebration was held on Aug. 6 at the Drury High School gardens. North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard gave congratulatory remarks. BWB Board members, Adams Selectwoman Christine Hoyt, funders, partners, parents, and grandparents were in attendance. 
 
 

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Biz Briefs: Big Y Closing Stores for Thanksgiving Holiday

Big Y Giving Workers Two Days Off

Big Y has issued a reminder that it will close all stores including Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine and Fresh Acres specialty market on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, as well as Friday Nov. 27. Big Y Express Gas & Convenience locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day as well.
 
Big Y officials say this two-day closing is to thank the thousands of employees for their continued hard work and tenacious efforts throughout the challenges of being an essential service throughout the pandemic and so their employees can rest and spend more time with their families. In addition, the closure will allow time for extra cleaning, restocking and preparations for the remainder of the holiday season.
 
Big Y also closed on Easter Sunday and Monday (April 12 & 13) in order to give its teams some much needed rest. In addition to these days of rest for their employees, Big Y has provided thank-you pay and now thank-you bonuses for front-line workers in recognition of their continued commitment to each other and to their customers.
 
All locations will re-open on Saturday, Nov. 28, for their usual hours. More information can be found on bigy.com.
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