Schools

Parish-themed bash aims to help Leahy-Holloran Community Center

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By Jackie Gentile, Special to the Reporter
Nov. 18, 2010

Any first encounter between two residents of Dorchester is as likely to begin with, “What’s your parish?” as it is with “What street do you live on.” While the neighborhood’s much-celebrated patchwork of Catholic parishes has yielded prominence to include other points of reference over the years, its relevance lives on.

Now comes a major fundraiser scheduled for Thanksgiving week: A “What Parish Are You From?” event to benefit the city-owned Leahy-Holloran Community Center fundraiser will be held next Friday, Nov. 26, at the Victory Road Armory. The evening will include cocktails, a cash bar, disc jockey and, of course, a major lure, in this case a $10,000 drawing.  Read more

Mildred Ave. event connects students to financial aid

By 
Reporter Staff
Nov. 16, 2010

An event on Wednesday afternoon at Mattapan's Mildred Avenue Community Center will help prospective college students connect with financial aid opportunities. The event, sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), will take place from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Organizers say the main goal is to make students aware of the importance of postsecondary education and the financial aid resources that are available to assist them.  Read more

Sunday auction, reunion at Florian benefits Elizabeth Seton Academy

By 
Reporter Staff
Nov. 4, 2010

Elizabeth Seton Academy will host its annual Autumn Auction and Reunion on Sun., Nov. 7 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Florian Hall in Dorchester. Some of the more popular items are the gift certificates for restaurants, theme parks, historic sites, museums, and more. Other items very readily sought after are autographed sports memorabilia and tickets to Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots games.  Read more

Vote on closing schools delayed; parents still on high alert

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Nov. 4, 2010

Superintendent Carol Johnson is delaying a vote on plans to close schools, giving parents opposed to the closures a month to regroup. Dorchester schools on the chopping block include Roger Clap Elementary and the East Zone Early Learning Center. School officials had also been pushing to merge the Lee Academy Pilot School and the Lee Elementary School.

“Overall, I’m optimistic that we have the extra month or so to get them to change their minds, and hopefully this opens up more of a debate,” said Kenny Jervis, one of the parents leading the charge to keep Clap Elementary open. “We’re happy we got the extra time but it’s nowhere near a victory yet.”  Read more

Letter: Lee Academy, Lee School both deserve chance to succeed

To the Editor:

I am a parent at the Lee Academy Pilot School on Talbot Ave., one of several small schools targeted by the BPS superintendent’s “Redesign and Reinvest” proposal for next school year. Because the Lee Academy shares a building with the Joseph Lee School, whose MCAS scores have risen dramatically while ours have showed more modest gains, the superintendent proposed originally to eliminate the independent pilot school and go back to one full-sized (approximately 700 students) traditional elementary school. Part of the hope with this is that the Lee could, with access to the whole building, add on to its program to become a K-8 school, providing a middle school option to our neighborhood.  Read more

Mattahunt center in limbo; community bypassed, say critics

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Gintautas Dumcius and Bill Forry, Reporter Editors
Oct. 20, 2010

Mattahunt School and Community Center: City closed center last summer and a proposed partnership with Wheelock College has yet to begin.Mattahunt School and Community Center: City closed center last summer and a proposed partnership with Wheelock College has yet to begin.

(Editor's note: This article was updated online on Friday, Oct. 23 to reflect comments from Boys and Girls Club of Boston president Joshua Kraft.)

Eight months after the city of Boston began the process of closing some of the city’s 46 community centers, the Menino administration is still laboring to finalize a deal with Wheelock College to take over the former Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan, which ceased operations as a city-run center last summer. The move is drawing criticism from community members and one of Mattapan’s city councillors, who are calling for more input and engagement with the broader community.

City officials and other supporters of the Wheelock deal say it will create a unique partnership that will expand programming at a time when the city is reeling from the effects of a weak economy and prepping for an even tighter budget next year. A deal can’t be brokered “overnight,” but an agreement will be announced in the coming weeks, they add.

“There’s a great opportunity with Wheelock,” said Daphne Griffin, executive director of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, which oversees the city’s community centers. “Not only are they well-respected…but they have a very strong institutional program background around out of school time and after school time.”  Read more

Parents, staff plead for Lee Academy to stay open

As school officials weigh plans to close six schools, parents of children at Lee Academy Pilot School, due to merge with the elementary school they share a building with, pleaded for more time to up flagging test scores.

“Many of us, we could have fled,” said Glenna Malkemes. “But we are committed to the philosophy of the school.”

The school, which has 266 students, was founded in 2004 with a research-based focus on early education and care. It serves Codman Square, Franklin Field, Ashmont and Lower Mills in Dorchester and Mattapan.  Read more

Children of the Quake: Young survivors learn in a new land

By 
Tara W. Merrigan, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 21, 2010

Children of the Quake: Sherline Gustave, 18, survived Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake and joined family to live in Boston in February. She is one of many Haitian nationals now learning English through a special Boston Public School program. She is pictured above in a classroom at Hyde Park High School. 	Photo by Tara MerriganChildren of the Quake: Sherline Gustave, 18, survived Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake and joined family to live in Boston in February. She is one of many Haitian nationals now learning English through a special Boston Public School program. She is pictured above in a classroom at Hyde Park High School. Photo by Tara Merrigan

Sherline Gustave, 18, slept on the streets of Port-au-Prince for weeks after January’s earthquake leveled her family’s home.

“I felt the house shaking and it crumbled just as my family and I got outside,” said Gustave in her native Haitian Creole—translated to English by her teacher, Evelyn Prophete. “We [Gustave and her family members] were sleeping out in the street in the sun and even in the rain.  Read more

Pioneering program embraces the classics at Chittick School

By 
Matthew Griffing
Jun. 24, 2010

CLASSICAL TOUCH – Cello students Kevin Joseph, left, and Omar Nova improvise with resident musician Ashleigh Gordon as guest musician Adam Eccleston looks on during a performance party held at the Chittick School on June 10. The concert featured students and mentors from the Boston Public Quartet, a group of professional musicians who have partnered with the Mattapan elementary school to create a permanent music education and performance residency at the school. Matthew Griffing photo.CLASSICAL TOUCH – Cello students Kevin Joseph, left, and Omar Nova improvise with resident musician Ashleigh Gordon as guest musician Adam Eccleston looks on during a performance party held at the Chittick School on June 10. The concert featured students and mentors from the Boston Public Quartet, a group of professional musicians who have partnered with the Mattapan elementary school to create a permanent music education and performance residency at the school. Matthew Griffing photo.  Read more

New deal for St. Kevin’s and St. Peter’s properties

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, Contributing Reporter
Mar. 11, 2010

The former St. Kevin parish campus on Columbia Rd.The former St. Kevin parish campus on Columbia Rd.The former St. Kevin’s Parish property in Uphams Corner and two parcels of the St. Peter’s Parish campus on Meetinghouse Hill are going to be converted into affordable housing for Boston families, with some of the new residents emerging from homelessness.

The Archdiocese of Boston will be conveying the St. Kevin’s site to a partnership of three organizations that includes St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center, Holy Family Parish, and a nonprofit real estate developer tied to the archdiocese. Separately, the sale of St. Peter’s convent and rectory buildings appears to be imminent.  Read more