Tag Archives: REC

Worcester community news you can use!

The Family Health Center fair drew hundreds of folks to the Piedmont neighborhood! photos: R.T.

Kids!!! TODAY!!!!! YAY!!!!



We are happy to announce that we are holding free Boston Bruins Alumni Street Hockey Clinics Wednesday August 17 and 24 from 6pm-8pm at the Buffone Rink (Parking Lot).

There is no need to pre-register.

Come out and meet the Bruins Alumni, get a free Bruins Alumni T-shirt and have fun!

Founded by US Olympian and NHL veteran David A. Jensen in 2012, DAJ Hockey is New England’s premier on-ice/off-ice hockey skills training company. DAJ features on-ice hockey skills programs via Boston Bruins Alumni Camps and off-ice skills training at the high-tech DAJ Skills Centers in Foxboro and Attleboro, MA. DAJ also manages street hockey and floorball clinics, camps and leagues throughout New England.

DAJ’s “Hockey in the Streets” program brings the joy of hockey to urban children, who may otherwise not get the opportunity to play the sport!


Worcester Bands Together To Fight Substance Use!

Upcoming Events Promote Recovery and Healing!

Over the past several years, August and September have been the worst months for opioid-related overdoses in our community and beyond.

In 2014, there was a significant increase in the number of opioid related deaths during the end of the summer.

Since then, the City of Worcester, the Department of Health and Human Services, and our community partners have partnered to respond to the national opioid epidemic – equipping all first responders with life-saving Narcan; training non-emergency city personnel on the use of Narcan; collecting hundreds of pounds of unused prescriptions; instituting the first-ever needle exchange program with AIDS Project Worcester; conducting training for medical professionals on the dangers of overprescribing pain medication; and working to alert the public to the dangers of addiction.

The City of Worcester continues to collect unused prescription drugs at a dropbox at Worcester Police Department Headquarters and at all neighborhood watch meetings.

“Battling the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the city, and it’s a battle we intend to win,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “From responding to overdoses, public education about addiction and recovery, From prevention to treatment to recovery, the City and our community partners are going all-in to fight this epidemic.”

Overdose Recognition and Response Training

The Worcester Police Department will offer free training for the public on how to recognize and intervene during an opioid overdose using nasal Narcan.

This training event will take place at 5:30 p.m. August 23 at the Worcester Public Library.

Worcester DPH encourages health care providers, substance abuse treatment service providers, first responders, and the public to exercise increased vigilance in promptly identifying suspected overdose victims and taking appropriate action.

The Good Samaritan Law provides protection to people who respond to an overdose and call 911.

The law is intended to encourage people to report drug overdoses as soon as possible, even if drugs are present at the scene.

AIDS Project Worcester’s Overdose Prevention and Narcan distribution program provides free Narcan to those who are likely to witness an overdose.

Learn to Cope, which has a chapter in Worcester, also provides free Narcan to family members of those with a substance use disorder.
Narcan is also available for purchase at CVS and Walgreen’s Pharmacies in the City of Worcester.

Overdose Awareness Day with a Candlelight Vigil:

The Worcester Department of Health and Human Services, along with our community partners will honor International Overdose Awareness Day, with a candlelight vigil and an addiction and recovery awareness campaign at 5:30 p.m. August 31 at the Worcester Common.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. There will be an opportunity for people to receive information and referral to services for addiction and recovery.

The event will provide an opportunity for the public to express sorrow while also raising awareness on the actions needed to provide more services for recovery and improve understanding of the opioid abuse epidemic.

Participation is free.


Get yourself outdoors – to one of the many beautiful Worcester parks/green spaces…


Every 3 1/2 hours, someone dies in a house fire.

With the goal of reducing home-fire related fatalities by 25%, the American Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms in residential homes across the nation.

In Massachusetts, the Red Cross will install up to 2 photo-electric and one dual (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms, as well as one carbon monoxide detector.

If you are a Massachusetts resident and would like to request a free smoke alarm installation, please call 1-800-746-3511**

* Southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands are experiencing a significant backlog

**please self-identify as a military attached household if applicable (military, military family member, National Guard, veteran)


The Worcester Public Library Presents
The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program with Rick Morin

Thursday, August 18

2 p.m.

The Worcester Public Library will be hosting the Rick Morin and The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program on Thursday, August 18 at 2:00 p.m. as part of the Summer Reading Program 2016.

The interactive drumming program will be held in the Children’s Room at the Worcester Public Library, and is free and recommended for children ages 5-12.

Go, lil’ drummer girl, go!!!

About The Rhythm Room:
The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program by Rick Morin explores world music as it relates to today’s pop culture, combining discussion, demonstration and participation. The use of world percussion, drum set, buckets and exploring percussion from objects and one’s own body (clapping, stomping, etc.) is educational as well as motivational and fun. Rick will explain the execution of hand motion to bring out the proper voice of each drum and demonstrate how a percussionist can tell a story with rhythm and theatrical flair.

About Rick Morin:
Rick Morin is the creator and director of the The Rhythm Room, an all-original ten member band. He also developed The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program. Morin is a freelance drummer/percussionist. In 2006 he was awarded the Kathleen McKiel Memorial Award from the North Attleboro Cultural Council for his contributions to the Arts. Morin is an endorsed percussionist by LP, Sabian, REMO, and Vic Firth.

The Rhythm Room Enrichment Program is part of the Summer Reading Program at the Worcester Public Library. The theme for the 2016 program is “Wellness, Fitness, and Sports” – with loads of free programs being offered through August 20 at the Main Library and all branches.

Participants are eligible for prizes for reading and participating in programs. All ages are invited to sign up for summer reading at mywpl.org or at any library location until August 20.

And don’t forget! Rolling into your neighborhood TODAY! THE REC MOBILE FARMERS MARKET – AKA THE PRETTY BLUE VAN CAN! See schedule, below…


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Go, Jimmy, go!!!! … McGovern Kicks Off Summer Meals Tour For Low-Income Students in Central Mass


McGovern Kicks Off Summer Meals Tour For Low-Income Students in Central and Western Massachusetts

Congressman Jim McGovern will kick off his third annual Summer Food Rocks Tour next Monday to highlight USDA’s national Summer Food Service Program and how it helps ensure that low-income students in Massachusetts do not go hungry during the summer months when school is out of session.

This year’s tour includes visits to Worcester, Athol, Turner Falls, Ware and Webster.

As part of Congressman McGovern’s third annual tour, he will lead a roundtable with state and local leaders to talk about how the summer food program helps communities in need and visit summer meals sites at schools across the region.

Joining Congressman McGovern on the day-long tour will be:

· Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

· Kurt Messner, USDA Northeast Regional Administrator Food and Nutrition Service

· Candice Stoiber, USDA Northeast Region Director Special Nutrition Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service

· Rob Leshin, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed. Acting Director of the Office for Nutrition Programs

The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites. Full info on Monday’s tour is below:

7:45AM – 8:10AM in ATHOL

Congressman McGovern; Julianna Valcour (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed); and Orange School Committee Leaders

Congressman Assists With Breakfast Service to Students

Athol High School, 2363 Main Street, Athol

8:40AM – 9:15AM in TURNER FALLS

Congressman McGovern; Julianna Valcour (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed); and Gill and Montague Regional School Leaders

Congressman Assists With Breakfast Service to Students

Unity Park, 7 First Street, Turner Falls

10:10AM – 11:15AM in WARE

Congressman McGovern; Ellen Parker (Project Bread Executive Director); Julie Wayman (Project Bread Child Nutrition Outreach Director); Christina Maxwell (Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Programs Director); Abby Getman (Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Planning and Advocacy Coordinator); Simca Hoorwitz (Eastern Massachusetts Director of the Massachusetts Farm to School); Ware Town Administrator Stuart Beckley; MA State Senator Anne Gobi

Summer Food Rocks Tour Roundtable Discussion

Ware Junior and Senior High School, 237 West Street, Ware

11:15AM – 11:45AM in WARE

Congressman McGovern; Amy Socolow (Summer Food Service Consultant – MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed.); MA State Senator Anne Gobi, Ware Town Administrator Stuart Beckley; and Ware School Committee Leaders;

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Kaziol Elementary School, 4 Gould Road, Ware

12:35PM – 1:00PM in WEBSTER

Congressman McGovern, Amy Socolow (Summer Food Service Consultant – MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed.); MA State Rep. Joseph McKenna; and Webster School Committee

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Park Avenue Elementary School, 58 Park Avenue, Webster

2:40PM – 3:10PM in WORCESTER

Congressman McGovern; Donna Lombardi (Worcester Public Schools Director of Nutrition); Jean McMurray (Worcester County Food Bank Executive Director); Liz Sheehan Castro (Worcester County Food Bank Director of Advocacy); Martha Assefa (Worcester Food and Active Living Policy Council); and Frances Canning (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed. Review Coordinator for Special Nutrition Programs)

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Burncoat Preparatory School Playground, 526 Burncoat Street, Worcester

3:25PM – 4:00PM in WORCESTER

WHO: Congressman McGovern; Frances Canning (MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Ed. Review Coordinator for Special Nutrition Programs); Jean McMurray (Worcester County Food Bank Executive Director); Liz Sheehan Castro (Worcester County Food Bank Advocacy Director); and Martha Assefa (Worcester Food and Active Living Policy Council)

Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students

Girls Inc., 125 Providence Street, Worcester

Jim works closely with REC. REC FARMERS MARKETS and REC Mobile Farmers Market blue van ACCEPT SNAP, WIC … ALL families can eat well! Times and places:
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Rec mobile farmers market blue van! pic: R.T.

Mobile Market-1

Always in style – REC Farmers Markets! – for a healthier Worcester! SNAP accepted!


Double your purchase for the price, Worcester working families!

Only at the REC farmers markets and REC mobile farmers market van. IN EVERY WOO NEIGHBORHOOD. Check schedules below!

REC farmers markets welcome all people, of all economic classes!

ALL FARMERS MARKETS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ACCEPT SNAP. The government pays the vendor/farmer. Markets that don’t accept SNAP, especially in the inner city, are prejudiced against poor people (many of them immigrants and people of color). The coordinators of the non-SNAP farmers markets won’t admit this, but they don’t accept SNAP because they do not want their farmers markets to be flooded with poor people, people who don’t fit the “right” demographic, people who won’t create the “right” kind of shopping experience. A kind of economic and racial red lining occurs. Not illegal – just not very ethical and … kinda phony … creepy. NOT building a healthy Worcester for all! For the 21st century!

You want racial and economic DIVERSITY?


pics/text: Rosalie Tirella

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Flowers are sold at REC farmers markets!

REC FARMERS MARKETS … All summer and fall! Every day of the week! In your neighborhoods! BEST PRICES! MOST WELCOMING TO ALL WORCESTER FOLKS! SNAP ACCEPTED!

Arts and crafts! Music! Local farmers! Their veggies, fruits, breads and other goodies!

Support the REC farmers markets! They don’t discriminate – or try to create an all-white, homogeneous “boutique” farmers market in the inner-city, like some farmers markets do!

Diversity now!

Food justice now!

REC MARKETS now … open!   – R.T.

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Chef Joey’s Meatless Cacciatore – always in style! … and Plant Sale/Garden Fest Saturday!

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joey speaks Italiano! Bravo, Joe-Joe!

Meatless Cacciatore

Recipe and photos by Chef Joey


4 (or 5!) cloves of garlic

2 large onions, chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

1 large can Pastine kitchen-ready tomatoes

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans


Saute garlic in 5 tablespoons of oil.

Add onions and coat well.

Then add 1/2 cup water.

Simmer until soft and water starts to evaporate. Add the peppers and tomato sauce.

Simmer 45 minutes on a lower heat, stirring often.

Add garbanzo beans, and serve over your favorite pasta!


Buy some kid plants at REC’s YOUTHGROW Plant Sale and Garden Festival!!! This Saturday!

Tips on growing veggies … for your Chef Joey recipes!

This Saturday, May 21, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Regional Environmental Council (REC) will kick off the growing season by hosting their annual Spring Garden Festival & Plant Sale. 

The event will be held at the REC YouthGROW farm on 63 Oread St.

This year, the REC Food Justice staff are partnering with Holy Cross College, WPI and You Inc. to grow a wide assortment of vegetable seedlings.

There will be more than 30 different types of vegetable, fruit and succulent seedlings for sale!

The festival portion will include:

live performances!


a fun assortment of children’s activities!

Libby the Library Express Bookmobile will team up with the REC Mobile Market to provide lots of hands on learning opportunities for both children and adults!


Volunteer to work the Spring Garden Festival!

We can’t do it without you!

Please join us the day of our annual Spring Garden Festival & Plant Sale, Saturday, May 21, to assist with set up and breakdown, as well as specific tasks throughout the day.

The event will be held at 63 Oread St.

Set up: 7:00-11:00

During/Breakdown: 11:00-3:00

We are looking for up to 20 event volunteers.

Email Casey at foodjustice@recworcester.org

Check out our website at www.recworcester.org for more information

Woo news you can use parked in yum yums …

The Mandaeans are a pacifist ethno-religious minority population that believes in the purity and cleanliness of nature. pic:R.T.

April 30 – A Celebration of Mandaean Culture in Worcester!

Students at Clark University, in collaboration with Mandaean Society of Massachusetts, will host a cultural celebration featuring arts, music, photos and posters, as well as a proclamation from the City of Worcester, from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 30, in the Grace Conference Room of the Higgins University Center, 950 Main St.

The Mandaeans (Aramaic: people of knowledge) are a pacifist ethno-religious minority population that believes in the purity and cleanliness of man and nature. For the past 2,000 years, they have lived in Iraq and Iran, after originally emigrating there from Jerusalem. In the past two decades, they were displaced from Iraq and Iran as a result of extreme violence and persecution. Their religion predates Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Unable to defend themselves due to their pacifist religion, the 60,000 – 70,000 adherents were scattered throughout the world.

Since 2008, more than 2,000 were resettled to Worcester by Lutheran Services (Ascentria) and Dr. Breegi, a Mandaean community advocate, as a way to help the community rebuild itself. Yet, until now, they have remained largely unknown in Worcester due to linguistic and cultural challenges.

The hosting Clark students are enrolled in Local Action/Global Change, a course taught by Marianne Sarkis, assistant professor of International Development and Social Change. They spent the spring semester getting to know Mandaean residents from the area, their culture, religion, and traditions. The event is planned as a way to celebrate the resiliency and beauty of the Mandaean community. This event will be the first of its kind in Worcester, Sarkis said, adding that the Mandaeans are eager to share their culture, food, and music with others.


Youth Worker Training Institute 2016 Graduation Ceremony, May 2

The HOPE Coalition, with Clark University, will be sponsoring their 12th annual Youth Worker Training Institute Luncheon Graduation Ceremony from 11 a.m. – noon on Monday, May 2, at the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, 65 Tainter St.

This year our 28 graduates are making great impact at the following crucial community organizations: Dynamy Youth Academy, Latino Education Institute, Positive Directions, Straight Ahead Ministries, Worcester Community Action Council, Boys & Girls Club, Cultural Exchange through Soccer, Worcester Youth Opportunities Office, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA, YOU, Inc., Girls Inc., and AIDS Project Worcester.

We are happy to announce that our keynote speaker for this year’s graduation will be Khrystian King, recently elected City of Worcester Councilor At-Large.

King has been an advocate for Worcester’s children, youth and families his entire life – beginning as a student leader of an anti-drug program at Holy Name. Ever since losing three friends to gun violence, King has dedicated his career to helping local families rise beyond poverty and violence – from his work in child protection to his nearly 20 years leading the Crompton Park Summer Basketball program.

A first-generation American, King graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Sociology and Psychology and went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College and a Public Management & Leadership Certificate from the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University.

Other featured speakers include YWTI participants Scott Dowling from the city of Worcester’s Youth Opportunities Office and Cassie Giardina from Cultural Exchange through Soccer. In addition to the participants, the trainers for the Institute sessions, the supervisors and executive directors of participating agencies are also invited.

The Youth Worker Training Institute is a 15-week educational program to increase the knowledge and develop the skills of youth workers. This year marks our fourth year partnering with Clark University. Students are engaged in the YWTI as the primary component of their course, Fundamentals of Youth Work, taught by Jennifer Safford-Farquharson.

The addition of students as participants has provided an opportunity for newer, less experienced students to apprentice some of Worcester’s seasoned Youth Workers. UMass Memorial Health Care and Clark University funded the Youth Worker Training Institute.

Youth workers play an enormously important role in the lives of young people. Youth workers are role models, mentors, friends, big sisters and brothers, teachers, and sometimes even surrogate parents. Increasing the skills of youth workers is an important step towards reducing risky behavior in youth and ensuring that young people lead happy, healthy, productive, and safe lives.

With the leadership of Dr. Laurie Ross, the HOPE Coalition was created in October 2000 through a federal grant. HOPE’s mission is to reduce youth violence and substance abuse and to promote positive mental health and youth voice through a youth-adult partnership in the city of Worcester. The Youth Worker Training Institute is one of HOPE’s three programs. The other two are a peer leadership program and a youth-designed mental health program.

HOPE consists of seventeen organizations, including the seven YouthNet agencies (Boys and Girls Club, Centro Las Americas, Friendly House, Girls Inc, YMCA, YOU, Inc, and the YWCA), Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, MSPCC, UMass Memorial Health Care (lead agency), the Worcester Youth Center, Community HealthLink, Oak Hill CDC, Worcester Community Connections Coalition, the City of Worcester and the Worcester Public Schools. Twenty peer leaders representing these organizations meet weekly to lead the planning process.


Rosaries are often left at the St. Mary’s church shrine in Green Island as a gift to the Virgin Mary.

Putting a rosary into the hands of every member of the U.S. Armed Forces around the globe who wants one!

Operation Ranger Rosary will hold their next meeting on May 14, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Phelan Center, Blessed Sacrament Church, and 551 Pleasant St., Worcester.


MADD Pushes for Ignition Interlock Law Before May 2 Deadline

Mothers Against Drunk Driving National President Colleen Sheehey-Church joined volunteers this week to urge legislators to pass drunk driving legislation that would immediately start saving lives on Massachusetts roadways.

The legislation, S 1895 by Senator Timilty, would require all drunk driving offenders to use an ignition interlock if they seek driving privileges during a license suspension period.

Currently, Massachusetts requires ignition interlocks for repeat offenders and makes hardship licenses available during the suspension period.

The Joint Committee on Transportation, chaired by Senator McGee and Representative Straus, has a May 2 deadline to pass S 1895.

Twenty-five states have similar laws, including New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine. Maryland recently passed an all-offender ignition interlock law that is expected to be signed by Governor Hogan in May. Vermont and Rhode Island are considering such legislation this year — H 560 has passed the Vermont House and received a Senate hearing earlier this month, and SB 2370 passed the Rhode Island Senate this month and is pending a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“Ignition interlocks save lives,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “It’s time for Massachusetts to pass this law to protect its residents from this scourge on our nation’s roadways. S 1895 is long overdue and deserves a vote before it’s too late.”
According to a recent MADD report, ignition interlocks have prevented drunk drivers from starting their vehicles 37,983 times since Massachusetts began requiring the devices for repeat offenders in 2006.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD changed American culture by introducing the “designated driver” in 1986 and related red ribbon awareness campaign Tie One On For Safety® now in its 30th year. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® is marking its 10th anniversary and reducing drunk driving fatalities by 25 percent since its launch.

MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, providing a service every four minutes through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP.

Power of Parents® and Power of Youth® programs reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.



Early pricing for REC Farmers Gala ends
Spring Menu, Beer Tasting, Live Music, Silent and Live Auctions!

$60 before May 1

Amazing auction items include: Ringo Starr tickets, Dirty Dancing tickets, Costa Rica vacation villa, BBQ Party for 30 of your friends, diamond earrings, a whole lamb, wine and beer baskets, Bravehearts baseball tickets, Wachusett ski passes, dance classes, gardening workshops, museum memberships, restaurant gift cards, and so much more!

Menu includes: Farm-fresh cheeses, Serrano ham wrapped asparagus, Gruyere grougeres, Roasted lemon-sage chicken pops, Spring herb risotto, Garden vegetable lasagna, Strawberry rhubarb and chevre croustade.

Also enjoy our full, cash-only bar, the sounds of local musician Dan Burke, and the beautiful grounds of the Tower Hill Botanic Garden.

All proceeds support the work of the REC – community and school gardens, farmers markets, urban agriculture, youth development and employment, neighborhood cleanups, and the development of a regional food hub.

When: Thursday May 19 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

At Tower Hill Botanic Garden
11 French Drive
Boylston, MA

Time to get more plants and blooms …

Rosalie’s kitchen window – right now! – crying out for more flowers …

Where to get ’em?


Saturday, MAY 21!!

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At Main South’s YouthGrow Farm

63 Oread St.

Proceeds go to the inner-city kids and their gardening projects at the farm!



Rose can’t wait! She’s playing her fave artist!

In the mean time … At the Crow Hill Conservation area …Friday, April 29


Be there!


So pretty!!!