Editorial: Summit seeks to improve Worcester graduation rates

Faced with a problem, it never hurts for educators, leaders, agencies and parents to put their heads together.

This Friday, March 17, a summit will be held at WPI to do just that.

Sponsored by Worcester State University’s Latino Education Institute, the “Language of Excellence” gathering will focus on getting more of the city’s young people — particularly those for whom English is not their first language — to finish high school.

It is a “GradNation” event, a term that’s probably unfamiliar to most in Worcester.

GradNation is the signature effort of America’s Promise Alliance and has a straightforward goal: to see the nation’s four-year high school graduate rate get to 90 percent by 2020. The foundation was created and first chaired in 1997 by former Army Gen. Colin Powell, who also served as U.S. Secretary of State.

In Worcester, as the Sun noted last week, the on-time high school graduation rate reached 81.9 percent in 2016. According to the latest figures from the White House, the national rate was 83.2 percent as of the 2014-15 school year; that year, Worcester, at 80.8 percent, was more than 2 percentage points shy of the national rate.

Blue Mass

Inbox [Feb. 22]: Applications open for early childhood development grants, Pakachoag Music seeks student volunteers, free course available for community health workers, SPM honors first responders

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Applications open for early childhood development grants

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation is now accepting online applications for community grants in Support of Early Childhood Development.

The typical grant range is $5,000 to $25,000 and will support early childhood programs that:

  • Increase the quality and quantity of formal early education for low-income children;
  • Provide a foundation for lifelong development rooted in behavioral and physical health;
  • Support parents and families in their roles as teachers, caregivers, and supporters of their children’s development;
  • Help eliminate summer learning loss among low-income children in greater Worcester.

The submission deadline is Wednesday, March 1.

More information is available on the Greater Worcester Community Foundation website

Pakachoag Music seek student volunteers

Pakachoag Music has two opportunities for students who’d like to lend their support and earn volunteer hours.

Worcester Sun, Feb. 22: Hitch says Worcester doth protest too much, Belmont Vegetarian + more

State wins historic battle in war against opioid deaths. Augustine Kanjia and family grapple with realities of America. Top 5 stories. Inbox is jam-packed — and we haven’t even mentioned the editorial. It’s your Wednesday, Feb. 22, Worcester Sun.

Inbox [Jan. 11]: Maloney named Nativity School president, Worcester Public Library seeks feedback, domestic violence support group starts, GWCF scholarship applications open

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Maloney named Nativity School president

From an emailed letter by Nativity School of Worcester Board of Trustees Chairman J. Christopher Collins:

“As you are aware, Patrick T. Maloney has been serving in the role of interim president at Nativity School of Worcester since the beginning of the school year. The Board of Trustees began a national search this fall for a permanent president of Nativity School of Worcester to begin on July 1, 2017. After completing that search, the Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Maloney as the new President of the school effective immediately.

Patrick T. Maloney

Patrick T. Maloney

“We have had the opportunity to observe Pat in the role as Interim President over the last 6 months. He has done an excellent job. Nativity Worcester is thriving and we believe Pat is well suited to help us achieve the outstanding elements of our strategic plan. Pat has earned the respect of our faculty and administration, our current students, our graduates, and our donors. He is very familiar with the Worcester community, which has shown increasing support to the school each year since our founding. He is also accustomed to the demands and rewards of a Jesuit education.

“Our goal at Nativity is to provide each of our students with a rigorous education that sets them on a path to achieve their full potential and to learn the joys of living a generous life focused on the well-being of others. We have great confidence that Pat will foster our goals, build on our success and lead us to a positive next chapter.”

Worcester Sun, Jan. 11: Worcester Jobs Fund, Souza-Baranowski riot, Top 5 stories + more

Top state lawmakers weigh in on Airbnb regulations, Hitch takes aim at liberal lunacy, and marijuana home-growers may feel the legal squeeze. Plus Inbox and a new Free to Read in your Wednesday, Jan. 11, Worcester Sun.

Inbox [Dec. 25]: Salvation Army adds to diamond ring haul, GWCF awards $1.4 million, UMass Medical researcher earns writing prize, Cultural Coalition receives $1.1M for 20 Franklin St.

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Three more diamond rings donated to Salvation Army in area

The Salvation Army Worcester Corps has received three anonymous diamond ring donations over the last two weeks.

The special donations come as the Worcester-area corps seeks to raise $50,000 to hit its annual Red Kettle fundraising goal.

Salvation Army staff discovered a diamond ring at the bottom of a Red Kettle taken from Walmart, 137 West Boylston St., West Boylston. The ring was donated anonymously last Tuesday.

Two other rings were donated anonymously on successive days earlier this month at Stop & Shop, 290 Turnpike Road, Westborough.

“These wonderful acts of kindness continue to bring joy to the entire community at a time of year when so many people need help,” said Capt. Daniel Brunelle of the Salvation Army Worcester Citadel Corps. “We’re hopeful these important acts of generosity will inspire others to donate.”

Worcester Sun, Dec. 25-31: Mariano on Worcester’s helping hands, St. John’s Food for the Poor + much more

Sun columnist

Mariano: Supporting those in need helps make America great |  In Worcester, approximately 22 percent of our population lives below the poverty line. Statewide the number is a bit over 11 percent. For most, what they need is not a handout but a hand up. Ray Mariano looks to one of Worcester’s many social service agencies for a heartwarming holiday tale of helping. Sun Shine: A full helping of dignity with every visit to St.

Inbox [Oct. 12]: UMass Medical School professor lands grant, YCI seeks grant proposals, foreign policy expert lectures today at Clark, Holy Cross honors 5 alumni

Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. 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.

UMass Medical School professor’s lab receives $150K grant

Dorothy P. Schafer, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology, has been awarded a Charles H. Hood Foundation grant to continue her research into improving child health. The grant will allow the Schafer lab to identify new ways that resident immune cells of the brain called microglia regulate the development of brain circuits necessary for processing sensory information.

UMass Medical School

Wikimedia Commons/Photo by og-emmet

UMass Medical School

“I’m thrilled to receive this award, particularly from a foundation devoted to funding child health research—my passion,” Schafer said.

The two-year, $150,000 Child Health Research Award is intended to support newly independent faculty, provide the opportunity to demonstrate creativity and assist in the transition to other sources of research funding.

Worcester Sun, Oct. 12: In this issue

State gun owners group keeps Healey, associates, in crosshairs. Area churches double down with federal lawsuit opposing transgender “bathroom bill.” Today’s Sun editorial salutes Worcester Police. Two new free-to-read articles, and much more in your Wednesday, Oct. 12, Worcester Sun.

Inbox [Sept. 25]: GWCF grants $60K to Worcester agencies fighting hunger, Quinsig nets $489K for employment training lab, state AG holds court downtown, city seeks award nominations

Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. 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.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation awards $60K to fight hunger in Worcester County

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation announced the awarding of $60,158 through the Worcester County Food Bank Fund to End Hunger that will help serve the food security needs of Central Massachusetts. The fund seeks to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to the problem of hunger through advocacy and programs that incorporate practices that have shown promise throughout the country or here in Worcester County.

GWCF

The following organizations received grants from the Worcester County Food Bank Fund to End Hunger: AIDS Project Worcester Inc.; Ascentria Community Services Inc.; Boys & Girls Club of Worcester; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Worcester; Community Harvest Project; Dismas House; El Buen Samaritano Food Program; Gardner CAC; Ginny’s Helping Hand Inc.; Growing Places Garden Project; GVNA Healthcare Inc.; Jeremiah’s Inn; Pernet Family Health Service Inc.; Rachel’s Table; Rainbow Child Development Center; Regional Environmental Council Inc.; Spanish American Center Inc.; Stone Soup Artists and Activists Collective and Community Center; Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester/Loaves and Fishes; United Way of Tri-County; Valley Residents for Improvement; and YWCA of Central Massachusetts.