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.
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 Mustang News printed edition was restarted by Sebastian Tringale and Matt Carroll in their junior year of 2016-2017. The goal of the newspaper is to give Medford High School students the opportunity to spread the news about their interests and share a variety of opinions that reflect the community's diversity. The editors of the Mustang News hope to bring the Medford community closer together, and help keep students up to date with events!
Julia Talbot, a 2018 graduate of Medford High, painted four large-scale murals cross the school. The murals in classrooms incorporate the curriculum into the image to bring the material to life. The largest of the four murals can be found in English classroom C309, featuring about 73 influential authors and characters from across the literary canon; another WIP stars Beowulf with an electric guitar.
The Free the Pad project aims to make menstruation products more accessible for students who need it in Medford High School during the school day. During the 2017-2018 school year, Maya and Willa placed ten separate boxes of pads in different bathrooms. They want to focus on giving free menstrual products to people of all backgrounds, including those from low income families or non-binary students like transgenders that menstruate. Menstruation is a natural occurrence that so many people face; it should not be something that anyone has to hide.
Include All is a program started by Elizabeth Passanisi and Omayma Bentalha that revolves around including Medford High’s special needs students into regular gym classes. The project involves introducing general education students to special needs students, helping them become more comfortable. Elizabeth and Omayma came up with many activities for physical education that all students are able to participate in that both special needs students and general education students are open to.
The main goal of Orchard into the Fells is to grow fruit trees outside the school along the pathway up to MHS. The fruit grown would be donated to the cafeteria so that the students would be able to enjoy freshly grown fruit. Along with that, they want to plant flowers along the same path in order to beautify school grounds. The students are working with Ms. Smith, the nutrition specialist at MHS, to make this all possible.
The transition from middle school to Medford High is difficult enough, and when Jacob, Jasper, and Lorrhan were freshmen, they wished they had access to a map. They established a bird’s eye view of Medford High School, identifying each class by its building and room number, the three cafeterias, the gymnasium, guidance and principal offices, and the bathrooms. There is also a directory of the map which lists every teacher and their respective rooms. The Mustang Map not only benefits our students and teachers, but parents as well during parent-teacher nights. The Mustang Map is now available online for mobile use, thanks to the efforts of Darwin Do.
For the past ten years, Tsewang, Tia, Nicole, and Shruti have had the opportunity to attend public school every day to receive an education. There are many children, however, who do not have this privilege due to constant hospital visits. By organizing a fundraiser with the elementary and middle schools in Medford and through donations such as money, books, pencils, and other materials, the group has made education a little more accessible by donating their efforts to the Boston Children’s Hospital, making sure that the children are able to receive the same opportunity as them.
Jessica Dossantos, Jennifer Dossantos, and Lauren Brown focused their efforts for their 2017-2018 CCSR project at the Brooks Elementary School, creating a social space in the courtyard. The theme of the social space is the solar system. The three, along with other helpers, painted all the planets, as well as the sun and the moon, around the playground area. This project is beneficial to the students as well as to the teachers because the students will be more interactive and the teachers will have a way to encourage their students to learn about our world in a more creative way.
Ebyan, Audrey, and Rachel are working toward reinstating compost bins in the cafeterias. By doing this, they hope to spread environmental awareness and make Medford High School more eco-friendly. They plan on creating a student-run program in Cafeteria 1 with the help of Mr. Tuden, and if that is successful, move the plan up to Cafes 2 and 3. Volunteers will watch over the composting bins during lunch so all food and waste go in their respective bins. The volunteers will monitor the bins during their lunch period so there will be an even distribution of people for both lunch blocks. After school, the group will take the composting bins from the cafeterias and handle them either with an outside company that collects waste or they will install a larger compost bin at one of the courtyards at the school.
Julia Moura and Amanda Oliveira distributed black bean burger samples to their peers as a vegan alternative to hamburgers. The group advocated for including vegan meal options in the school lunch program. As a direct result of their efforts, there is a daily vegan entree option included on the salad bar. Any special side salads will be vegan as well. We discussed creating and advertising signage for vegan items in the cafeterias to consistently identify vegan options. This is still in progress. From discussions with them, they advocated for a salad bar through separate meetings with the Food Service Department and Dr. Perella, and they gathered student body support for a salad bar through a student petition.
Maya and Willa’s project began at the 2017 AdCap Youth event in Boston. AdCap Youth was different groups of students coming together to brainstorm project ideas relating to promoting healthy eating and physical activity within schools. There they workshopped their project with different nutrition specialists and prepared to present it in front of panel of judges. They presented their project, “Feuling to the Finish Line”, and were awarded a $1000 grant. This project involves bringing in a nutritionist to promote healthy eating habits in Medford High School student athletes. They planned with nutritionist Chrissy Carroll to create videos about different themes in nutrition to show different teams in the school. These themes include pre-workout nutrition, hydration, electrolytes, recovery, basic cooking skills and much more. Willa and Maya thought of this project because they have seen the negative effects of not eating right during the sports season on their peers. They believe even a basic understanding of nutrition will improve students’ health, mental state, and sport performance.
On June 13th after the annual Medford High Fells Day Celebration, CCSR member Mya Winslow and the Fells Educational Partnership (FEP) held an environmentally friendly BBQ. The BBQ was partially funded by Wegmans and used environmentally friendly products in order to lessen the amount of waste produced and spread awareness about conserving resources.
A choking emergency can happen anywhere and at any time. Would you know what to do? Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. Choking is the number one cause of death in children. More people die from choking than in fires, non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning or accidental shootings. Choking causes over 100,000 visits to the emergency room yearly. Over 100 million Americans have no defense against choking due to pregnancy, disability, obesity or being alone. Be prepared to save someone's life. You could be the reason someone breathes another breath. This CCSR project addresses Medford High School’s ability to become trained in Choke Training. The project group organized three school-wide events for members of the school community to become certified as well as making a public service announcement regarding choking and becoming certified.
Peter Todhunter’s project for the CCSR is working with the Medford High Hope Chest. The Medford High Hope chest is a program that collects donated materials, such as clothing and school supplies, and gives them out to students of MHS in need of those materials. The program is dedicated to Brianna, a former MHS student who passed away in 2014. This program is all about giving, it takes generous donations from people who may have extra or unused supplies and gives them to some families who are not fortunate to have those supplies themselves. The project is all about supporting the families of Medford and the students who attend the MHS. It is intended to help the students get what they need to make their lives happier and give them the things they need to help them reach their dreams in school and life.
The Great Kindness Challenge is a challenge taken by schools and youth groups to perform as many acts of kindness as possible over the course of the week. The mission of the Great Kindness Challenge is to create a school environment where all students thrive. Different activities were organized to celebrate kindness.
SAFE’s (Stuffed Animals for Emergencies) mission is to provide comfort to children in traumatic or emergency situations through donations of stuffed animals. By doing this, they hope to help children feel safe and cared for during an incredibly stressful event in their lives.
Medford siblings Orlando (McGlynn Middle School 6 th Grader), Delilah (Brooks School 5 th Grader), and Isabella Putnam-Bagley (Brooks School 1 st Grader) are student leaders and members of the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility. They are working with the Medford Rowing board on a fundraiser raffle to benefit Medford Rowing. The siblings have been out and about securing many local business donations for the raffle. They are also collecting signage of the generous businesses to display at the Mayor’s Cup Regatta raffle booth. The Cup is sponsored by Medford Rowing and will be held on May 19th.
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.
These peer leaders and CCSR members researched gratitude and the positive effects of the person feeling it and those receiving it. They brainstormed ideas to bring gratitude into our school community and came up with Sticky Notes of Gratitude. They wrote positive messages on sticky notes and then put a sticky note on every student’s locker. The students enjoyed writing the notes of gratitude and finding one on their locker!
Peer leaders and CCSR members created a lesson plan for elementary students and then presented the lesson to a third grade class. The lesson plan focused on self-esteem and finding the good in yourself. They read the book Giraffes Can’t Dance and led a classroom discussion about the importance of positive self-esteem. Then, they did an arts and crafts activity that had the students list five things they like about themselves and share with the class.
In order to lessen the school's impact on the environment, these CCSR students started a series of recycling initiatives around the school. Posters were created and spread around that show what can and can't be recycled. Recycling containers were purchased, decorated, and then donated to teachers' rooms. There are also plans to talk to city officials to add a recycling component to the cafeteria.
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.
For their project, Jenny Lu and Antonia Collins painted a mural at the Andrews Middle School. With the rainbow flag, it displays their message, “love is love and that unity wins”. It is a visual representation that gives hope for those who walk by it. A different design of the same mural was painted at Medford High School last year and they hope to expand this franchise to all public schools in Medford. Especially in times like these, it is important that our community stands by each other as family. Although they are just a few stripes and colors, they depict how as a city, we are supportive of any kind of love
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
Last year, CCSR members Matt Carroll and Jack Egan were upset by the lack of artistic opportunities in the Medford public elementary schools. In particular, they thought that there was a lack of theatrical opportunities. With the help of the Brooks school PTO and art teacher Ms. Susan Keefe, they performed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They did two musical numbers, The Candy Man and Pure Imagination. This year, their show is the Wizard of Oz. They sang Over the Rainbow, Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, and Over the Yellow Brick Road.
Adriana and Francesca’s project is about student involvement. Many Medford High students don’t know the multitude of clubs available to them, so they want to make a source that contains information about them. They are making a website that has information about what clubs the school has, when they meet, and how one can get involved. They want to make a magazine by next year to distribute to the students. Once, they are finished with their website and magazine, they want to start the “Handprint Project”. They want to create a mural in the school, and have people put their handprints with a word or two describing themselves. The goal of this project is to show each person's identity and this will show how diverse our school is.
Duncan, Chris, and Michael’s marching band’s project focuses on recruiting Medford middle school students for a small scale marching band. As members of the Medford High School Marching Band, the group witnesses the decline of young students’ interest in music, first hand. They believe that if they can spark the interests of young students, they can spark a flaming passion and curiosity for the ever expanding world of music.
These brave students helped encourage connective-ness by acknowledging one another with a small but powerful act of kindness simply by saying "Hello" to other students that they didn't know here at the Andrews. They eased the pressures of feeling left out especially in the first few months of Middle School! This brought attention to social isolation by empowering kids with friendship.
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.
Sunday, February 17th was Random Acts of Kindness Day. On Friday, February 15th, students Meach Eliassaint and Yasmine El Fassi began putting sticky notes on all the 8th grade lockers. These sticky notes had compliments written on them. Within the following weeks, the students covered the 7th and 6th grade hallways with sticky notes as well.
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 Anna White and Isa created an awareness campaign about conserving resources within the Brooks Elementary. They personally talked to each Brooks’s class about saving resources. They wanted the Brooks to know more about how people are hurting the Earth and ways to save it.
Second grader Isabella Putnam Bagley and her fifth grade sister Delilah Putnam Bagley took on the Words of Kindness project. Words of Kindness was made to help everyone, the kind and the not so kind. They had a positive effect on people and made them think about their actions. They made posters and wrote kind words on them. Isabella and Delilah went to stores, like Michaels Crafts and asked for donations of picture frames. In the end, they hung the inspirational words throughout the school.
This group of 3rd-5th graders identified the student bathrooms as a part of our school that could be improved. They observed that the bathrooms get messy very often, with water and paper towels on the floor. They’ve put together data tables and worked on collecting data from each of the student bathrooms in the school, which included as which days and times are the most problematic, and how many students use the bathrooms each day. From this data, they have identified common problems such as smells and faulty equipment and have fixed them, beautifying the bathrooms of the McGlynn Elementary School.
These 3rd and 5th graders decided that they wanted to give back to the younger students at McGlynn, and started a peer tutoring group to work with students in Kindergarten. They’ve worked with the Kindergarten teachers to identify students who needed some 1-on-1 extra help, and have each been meeting with a different Kindergarten student once a week for 45 minutes to work on foundational literacy skills. The group spends CCSR meeting time preparing an activity to do with their Kindergarten friends for that following week, and then they take time during lunch to visit the Kindergarten classrooms and tutor their buddy. The Kindergarten students benefit from the extra help, and the Kindergarten teachers are thrilled to have former students of theirs coming in to help!
These 2nd and 3rd-graders put their artistic talents to good use by creating posters promoting kindness and anti-bullying. When finished, their posters were laminated and displayed around the school, giving students colorful reminders about how to treat others.
Fourth graders Devon and Will are greatly concerned for the world in which they live. They learned that over a half a million pounds of crayons are thrown in the trash each year. Wax crayons are made from petroleum, and do not break down in landfills. The boys decided to partner with The Crayon Initiative to start a crayon recycling program at the Roberts. They first tallied how many classrooms were in the school building. Then they decorated empty tissue boxes to distribute to each room. They visited each class and discussed the importance of recycling the crayons. The crayons were shipped to the Crayon Initiative where they were melted down and made into new crayons, which were then distributed to children’s hospitals across the country.
Jerrick, Nolan, Jerry and Shayne noticed that students and teachers were often confused about what to put in the blue recycling bins in their classroom. They decided to research what common classroom items could be recycled and which ones could not be recycled. They contacted the Office of Energy & Environment at Medford City Hall. They were informed about a great website that helps Massachusetts residents figure out what is recyclable, which the boys used to help make their list. They created a student-friendly poster for each classroom that details what can and cannot be recycled. They used clipart to make their poster accessible for all students and staff. The boys discussed the posters with each class when delivering them.
The Recycling Initiative created informational posters for MHS classrooms about recycling. A poster was displayed above each recycling bin in every classroom, which includes a list of what can and cannot be recycled and the possible consequences when waste is not properly disposed. They also put an effort towards getting recycling bins in all the classrooms at Medford High.
This year, a group of students put together a video about the "Mustang Way." which was presented at the Andrews Middle School and the McGlynn Middle School during their Anti-Bullying Assemblies. The video was made with the intention to be presented to other Medford Public Schools in future years. The video was a compilation of clips from students, teachers, and administrators explaining what the "Mustang Way" is and how students should use the "Mustang Way" in their everyday lives.
The "One Smile Away" campaign collected compliments written over a hundred students at Medford High School. All compliments were sent through a google forum and posted in the main lobby anonymously. Students were able to see who the compliment is for, but not who is was from. The campaign was put forth with the intention to reminder other students that there is always someone out there thinking positively of them.
Last year, seniors Jennifer Dossantos, Jessica Dossantos, Lauren Brown, and junior Isabella DeSouza set out to paint the Brooks Elementary School playground using the theme of the solar system. Because of the great success and the fantastic feedback they received, they decided to expand upon their project. This year, the group took their painting project to the Columbus School with the intention to make the playground into a more interactive space where the students could both learn and play together.
This year, juniors Audrey Moore, Jackie Madigan, Meaghan Sullivan decided to tackle the issue of high school students’ stress levels. It is difficult for teens to find time for themselves while managing school, sports, clubs, and other social activities. Mindfulness is crucial for relaxation and to ease one’s mind. With this in mind, their group put together a “Mindfulness Matters” activity day. After school, all students were invited to listen to relaxing music while making slime or stress balls. This not only was a fun activity for all, but it also allowed students to escape their hectic, everyday schedules and relax.
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.
This year, senior Mikhayla Rothermel took on bridging the gap between students and those around them. The High School Experience is a collection of poems that dive deep into the struggles and experiences of high school students. These poems detail what students wish their teachers, parents, and peers knew about them, in order to make their day at school, or at home, better. "I hope that students will be able to relate to these poems and help not only them, but their teachers and parents as well".
This year, four seniors focused their efforts on the youth that come to PTA meetings. They noticed that oftentimes children are obligated to come and sit in on meetings with their parents, which is difficult for both parties. There are also situations where kids are not able to stay at home because of a lack of a babysitter or other reasons. "We wanted to provide a space for those that have nothing to do during these meetings where their time can be occupied by some means." Be it physical activity or another form or recreation, they provided a free, volunteer-based babysitting program for the children of the PTO.
Inspired by all the electric Tesla cars, Zain Saleem, Nico Casamassima, and Ben Whalen set out to make the option to buy an electric car more appealing and cost effective for those who attend and visit Medford High. They installed an electric car charger just outside of Bistro 489. "We realized that if we installed the charger near the restaurant it would be a great success and more appealing for customers who want to visit the Bistro, but are worried about having enough electricity to make it back home."
As a continuation of the project that Jasper Su and Darwin Do started last year, a new group set out to make maps to guide new people in Medford High School. With the intention to reduce as much confusion and panic when navigating through the Mustang halls, the group built off the hard work started by the Mustang Map and expanded to include the vocational school and added landmarks that made way for easier navigation. These maps were customized and put up around the school, similar to the maps in malls.
This year, Amine Nazih, Lucy Grehan, and Nicolas DaSilva set out to create a program at the Mcglynn Elementary School that helped promote proper ways to approach a problem. The three painted a problem solving wheel at the Elementary School which serves as a reference for the students on on how to solve everyday problems.
The Bathroom Beautification Project was created as a result of the myriad of complaints on the condition of the girls bathroom on the second floor. Our female students were appalled by the condition of the bathroom everytime they used it. The group decided to change that and give the bathrooms at MHS a face lift. Along with cleaning up the restroom stalls, the girls added inspirational and encouraging words on the walls. "We hope our words will help inspire and encourage some of our students, and yes! even in the ladies bathroom." Throughout the year, students painted the walls and bathroom stalls; added inspirational and encouraging words and quotes; and provided suicide-prevention information.
This year, students Drexel Osborne and Madha Mankekar collected donations of lunch bags to give to students in Medford and eliminate the brown bag use in our schools. "We are strong advocates for the environment and all it has provided for us. We believe the environment doesn't deserve to be neglected and ignored." By using donated lunch bags, they were able to reduce the energy and resources needed to produce brown paper bags, as well as spreading awareness on the importance of saving and advocating for our planet.
For her CCSR project, Erin Tan created a fun, interactive program for students at the Brooks Elementary School that educated them about their environment. "I hope to inspire the youth of Medford to grow in their interest for the community and interact with their environment in a fun way."
On Friday, December 7th, we had the opportunity to plant 10 Asian Pear trees, 10 blackberry bushes, and 10 raspberry bushes. Sophomore CCSR students Caelee Bouley, Prabidhi Rana, Emily Gaddy, and Jenna Matarazzo; and Sophomore Biology students Dorvelt Edouard, Henrique Ramos, Gabriela Papst Luiz, and Jose Avelar Serrano were able to assist in the planting. The students planted 3 of the 10 trees and all 10 blackberry bushes. We are continuing the project by creating a simple, low cost outdoor classroom space that teachers will be able to use to integrate the courtyard orchard and garden with their lessons. The classroom has Headmaster approval for a feasibility trial to start in May 2019.