Marotta: Time for education system to evolve — just ask the teachers

“The system that I teach in is not designed for how my students grow up,” says one veteran Worcester Public Schools teacher. “They all have phones; they grew up in a digital age … [but] we still have to teach them in a form that they are not going to encounter when they enter the workforce. This is how they grew up taking in information, and it’s the opposite of what we do in our classroom.”

Sanchez punctuates education reform bill signing

Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez waited nearly 16 years for the moment that arrived in Gov. Charlie Baker’s office on Tuesday.

“Sixteen years — you’re doing it! Yes! Yes!” an animated Sanchez, D-Jamaica Plain, exclaimed, bouncing up and down briefly before high-fiving the governor.
Baker invited lawmakers and Education Secretary James Peyser into his office for a ceremonial signing of a law granting school districts more flexibility in educating students who are not fluent in English.

Inbox [Nov. 26-Dec. 2]: News and notes from Pernet Family Health, DA Early’s office, Worcester Public Library, WCAC, Worcester Public Schools, Bravehearts

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Pernet donates more than 300 holiday meals

For more than 60 years, Pernet Family Health Services has helped families in need celebrate Thanksgiving through its Holiday Giving Program.

Through donations from the community and local organizations, Pernet puts together baskets so low-income families are able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal they may not otherwise have been able to afford. Last week, through the Holiday Giving Program and generous donations from the community, Pernet delivered turkeys to more than 300 local families.

“This annual Holiday Giving Program helps us all to think about helping others, and make time to celebrate not only what we have, but who we are as a human family,” Pernet Director of Family and Community Development Emily Linhares said.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 217]: The real elephant in the room for state GOP

Sure there are red states and blue states, even a couple purple states, but Massachusetts is a commonwealth with very particular political tastes.

We like to dish out our own special blend of legislative action, often with a powerfully Democratic State House making sure a Republican governor toes that thin blue line. Indeed, Baker is charged with cooking up an intricate menu of compromises at every turn, which leaves most of his party on the outside looking in.

Hitch, for one, is hungry for a full-grown GOP.

Inbox [Nov. 22]: News and notes from Petricore, WCAC, HOPE Coalition, Clark, You Inc. and Simon Youth Foundation

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Petricore game nominated for Mobile Game of Year

“Battery Boy,” a video game produced by Petricore, Inc. of Worcester, has been nominated for Mobile Game of the Year at the 2017 Bit Awards, which celebrates the year in video games and the people behind them.

The awards will be presented at an event 6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, at the Tishman Auditorium in New York City.

Mariano: Michael Gaffney was right and wrong

“Michael Gaffney is leaving the City Council. It is fair to say that he is one of a kind. I can’t think of another local elected official with whom to compare Gaffney. … Michael Gaffney is universally disliked by his colleagues at City Hall. I think he likes it that way.”

Worcester Weekly: Worcester City Tournament, Social Upheaval + more, Nov. 12-18

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Worcester Railers vs. Brampton Beast, 10:05 a.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St.  Consider this a rivalry game, Railers fans — the Beast are the ECHL affiliate of the hated Montreal Canadiens. And while the new hometown team is aligned with the NHL’s New York Islanders, a) they don’t like the Canadiens much either (who does, eh?) and b) this is still Bruins country. So sharpen the elbows and bring on the intensity for this one.

Railers goalie Mitch Gillam, 25 — and Canadian, but not a Canadien — who started the last three seasons at Cornell University, is among the ECHL leaders in goals against average (first, at 2.00, after Friday’s games) and save percentage (eighth, .929).

Inbox [Nov. 12-18]: News and notes from Worcester Public Library, Bravehearts, Bancroft School, DA, Unitarian Universalist Church, ACE

Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Library to hold two information sessions about renovation

The Worcester Public Library will hold two public presentations about the upcoming main branch renovation project.

The public is invited to learn more about the project and how it will affect the library experience.

A Mother’s Journey: The shape of the city

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

Browsing the Internet usually leaves you with a headache, a newfound anger for politics, a handful of Pinterest ideas you’ll never actually do, and with a profound feeling that you’re wasting your life away with every click.

But every once in a while, the Internet will surprise you with a few gems. Last week, while on my “downtime” – my new term for those times I find myself procrastinating – I stumbled across an interesting article about building a city, and of course, I instantly thought of Worcester. I wondered: Do they have a great master plan like this one?

In, “How to build a city from scratch: the handy step-by-step DIY guide,” an article written by Stuart Jeffries for The Guardian, the author compares building a city in real life to building a city in cyberspace, using games like Minecraft and Civilization to get his point across. Immediately, he notes there are obviously more challenges in real life to building a city, including “vainglorious dictators, pompous architects, bureaucratic impedimenta” and so forth, but after he clarifies the real-life challenges, he lays out a plan of action that is simply logical.

I mean, as an entrepreneur, I work off lists every day. I probably wouldn’t do well without my handy lists and overall plans.

Building a city with Jeffries means following an extensive outline of 20 steps, but I just want to focus on the top five:

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The risk-taker’s lament, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 211]: Mad Maura strikes again

Recently the top point guard on the Bay State depth chart, Attorney General Maura T. Healey, did what many aging basketball stars do — she dabbled in TV.

On Comedy Central’s “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper,” Healey expounded on her efforts to keep President Trump honest. While some would say Healey should be more focused on the many Massachusetts-based issues that come across her desk, she insists serially suing the president is all about the people of the commonwealth.

Hitch thinks maybe it’s about something else.