Students Jenny Lu and Joseph Schmidt paired up with students Liam and Jasmine at the Brooks Elementary School in order to help them with their project, In Honor of Slaves. Many slaves were buried in the Salem Street Burying Ground without a proper grave marker to remember them by. The team put up a commemorative marker and held a memorial service for the forgotten slaves, during which poems were read to commemorate the slaves.
On Friday, December 7th, we had the opportunity to plant 10 Asian Pear trees, 10 blackberry bushes, and 10 raspberry bushes. Sophomore CCSR students Caelee Bouley, Prabidhi Rana, Emily Gaddy, and Jenna Matarazzo; and Sophomore Biology students Dorvelt Edouard, Henrique Ramos, Gabriela Papst Luiz, and Jose Avelar Serrano were able to assist in the planting. The students planted 3 of the 10 trees and all 10 blackberry bushes. We are continuing the project by creating a simple, low cost outdoor classroom space that teachers will be able to use to integrate the courtyard orchard and garden with their lessons. The classroom has Headmaster approval for a feasibility trial to start in May 2019.
With the political and national development over recent years, culture and diversity have become pertinent aspects in today’s societies. Diversity Week in Medford High School was run completely by Medford CCSR students, aimed towards uniting the Medford community. This project aimed to highlight Medford's rich culture and provide both organizations and students an opportunity to connect with each other. Medford is unique among other surrounding towns and cities, with representation hailing from Brazil, Tibet, Italy, Ireland, China, Germany, Japan, Haiti, Spain, Vietnam, and many other countries. Throughout the week, the CCSR ran activities and events that give students the opportunity to bond, educate peers on their own cultural background, and learn from others and their cultures. Some of this years events included a Community Fair, a special guest panel, and a special movie showing of "Crazy Rich Asians".
This year, senior Marco MacElhiney and sophomore Joey Ruemenapp combined their passions by hosting a student and staff charity soccer tournament within the high school to raise funds for a village in Ethiopia. "We think this is a great community experience to show school pride, play soccer, and at the same time fundraise for a good cause." The village they fundraised for recently went through a drought, so all money went towards providing water, supplies, and more for the people.
This year, Medford Calling students collaborated with the CCSR to host an event focused on music that addresses social issues. Students and teachers from both groups met weekly to research songs from the present and past that address social issues and compile them into playlists. Students partook in songwriting sessions focused on social justice issues with a focus on incorporating other creations inspired by artists or songs that focus on social justice issues. The students also learned to play songs by other artists that focus on social issues and performed them for the student body. "We hope to shine light on key issues that are highlighted in pop culture and bring them to the student population."
“Save the Pollinators” is a campaign aimed to spread awareness about the decreasing population of pollinators due to pollution and pesticides. Seniors Echo Heinze and Megan Hanlon set out to educate people about the importance of pollinators (bees in particular) and why they are necessary to our environment. They held an event at Medford High after school that educated the community about the importance of pollinators and worked to house a wild beehive box at Medford High School. "It is a warm, safe box with small tunnels for solitary bees to hibernate and live inside. These bees do not make comb or honey, so the only maintenance required is to ensure that the box remains in good condition." The two also created candles, crayons, and other beeswax products from their own honey bees’ wax to increase enthusiasm surrounding pollinators, and spread information about pollinator protection around the Medford community. City buildings were provided with contact information of beekeepers willing to rescue wild bee hives that must be removed in order to protect bees from extermination.
This year, seniors Brendan McCusker and Sofia DiMeo ventured out to raise money for the Medford police station. A community day was held for the Medford police, family, friends, and supporters in the community. "The police station does not have much money for funding. We want to change that." Throughout the year, the students contacted as multiple local businesses to donate food and resources for the event. Their intent was to bring the community together as one and shine a light on how important our policemen are to Medford.
On Thursday, September 13th, a series of gas explosions imploded throughout the towns of Lawrence, North Andover and Andover. There was one fatal casualty and over 25 others injured. The initial explosions and subsequent fires affected over 40 homes. Many families were forced to evacuate without a chance to grab their necessities. After hearing about this disaster, students Tia Belotte and Nicole Chin collected donations from around the Medford community, receiving $405 in checks and over 200 bags of donations of blankets, socks and other needs. On Sept. 21, Nicole, her parents and Mr. Skorker rented a U-Haul truck, drove to Lawrence and dropped off the donations to Lawrence Senior Center and Debbie’s Treasure Chest.