Tag Archives: books

Did you know Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop in Webster Sq. has a ton of furniture at its warehouse, 4 mins away from the shop?

Ask to see their inventory of antiques and vintage bureaus, desks, coffee tables and more!

Best prices in town!

Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester

Open TOMORROW – MONDAY – TUESDAY, WED … 7 days a week!

Until 7 p.m.

Today Rose spied:

pics: R.T.







Lilac?! Where’s Cece???










Clark University announces fall lectures


Following is a list of events planned by Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. These events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
“A Gendered Aftermath: The Armenian Genocide and Its Women”

Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House, 11 Hawthorne Street
4 p.m.
Professor Lerna Ekmekçioğlu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) will discuss Ottoman policy toward Armenian women and children during World War I. She will describe how the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul located, retrieved, categorized, rehabilitated, and “recycled” formerly kidnapped women and their children conceived in Muslim households during the post-genocide years, 1918 to 1922. This event is co-sponsored with the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Political Science Department.

Book presentation
Thursday, October 3, 2013
“The Challenge of Powerlessness: Writing History from the Victims’ Perspective”

Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House, 11 Hawthorne Street
4 p.m.
Professor Amos Goldberg (Hebrew University) will present his award-winning book, “Trauma in First Person: Diary Writing during the Holocaust” (2012 Ben Gurion University Press) which seeks to lay bare the writers’ search for meaning and their (non) understanding of the ever-changing situation they faced.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
“The Nature of German Anti-Semitism during the Third Reich”

Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House, 11 Hawthorne Street
4 p.m.
Professor Thomas Kohut (Williams College) will analyze the psychological nature of German antisemitism using findings from his current research as well as his recent book, “A German Generation: An Experiential History of the Twentieth Century” (Jan. 2012 Yale University Press).

The case against summer vacation! Why? Because it means a “slide” for our students!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Only kidding! But now that I have your attention, let’s look at why we should be concerned about students losing academic growth in the summer because literacy activities are not taking place. Yes, this is referred to by many as the “SUMMER SLIDE.” Deprived of healthy learning, millions of low-income students lose a considerable amount of what they learned during the school year.

A study by Johns Hopkins University adds to the mounting evidence of the “Summer Slide.” Inner-city or low-income students start out behind their more middle-class students and fall behind each year with most of that loss occurring when school is out. By the end of the elementary school years, Hopkins researchers found low-income children trail middle-income classmates, in some cases, by three grade levels.

“Children whose parents are college-educated continue to build their reading skills during the summer months,” said Karl Alexander, a Hopkins sociology professor involved in the research. “You go to a museum or you to a library or you go to the science center, and through osmosis you make some headway there.”

Professor Alexander, in his 2007 study at Johns Hopkins University, stated that two thirds of the reading achievement gap between 9th graders of low-and high-socioeconomic standing in Baltimore public schools can be traced to what they learned or failed to learn over their childhood summers. The study, which tracked data from about 325 Baltimore students from 1’st grade to age 22, points out that various characteristics that depend heavily on reading ability, such as students’ curriculum tract in high school, their risk of dropping out, and their probability of pursing higher education and landing higher paying jobs, all diverge widely according to socioeconomic levels. Does this happen in other advanced industrial countries? According to Mr. Alexander, the answer is NO, for those countries go to school 230 to 240 days a year as compared to 180 in the United States.

Low-income children actually keep pace with more affluent students during the academic year but slip behind during the summer. Researchers feel that during the school year, children in both affluent and lower–income communities benefit from the “faucet theory.” Learning resources are “turned on” for ALL CHILDREN during the school year, but in the summertime the faucet is turned off. Middle-class parents can make up the loss with their own resources, but working class and poor parents have a difficult time creating enriched learning experiences for their children over the summer months. All parents want the same things for their children, but low-income parents do not have the same access to opportunities for their children.

Summer deserves attention because when it starts, learning STOPS for many children. Children without resources spend their summer months playing on street corners or in front of the television. By the time the bell rings on a new school year, the low-income students have fallen months behind.

Given this powerful evidence, what can we do to turn on the LEARNING FAUCET during the summer? Experts believe that what is needed is a lengthening of the school year if we are to make a difference in the education of our low-income students. Due to the cost, however, it is just not going to happen. So what can we do about this intenable situation?
This year, the Worcester public schools system has expanded its summer program having it start July 5th and ends on July 29th. Academic program hours will be 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. In addition, five schools, Canterbury Street, Clark Street, Norrback, Elm Park and Quinsigamond, will offer programs from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Recreational activities will take place during those hours. The academic sites are as follows: Belmont, Burncoat, Canterbury, Chandler Elementary, Jacob Hiatt, Chandler, City View, Clark Street, Norrback, Columbus Park, Goddard, UPCS, Elm Park, Grafton Street, Heard Street, Lake View, Lincoln Street, May Street, McGrath, Quinsigamond, Rice Square, Roosevelt, Tatnuck Magnet, Thorndyke, Union Hill, Vernon Hill, Wawecus, Woodland and Worcester Arts Magnet.

I would urge parents to sign up now to attend one of those school sites!

As a former school principal I am convinced that the research on the “summer slide” is real and we need, as a school system and as a community, to do something about it. At the Worcester School Committee level, I have advocated for more reading for our children during the summer time and have asked that some school libraries give our parents and children an opportunity to take out books for summer reading. Many parents, due to transportation or work, cannot get their children to the Worcester Public Library. Allowing our children to take out books at their neighborhood schools will put books into their hands. I have also asked that through Connect Ed, (a way of calling all parents in Worcester), we call during the summer to remind our parents and students about their summer reading assignments. I have also asked that math ideas be given to our parents for summer practice. I would advocate that our students practice and master their math facts through math games and flash cards.

I have also advocated that we remind our parents about the importance of reading to their child EACH and EVERY night. With that in mind, I filed an order to have our schools talk about this issue with our parents. If we could get our parents to read just 25 minutes a night, we could revolutionize public education. Finally, I have asked that every school have a “Summer Reading Kick-off” during the week of June 12 and invite our parents to attend. Parents need to know the facts about the summer slide and what they can do to assist their child during vacation time. At the “kick-off” the schools will give students books from the “Worcester: The City that Reads Committee” as mentioned in our last issue and alert parents about our mandatory summer reading program. Children from grades K to grade 8 will read at least FIVE books during the summer. Parents will get instructions on how to choose a book and about writing a summary paragraph about the books. In grades 9-12, the students will read three books and write a multi-paragraph response for each book read.

Other ideas for parents to consider:

• Visit your Public Library and participate in Public Library summer programs; make sure that your child is reading a book each and every day. Use opportunities like the new Harry Potter release to get your child to read or take out a book based on a movie that he may want to see.

• There are many summer camps in almost every price range. Check with your school, the YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, Friendly House, Rainbow Child Development, for these organizations offer programs that can assist your child in learning while they have fun, too.

• Take educational trips, which can be low-cost visits to parks and museums in Worcester. If you have a car, visit educational sites such as Old Sturbridge Village. Check with the Worcester Public Library, for they have free passes to local museums.

• Work with your child on a hobby. If they are interested in comics or technology, you may want to expose them to as many opportunities as possible.

• Practice math skills every day. Think about opportunities through cooking to learn fractions or trips to the grocery store as a way of learning math skills. Also, every time you’re going for a walk or for a ride in the car ask them some math facts or make it into a game. Just playing cards on the grass could turn into a math game. Example: you turn over a card- 9- and your child turns over a card – 6- you could multiple, add or subtract. As you travel or walk in the city, do you think you’ll be stopped by more red lights or be able to go with more green lights? Keep a tally to check your guess. Pizzas offer a chance to talk about shapes and fractions. As you cut a pizza into equal pieces, count the pieces and describe the pieces with their fraction names. For example, if you cut it into 4 pieces, then each piece is 1/4th of the whole pizza.

• Limit time with the TV and video games. Just like during the school year, there should be a similar strategy over the summer months. It always makes sense to provide structure and limits. The key is providing a balance and keeping your child engaged.

Parents can also sneak some academics into summer for their child from pre-school to middle school with the activities below:

• Family Night each week. Bring out the popcorn and read a book. Try once in a while to get a book based on a movie. Then, show the movie and see if the book followed the movie script. Many movies can be obtained at the Worcester Public Library.

• Let the Games Begin – Janet Braverman, math specialist from Reston, Virginia, recommends playing board games and cards with children. Anything with numbers or counting helps. She plays Monopoly Junior and feels that it’s a fun way to learn addition, subtraction and counting money.

• If you are able to go to the beach, try collecting seashells and count them. Try drawing circles in the sand, size of a dinner plate, and have children place the shells in the circles by fives, and then have them work on counting by five or whatever number you come up with.

• Build your child’s comprehension listening skills by having an adult read and then discuss the story with them.

• Be sure that your child has a diary in the summer time, and have your child write the highlights of his day each evening before going to bed. Other writing activities could be writing a letter to a friend, relative or even to a member of the School Committee, – me! It’s important that your child writes, for the more that he writes, just like reading, the better he will become with this skill. In addition, be sure to have your child write about their favorite book that they read this summer and send their essay to me – John Monfredo, 8 Cherokee Road Worcester, Ma., 01606. I will select the winning essays from grades K to three, grades 4 to six, and from seven up. The winners will be awarded new books.

• Listen to your child read. Use strategies to help your child with tricky words. For example, when your child comes to an unfamiliar word, you might say, “Skip it and read to the end of the sentence. Now try again. What makes sense and looks like the word that you see?”
I sincerely hope that I have raised parents’ awareness of the importance of supporting their children’s learning in the summer time in reading and math and by providing ideas that can be done at home. Parents, you are the child’s first and most important teacher. It is up to you to provide the needed guidance during summer time. You can prevent the “summer slide” – I have the confidence that you will do it.

“Reading in our City Week” now through June 18! Join the fun!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Five years ago my wife Anne-Marie and I started the committee Worcester: the City that Reads to bring books to all children in Worcester. Research continues to point out that reading regularly increases one’s vocabulary and improves skills.

Study after study finds that the ability to read well is the single best indicator of future economic success – regardless of family background. We know that once a child is “hooked” on reading, his/her skill develops rapidly. The more he/she reads, the better he/she reads and the more he/she brings to each new reading experience. It is because of those reasons that Worcester: the City that Reads was started. The week of June 12 is the culmination of our and many others’ efforts over the past year with the Third Annual Literacy Week.

Activities for the week:

There will be a proclamation read by Mayor Joseph O’Brien in the City Council Chambers declaring the week as “Literacy Week in our Community.” During the week across the city our Worcester Public Schools will have their “Kick-off for Summer Reading.” Parents at many schools will also be informed that they will be able to borrow books from their school library for summer reading. Celebrity reading events as well as book character events will take place in the schools. Continue reading “Reading in our City Week” now through June 18! Join the fun!

Please donate new or gently used books!


Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo and his wife (former Nelson Place teacher) Anne-Marie Monfredo, co-chairs of Worcester: the City that Reads, have a goal: to collect 25,000 books for city kids. The books will be given to low-income children, social service agencies, Head Start, the A.C.E. summer program, and a host of other groups for summer reading.

Studies clearly indicate that children in homes that have books are more likely to succeed in school, while children who don’t have adequate reading skills are much more likely to drop out of school. A recent study found that the ability to read well is the single best indicator of future economic success – regardless of family background.

Books can donated by May 15 at the following sites:

• People’s United People’s Bank (Flagship Bank) (all six city branches) including the town of Shrewsbury, Marlboro and Leominster
• Commerce Bank (all four city branches) including Holden
• Bay State Savings Bank (all branches)
• Bank of America ( all Worcester branches)
• Barnes and Noble Book Store on Lincoln Street
• Worcester Public Library
• Stop and Shop on Lincoln Street
• Stop and Shop on Grafton Street
• Stop and Shop on West Boylston Street
• Shaws Market on West Boylston Street
• Shaws Market at Webster Square
• RSVP and the Senior Center on Vernon Street
• Worcester Credit Union
• Starbucks Coffee on one West Boylston Street
• Panera’s on West Boylston Street
• Ben Franklin Book Store on Salem Street
• Light Labs on Shrewsbury Street
• Flying Rhino Restaurant on Shrewsbury Street
• DCU Center
• Jewish Community Center on Salisbury Street
• Worcester East Side CDC at 409 Shrewsbury Street
• Leader’s Way – Kung Fu Academy on Burncoat Street
• Greendale YMCA

Thank you!

– John and Anne Marie Monfredo

State Rep. Vincent Pedone to hold a very special “Toy & Book Drive” Dec. 15

State Representative Vincent A. Pedone (D- Worcester) announced he will be holding a very special “Toy & Book Drive” on Wednesday, December 15, from 6 pm – 8 pm, at Coral Seafood (225 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester).

This annual event is sponsored by Register of Deeds Anthony Vigliotti, School Committeewoman Dianne Biancheria and Representative Vincent A. Pedone. Our efforts have been successful in providing toys and books to disadvantaged neighborhood children during the holiday season for the past 19 years.

Last year we collected more than 1,000 toys and books, thereby allowing us to spread holiday cheer to many children and families in our community struggling during these trying economic times. A warm thank you to all who have helped make past drives a success.

This year, there are even more families in crisis, trying to make ends meet. With that in mind, I am asking you join us at Coral Seafood and bring one or two toys or books to our “Toy Drive.” This event gives us an opportunity to share a token of joy with a needy child this Christmas season. It also provides us a chance to join together, reconnect and share some holiday cheer with old friends.

Thank you!

Our “Give A Book” campaign is up and running! Please donate books (or your time)!

By Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo

Worcester: The City That Reads Committee has kicked off its fourth annual G.A.B. (Give A Book) Drive; it will continue until May 15 (Spring into Books). Its goal: to place a book into the hands of children who may not be able to afford to purchase a book of their very own. This volunteer committee is headed by my wife, Anne-Marie, a former educator, and me. This organization’s objective is to promote literacy awareness across the Worcester. We have had a number of events towards this goal, and we have collected over 50,000 books during the past three years with our “Give a Book” program.

Last year 20,000 gently used and new books were collected for the children in our city. The books were distributed to the children in June for summer reading and additional books were given to social service agencies, health centers, summer school projects and other organizations that work with children. Our goal this year is to collect at least another 20,000 books and try to hit 25,000! We believe we can do it with everyone’s help! Continue reading Our “Give A Book” campaign is up and running! Please donate books (or your time)!

Please don’t forget the kids!

Please bring one or two new, unwrapped toys or books to Vincent Pedone’s 18′th annual Christmas Gathering! It’s being held at Coral Seafood restaurant on Shrewsbury Street, December 17, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

‘Tis the season to remember needy kids who may not have all the whiz-bang toys and great books that more fortunate kids do! Especially precious: gifts for older children or teens (many folks shower all their lovin’ on the tiny tots!)

Thank you!


GAB! Give-a-Book to inner-city kids!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

The GAB program is off to a good start! As of this week, we have collected more than 2,000 books! But we still have a long way to go, if we are to reach our goal of 20,000 books.

The drive, supported by InCity Times, will continue until May. This project will only be successful if we have the assistance of the public. We are encouraging people to look around their homes for new or gently used books, from pre-kindergarten to grade 8, and drop them off at the following locations:

* Shaws – West Boylston St.

* Shaws – Webster Square Plaza

* Stop and Shop supermarkets – 940 West Boylston St., Grafton St. and Lincoln St.

* All Flagship Bank branches

* All Bay State Savings Banks in Worcester

* All Commerce Banks in Worcester and the one in Holden

* Barnes and Noble book store on Lincoln St.

* Worcester City Hall, the City Council Office

* Worcester Senior Center – Providence Street

* Worcester Public Library – Main Branch (Salem Square)

* Worcester Credit Union on West Boylston St.

* Annie’s Book Shop – 120 Stafford St.

We need your help if we are to reach our goal of 20,000 books. Many of our students and children are in need of books. Thank you!

(If you need more information, please email InCity Times at incitytimes@hotmail.com)