Portfolio category: Community

Diversity Day

Diversity Day is a student run festival in which a day is dedicated to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of Medford. Cultural singers and performers of all backgrounds are a part of the event, as well as cultural foods and corporations that specialize in diversity and inclusivity in Medford. The first Diversity Day was run on June 2nd of 2018, and the group hopes to have another successful festival in June of 2019.

Multicultural Potluck

The Multicultural Potluck has been held at Medford High School for the past two years as part of Diversity Week, organized by Michael Skorker. The Potluck includes food, games, and music contributed from various clubs of Medford High School, as well as discussions about the importance of diversity and the beauty of Medford’s multicultural and united community.

Humans of Medford

@HumansofMedford on Instagram is mostly focused on individuals in the community of Medford who have been historically marginalized, or are community leaders. Ryleigh takes pictures of the people we interview, posting those pictures to the page along with a short quote from the person’s interview, just like @HumansofNY. The stories these people tell on our page range from why these people love their jobs, to how they met their life partners, to participating in a workers’ strike. @HumansofMedford was made to highlight the diversity of perspectives and lives of our fellow community members, and there are new posts every week! Be sure to check out Humans of Medford and follow them on Instagram! Suggestions for interviews are also appreciated.

Benches for Dugger

As part of the Medford High School Tennis Team, Amishika, Shubhecchha, and Sarah attend practices, trainings, and competitions at a local park near the high school known as Dugger Park. The only problem about the park is that there are no benches, nor any other sitting areas besides the dirt and broken concrete surrounding the tennis courts. They hope to build benches at Dugger Park, and to later expand the project to other local parks in Medford.

ELL Give Back

The goal of this project is to give back to the English Language Learners Program by creating helpful videos for the ELL students. Jenna, Rubia, and Luiza have created a user-friendly website where they post videos in different languages on how to perform tasks around Medford High School. Their current videos include instructions on how to open lockers, obtain bus passes, and submit community service hours. Currently, there are videos in Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The ELL Give Back is always looking to expand, and if anyone knows how to speak a different language, feel free to reach out to one of the group members.

Black Female Empowerment Workshop

The Black Female Empowerment Workshop provided the young black community in Medford with mentors and role models. The workshop consisted of a series of panels with three successful black women. These speakers talked about their life: the struggles they have faced and the obstacles they had to overcome. With their project workshop, Sarah, Ivy, Kaela, and Gemma hoped that they achieved their goal of empowering the young black women in the Medford community.

Science for Shooting Stars

The Medford Science for Shooting STARS (Science, Technology, and Applied Research) is a STEM enrichment program geared towards exposing local elementary school students to fundamental concepts of biology, physics, and chemistry through hands-on experimentation and demonstrations. After noticing very few opportunities to explore science in elementary and middle school, Maha and Sophie decided to open Medford’s chapter of the STARS program, especially aimed to help young females and underrepresented minorities explore science.

Grief Relief Project

Kylie Truong made a video surrounding the idea of grief and how to handle it through various perspectives. School systems teach how to handle bullying, sexual harassment, violent relationships, so why not grief? The video highlights unique stories of grief among the Medford Community, followed by tips on how to approach certain situations. The majority of the content in the video was based on responses recorded from a survey.

Medford High Speaks and Listens

From consistently finding himself thinking about why people live in turmoil with one another and how the world has gradually grown more hostile, Aaron Olapade was determined to make that unending cycle of life a little better through Medford High Speaks and Listens, a discussion based program. He wanted the students of Medford High to communicate with one another and to have a better understanding about what we, as a community, can do to assist each other with their high school careers. As a person of color, Aaron was concerned about issues in our country and about those who have been underrepresented- leading him to envision making the world a place where people are willing and able to treat all people with the same amount of respect that they would with their family or close friend.

The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project uses local churches as venues for food drives, after which Oxfam Hunger Banquets are held, where members of the community attend and eat for free. The banquet includes a simulation on how different classes of people eat around the world, encouraging participants to think about world hunger and poverty. Through the Hunger Project, Joe, Aldo, Marco, and Harrison also hope to strengthen bonds within the Medford community between people of all backgrounds and ages.

Restorative Justice Initiative

Passionate about the topic of restorative justice, Maya Gomez-Coultas began the Restorative Justice Initiative in the 2016-2017 school year, aiming to promote the idea of repairing harm caused by conflicts rather than focusing on punishments. The initiative is working on building a guide for teachers to understand the principles of restorative justice and implementing them in the classroom. Restorative Justice provides an opportunity for students to talk about all sides of the conflict while still being held accountable for their actions. Maya wants to focus on how each student feels and their personal situations. Her program promotes listening and trust, as well as a better environment for the school. Using restorative justice, she believes, will lessen the risk of future conflict and will benefit everyone in the school.

The Coloring Book

The efforts of Jenny Lu and Antonia Collins in CCSR for the 2017-2018 school year were dedicated to the creation and publication of a book called The Coloring Book. The book features poems written by Jenny and short stories based on interviews conducted by Antonia. The theme of The Coloring Book is racial justice, and in it readers can find the struggles, successes, and inspirational perseverance of people of color in and around the Medford community. Those featured in the book represent a variety of ages, races, ethnicities, orientations, beliefs, and experiences, but have in common a factor of themselves that makes aspects of their journeys similar yet very unique. Through The Coloring Book, the authors hope to provide comfort and hope, a sense of community and confidence, for people of color.

PTSD Awareness for Homeless Veterans

This projects works toward making sure that homeless veterans in the Greater Boston Area are aware of the reliable resources and institutions within the city and towns. Brendan and Pema recognize that P.T.S.D. is a life-changing syndrome and that many veterans do not seek help for multiple reasons. They want to do all that they can to help them recover in the best ways by guiding veterans to these resources. In the near future, Brendan and Pema hope to establish partnerships with institutions city wide.

As Seen Through Medford

As Seen Through Medford is a book created by Justin Tseng, Sarah Abdulkerim, Tamar Brandes-Krug, and Felipe Oliveira in order to explore the topic of stereotyping in Medford. Members of the Medford community are interviewed about stereotypes they face- whether it is based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc. A portrait is paired with a shortened version of the interview in order to better help the reader visualize the person about whom they are reading. This serves to humanize the subjects and better convey their stories. The title sets Medford and its society as a lens through which people view others. This book is important to Medford, especially in such times such as now, because stereotypes hinder societal progress and this book shows how even a forward-looking, diverse city has its flaws as well.

The Crayon Project

The Crayon Project sent school supplies down to schools in Guatemala in order to make it easier for families to send their children to school. Niamh, Haley, and Courtney felt grateful for the educational opportunities they have as teenagers in America, and wanted to extend that same opportunity to children who do not have the resources at hand. They raised awareness for these children through their drive.

Tech Time

Tech Time is a project started by Sandra Figueroa and Meghan Bouchie. The program takes place at the senior center in Medford Square, the Council on Aging. They meet once a month with the seniors and help them use their electronic devices such as phones, laptops, and tablets. As time goes on, technology advances and it is important to keep everyone updated. Many seniors want to keep in touch with their family members through Facebook or email, or simply want to know how to use their new phones. Tech Time helps seniors figure out their electronic devices, and in return, the members get to hear their stories and make friends. Sandra and Meghan chose to do this project because they have seen how their own family members have struggled with new technology and thought that they should help other people in the community.

Mystic River Student Interactive Activity

Students walked behind the Andrews Middle School to the path along the Mystic River. There, students participated in an activity that tests and builds on knowledge of their local ecosystem at the same time doing physical activity that keeps students engaged and learning in the activity. This lesson’s main goal was to inform students of their natural surroundings and make them not afraid to explore, Also, with this newfound curiosity, students will want to protect the forests and will appreciate the gift that we have right outside our door. In the classroom, the students had a lesson about the transfer of energy in living things. When participants headed outside, they drew and took down observations of the organisms they found along the walk. As a class, in a span of fifteen minutes, they found common organisms like garlic mustard, an invasive plant, as well as rarer species like a juvenile peregrine falcon. When the class went back inside, they discussed what they saw and talked about where these organisms would fit in a food chain. At the end, the Mystic River Student Interactive Activity encouraged students to continue to visit the Mystic River and the Middlesex Fells.

The Selfie Project

The Selfie Project is an extension of the Dove Campaign. It is a scaled-back version of the Selfie Project that was done at Medford City Hall in 2013. Its goal is to promote the beauty and diversity of Medford High School and to show that you don’t need a filter to be beautiful; you are beautiful just they way you are. During the 2016-2017 school year, the project was completed at Medford High School byElizabeth Carey and Luiza Barbosa. Students could put their selfie up on a board in the main lobby while other students could write nice complimentary post-it notes next to the selfies. In the 2017-2018 year, Aniya Crump, Joey Leonforte, and Courtney Cutillo took over the Selfie Project.

Victory Park Dog Dispensers

As soccer players, Gavin Falvey, Ben Verity, and Marvin Michel have played many games and had many practices on Victory Park. They noticed that it is a popular place for people to walk their dogs, so to improve the community's dog walking experience, they worked to install doggy bag dispensers around the field. This allows dog walkers to easily dispose of their dogs’ waste and also helps the environment and overall appearance of their beloved park.

Socks and Gloves Collection Drive

Socks and Gloves were given to students in need at the Columbus. The remanding donations were donated to Cradles to Crayons.

Harry Potter Book Raffle

Philip Catanzano raised $120 for American Red Cross. He organized a Harry Potter Book Raffle during the Columbus Elementary School’s Literacy Night.

Cards for Sophia

Sophia is a baby girl who was born with a rare neurological disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Her condition encouraged her parents to start The Sophia's Cure Foundation, dedicated to assisting research in finding a cure for SMA and helping to support families affected by the disease. With Sophia's birthday coming up, 17 CCSR students made birthday cards to send to her.

Homeless Supply Drive

Brooks School 4th graders Travers Moodie and Benjamin Tuco are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility. They started a Homeless Supply Drive to benefit the Boston and surrounding area’s homeless. The supplies were organized by the students and donated to a local homeless shelter for distribution. The items collected were shampoo, toothpaste/toothbrushes, deodorant, lotion, soap, lip balm, brushes/combs, socks, lightweight snacks (granola bars), small water bottles, hand sanitizer, scarves/hats/gloves, small first aid kit, and mints/gum.

"Welcome Home" Committee for Medford Veterans

Brooks School third graders Valerie Bzomowski and Carina Lewis are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center of Citizenship and Social Responsibility. They asked Mayor Muccini Burke for her advice for a worthwhile community project. The mayor suggested welcoming home our returning Medford veterans. The girls embraced this idea with open arms. Each month the girls receive a list of the returning Medford veterans. They visit each soldier and welcome them home with an American flag, personally written note, a box of homemade cookies and a big heartfelt thank you.

Little Free Library

Brooks School third graders Lila Graham, Margaret Owens, and Norah Berson are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility. They are in the process of constructing a Little Free Library for the Brooks School property. The library is a “give a book, take a book” free book exchange. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. The wooden box library will undoubtedly bring our community even closer together and allow everyone a chance to share their favorite books. The library is scheduled to have a grand opening in the Spring of 2018.

Boston Children's Hospital Fundraiser

Brooks School fourth graders Anna Schlenker, Kaitlyn Downs, Lila Armit, and Mia Armit are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility. They organized a fundraiser to benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital. The girls held an amazing bake sale on March 11th at the Running of the Leprechauns 5K Road Race. They sold delicious homemade cupcakes and cookies. The girls sold out of every item and raised a grand total of $232 for the hospital! They had a blast participating and are already talking about doing it again next year.

Good Vibes Show

Manal, Kushi, Kelly, Nertha, Tahjanae and Keshauna feel that watching the news is depressing. There’s so much negativity and so many sad stories about bad events…. They believe in the importance of positivity. As a result, they researched the good that is going on in the community, the country, the world, and they’re reporting it. They are also talking about key issues for adolescents, such as stress, stress management and sharing their own personal strategies for dealing with stress, as well as advice and the art of assertive communication.

The Strong Women of the Mcgylnn Middle School

Nertha and Tahjanae look up to the female role models at the McGlynn Middle School, their teachers. These girls are young, mature and exploring what it means to be independent thinkers. They’ve had three years watching their female teachers model what it means to be strong women and want to bring their awesomeness to the community! Over the course of the school year, they have met individually with these strong women and had in-depth conversations about what it means to be a strong woman. They are compiling these interviews and creating a book on these inspirational ladies.

Children's Book Drive

A drive was organized for gently used books to be donated for children in hospitals. On the left, Ishita, Tosia, Anayah, Davianna, and Brianna pose with a collection of the donated books. On the right, Sydnee, Emma, Xavier, and Soha sort through the donated books in order to prepare them for delivery.

Troop Appreciation

Letters of appreciation were written and sent to servicemen and women in order to thank them for serving our country. Here, Carissa, Abbey, Jemimah, and Emma have finished their letters of thanks and are ready to send them out.

Animal Shelter Drive

In order to help out at the Northeast Animal Shelter and Kitty Connection adoption center, a drive was organized for donations such as towels, linens, food, litter, etc.

Middlesex Fells Narrative

In order to help out at the Northeast Animal Shelter and Kitty Connection adoption center, a drive was organized for donations such as towels, linens, food, litter, etc.

Brooks Elementary School Inspirational Quotes

Jennifer, Jessica, and Sarah decided to do something that would give back to their community at their roots. All three attended the Brooks Elementary School for six years and that is where their friendship began. They wanted to help beautify the school and make it a place where students would feel welcome and inspired. They painted trees on poster boards and placed an inspirational quote in the middle of the tree. On the sides of the tree, they intend to have students from the school paint their fingerprints on it, leaving their mark so that every time they pass by the poster, they can read the quote and remember that they were a part of it.

LGBTQ+ Support Pamphlet

Jennifer, Jessica, and Sarah decided to do something that would give back to their community at their roots. All three attended the Brooks Elementary School for six years and that is where their friendship began. They wanted to help beautify the school and make it a place where students would feel welcome and inspired. They painted trees on poster boards and placed an inspirational quote in the middle of the tree. On the sides of the tree, they intend to have students from the school paint their fingerprints on it, leaving their mark so that every time they pass by the poster, they can read the quote and remember that they were a part of it.

Gender Neutrality Initiative

The Medford Schools Gender Neutrality Initiative is a comprehensive approach towards early childhood education, complete with lesson plans that aid teachers and educators alike in creating a classroom that empowers students of all genders. Lesson plans and more information can be found on the initiative's website: https://mpsgender.wixsite.com/mpsgender

Purple Run

The Purple Run is a planned non-profit 5K walk/run in Medford. The event will raise money for GIST, a rare form of cancer. The goal of this is not only to help fund research for this cancer, but to bring awareness to a disease that little to none know about.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

CCSR senior Stella Eliopoulus's project was to drive donated goods all the way down to Houston, Texas in order to help the victims impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Keep Warm Project

For the cold winter months, these CCSR members encouraged our entire school to donate new or gently worn coats, scarves and gloves with daily reminders on the morning announcements. The successful project resulted in 80+ coats, and 20+ hats and gloves that were collected and distributed to local homeless shelters. These opportunities gave us all a chance to reflect on being thankful for what we have and sharing with those less fortunate.

McGlynn Middle School Food Drive

McGlynn Middle School students Kristopher Rothermel and Pedro Zeferino focused on informing the student body on how to approach counselors in the McGlynn guidance department. This is important because many students are afraid to talk to an adult because they believe they will be judged. "I’m hoping this project will open up to kids that have bad thoughts, or have hurt themselves in the past that need to talk to someone. Also, a lot of kids think they’re alone but they’re not." The two began by interviewing guidance counselors with frequently asked questions, and then shared this information with the students at the McGlynn.

PawPlies

A group of students felt strong that animals should be able to feel safe and comfortable around people and their environment. They raised money to donate to the Animal Rescue League of Boston by selling lollipops during lunch hours. Information about the ARL and the adoption process of animals was attached to the lollipops, educating our donors with a small piece of information about ARL. For example, some of the lollipops had “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” written on them. "We feel the need to do this because we feel in our hearts that this matters."

Single Pregnant Mothers

Students Danayara Torres and Brayan Solis wanted to help out the single, pregnant mothers within the Medford community. In partnership with the McGlynn Middle School Student Council, the two students held an event each day of Spirit Week. A theme was highlighted upon each day and participation cost $1. All money raised went towards helping single pregnant mothers within the Medford community.

Elementary School Tutors

Every Wednesday during their WIN block, students Wafaa El Mererbi and Sherlyn Erazo go to the McGlynn Elementary School to help tutor the younger student. "Our goal is to help tutor elementary school students and be a role model for them." The students have been volunteering to help teach math in both Ms. Griffin's third grade classroom and Ms. Renaud's first grade classroom.

Penny Wars

Fourth graders Quinn MacLean Albee and Jane Wyman gave each Brooks’s classroom a penny jar. Each classroom collected as many pennies as they could. At the end of the challenge, the students collected the coins, and in the end, every class was a winner because all the money collected was donated to the Boston Children's Hospital.

Welcome Home Medford Veterans Committee

Third graders Erin Alves and Margaret Owens, along with fourth graders Valerie Bzomowski and Carina Lewis continued last year’s successful program, Welcome Home Medford Veterans. Each month the girls received a list of returning Medford veterans. They visited each soldier and welcomed them home with an American flag, a personally written note, a box of homemade cookies, and a big heartfelt thank you.

Friendship Garden

Fourth graders Grace McLaughlin, Norah Berson, and Evelyn Yeh made flower boxes for the Buddy Coholan Center for Alzheimer's in Medford. They donated the boxes in spring when the flowers were best. They did this so people that can’t remember things could look at something pretty and hopefully be a little happier.

Screen Strike

Fifth graders Mia Armit and Anna Schlenker shared recent research on the dangers of too much screen time to the Brooks population. The project’s aim was to lower the amount of student screen time.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Second grader Lorcan Grehan and third grader Patrick Waldron focused on entertaining the elderly. They performed magic, plays, games, and jokes at local nursing homes for the residents. They entertain the elderly as well as bringing a little extra happiness into their lives.

Cookies for Cancer

Third graders Audrey Adkins and Nadia Aquil baked homemade cookies for a bake sale. The money they raised went to the LUNGevity Foundation to help people with lung cancer.

Hope for the Homeless

Fifth graders Kaitlyn Alves and Lila Armi organized a fundraiser to benefit a local homeless shelter. The girls held a bake sale at the Running of the Leprechauns 5K Road Race. They sold delicious homemade cupcakes and cookies. This was the second year the girls sold baked goods for a worthy cause.

Teal Pumpkin Awareness

Students helped raise awareness about allergies during Halloween time. They created flyers to inform families and the community about the Teal Pumpkin Project. “The goal of the Teal Pumpkin Project was to spread awareness of giving out non-food treats for kids with food allergies on Halloween,” said Nathan Quinn. The students hung flyers around the school and sent flyers home to Columbus families. The flyers listed the Top 10 Food Allergens and gave suggestions for non-food items to give out. “It was important because kids with allergies might not go trick-or-treating without the Teal Pumpkin Project and more awareness means more houses for kids with allergies to trick-or-treat at,” expressed Gloria Babish. Charlotte Foti reported that “On Halloween I saw 3 teal pumpkins. That made me feel really good.”

Children Books for Little Free Libraries

One student noticed that when she visited the Little Free Libraries in the area, there was a lack of children’s books to borrow. The group decided to collect books in order to add more children’s books to the Little Free Libraries around town. Joshua Pereira expressed that “I felt happy and proud to help on this project.” The students collected 110 books! Salvi Tello reported that, “A lot of books were donated to the school. Then we counted all the books. We all took some books to the Free Libraries.” Amalia Weyant says “It made me feel happy because it felt like a very nice thing to do. Some people don’t have very many book and we can give them some.”

Coin Drive for Boston Rescue Mission

This group of students wanted to help individuals who were hungry and homeless. They asked students from the Columbus School to donate their spare change. The students collected $290 worth of coins. The money was donated to the Boston Rescue Mission. This money will provide 130 nutritious meals for homeless individuals. Lily Carmelo stated that “CCSR makes me feel proud that we can help people and families in need.”

Clothing and Textiles Donations for the PTO

This group decided to raise awareness about the Clothing/ Textile bins that are placed around Medford Public Schools. This program generates a rebate of $100 per ton on textiles collected. The money goes to Medford’s PTO. The group collected multiple bags of clothing/ textiles to donate and raised awareness about the bins. Charlotte Foti states, “I thought it was really fun to help people in need and get a lot of scraps… It worked great!”

Water Conservation Posters

3rd-graders Delilah and Anayah decided to design posters encouraging people to conserve water, which were then laminated and displayed in the student bathrooms in the school. They chose to do this project because water is a valuable natural resource that we shouldn’t waste. They hope that their posters will remind students to conserve water when using the school bathrooms.

Cards for Soldiers

2nd-graders Ryan and Joseph wanted to do something to thank our troops overseas, and they knew they wanted to do something with an art component to it, so they decided on making cards to send to soldiers for the holidays. Under the expert guidance of MHS CCSR members Brittany and Laura, Ryan and Joseph each made construction paper cards. They decorated their cards with pictures and wrote nice messages inside. A few students from other groups who were done with their work also joined in to make cards as well. We sent the cards via Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and letters to troops overseas.

"The Protectors" Birdhouse Makers

This group of 1st-graders came up with the creative idea of making birdhouses and bird feeders to install around the McGlynn grounds. Their goal was to create spaces to help shelter and protect birds during the winter. With the help and guidance of PTG mom Renee Hanley, these ambitious kids put together wooden birdhouses using kits, then painted and decorated them in different colors and styles, and ultimately hung them from trees all over the McGlynn outdoor grounds.

Cradles to Crayons Coat Drive

This group of 4th-grade students organized a winter coat drive for Cradles to Crayons, a local nonprofit that provides children and families who are homeless or otherwise in need with clothing and school supplies. They designed a flyer for their coat drive and had it sent home with students, and held their drive the week before Christmas vacation. They collected about 20 coats to be donated! We arranged for a Cradles to Crayons employee, Chris, to come and pick up the coats during the school day so that the group got to meet him!

Saving Gorilla Habitats

This group of 4th and 5th graders wanted to do something to help endangered animals, and after some internet research, they found out that the Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo collect used cell phones to save gorilla habitats. To start, they printed up some coloring pages of gorillas for younger students to color that also tell about the phone donation program. They collected several used electronics that were dropped off at the Stone Zoo in person.

Recycling and the Environment

This group of civic-minded 5th-graders opted to continue the work on recycling that some other students started last year. Back in October, they came up with several ideas that they’re currently working their way through. They wrote a letter to Mayor Muccini-Burke’s office, asking what they could do to improve recycling in our school and citywide. The Mayor responded back and asked the students to design a flyer on recycling to be sent out city-wide! The group also made a picture book about recycling that other children can read.

Animal Shelters

This trio of compassionate 4th-graders organized a donation drive for two local animal shelters, the Northeast Animal Shelter and The Kitty Connection. To publicize the drive, they made a video for classroom teachers to show to their students. They filmed a video advertising the drive was shown in classrooms to kick off the drive. They also designed flyers to send home with students on the same day that teachers showed the video. They asked people to donate used towels, blankets, and newspaper (items that the shelters need to line cages), as well as pet toys and food.

Homeless Care Packages

These 3rd and 4th-graders decided they wanted to put together care packages for homeless people. They started by looking online for ideas for items to include in the care packages. Once they had come up with a list, they designed posters that they hung up around the school, as well as a flyer that they sent home with students, outlining the items they needed. Through online research, they identified a local homeless shelter called Medford Family Life Education, and this is where they decided their donations would go. Once the donations had all come in, they organized them into individual care packages in ziploc bags. At some point soon, they will present their donations to a representative from the shelter.

Souper Bowl Soup Drive

The Roberts CCSR Club recently held a soup drive. They partnered with the Souper Bowl of Caring to collect cans of soup for the Friends of Francis Food Pantry. Student members created posters and a flyer to spread the word throughout the school community. The students collected 385 cans of soup in total!

Kitty Connection Collection

As cat lovers, these students wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of local cats. They decided to hold a “Kitty Collection” to benefit the Kitty Connection Animal Rescue in Medford. They created a flyer that was distributed to all the families at the Roberts. They hung posters around the school to publicize the drive. They collected wet and dry cat food, paper towels and cat toys. It was a great success!

Easter Baskets for the Elderly

This year, the CCSR members at the Curtis Tufts wanted to find a way to assist the elderly within the Medford community. Students made decorative Easter Egg baskets with the help of their art teacher, filled them with plastic eggs containing chocolates, candies, and little notes. The baskets were then delivered to the local elderly center in Medford Square.

Flowers for the Elderly

In an effort to both beautify the school and give to the elderly citizens of Medford, the CCSR members of the Curtis Tufts have built boxes behind the school in the Community Lot. With the help of their Science teacher, students planted and tended to flowers in these boxes during class. Once they bloomed, they were cut & delivered to a nursing home and the elderly center in Medford Square.

Medford's Diversity Day

Diversity Day is a student-run festival, a day to celebrate the diversity and inclusion of Medford. Sarah, Luiza, and Rubia have worked alongside many community members to make the festival as memorable as possible. This year, the event expanded the repertoire of cultural singers and performers of all backgrounds in Medford, as well as cultural foods and corporations that specialize in diversity and inclusion and who also are a big part in Medford. The goal of Diversity Day was for everyone to enjoy the diverse community of Medford and learn something new while at the festival.

Project Little Libraries

Project Little Library is an initiative that was set forth to spread little libraries around the city. They are in a sense mini public libraries, but the catch is there is no need for a library card or fees. You see a book you like in the library? Simply open the door and take it, no questions asked. If you do not like it, just return it or place it in another. Same goes if you do not want a book anymore, just place it in the library and leave it there. The goal is to spread the love of reading and to bring the community together by giving back! Each library has a bulletin board as well as decorations by local charities and schools.

LGBT Awareness & Yazidis

This year, three seniors set out to help trans youth in the high school by informing teachers in more depth about gender and how to approach the subject. These students encouraged teachers to use gender neutral terms in the classroom, such as “students” instead of “boys and girls,” and use "they" and "them" pronouns if their gender isn't explicitly known, and create a safer environment for trans students. A meeting was held for teachers on how to approach gender in a way that makes transgender students comfortable. "Our goal is to make Medford High a more comfortable environment for transgender students." Along with the transgender awareness project, this group worked on promoting the Yazidis Campaign. "We believe that this is an important worldly issue. Yazidi girls our own age were being trafficked as sex slaves by ISIS, and we would like to raise more awareness about this worldly issue." The started small, spreading posters around Medford High, then proceeding to branch out to three local schools nearby Medford.

Environmental Art of Medford

Seniors Shubhecchha Dhaurali and Niamh Keane were intrigued by artist Fells Day Artist who makes beautiful art pieces and sculptures out of trash people throw away on an everyday basis. To spread awareness of Medford’s carbon footprint and how we are fighting it, they made a Public Service Announcement which included an interview with the artist, their art, and also highlighted other environmental initiatives of Medford.

Black and Pink

Prisons throughout the U.S. incarcerate people of color at alarming rates and grossly mistreat and abuse LGBTQ+ prisoners. To combat this injustice, Senior Antonia Collins collaborated with the organization Black and Pink to write letters to queer prison inmates of color. "Many of the mail’s recipients have been abandoned by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identities, and thus receive no mail on days when many other inmates get visits, calls, or letters from family." A day was hosted by the Black and Pink organization at Medford High School in which all students were welcomed to come after school and write letters. After the activity, Black and Pink sent all of the letters to their respective prisons and the individual inmates have received them.

Medford Murals: Who is Medford?

This year, Gabrielle Yamamoto and Tenzin Dhesel sought out to capture just who Medford was, is, and will be through a series of murals that express Medford’s history, culture, and most importantly, the people. "Our mission statement is to bring Medford into a new age through public beautification."

Unheard Voices

This year, seniors Daria Agrba, Ximena Valderrama, Meghan Smith, Kim Sinthara decided to donate their voices. There are millions of people that do not have an ability to express themselves verbally and use computer generated voice to do it for them. "We want to be part of the organization that gives people a choice of the voice to make it more personal." People with various backgrounds would be able to record themselves and give someone a voice. This year, they did their part in recording various words and phrases, each giving someone a voice. In turn, they helped to spread the idea around the community and got others involved as well.

Friendly Interactions

With a focus on senior citizens, Ben Verity, Galvin Falvey, and John Falco traveled to a nursing home to talk, spend time, and have fun with the elderly. "We feel that many senior citizens do not get the chance to see their families every day, and we wish to combat the extreme loneliness that may come from few interactions with people." The group visited the nursing home bi-weekly with the intention of spreading happiness. "It may be a small project, but it certainly brings a smile to everyone's face, including ours." The group also intended to create a lasting impact within the senior citizen community, leaving an opportunity for others to visit the senior center in the years to come.

The Food Pantry Project

Seniors Lauren Parziale and Ryan Heard gathered donations for the food pantry held at St. Francis Church every Thursday from 2:30-4:30. The food pantry is separate from the church, therefore all donations went directly to future events. The food pantry helps the citizens of Medford who have a hard time affording their own groceries. Any donation or purchase from the future fundraisers would be greatly appreciated, especially during the holiday seasons.

Thanksgiving Baskets

This year, the Le Club Glou-Glou (the sound a turkey makes in French) continued a project the French 2 Honors class started in 2017. During the holidays, many families find themselves with limited resources to provide for their household, specifically with holiday-themed meals. "At Thanksgiving, when we gather with our families to give thanks and be grateful for what we have, many of our fellow students may not have this opportunity. We hope to help our own Medford High School families take part in a proper and festive Thanksgiving meal." This student-run project, provided multiple families with a basket full of everything needed for a Thanksgiving meal, in hopes that it would bring their families together and give them the opportunity to take part in the national American holiday.

Give Boston a Clif

The Give Boston a Clif project focuses on providing Kind and Clif bars to the Boston area shelters. In order to achieve this goal, students Alecia Knight and Teisha Joseph will fundraise money to buy the nutrition bars which were donated directly to the shelters for the winter. Additionally, the two students received donations of bars directly from local businesses. Kind and Clif bars are a known source of fiber and a convenient source of nutrition. "Not only do we want to share a tasty meal with the people of Boston, but also inform them that nutritional benefits come in multiple flavors."

McGlynn Middle School: Anti-Bullying and Veterans

MHS Students Brittany Awad and Laura Silva volunteered their time to help out the kids at the McGlynn Middle School's CCSR Program. "We help the CCSR kids with their projects and show them how to create them" During the CCSR meetings, the two students gave guidance to two groups, one focused on anti-bullying and the other on honoring the veterans.

Bettering Borders: No Immigrant Forgotten

This year, students Kathleen Campbell and Mariana Plata organized donations that were sent to a nonprofit shelter on the border of Mexico. "Many families that are trying to get through immigration or are rejected must stay in these facilities. We feel it is our responsibility to help these individuals through their struggles."

Community Concerts

This year, musically talented students Isabelle and Arielle Bezerra held community concerts in Medford. "When we were looking for a way to give back to our community, we thought about what we were truly passionate about." Following their passion of music, they performed for the elderly at the local nursing homes and hospitals in Medford Square. "We want to share the gift of live music and fun with them, but also just spend time and interact with the people and bring them joy as well."

Cleaning Up Macdonald Park

Distraught by all the litter they saw during their cross country practices, students Samuel Cluggish and Stefan Langshur ventured out to Macdonald park and picked up all of the plastic that was littering the waterfront area. In addition, they cleared out the area of excess sticks and dirt that has accumulated over the years, which allows for a cleaner environment for all the people who already frequent the park, and hopefully encourages more people who do not already to enjoy what it has to offer to come and explore.

Toys for Tanzania

This year, students Kaliyah Sautier and Victoria Macaluso raised money for the children living in an impoverished village in Tanzania. With the money they raised, they bought and donated toys for the children, as well as canned food and clothing for the families.

Diversity Lesson Plan

Every year, the McGlynn Elementary School hosts an Ethnic Pride Week to teach children about the importance of their cultural background and learn to be accepting of others for their own cultures. This year, students Tia Belotte and Shruti Sood created a lesson plan centered around diversity and taught four classes of third graders during their week of ethnic pride. They played "diversity bingo" and had conservations with the students which taught them facts about countries around the world and learned about the cultures that can be found in the community as well.

The Toy Hope Project

This past winter, Nouha Elyazidi ran a toy drive for the Boston Children's Hospital. "The children in the Boston Children’s Hospital already have such a hard time dealing with their illnesses and it would be great to put a smile on their faces." Nouha set out to do her part in making sure everyone had a happy and joyous holiday season by gathering and delivering toys to the children at BCH just in time for the holidays.

Adopt, Don't Shop

In order to combat the chains of pet stores that receive animals from mass breeders who mistreat them, a group of students started the Adopt, Don't Shop campaign. "Some breeders perform experiments on their animals, like seeing what freezing temperatures they can withstand. The pet stores know this, and still continue to buy their animals from them. We want to spread awareness to what you’re doing if you buy an animal from a pet store." These students set out to educate the public on a better alternative, adopting from a rescue. In addition to raising awareness, the group raised funds for rescues shelters so they could take in more animals instead of them being forced to go into chain pet stores. They also made animal toys and treats and donated supplies to local rescues, including Kitty Connection, Animal Rescue League of Boston, and the MSPCA.

Merrimack Disaster Relief

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.

Medford Police Fundraiser

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.

Songs for Social Justice

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."

Charity Soccer Tournament

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.

Diversity Week

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".

Literacy Night & Make-a-Wish Book Raffle

The Columbus School held their annual Literacy Night on March 5th. Students from the CCSR raffled off books to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Students Gloria Babish, Philip Catanzano and Nathan Falke ran the table and raised $70. CCSR High School students (Include Names) volunteered to play Literacy games with younger students throughout the event.The proceeds for pizza sales were also donated to the CCSR which allowed group members to purchase books for the Library. Students Salvi Tello and Samuel Santos picked books at the Porter Square Book Fair to donate to the schools Library.

Yarn Drive

This group decided to hold a yarn drive at the Columbus Elementary School. They collected about 100 balls of yarn and 4 knitted hats. They donated all the yarn and knitted goods to The Knitting Connection Inc. All the yarn will be made into clothes for families who need it. Abby says, “It’s important because yarn is being knitted into clothes that help people in need.”

The Toy Crew

This group decided they wanted to help children in need by collecting toys. The students were very concerned that other children might not have many toys to play with. The group collected 6 huge bins of toys and donated them to the organization Cradles to Crayons.

Bookmarks for Little Free Libraries

A High School CCSR student is building new Little Free Libraries around Medford. His hope is to put a child-created bookmark in every book! The CCSR students have been working hard to make as many bookmarks as they can! They created over 60 bookmarks for the Little Free Libraries

School Supply Project

This group decided wanted to run a School Supply Drive for Cradles to Crayons. They wanted to help collect items that could go in donated backpacks for students in need. The students collected crayons, markers, binders, folders, pencils, scissors, erasers, paper clips, construction paper, and lunch boxes.

SPI Challenge

A group of students were upset to hear/see the negative video challenges that were posted on the internet. They decided that they would create a positive challenge for students the Columbus School. They created positive challenge lists for students in grades K- 3. They then awarded prizes to students who completed the challenges on the list.

Cheerful Posters for Seniors in Nursing Home

After visiting family members in a nursing home, these students decided that they wanted to cheer up seniors living there. They decided to create bright, inspiring posters that were hung around the facility to brighten the resident’s home.

Tissue Paper Flower Pots

These 5th grade members of the CCSR decided to make tissue paper flowers to brighten up the resident’s rooms at the Courtyard Rehabilitation Center in Medford. They researched how to create the flowers by watching video tutorials. They then taught the other members of the CCSR Club how to make the flowers. Each student also decorated flower pots to put the flowers in. Mr. Johnson assisted the students in assembling the pots. The students created 140 flower pots.

Operation Thank a Hero

2nd & 3rd Grade CCSR students partnered with Operation Gratitude to create a letter-writing campaign at the Roberts. They encouraged all students at the Roberts to write a letter to a “hero”, thanking them for their service. A “hero” was defined as a veteran, active duty soldier or any first responder. They highlighted information sheets and discussed letter writing guidelines for each classroom. Students also created posters to promote the campaign. Letters were mailed to Operation Gratitude in early June.

Busy Bags

These students wanted to create “Busy Bags” for a local hospital. The bags are to help keep children stay “busy” as they wait for family members to receive treatment or while visiting loved ones. To create the bags the students first had to hold a fundraiser to raise money to purchase the bags and their contents. They decided to sell iced coffee, pizza, drinks, and snacks during lunch to the teachers at the Roberts. Students used the money to purchase the bags and items to fill them. They labeled each bag and delivered the bags to Winchester Hospital at the end of May.

World Autism Awareness Day

This group decided to encourage the whole McGlynn Middle School to wear blue on April 2nd for National Autism Awareness Day. They wanted to spread awareness due to personal experiences and to help kids who have Autism knowing that the McGlynn Middle School is supporting them. They donated the money they raised to an organization called Autism Speaks raising $69 which meant 69 teachers and students wore blue!

Raffle for the Jimmy Fund

Yousef Chalabi held a raffle to donate money to the Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund takes money that they are raising and donating to pediatric cancer research and patients. He sold raffle tickets for $1 each and $5 for an arm length. He raffled off two prizes, an autographed photo by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and an autographed photo by Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower.

Homeless Care Packages - 2

This group of enterprising first graders wanted to help children and adults that were facing homelessness. They brainstormed a list of supplies that they believed would be helpful and also did a little computer research to come up with more ideas, with the help of PTG mom Renee Hanley. They decided that they would like to raise the money to purchase sample sizes of essential supplies that they could donate. The first graders came up with the idea of having a “decorate a bookmark” table at lunches for a week. They made the blank bookmarks and worked at the table assisting peers in bookmark designs. They combined forces with a few other groups and raised over $140! Many supplies were purchased, bagged and donated to the local homeless shelter.

Braille Books for Blind Children

This group of second graders with a love of reading wanted to spread the joy to students that had a challenge reading. They chose to raise money to purchase books that offered both print and braille for preschool children with vision impairments. They joined forces with a few other groups to run a “decorate a bookmark” table at school during lunch. Before they could sell the bookmarks, however, they had to make a few hundred corner bookmarks. They got really good at this! Along with their CCSR peers, they were able to raise over $140! The students then went online to locate just the right books. They ordered some great books which will be donated to a Medford preschooler with a vision disability.

Growing Food for the Homeless

This group of students also wanted to help the homeless and wanted to combine gardening with their help. They chose several vegetables to grow that they started in school and planned to move to the community garden behind the McGlynn in the spring. They consistently watered and cared for sprouts that continued to grow and thrive. The vegetables got moved outside in the spring and will be harvested when they are full grown. The vegetables will be given to a local agency providing food for less fortunate individuals.

Animal Shelter Fundraiser - 2

Inspired by the students who collected donations for local animal shelters earlier in the year, this group decided to do another fundraiser for local animal shelters. Using the money collected from our bookmark-decorating fundraiser and our “penny wars” fundraiser, these students purchased a variety of high-need items for local animal shelters.

Northeast Animal Shelter Mural Design

In what we hope will be an ongoing partnership between McGlynn CCSR and Northeast Animal Shelter, the Volunteer Coordinator at the shelter enlisted the help of these five artistic 2nd-graders to design a new mural to hang up in the shelter. The shelter walls are covered with art by a variety of local artists, and we were honored to be asked to contribute our own work of art. The students came up with their own designs featuring dogs and cats and centered around the theme of community. Over the weeks, they sketched, transferred, and finally painted their beautiful scene of a neighborhood for cats and dogs. They hope that their mural will be a cheerful addition to the walls of the shelter!

Medford for Kids

The students in this group wanted to brag a little about how wonderful they think Medford is! They researched multiple categories of things which would be of interest to children in Medford and put together a flyer that will be made available to other children. They included offerings at the library, parks, and schools in Medford, restaurants and fast food places that would appeal to children. They also listed different sports you could participate in Medford as well as locations kids go to swim or skate. And, of course, they included ice cream places!

Penny Wars: A Fundraiser

When it was decided that our CCSR club would have a fundraiser to help a McGlynn family that had become homeless as well as provide funding for different CCSR projects, these students took on the job of creating the flyer for families and the notification for students in classrooms. They worked hard on the computer designing a flyer that would include rules, be concise and be easy to read. Their information to students included easy to understand rules. Additionally, these students took a lead role in making sure the penny wars fundraiser was publicized in the school and run seamlessly.

Art for Others

This group of first graders was happy to take a paintbrush in hand and create a way in order to provide happiness for someone else. The goal of this group was to paint on canvases provided by the nonprofit group Art for Hospice. They first decided on where their art would be donated. Most students quickly chose to honor veterans at the Soldier’s Home in Chelsea, MA. A few students made it known that their preference was to have their artwork given to ill residents at a local hospice center. The students worked hard over many weeks designing, sketching and finally painting on the 11x14 canvases, with the help of PTG volunteer moms Renee Hanley and Vanessa Amero. Additionally, students created cards to accompany their artwork telling about themselves and the inspiration for their work.

Happiness in Giving

The students in this group wanted to make someone’s day brighter by providing painted canvases for residents at either a hospice center or the Soldier’s Home for veterans in Chelsea, MA. They worked hard designing, sketching, and finally painting canvases provided by the nonprofit group Art for Hospice. The completed 11x14 canvases had uplifting, happy pictures that would be provided to brighten up rooms for residents. This group also provided cards to accompany their canvases and explain their inspiration for the art.

Kitty Connection Project

CCSR students at the Andrews stayed after school once a week to sell snacks and successfully raised $100 for Kitty Connection in Medford. These funds helped the non-profit organization to care for the animals in the shelter in hopes for them to be adopted in a forever home. The extra $50 raised was donated to the Red Cross in Boston.

3D Illusion Crosswalk

Brooks School 4th grader Eric Dobson and his 3rd grade partner are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center of Citizenship and Social Responsibility. They proposed the idea of painting a 3D optical illusion crosswalk near the Brooks Elementary School to Mayor Muccini Burke. The crosswalk painting would appear three dimensional. The striped lines would look like floating blocks in the middle of the road. The painted illusion has been successful at lowing speeds in many other locations. The mayor loved the idea and scheduled them to speak at the February 13th Traffic Commission meeting. The commissions gave them their support and are now in the process of scheduling a meeting with Brooks School’s Principal Galusi to move forward with the project.

Medford Slavery Memorial

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.