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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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".
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inspired by the group that had repurposed old crayons in the previous session, these two 4th-graders decided to collect old, dried-out markers from teachers in the school and recycle them through the Crayola ColorCycle program, a program in which schools can ship their old Crayola markers back to be recycled, instead of just throwing them away. They sent out fliers to all of the teachers asking for used-up markers, and the response was way more than they had expected! They ended up boxing up over 650 old markers that would have otherwise been thrown in the trash, and shipped them all back to Crayola to be recycled! And of course, then they sent sweet thank-you notes to all of the teachers who had donated their old markers.
These three caring students wanted to make an impact on the homeless community by providing them with care packages. After careful brainstorming, this group compiled a list of goods that may be essential to the happiness and comfort of someone who might not have a home. Anayah, Keziah, and Ann created a flyer listing different items people could donate to their cause. These items included: shaving cream, blankets, socks, gloves, hats, etc. The flyer gave a time period of when donations could be made and where people could bring their donations. Once all of the donations were compiled, students created care packages to be brought to a local homeless shelter.
Goals Against Cancer was a fundraiser started by Tenzin Ganchentsang, Jacob Randazzo, and John Falco. The purpose of this was to have businesses from around the Greater Boston Area either ‘pledge’ or make a donation that we collected. Each goal scored by the boys’ lacrosse team during the month of March generated $1.00. They donated the funds they generated to The Cam Neely Foundation which provides care for cancer patients.
The Medford Electronic Clean-up is a bi-annual event to help reduce the amount of harmful e-waste that is disposed of incorrectly. We worked with the Mayor’s office to set up these cleanup days as a district-wide event. We accepted electronics such as old computers or computer parts, gaming consoles, phones, monitors, and many others. We then recycled most of the gathered technology to a local electronics recycling plant and reused other gathered technology for fun projects. The goal of the Medford Electronic Clean-up is to reduce toxic materials like mercury, lead, or cadmium, from poisoning the Earth.
For our CCSR project, we sent care packages to Veterans and deployed soldiers. We chose this idea for our CSSR project because we all currently have family deployed in the army and have family members who are veterans. We loved making these care packages to send them a little piece of home to them. The packages included hygiene products, gym items, and comfort products. We fundraised by passing around dum-dum lollipops around hallways and at lunch. They were one dollar for a bundle of three lollipops. We thank you for your help for a good cause!
Our project is a way to spread self positivity throughout Medford High School. We had the students write one thing they like about themselves on an index card. The index cards were different colors so we arranged them to spell out the message, “Put Yourself First.” From afar the students and visitors of MHS saw the positive message, but up close they saw the positivity in action from the student’s responses. This caused people to think about their opinions on themselves and how they can improve on their self positivity, hopefully starting a path or conversation of self admiration for students.
Every year, on May 18, Haitian flag day brings out pride and joy, not only throughout the Haitian Community, but everywhere. In order to celebrate their diversity and inform on the significance of this day, Medford High students organize an educational assembly, portraying aspects of the Haitian culture. The celebration is not limited to Medford High School but extends throughout the entire district. The High School students attend the Middle and Elementary schools, interacting and teaching other students the inspiring aspects of their culture. To conclude the festivities, the students host a party sharing food and music reflecting Haitian culture and heritage.
A group of CCSR members worked together to craft creative holiday cards to bring cheer to US veterans. The students designed cards and then wrote thoughtful messages to show gratitude to veterans during the holiday season. These cards were delivered to the Medford Veterans Services and will be distributed to veterans through this organization.
A group of CCSR students wanted to spread helpful information about the harmful use of plastics in our society. They researched the harmful effects of plastic on the environment and also how to reduce use of single-use plastics. They created an informational poster for the school community. They hung the poster in the library for all to read and learn from.
A group of third grade CCSR members at the Roberts wanted to raise awareness about bike safety in Medford. They also wanted to raise money to help with the relief efforts in rebuilding the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian this past September. They combined these ideas to create the “Tour de Roberts.” The boys created a flyer and several posters to spread the word throughout the community about this event. They made a special announcement on the loudspeaker to invite the school to come and participate in the tour. The Medford Police Department stopped by to discuss bike safety. JRA Cycles bike shop (Salem St.) supported the event by providing a technician to check bikes and helmets and also provided an awesome raffle prize. This event was held on Veteran’s Day at the Roberts School. The students created an obstacle course as well as sold raffles at the event. It was a great success! Not only did everyone have fun practicing bike safety, but the students raised $132 for the Bahamas.
A group of CCSR members were concerned about the increase in fires this year in the Amazon Rainforest. They researched facts about the rainforest and decided to hold a fundraiser to raise money for new trees to be planted. The boys partnered with the PTO at set up a table at Movie Night. They sold coloring sheets with various rainforest animals on them. People purchased a sheet, colored it and then hung it up on a large poster. The students raised $130 for the Amazon.
These CCSR members wanted to create a beautiful piece of artwork to donate to a senior community. They cut paper and drew hearts using bright colors in order to form this collage. The students also got other CCSR members involved by encouraging everyone to add their own colorful heart. They then organized the hearts and found a thoughtful quote to add to the corner of the artwork. The quote says, “No beauty shines brighter than that of a great heart!” This framed artwork was donated to the Courtyard Nursing Home in Medford, MA. The CCSR members delivered the artwork themselves.
A group of RES CCSR members wanted to help the homeless and less fortunate in our community. They decided to team up with Boston-based Cradles to Crayons to support families with small children. They held a baby drive in which they collected many helpful supplies for families in need. Diapers, baby wipes, clothes, blankets, toys, and books were donated by the Roberts community.
A group of CCSR members partnered with Operation Gratitude to collect “unwanted” or “extra” Halloween candy. Operation Gratitude creates care packages to US soldiers serving overseas. They include candy in every package. The students created a flyer and posters to help spread the word about their project. The response to the candy collection was overwhelming. Several hundred pounds of candy was collected. Two local dentists received the candy and shipped it to Operation Gratitude.
For Haley O’Rourke and Lily Loren’s project, they collected donation items to bring to an organization called Pine Street Inn, located in Boston. At Pine Street Inn there are several different lists of things you can collect and donate posted on their website, and each list is designated to a certain type of package that the donated items will be a part of. The two main types of ‘kits’ assembled with the donations are “Welcome Home Kits” and Toiletry Kits. Welcome Home Kits include daily items that are hard for Pine Street Inn guests to acquire on their own as they’re settling into a permanent home for the first time in a while. Some of the things that are put into these baskets are sheets and blanket sets for full and twin-sized beds, towels and toiletries, kitchen items such as plates, silverware, paper towels, and sponges, reusable bags, a $50 gift card for Stop n’ Shop (or other grocery stores) or Target, as well as many other things. The Toiletry Kits include all of the necessary items you need to maintain good day-to-day hygiene, as well as other necessities such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, multicolored Band-Aids, unscented lotions and soaps, and other simple items you may find in your bathroom. They collected donation items to assemble many of both types of kits. https://www.pinestreetinn.org/
Our project for the 2019-2020 school year is about decreasing Medford’s ecological footprint. Many local cafes and restaurants use plastic straws and don’t realize what it is costing the environment. Our goal was to get Medford to start using paper straws (or at least move away from plastic straws) because paper straws do not have any negative effects on our town or on the Earth. We worked with the local government and local businesses to move towards a more sustainable future.
Our project donated to local shelters, such as homeless shelters and women’s shelters. We wanted to create a way that students can easily donate to these shelters. To do so, we placed a box in the main office where students can place donations. We wanted to give to different shelters around us, so every couple months or so we chose different shelters that can be donated to. By doing this we wanted to make an easier way to donate and advertise for different shelters around us that you can donate and volunteer to. Additionally, we wanted to volunteer at the shelters to do more than just donate.
This project provided first aid kits and a math books for a school in Haiti. It’s very hard for teachers and kids when they don’t get provided with proper school supplies. In Haiti kids play outside on rough grounds and most likely get hurt and they don’t have nurses to take care or provide for them. First Aid kits would be very helpful in providing treatment when a kid gets hurt. The First Aid kits were provided for one school in Haiti through a foundation. The next items were math books because most schools don’t have a printer where they can print math sheets out. Math books were provided for the teachers and they can use it to come up with problems and lessons.
The Medford Talks project is all about the education of students beyond the classroom. Medford Talks is a series of lectures from students, teachers, and local professors on specific topics. The hope and goal of our project was to have students attend lectures that would further their knowledge on a subject that may interest them, and to have students, teachers, and professors speak about topics they are passionate about. We provided free lectures for all students and staff of the MHS so that they can further their knowledge and understanding of the world around them beyond just the classroom.
As CCSR members, our goal is to make the world a better place. As of right now, many people are hurting the environment. We made a PSA about the environment and how to help our earth survive. As the future generation, we want to live in environmental conditions that are better than they are right now, not worse. We want to minimize the use of plastic water bottles in our school by having the students of Medford High use reusable water bottles since plastic can hurt our environment. As a school that is very close with its environment because of the Fells, we should be doing more to help our environment. This PSA was both helpful to others and entertaining.Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way! Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way!
This summer, we had the pleasure of working with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Allie Fiske and Mike Nestor. They made and donated beautiful benches to us. We painted a female empowerment bench, a LGBTQ+ bench, a diversity bench, and lastly a sports bench. We think that these themes help make our community what it is. After the benches were painted, we moved them to Dugger Park, had a ribbon cutting ceremony, and we will hopefully broadcast it for the community and towns surrounding Medford. We are excited to introduce the new benches of Dugger Park to the community! Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way!
DECA, CCSR, and Four Diamonds from Penn State Health, have collaborated to create a community activity that helped fundraise to fight against childhood cancer. We created an event that the community could participate in, with games and fun activities with the end goal of raising money to help those in need.
This tournament was for everyone that would like to participate. Derek Marino was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on September 9th. He recently just started chemo and the doctors are leaning towards Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Derek is an 8th grade at the McGlynn Middle School. This past summer Derek played for the U12 Medford District team. All of the money raised during the tournament went directly to help Derek with his recovery. For the tournament there were four games going on at the same time, and I created a bracket due to how many teams were participating in the tournament.
The Bahamas were devastated by Hurricane Dorian and they need our help. We sold snacks after school to raise money for the Bahamas in order for them to recover as fast as possible. The snack bar was in the main lobby right after school so students leaving for the day could buy a snack and support the Bahamas.
“Letters of Comfort” is a project by Leticya Souza and Brianna Leccese. We hand wrote letters to parents who have children in the hospital. Our goal is to reassure them that everything will be okay and to wish them the best of luck for whatever they are going through, providing comfort for stressed parents is our objective!
Nursing through Music is a project aimed to bring a greater variety of entertainment and activities to members of the Medford Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Three students from Medford High School, Erin Tan, Christina Zheng, and Katharine Schmidt, made visits to the nursing center once a month to give both solo and trio performances of classical music. Listening to music is proven to reduce stress and contribute to psychological well-being, and provide many other benefits, which is the end goal of this project. The group includes a cellist, pianist, and violinist, which is a standard trio, making a wide range of repertoire available. Each of the group members also has previous experience in classical music, and played solos as well as trios to give the maximum variety to their performances. This project allows student musicians to build community and bring music to members of the Medford Rehabilitation & Nursing Center while also gaining valuable experience in performing music in front of an audience.
The goal of this project was to help first generation, low-income (FGLI) high school students in professional development and the road to college by connecting them to college readiness resources and a Mentor Team composed of Tufts students of similar backgrounds. Students asked the Mentor Team questions through online communication and received compilations of resources in the form of lists, graphics, videos, and webinars. They were also given the opportunity to participate in resume building workshops and tours of the Tufts campus.
For our project, we ran a volleyball game for students grades 6-8 from the Andrews Middle School and the McGlynn Middle School. Students were on a team with their teachers and played against the opposite school. It was entertaining to watch and made a great memory for 8th graders leaving middle. This was also a great practice for any students hoping to make the volleyball team in high school. Overall, this was a fun and memorable night for both students and teachers. All proceeds went to Prevent Child Abuse America, an inspiring organization in need of more donations.
Community Concert was a CCSR project that focused on using music to improve the community. We went to local centers that are often neglected by the community, such as facilities for the elderly and sick, to play some music and brighten someone's day. By bringing music into forgotten places, we helped make some of Medford's citizens feel special and valued. We hope that the music will bring some joy to those who hear it, and bring something special to the community.
The purpose of this project was to give ornaments to senior citizens in Medford for the holidays. We decorated ornaments and sold them at the Brooks school to raise money to buy more ornaments. We brought our decorated ornaments to the Medford senior center and everyone loved them.
The purpose of this project was to provide trash covers to prevent trash from blowing out so humans and animals won’t get sick or hurt by the litter. Lacey and Talia raised money and worked with Ms Gomez through the CCSR to make signs and purchase lids for the trash cans! They contributed towards making Medford a cleaner and safer place to live.
Cookies for Cancer was a project started by Willa and Sophia. We are trying to help people with FSHD and Cancer. We sold cookies and baked treats. You got to choose your price and that means that they would usually pay more. We sent the money that we made to people with FSHD and people with cancer.
This is the second year that students have participated in this project. The goal of the project was to raise awareness about students with allergies and encourage families to offer allergen free choices during Halloween time. The students created a flyer to educate others about the cause. The flyer included information about alternatives to candy and candy that is allergen free. They sent the flyer out to the Columbus Community.
Philip Cantanzo, Gloria Babish, Nathan Falke, and Evelyn Willwerth decided to raise money for the American Red Cross because they were concerned about people affected by Hurricane Dorian. Philip Cantanzano’s family donated gift cards to be raffled at the event. The group raised $99 selling raffle tickets at the Giving Thanks Cultural Event. All proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross.
Jasmine Penaloza-Zavaleta, Nathaly Alas, and Abigail Parlera decided they wanted to make crafts with the community. The group decided to set up a craft table at the Columbus’ Giving Thanks Festival which celebrates diversity. They chose to make Dream Catchers to celebrate Native American Culture.
Eloise Johnson, Amalia Weyant, Naomi, and Nicholas Nascimento decided that they wanted to help their local library by donating books. The group contacted the Friends of Medford Library to see what items they would take. The group created a flyer for a book drive, collected books. At the end, they counted and packaged 487 books, 54 CDs, 7 coloring books, 1 puzzle and 10 DVDs.
At the McGlynn Middle School, the CCSR initiated the schoolwide LookupChallenge. The challenge originated from Ms. Susan Reynold’s presentation on December 4th, “Thriving in the Age of Digital Distraction,” at the McGlynn where both Susan and Principal Tucci challenged all of the students to participate. LookUp.live is a non-profit startup whose mission is to support youth designed solutions for technology and real life balance. Over the course of the past few years, McGlynn Middle School students have been challenged to reflect upon how they can take a more balanced approach with their use of technology. The award winning film Screenagers has been shown to students at the school and students have engaged in discussions in their WIN block homerooms on the topic of screen-time in their lives. Over the course of two days, the McGlynn Middle School had 125 participants join the challenge. CCSR students made announcements on the McGlynn Morning Show, encouraging their peers to challenge themselves to limit their use of screen time over the course of the week. Chromebooks were available for students to register for the challenge during lunches.
Carlos Rolon is a 6-year-old boy from Worcester, waiting for a heart transplant. He asked people to send him Christmas cards as he spends another holiday in the hospital. He was born with an unbalanced atrioventricular canal defect – an abnormality of one of the four chambers of his heart. By the age of two, he had had four heart surgeries. The McGlynn CCSR made Christmas cards for Carlos hoping to cheer him up this holiday season.
The purpose of this project was to help the Brooks students stop using plastic cups in the cafeteria because they will end up in a landfill. We are trying to save the future by not creating waste. We got Brooks School waterbottles at a low price and sold them at the Brooks School. This helped lower the amount of waste produced by the school.
The purpose of this project was to help people change their actions and that will reduce global warming. Because wasted energy like gas emissions and electricity, we made posters to put around the school reminding people to use less energy by riding their bike, turning off lights, etc.
CCSR, the Builders Club, and Student Council co-hosted a project to create letters to send to Veterans. These personal letters were included in the packages e sent by Teamsters Local 25 & Teamsters Joint Council 10 NE to Veterans. We discussed how to write an appropriate letter to veterans and what to include and what not to include. Brady and Bridgette went on the McGlynn morning show to motivate students to write these letters during WIN block or their double blocks.
Toys for Tots is a program that was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks and it is now run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Toys for Tots distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. We wanted to be a drop-off location this year and many years before because we think that every child should get a gift for Christmas. Ms. Fee and Ms. Olsen helped us this year and we want to give them a big thanks, especially Ms. Fee since she has had us be a drop-off location for many years. From November 12th to December 4th, we have collected and donated gifts this year to the children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas so they could have gifts. We are very thankful to those who donated. Thank you!
These 2nd-graders are big admirers of our men and women in uniform, and wanted to do something to show their appreciation for soldiers and veterans. They decided to do projects through Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that CCSR has done projects for in the past, that sends care packages to soldiers and veterans. Being the Fall Session, it was the perfect time to make holiday cards to send to soldiers overseas who couldn’t be home for the holidays! They spent some time generating ideas and then creating their cards, which we sent to Operation Gratitude for inclusion in their signature care packages. It was also the perfect time of year to collect leftover Halloween candy for the care packages as well. The students made posters asking their classmates to donate any leftover Halloween candy and hung them up around the school. Many of the group members also brought in some of their own leftover candy, and we shipped all of it off to Operation Gratitude. The group was very happy that they got to do something nice for their role models in the armed forces. They even received a thoughtful thank-you letter from Operation Gratitude for their generous donations! (In the photo on the right.)
Inspired by the pet toy project from the Fall Session, these 3rd-and 1st-graders decided they wanted to put their do-it-yourself skills to use and craft even more homemade toys for shelter animals. They decided on a toy called a snuffle mat, made with anti-fatigue rubber mats and scraps of fleece. The fleece strips get tied into the holes of the rubber mat, and then owners can hide dog treats in the fleece strips for their dogs to dig around and find! Over the course of the next few weeks, they made 3 large snuffle mats, along with some construction paper fans for kittens and cardboard tube treat dispensers for cats.
Our project was a Spikeball tournament Against Child Abuse! Spikeball is a 2 vs 2 game where the objective is to spike the ball into a small trampoline so it can ricochet to the enemy. Players had three hits to coordinate and hit the ball off of the trampoline. If your team or the enemy’s team misses the ball, you or the opposing team gets a point. This sport has a striking resemblance to volleyball, but unlike volleyball this sport has no boundaries adding an extra layer of challenge and fun. All proceeds went to help the fight against child abuse. There was a prize for the most donated and another prize for the winners.
These students from all different grade levels decided to create pet beds for animals of all shapes and sizes. Because pet beds from a store can be so expensive, this group decided to make them from scratch to give to those who may not be able to afford it. Using blanket fabric, these students measured out and cut the fabric so two layers could be tied together. Students worked together to make almost 16 beds for all different kinds of animals! Students also crafted and posted posters around the school to promote their good cause and let students, faculty, and family know of how they could take advantage of this opportunity for their favorite animal at home.
“The No One Fights Alone Campaign” is dedicated to raising awareness and money for cancer research. The inspiration behind this project is that everyone around us may be affected by cancer in some way and it is important to remember that our community is always here for each other. To show support for this project and the CCSR, purple bracelets were sold with “no one fights alone” written on them (all proceeds were donated to Dana Farber Cancer Institute). In addition, a Cancer Awareness Week was held later in the year. This was a time that students were encouraged to wear the ribbon color of a type of cancer that is recognized that day. The goal of this project is to remind our community that no one fights alone!
As we become adults, our connections we make with people become critical to achieving our goals. Technology can sometimes be a barrier to networking and making connections essential to propelling your career. Every other half day of the month (Wednesday), we invited a panel of professionals from various fields to speak about how to use connections to achieve our goals and become better networkers.
Earth Day is an annual event recognized around the world on April 22 to help show support for environmental protection. However, my partner and I understood that it was nearly seven months away. Therefore we refused to wait long and we decided that for us to make a difference we would need to perform an action immediately. Environmental awareness means being aware and cautious of the environment and making choices that benefit the earth. It encourages a sense of bond to the natural world. This year as our project we decided to clean up the park. The purpose of cleaning up the park is to help the environment, give back, and send a simple message to the world. We can all make a difference if we put our differences aside and work toward a common goal.
During the week of November 18-22 we hosted a food Pantries Fundraises for the St. Francis Food Pantry. First we started with a Project Proposal and we discussed why are we doing this Food Pantries. The reason why we did this fundraiser is because we wanted to help the help the hunger. We raised over 300 cans to donate.
These resourceful 3rd-5th grade students wanted to do something to help animals in shelters, and together we came up with the idea to make some homemade pet toys to donate! We contacted the Volunteer Coordinator at Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, who we’ve worked with in past years, for ideas. She sent us several sets of instructions for homemade pet toys using objects you can find around the house. The students brought the materials in, and spent the next several weeks making cat and dog toys from materials like tennis balls, socks, plastic bottles, and fabric strips.
Each year before Thanksgiving, the McGlynn Elementary School pairs with the Medford Family Network to host a food drive to supply the local food pantry and Medford families in need with food. These students wanted to help this huge effort. They made posters, talked in classrooms, collected donations and sorted donations by type. They even came an extra day to help put the donations into reusable shopping bags so the food could be easily given away. With their efforts and the efforts of the school and staff, more than 1400 items were collected! Wow!
Humans of Medford is a photography project run by senior Frances Flood but created by MHS graduate Molly Stroud in 2016. The page’s goal is to bring together the community by recognizing teachers, business owners, students, and residents by posting a photo of them on Instagram with a short excerpt from each person. It was originally inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York where he had his own photography project of photographing strangers on the streets of NY. It shares the stories and lives from Medford in each post on Instagram. Give it a follow! @humansofmedford
I’m a sophomore at MHS and I recently joined the CCSR. When I was at the McGlynn elementary school in the fourth grade a classmate and friend of mine lost his life due to cancer. A tree was planted in his memory but unfortunately it never bloomed. I raised money to replace this tree and planted flowers in his memory. I purchased another tree, planted it in Medford, and dedicated it to everyone who has lost a loved one to cancer.
These second grade boys are concerned with our environment and especially concerned with increasing the understanding of how to protect endangered animals. They wanted to inform their peers about different animals that were endangered in a different and fun way. So… they came up with making fortune tellers/cootie catchers that kids could play with at lunch. During the course of the fall session, they identified 3 different animals(tigers, sharks and sea turtles), found facts about those animals, chose pictures of those animals and put all onto a template for a cootie catcher. Next, came the folding. They folded about 50 different cootie catchers for each animal. The folding and opening game was placed strategically on all the elementary school lunch tables so that students could read the facts and see the pictures when they were done with lunch.
For our CCSR Project, we want to close the gap between the young and the elderly. This project has a close connection to us because Theodora, on the left, works and volunteers at a nursing home. Vicki, on the right, volunteers with children of special needs, and Rachell, in the middle, in her free time volunteers as well. In order to do so, we created crafts for the children to make and then the three of us delivered them to the elderly. We know that they deeply appreciated the crafts and cards, especially during the holiday season and cherished them. We also sold the crafts/cards to enrich the community. A simple gift with a little care and love cago a long way.
This group organized a “Bingo Night” at the Andrews Middle School to raise money for Neurofibromatosis(NF). Prizes and gift cards donated by local businesses were provided to winners of each round. They are supporting their fellow friend at the Andrews who has NF and everyone else who suffers from the same diagnosis. They will be donating their funds to the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Let’s help find a cure together!
This group created their own Medford themed, breast cancer bracelets to raise awareness for this cause. They sold them for a dollar each at multiple events including middle school and high school basketball games to raise money for breast cancer research. Many people struggle to fight this disease and we organized this event to support them as we all know many people in our lives fighting everyday.
We raised money for Skyland Animal Sanctuary. We sold bracelets and buttons to raise the money. This money was specifically going to medical bills and special food for the animals that need it and of course other stuff. We wanted to do this project because animals are very important to us and we think their lives are worth saving. We also want to help them anyway we could, and we knew that Skylands was a trustworthy animal sanctuary that is worth all of the money we give them.
This group raised money to support animal shelters and their adorable animals. Our inspiration are the animals sitting, and waiting in kennels for a loving and caring home. These animals would love to have a life-long companion to keep them safe, and to love them with all of their hearts. We are spreading awareness of this cause, because we believe that we can make a difference in these animals’ lives. While spreading awareness and trying to find homes for them, we are also trying to support animal shelters with what their animals need. We are trying to get donations and supplies from local pet stores that want to support these animal shelters as well. We are hoping to have a fundraiser with dog treats and toys to raise money for the North East Animal Shelter.
These second grade girls tackled a two-fold project. They first decorated posters and a collection bin to collect donated items for the North East Animal Shelter. They let members of our McGlynn School community know that the donations could be brought to the school and that they would reach the non profit animal shelter. Needed supplies such as old towels or blankets, old newspaper and pet food has been rolling in! Secondly, the girls researched available pets at the shelter. They then wrote an ad, describing a pet and giving pertinent information about that pet. “This kitty loves to run and cuddle!” “Smokey the dog is lonely and wants a home!” The ads were combined into a booklet and distributed to all members of the McGlynn Elementary School. Hopefully, all of this free advertising will help an animal at a shelter find a loving home!
These two musically-inclined 2nd-graders decided they wanted to put their talents to use in order to do something in line with the school’s Respect Month, part of the C.A.R.E.S. values system. So, they re-wrote the lyrics of Anna Kendrick’s popular “Cups” song to be about respect and kindness. They designed a Google Slides presentation of their new lyrics for fellow students to sing along with, and they also wrote a short skit and choreographed a music video for the song!
Animal shelters are always in need of extra supplies, and these students wanted to get involved! People who work at animal shelters not only need to keep the facility clean and organized, but need to ensure the animals are taken care of, loved, and prepared for adoption. These students created a flyer to let the McGlynn community know how they can contribute to their cause. The flyer listed multiple animal shelters who need our help within the Medford area. Students suggested donations of blankets, dog food, old pet beds, toys, etc. to help support the success of, not only the animal shelters, but the success of animals being adopted by a loving owner!
CCSR project Apple Of My eyes pies has the goal of putting a smile on the faces of people going through hardships. This project included juniors Nouha Elyazidi and Sarah Carroll baking pies and donating them to a local shelter three times a year. Pies were donated during Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and Easter times. The goal of this project is to provide people who are going through a rough time in their life a sweet surprise and hopefully put a smile on their faces!
For our project, we would like to bring awareness to all the good that rescues do for their animals. We don’t want to bash pet stores for their wrong actions, but rather talk about the better alternative to supporting these chain pet stores, which is adopting. When you adopt an animal, you are not only saving that one, but also buying other animals food or getting them into the rescue in the first place. Last year, we made a video of us donating toys to The Animal Rescue League of Boston. This year we continued donating and held a fundraiser for anyone that wants to donate dog treats and/or toys. We brought these toys along to the rescue. We also wanted to focus on making it more accessible for anyone interested in adopting. We offered phone numbers got people in touch with the rescue. Not only were there dogs, but cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, along with many other small animals. Our goal was to try to bring some positivity to these animals lives, even if it is one animal at a time.
Momeena Zayma, Prabidhi Rana, Dorotea Belotte, and David Mei’s mission was to create a space where everyone is welcomed and where our diversity is celebrated. The group hosted a festival in the city of Medford that featured multiple cultural performances and food vendors, local organizations, and interactive activities.
For our project, we recruited high-school bound female athletes to play in the Medford High School Girls’ Soccer Program. We attended U-14 soccer practices and shared our positive experiences as parts of the program. We also provided helpful information in terms of joining the program and succeeding in it. We feel we had a positive impact on the girls and we gave them insight into the program that we wish we had when we were their age. Hopefully, our efforts will increase the participation in sports among girls at Medford High.
The “One Smile Away” campaign was a huge success last year, through collecting over 100 compliments from students around the school. The compliments were collected via a google forum and anonymously posted on the board outside of the library. This year, Justin and Brandon also plan to add a memory board containing quotes from people’s holidays, sharing what they have done on that holiday. Together, each project helps to spread positive messages and recognize lesser known holidays.
What we wanted to do with this project is actually recycle paper for students to use. In school, so much paper is used rather excessively for assignments and tests and quizzes and then it is just recycled at the end of the quarter or year without a second thought. Only one third of recycled items are actually recycled. What if all of Medford High’s recycled paper was recycled for students to use immediately? There is a simple way to make paper that uses only a few simple materials. We want to bring students together make new paper; instead of “recycling” paper in bins and hoping it is recycled, why don’t we make it ourselves? We also did most of the paper making outside, in the courtyard or inner courtyard for example. It spread more awareness to students of how they are making an impact. And the outdoors always leaves us with a smile! In addition, this was just a crafty activity for students to do for fun; they can be as creative as they want, chat with their friends, have free paper to take notes on, with the awesome addition of reusing/repurposing!
For our project, we organized a bake sale. We are raised money for hurricane relief in the Bahamas, as Hurricane Dorian impacted many lives and left many people without food, shelter, or access to freshwater.We contacted the Culinary Shop in the Vocational School and requested their assistance in the making of the desserts we will sell in this project. The food we made was simple baked goods that we could make in large amounts. The food was Caribbean-themed, representing the country and region we were raising money for.
I am a junior at Medford High School and a proud member of the CCSR! For my project I hosted a supplies drive for clothing and basic household items like bath towels, books, mugs, bras, and more that are much needed items for Rosie’s Place, a women's shelter located in Boston. They are an amazing organization started in 1974 which I am coming to know better through volunteering with them! Everyday, their mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment to help homeless women and families regain their confidence in order to find security and stability in the new chapters of their lives that lie ahead. The homeless community is something that I am very passionate in advocating for, and this project is a small step to provide help for a much deserved organization!
After the success of an electric car charger being installed in Medford last year, we took this year to complete all the bells and whistles left in our project, like getting a plaque to acknowledge our sponsors and thank National Grid. Besides this we also attended the National Grid Energy Summit, a massive honor provided to us by National Grid.
We are very fortunate to live among such a great river next to our beautiful town of Medford. However, it is easy to see that it is very polluted. Shouldn’t the beauty of Medford be reflected upon the cleanliness of the river? That is why our group has cleaned it along with the surrounding area and parks in order to enrich the possible enjoyment for everyone visiting. We all were very excited to assist in something that was long overdue for a town that began with ship building.
Our project focused on the major environmental changes seen in Medford in the past 50 years. We informed people about how these changes could be either beneficial or harmful for years to come. The project combined information from both first and second hand sources. This information is essential to understand because other surrounding cities could get a few tips and pointers and lean towards using our environmental changes. Our final outcome was presented in City Hall in front of the Mayor and other important people in Medford. Our hope is to instill a spirit of environmental activism that transcends generations.
For my project, I organized the World Cafe. The World Cafe took place in late February around the 28th to 29th. This event was for community members, educators, highschool students, parents, and anyone else who was willing to participate. At this workshop there were tables set up, each with a student administrator and a group of community members. The student administrators each had a list of questions revolving around diversity and inclusion within the city of Medford as well as what these terms mean to them. Their answers were recorded and used to make positive changes in Medford. There was food provided, and this event served as a chance to integrate generation and people with different perspectives to help each community member understand the other’s view point.
A couple of years ago former CCSR members Megan and Sandra established Tech Time. This year we will carry on the legacy of this successful project. Every half-day once a month we visited a senior center. At the senior center, we taught the elderly how to use their electronic devices, instructing them on simple things such as how to take a picture or sending an email.
Ricky and I recently started cross-country, and when we had our first cross-country meet, we realized that the park we were running in was very messy, with litter everywhere and it was just not a good place to run. When we joined CCSR, we found that it was the perfect opportunity to clean up the place we run in. After I found out that my friend Capland was looking for a project to work on, I invited him to work with us. We think that this project will really help the park become more enjoyable, and hopefully we can inspire more people to help clean parks as well.
Our group set up a book donation box outside Medford High School, similar to the ones that used to be set up outside the Andrews. Our goal is for books that have been donated by Medford residents to be given a new home (i.e public or school library) depending on the maturity level of the book. For example, if a student no longer needs a book that was required for school, he or she could put it in the donation box. The next time that my group sorts through the books in the box, we would donate it to the appropriate library in Medford so that others in lower grades who need it may enjoy it as well.
Styrofoam is an incredibly harmful material, not only to the workers who produce it, but it poses a danger to our students and the environment as well. It does not biodegrade, and it ends up polluting our oceans and tainting our seafood. It also poses a humanitarian crisis, by making the factory workers who produce it extremely sick, as well as posing a threat of styrene poisoning by putting hot food on it. For my project, I hope to not just ban styrofoam in Medford High, but extend my project further. Many people are unaware of styrofoam’s threats, or simply do not care to fix this issue, and I hope by raising awareness and gaining support, I will be able to implement a Medford city-wide styrofoam ban.
August Bengtson did a drive for cleaning supplies, blankets, and toys for a local animal rescue, based in Medford, called Kitty Connection. He also baked some healthy dog and cat treats for these adorable animals in need. Kitty Connection not only saves cats, as the name suggests, but also dogs. They are a non-profit and all-volunteer organization. Many people only think of food when it comes to donating to a rescue. In fact, most shelters need much more than just food, but cleaning supplies, blankets, toys, and much more. In the future, the drive will most likely be held over a week or so in order to collect an abundance of supplies to assist these wonderful volunteers!
We hoped to be an outlet to the homeless by providing them with basic necessities that they cannot afford on their own. In order to help the homeless we made care packages that contained most items that we take for granted in our lives. We hosted a bake sale with cookies that were handmade by us to gain the money to buy the items. We sold hot chocolate along side the cookies. Once we had a sufficient amount of money we got all the items the homeless required. By then we had already been in contact with a homeless shelter that sought out donations. We wanted to make Medford’s Homeless people’s situation feel more comfortable and welcome.
For Colin Bailey’s Act of Kindness, he worked with Mr. Skorker and Ms. Fard to create “The Medford Porch Jam.” They worked together to create a musical event that featured musicians playing the song “Imagine” by John Lennon from their own homes. Each person who was a part of the event joined a Zoom call that was created to promote a sense of unity and musical welcoming. CCSR singers (students and faculty members alike) sang individual verses while playing their instruments. The goal of this project was to spread musical positivity while singing a song of hope for the future, and a song of unity that spanned across each corner of the city of Medford!
Stefan Langshur’s CCSR Project was entering the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. He created a podcast about defining personal success, working toward it, and eventually achieving an end goal. His aim with this project was to help others define a goal for themselves and learn to work toward that goal every day.
Emma McGlynn created a video titled “A Veteran’s Perspective.” She interviewed five veterans from within the Medford community, each from a different branch of the military. Each veteran told their personal story about their experience in the United States Military, returning home, what they did after serving, and the overall impact of their experience on themselves and the community. Emma then complied their stories into a video to share with the community that honors local veterans and shares their experiences of serving.
Isabella Duque Munoz, Rayssa Braga, And Leticia Madeira wanted people to write kind, encouraging, and motivational letters to their loved ones. People sent the group an email stating who they wanted to send the letter to, who it was being sent by (it could be anonymous), the address, and what they wanted to write. The group revised them and mailed them. They believe that this has brought smiles to peoples’ faces and helped them throughout these hard times. Being at home most of the time and barely socializing can take a toll on us, as we are social creatures. When you send someone an actual letter it gives a way bigger effect than a text or email. The group believes that the impact this has had on our city has been amazing and something worth thinking about.
The goal of this project was to help first generation, low-income (FGLI) high school students in professional development and the road to college by connecting them to college readiness resources and a Mentor Team composed of Tufts students from similar backgrounds. Students asked the Mentor Team questions through online communication and virtual meetings and received compilations of resources in the form of lists, graphics, videos, and webinars.
For Sam Cluggish’s Act of Kindness, he worked with Mr. Skorker, Chenine Peloquin, and the administration of Medford High School to help eligible students at Medford High School register to vote for the November 3rd election. Using some aspects of the program When We All Vote, he provided students with the resources necessary to register themselves to vote using Massachusetts’s online voter registration system. The ability to vote is very important to the community because it allows the average citizen to engage in public discourse and change the community directly. Being able to vote during the election was especially important due to the turning point the election created and the issues being decided. Sam was very happy he was able to help the community in this way and he looks forward to future opportunities to benefit the community.
Essential Work was a food drive and donation program that collected food to be distributed to struggling families and individuals across Medford. Andrea Suribory and Daniel Morgante created a social media advertisement to get the word out to Medford residents, and placed donation boxes in hotspots around the city. In addition, the two received a grant and contacted local businesses to donate money that could be used toward the purchase of canned goods, non-perishables, and other essential items that struggling individuals have a hard time getting access to during these testing times. After collecting all of their materials, Suribory and Morgante worked with the Medford Family Network to locate the people that would best benefit from the assistance and distribute the contents to them. The project was created to help fellow Medford residents that are facing food insecurity gain access to materials that they need in order to get through the pandemic happily and healthily.
Cadyn Golisano and Lily Beagan knew that due to the pandemic, kids were no longer able to share school supplies in school and many families could not afford them. This year, they decided to place boxes around the city in local stores and restaurants and asked for people to donate supplies. After a few weeks of collecting donations, they sanitized and then distributed the supplies to the students of the Medford Public Schools. Everyone who came each got one bag of supplies, including all the essential supplies, so that everyone had the chance to get what they needed. For social distancing reasons, they distributed supplies outside of Medford Highschool with two days of distributions.
The Inner Alchemy project started simply as an appearance in Nicholas Yurasko's mind. He had no previous intentions of working on a meditation program designed to teach students and teachers alike how to properly meditate and the various fascinating philosophical and religious traditions for which meditation has been a staple for thousands of years. Now, following this impression on his field of consciousness, he decided to present the project as a possible antidote to the troubling states of mind attending all of us alike in the unique (at least for the twenty first century) experience of the coronavirus. In some traditions, it is opposed to the purpose to speak of meditation as if it had a clearly defined purpose. But that is not very helpful for those who are already skeptical of the value of the practice. Nic will argue that meditation arms the human being with the capacity to be truly human, rather than merely a victim of history, genealogy, and upbringing; He will additionally argue that long-term meditators have formed for themselves the only genuine sense of free will through their practice. If these sound like outlandish or even impossible claims to you, Nic encourages you to try the practice for yourself. And to keep trying.
Naomie Pierre, Baban Gill, Oprah Nkera, and Eleanor Nkera’s project is called Seeds to Feed. The group planted a harvest to donate to the Mystic community market. With these vegetables they wanted to help by planting a variety of different fruits and vegetables, so people have easy access to food. This pandemic left many families to worry about their next meals. Therefore, the group wanted to give them our help, and support during these tough times. This all happened at the garden in MHS, which is run by Mrs. Retta Smith.
For Charlotte Yamamoto’s project, she collaborated with SEPAC and the Medford Public School’s special education division to run the Speak for Ourselves program. The program consisted of student-run recurring Zoom meetings focused on making connections among neurodivergent students (students with neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, autism, Tourette’s, dyslexia, etc.) in grades 6-12. Students who joined the meetings talked about their interests, challenges they have faced because of their disorder, and learned more about each other. The goals of this project were to form friendships among the students and to discuss similar experiences with these disorders and solutions to similar problems they face.
Melissa Antoine and Philip Da Silva worked with Mr. Skorker and the CCSR to put together the “Virtual Holiday Talent Show.” The show was held in early December and was a delight for children and parents alike. Students took place in holiday activities and performed holiday songs. Students grades k-12 participated in the talent show, and it was a great way to start off December. The auditions were held in November so students would have time to practice for the talent show.
August Bengtson worked with Kitty Connection by drawing donors' pets. When someone donates a certain amount of money to a Kitty Connection, they will have their pet drawn by August. This fundraiser will hopefully raise money and awareness for local animal rescue organizations. In addition to this fundraiser, August also used his artistic abilities to try and help homeless shelter dogs get adopted. He found dogs in need of loving homes via Instagram and drew portraits of these dogs. Along with the portraits, he provided the dog’s bio from the shelter and the shelter’s address and contact information. The goal of this was to help share homeless dogs with the hope of them getting adopted.
In order to entertain the community during the pandemic, Aniya Crump had created an Instagram called t_f_n_p_ (which stood for The Friendly Neighbor Project) to stream and post videos that showcased various activities that children could watch and recreate at home. The streams were held on Wednesdays and Saturdays for various amounts of time. She posted small DIY crafts and tips and tricks videos and posts. She streamed DIY activities on wednesdays and more chill streams on Saturdays. The goal of this project was to entertain and connect people from across the community and to enjoy time during quarantine.
After noticing a great decrease in the quality of the water in the Mystic River, Capland Cho, Ricky Gomez, Justin Curcio, and Gabriel Suhm got together, working alongside the Mystic River Watershed Association, to plan on cleaning up the river and helping the environment. Their goal and purpose was to promote the cleaning and protecting of the environment, as well as to be a big part in restoring the Mystic River’s water quality. River cleanups are ongoing throughout the year and up to 25 people are able to sign up for a cleanup. Even with the ongoing pandemic, everything is socially distant and safety precautions are followed for safe cleanups.
In collaboration with the EL teachers at Medford High and the help of Medford High students, Khushi Kaur & Naika Loredan created the EL Give Back Program. The EL Give Back Program is a student-led project designed to help new English learning students. Their goal was to help adjust the English learning students to their new school and environment. They created videos that have been translated by Medford High School students into seven different languages. Their videos are in Arabic, Haitian-Creole, Hindi, Portuguese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Some of the topics they have recorded include: graduation requirements, how to get free/reduced lunch, how to get a bus pass, school dress code and there are many videos to come.
For Keshana Paul and Sagine Magliore’s project, “Haitian Flag Day,” they worked with many MHS students, Mr. Skorker, and Ms. Pierre Paul to plan the annual, district wide, Haitian Flag Day Celebration. This celebration consists of an informational and entertaining video that educates students on the importance of Haitian Flag Day, and how the holiday is celebrated. What makes it a district wide celebration, is that along with multiple students, they go to the other Medford schools, and educate the younger students. This occurs via loudspeaker, or a presentation for the students. After going around to the other schools an assembly (split into small sections) is held for the MHS student body, where the video is played, and we further educate MHS about Haitian culture. At the end of the day all are welcome to a small celebration with music and Haitian food! The goal of this project is to help others further understand the importance of Haitian Flag Day.
Brianna Leccese, Anna Mercina Stefanou, Leticya Souza, and Campbell Tacey worked to design a website aimed at helping Medford community members who were significantly impacted by COVID-19. The project featured helpful information about preventing the spread of the virus, along with a place for community members to share positive and uplifting messages. The goal of this project was to help alleviate the mental health burden that so many are facing, along with combating the misinformation about the virus.
The goal of Lila D’Antonio and Ellie Hunt’s project was to diversify the history taught here at Medford High by including aspects of LGBTQ+ history. LGBTQ+ people have always existed and have always been an important part of history, yet many people still don’t know much about the community’s past. By looking at the curriculums in place for the history classes at Medford High, Lila and Ellie selected events, people, and places from queer history that fit with the topics that are already covered. From there, they met with history teachers and the director of the humanities department to make LGBTQ+ history a permanent part of the curriculum. They hope that by doing this queer teens will be able to see themselves in history and find role models, as well as helping to educate everyone about the rich, beautiful history of the LGBTQ+ community.
Sisters Kate and Abbie Joslin wanted to create a scavenger hunt for citizens of Medford to teach people about their community and what it had to offer. They decided to compile a list of many different objects and places around town that symbolized Medford. In order to maintain social distancing, Kate and Abbie had participants take photos of the things they found and the places they visited. All of these pictures were uploaded to a google doc that everyone had access to. This way everyone involved could see all the different objects people found. This scavenger hunt was a great way to bring the community together. The goal of this scavenger hunt was to create an opportunity for people to go outside and do something fun in their community. In addition to this, the scavenger hunt taught people about Medford and what they could find throughout our very special city.
Amine Nazih and Zayn Yousuf decided to paint/redo crosswalks across Medford. There are many crosswalks in and around Medford that are fading and becoming hazardous for pedestrians. These crosswalks are hard for drivers to see from far away and these students felt the need to redo the faded crosswalks. Along with redoing crosswalks, their project also consisted of painting over certain crosswalks with bright colors to make them even more visible to passing vehicles. This also helped beautify the surroundings. The students contacted and collaborated with the Mayor’s Office for their project. The Mayor’s office agreed to fund their entire project along with helping them conduct the paintings.
For Theodora Odvil, Victoria Miller, Sammy Mercauto and Megan Furtado’s CCSR Project, the group wanted to close the gap between the young and elderly once again. The project has a close connection to the group because Theodora works and volunteers with the elderly at a nursing home. Vicki volunteers with children with special needs, and Sammy and Megan volunteer with their younger cousins. The group had children create cards for a holiday and then deliver/mailed the cards to the elderly.
For this year’s project, Lily Loren and Haley O’Rourke worked in collaboration with the Medford Mayor’s office, the DPW, and the Mystic Watershed Association to organize several different clean-ups around the Mystic River and picked up trash to prevent the water from being polluted. They gathered a group of volunteers and divided into smaller groups to address different areas around the river that needed to be cleaned up (wearing masks and following CDC social distance guidelines). The DPW provided grabbers, gloves, and trash bags to ensure that everything was picked up safely.
For Matteo D’Aveta and Josh Klein’s CCSR project this year, they decided to hold a book drive for the Medford area. They advertised the book drive using virtual flyers. They set up a collection area where people could leave their unwanted books. After they collected a sufficient amount of books, they sorted through them to pick out all the books in good condition and divided them based on whether they were written for adults or for children. Once they had done this, they gave the books to local services/schools where the books could be put to good use.
For Sam Cluggish’s service project for the community, he started a monthly podcast for the CCSR that chronicled the happenings of the CCSR over the month. He also interviewed members of different CCSR projects and interviewed members of the community who either helped out with said projects or are working on their own to help serve the community. Each podcast had a monthly theme which Sam discussed by sharing his own thoughts on the theme as well as through the interviews. Sam did this podcast mainly by himself, without the direct sponsorship of any organization. However, he does want to thank BandLab and Spreaker for making free-to-use recording programs so he could record and edit the podcasts. Sam hopes that the podcast will continue after he graduates from high school and that it will hopefully grow to include more than just one person running the show.
Medford sixth grade students were determined to fill the Little Free Libraries around Medford with aged appropriate books. They noticed that the majority of the libraries had books in them for an older audience. With the current pandemic and the rebuild of the Medford Library, they wanted books to be more accessible to middle school students. Sixth graders from McGlynn Middle School, Nathan Quinn and Charlotte Foti, and Abigail Charlton from Andrews Middle School, held a book drive to collect books for middle school students. They collected a remarkable total of 249 books. Already, they have distributed books to the Little Free Libraries around Medford. They plan to continue to do so over the next few months.
The CCSR hosted a virtual Mustang Way Assembly for the 6th graders. Middle school and high school students shared their stories about what the Mustang Way means to them. They shared the importance of ACE, the Mustang Way and how it is applied to school and our everyday lives. We were fortunate to hear from 8th graders MaryKate Brady and Trey Flaherty and high school student leaders Aidan Barry, Stephan Langshur, Ava Heinegg and Liza Lopes. The event was hosted by 8th grader Davianna Viega, and included guest speakers, Tufts Baseball players and the radio voice of the New England Patriots, Bob Socci. The Tufts baseball players spoke about their education and involvement with racial equity, inspiring 6th grade students to stand up for what they believe in. Bob Socci challenged the students to find role models, and represent the Mustang Way.
For our CCSR project this year, we are creating three colorful take-one-leave-one rock gardens around the neighborhood. We think that this project will benefit the Medford community by raising the spirits of citizens during quarantine. Since stress levels are high because of the pandemic, our goal is to provide calming spaces where people can see rocks made by their neighbors and friends. Painting rocks is very relaxing, so participating in this activity will help lower the stress brought on by the world's current situation. Many political and societal uproars have taken place this year, and we aim to pull people away from their troubles and help them relax. The gardens themselves are cheerful and brightly colored, and the rocks are painted with fun and uplifting designs to help lighten the mood of anyone who walks past. We think that this project will uplift both kids and adults in our community throughout these turbulent times.
Student leaders Amine Nazih, Liza Lopes, and Zayn Yousuf participated at a Martin Luther King talk panel as CCSR panelists. They spoke about Dr. King's legacy, current issues, and changes they would like to see in their community. The students chose this project because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy was something important to them, and they wanted to do a project related to the current BLM movement. The MLK panel was streamed live on Facebook on January 18th.
These eight student leaders have been working on a project to reduce the amount of plastic utensils used by recommending businesses to give plasticware out on a request only basis. This will help small businesses save money in addition to the reduction of plastic pollution and slow down environmental degradation. They conducted a survey with more than 270 people in the community. Through that survey, they found that nearly 70% of people rarely or never use plastic utensils. And that 85% would request to not receive plastic utensils if given the option to do so.