Tag Archives: Worcester Public Library

WPL parked in PS … Today! Maker Mondays comes to the Worcester Public Library!

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Maker Mondays with the Learning Hub will be coming to the Worcester Public Library on Mondays in August!

3 Salem Square

These events take place in the new Tween Space in the Main Library’s Children’s Room.

This program is for children ages 9-12.

FREE!

Put on a lab coat and enter the Maker Lab!

Join Giselle from The Learning Hub for this 4-week series of STEM Maker Classes.

These classes will have you creating new things and discovering the world around you.

On August 1 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., check out Paint Lab for a discussion about Van Gogh and Impressionism.

Students will recreate the famous The Starry Night painting.

Information about Van Gogh and the impressionism period will be given for students to review at home with links to his work.

On August 8 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., it’s Science Lab, a discussion about clouds.

Students will create cloud jars to understand visually how clouds hold water. A print out of the experiment will be given to students to take home and try it again!

Swing by August 15 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for Creative Writing Lab, a discussion about writing stories. Students will learn to breakdown the concepts of characters, plot, and story line. Students will then create their own story to take home and share with their families.

On August 22 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., learn about Food Sustainability with a discussion about sustainable food and the importance of farms and locally grown products.

Students will plant their own vegetable seeds and take them home to care for with instructions. We will also give them access to The Learning Hub community garden.

Maker Mondays 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.

WPL parked in A.I. … TODAY!! … Major Taylor World Champion Comes to the Worcester Public Library!

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Let’s get Main Middle looking as beautiful as the Worcester Common – and our public library!

FREE!

With Special Guest Pro Cyclist Daniel Estevez!!!

Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square
6 p.m.

The Major Taylor Association will present Major Taylor World Champion at the Worcester Public Library, today, Tuesday, July 19 at 6 p.m.

The group will teach patrons the history of Marshall W. “Major” Taylor, as well as info on bikes and cycling!

Professional cyclist Daniel Estevez will be a special guest for the program, discussing his own career and answering questions!

Major Taylor won the world one-mile track cycling championship in 1899. Throughout his career he set numerous world records, all while working to overcome racial discrimination.

Taylor moved to Worcester in 1896 after he was banned from bicycle racing in Indiana. He was the first African-American cyclist to achieve world champion status, and the second black man to become a world champion in any sport.

Daniel Estevez emigrated to Worcester from the Dominican Republic as a child. He began his professional cycling career as a teenager, earning a scholarship to attend college. After two years of professional and collegiate cycling he took a step back from racing, finishing college, and starting his own business. After a six-year hiatus, Estevez returned to the cycling field in 2016. He credits cycling with giving him opportunities beyond what may have existed otherwise, and he plans to give back to the community that helped him on his path.

The Major Taylor Association will also invite families to the George Street Bike Challenge for Major Taylor, which takes place on July 24. The event brings young and old out to see how fast they can pedal up George Street, a steep hill in downtown Worcester that was also the training ground for the 1899 world champion Major Taylor.

The Major Taylor Association, Inc. was formed by residents of Worcester, in order to memorialize Major Taylor. The statue of Major Taylor at the Worcester Public Library recognizes his athletic achievements, and strength of character. The organization continues to create a living memorial to Major Taylor by conducting good works in his name, and educating people about his life and legacy.

The Major Taylor World Champion 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.

Fun for all at the Worcester Public Library!

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pic:R.T.

Summer Reading Program Events July 11 – 16

The Worcester Public Library has a week full of fun and exciting programs and events scheduled for July 11-16.

The library is located at 3 Salem Square

Some of the regular programs include storytimes, Minecraft Club, fun and games, a Saturday Movie Matinee, and Legos!

In addition to these regular programs, the Children’s Room has some special programming taking place during the week:

The first special event is Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids, presented by Ivy Child International. This program is a fun, healthy workshop filled with joy and instruction. The lessons will help children cope, and is recommended for ages 6-12 and parents. The first session will be held Monday, July 11 at 1 p.m. The second session will be held the following week, Monday, July 18 at 1 p.m.

The next special program will be Hula Hooping, with guest instructor Sarah Daly, on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. During this class, master hula hooper Daly will lead children, ages 12 and under, in a fun, music-filled hula hooping session. Hula hooping is a great way to increase activity levels in a fun and exciting way!

Finally, don’t miss On Your Mark, Get Set, Read, Move, Laugh & Play with comic mime Robert Rivest, on Wednesday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. Rivest will entertain audiences of all ages while joyfully motivating them to get up, get moving, and keep reading. Using mime, comedy, and interactive playfulness, Rivest shares fun way to move, laugh, and relieve stress, allowing children and their families to feel healthier and happier. This family show is full of audience participation.

These special events are 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.

Education parked in YY … SUMMER READING + MATH ACTIVITIES = SCHOOL SUCCESS IN SEPTEMBER!

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Jett adjusts his reading glasses!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Should school districts change the school calendar and eliminate summer vacations? That was a headline of a story I wrote several years ago for InCity Times. Obviously, it was to get the attention of the reader, but as you know more truth is said in jest! Since my days as a principal of Belmont Community School and then as a Worcester School Committee member I have been espousing the dangers of academic loss during summer vacation, known as the “summer slide.”

Summer reading and math loss is real. As readers, do you know that the best predictor of summer loss or gain is whether or not your children read during the summer? If your children don’t read during the summer months they’ll likely lose skills. But the good news is that you can prevent it! More on this to follow.

Let’s first look at the facts: low-income students lose substantial ground in reading during the summer, while their higher-income peers often gain. What I find most disturbing is that research shows that summer learning loss is cumulative year after year and this contributes to the student achievement gap that we all hear about. Figure it out: If children are losing two to three months of academic growth during the summer and if you look at that situation occurring year after year, it adds up to be a heavy loss by the time the student enters the seventh grade. According to researchers, the result of a “summer slide” in academic skills may account for 80% of the achievement gap by grade six.

Sure, everyone is excited about summer time, but it can be devastating to the young minds of our children in the inner city as we look at the data or just use some common sense. Summer can be the enemy of the school teacher, for students forget their math and they stop reading. In the case of those students with limited English skills, many lose their newly acquired words. The summer slide is real, for our schools see the decline in reading and math achievement just from being away from school. Often it is the students who can least afford to lose the reading or math gains they’ve achieved during the school year who fall the farthest behind when they return to the classroom after summer break.

I do hope that I have the attention of my readers! This is a very serious problem! Let’s see what we as a community can do about it:

First, a reading list was passed out to our WPS students during “Reading in our City Week,” urging parents to make sure their children read at least five books during the summer and do the writing activities that are assigned. Parents, I urge you to make reading a priority at home. I am suggesting that reading take place every day in your household. Make it happen, parents and grandparents! If we could get parents to read to their child just 20 minutes a night we could revolutionize public education! As stated in the reading pamphlet from the Worcester Public Schools, it is very important to help your child understand that summer reading can be fun and beneficial at the same time. Students who develop the habit of reading not only learn to be better readers but also achieve greater success in school.

Remember, readers are leaders!

In addition, the Worcester Public Schools sent home a “Summer Math Activity” pamphlet. Regular math practice over the summer will maintain and strengthen math gains made over the school year. The activities are fun and can involve the entire family. Also, think about opportunities through cooking to learn fractions or trips to the grocery store as opportunities to learn math skills, just doing measuring or tracking temperature. Play educational games.

The trick is how do we make this fun and motivating, while giving children serious opportunities to learn the skills they need? I would also advocate that our students practice and master their math facts through math games and flash cards during the summer break. Play cards such as “War.” When one turns over a card you need to call out the two cards with multiplication answer. Example 9 and 8 – call out 72 (same for addition and subtraction facts).

Please take the time to look at the suggestions from the schools and if you have any questions talk to someone at the Central Office, for there are 16 summer school sites open this year. Give it some thought: if there are any openings register your child for one of those programs. In addition, across the city there are a number of free or inexpensive programs for parents to consider for their child. So look into them immediately.

Another reminder: Remember that the best deal in our city is a visit to the Worcester Public Library or to one of its many branches. The library has lots of ongoing programs this summer. It’s imperative that our adults take the time to bring a child to the library!

Worcester Public Library parking lot targeted again for development

By Steven R. Maher

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

In 2012 city officials unveiled a plan to develop the Worcester Library parking lot into a hockey rink. When opposition to this proposal arose – including from the Worcester School Committee and a Worcester library task force – city officials located another site for the hockey rink.

But when the Worcester City Council on June 14, 2016 unanimously approved the Urban Revitalization Plan, a page in the display package at the meeting entitled “Primary Development Opportunities” listed the library parking lot as the fourth among seven top “opportunities”. Among the projects considered less an “opportunity” by city officials include the old Paris Cinema and Filene’s building.

The library parking lot is not a behemoth straddling any downtown arteries. The area available to the public contains approximately 400 parking spaces, of which approximately 175 spaces are set aside for Quinsigamond University students at the school’s downtown Worcester campus.

Urban blight

The Urban Revitalization Plan is one of the most audacious – and complex – redevelopment programs city government has ever put forward. The blueprint encompasses 118.4 acres of land with 380 properties in the downtown Main Street corridor, will cost an estimated $104 million, create 1,100 construction jobs over the project’s twenty year lifespan, and 1,400 permanent jobs.

“The plan has been developed over the past year by the City of Worcester and Worcester Redevelopment Authority [WRA], in conjunction with consultant BSC Group, with significant public input. A Citizen Advisory Committee, made up of 15 representatives of the community, helped shape the plan over the course of 10 public meetings,” asserts the city on its website. “The urban renewal program invests the WRA, as a designated urban renewal agency, with certain powers to catalyze development within an urban renewal area. Urban renewal powers include the power to determine what areas within its jurisdiction constitute decadent, substandard or blighted open areas, the power to acquire property through eminent domain and access to certain public funding sources.”

Past urban renewal took the form of a “scorched earth” gambit in which whole city blocks were bulldozed. The Urban Revitalization Plan is a “weed and seed” approach in which the city seeks to cultivate the rehabilitation of cityscape blemishes, which have deteriorated over time due to a lack of investment. If necessary, the city will use its imminent domain powers, subject to City Council approval, to take these eyesores and sell them to entrepreneurs with the wherewithal to rehabilitate them.

This endeavor, if successful, will regenerate the municipal center into a much cleaner urban core, with each distinct parcel harmonizing and strengthening each other as a whole, reviving jobs, tax revenue, and property values.

Past opposition

Few would dispute that the Salem Square main library is one of the city’s great gems. Reopened after $20 million in renovations in 2001 (including a 50,000 square foot extension), the library collection included, according to the Worcester Telegram, “520,000 books, more than 370,000 government documents, 72,000 microfilms, 46,000 talking books, nearly 8,000 videotapes and more than 1,000 magazines and newspapers.”

Capital upgrades since 2001 have made the Worcester library probably the best public facility of its kind in Central Massachusetts. With its self-service kiosks, automated book take-out and return scanners, and dozens of computers on the three public floors available free of charge to the public, it is a technically sophisticated marvel. The library is often packed with users, particularly the computer terminals. The strong police presence makes the most crime-adverse library customer feel secure.

Without parking nearby, the city could end up with another white elephant on its hands – a dinosaur that residents can’t access without walking several blocks from downtown parking garages, particularly in the middle of a nasty winter. As one board member of the Friends of the Worcester Public Library said at a WRA meeting: “Many patrons of the library have limited mobility or young children, parking needs to be in close proximity.”

After the 2012 plan was made public, opposition to the proposal grew, first in the InCity Times, then in the blogosphere, and then among city boards.

“Criticism of the plan has centered on a proposal to construct an ice rink in the municipal parking lot next to the library,” the Worcester Telegram reported on November 29, 2012. “A library task force has recommended against putting an ice rink there because of the impact it would have for library patrons, along with aesthetic concerns about how it would fit into the neighborhood.”

The Worcester School Committee opposed the plan. The minutes of their March 13, 2013 meeting record: “To ask that the City Council, in addressing the Downtown Master Plan, preserve the current parking lot behind the Worcester Public Library, for the benefit and well-being of the citizens – and especially of the children of Worcester – who depend on the library.”

In March 2016 Worcester’s daily newspaper reported that the city had approved plans for the hockey rinks on Winter Street in the Canal District.

The Worcester Library parking lot is not a “decadent, substandard or blighted open area”. It is a necessary adjunct to a thriving and safe city asset. There is a distinct possibility the Worcester Library might evolve into another Worcester Airport, an under-utilized fossil rendered extinct by the wrong decisions of city officials blinded by the Holy Grail of downtown development.

Worcester Public Library Launches Summer Reading Program! Kickoff Events June 17 & 18!

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ICT editor Rosalie gets lots of musico at the library!

The 2016 Summer Reading program kicks off Friday, June 17 at all WPLibrary Branches and on Saturday, June 18, at the Worcester Public Library Main Branch.

This year’s theme 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.

“The 2016 Worcester Public Library Summer Reading Program will be all about healthy minds and bodies this year,” said Sondra Murphy, Youth Services Coordinator for the Worcester Public Library. “This year’s nationwide Summer Reading theme encourages participants to read, play, and exercise! Both reading and healthy activity are incredibly important for the development of young learners, and the Summertime is the perfect time to find a shady spot and read for fun!”

All branch locations will be hosting special kickoff celebrations with tons of fun, fitness & wellness activities.

On Friday, June 17, the Frances Perkins Branch will be hosting a celebration from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.;

The Great Brook Valley Branch will be holding their kickoff from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.;

and the One City, One Library Branches: Burncoat, Goddard, Roosevelt, and Tatnuck Magnet, will be holding their events from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

There will be crafts, games, entertainment, and health & wellness activities at each location.

The Main Library will host a kickoff celebration on Saturday, June 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will feature refreshments, entertainment, games, crafts, and other family fun activities. The Teen program will include Henna tattoos and a giant bowling game.

“This year we are anticipating a huge turnout for summer reading, and we are currently planning all the great activities,” said Linnea Sheldon, Community Relations and Communications Manager for the Worcester Public Library. “Summer reading helps keep children excited about reading, and the events and incentives help keep them interested and engaged. It’s not just for the kids either. We have programs for all ages, so we encourage our entire community to participate.”

The Summer Reading Program is a fun and exciting way to keep the community reading. Special health and fitness-related programs will be held all summer, and readers of all ages are encouraged to track their reading online.

The adult program will offer classes on health and wellness, including learning about Superfoods, Tai Chi, yoga, and hula hoop, to help you on your fitness journey.

WPL news parked in A.I! … New Worcester Public Library school branch to open Friday!!!!!

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The new WPL branch at Burncoat Prep! Go, Worcester kids, go!! pic:R.T.

WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY BURNCOAT BRANCH BUILDS A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY

Newest Elementary School-Based Library to Serve the City of Worcester
as Part of the “One City, One Library” Initiative

 
WHAT: The opening of the Worcester Public Library Burncoat Branch at the Burncoat Street Preparatory School on Burncoat Street will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting and ceremony.One City, One Library is a private-public partnership focused on improving literacy skills citywide.
 
The Burncoat Branch includes all new books, iPads, computers, electronic literacy stations, a SmartBoard, and comfortable seating.

Public hours will begin April 1, 2016 at 4 p.m. 

During the school year the branch will be open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

Additional hours will be added during the summer months.
 
The One City, One Library collaboration between the City of Worcester, the Worcester Public Library, the Worcester Public Schools, and other organizations dedicated to education, has opened public library branches in four of the city’s elementary schools.

These branches offer the wealth of resources found at the public library, including technology, new materials, and professional librarians, and bring them into our schools.

These resources are accessible to students and teachers during the school day. The library is open to the public when school is not in session.
 
WHERE: Burncoat Street Preparatory School, 526 Burncoat Street, Worcester
 
WHEN: Friday, April 1, 2016     
9 a.m. Library Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting with Mayor Joseph M. Petty, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., and representatives from the Worcester Public Library, Worcester Public Schools, and community partners.
 

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Rosalie at the Worcester Public Library Greendale branch yesterday – returning materials, checking out cool new stuff. This WPL branch, located on West Boylston Street, is ALWAYS BUSY! Go Celtics!

Editor’s note:
Why isn’t this happening in GREEN ISLAND, LOWER VERNON HILL, GRAFTON STREET, PIEDMONT/CROWN HILL, VERNON HILL, QUINSIG VILLAGE??!!!!!! So many poor/needy kids in these neighborhoods NEED and WOULD LOVE TO HAVE such a wonderful neighborhood resource!
– Rosalie Tirella

Gordy’s parked in A.I: Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts holds its regional convention at the WPL!

Green Rainbows and the Quakers

By Gordon Davis

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The Green Rainbows met at the Worcester Public Library, located at 3 Salem Square
 
The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its regional convention yesterday to select state committee members. The state committee sets the policies for the Green Rainbows.

At the convention the presenter from the Society of Friends (Quakers) Anti-Mass Incarceration Network stole the show with his strong condemnation of the unnecessary and unfair incarceration of millions of people in the United States.

Phil said the USA has five percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. More than any so called authoritarian country or feudal country on earth!

He also condemned indefinite or prolonged solitary confinement as counterproductive and torture.

He referred to a United Nation protocol that solitary confinement for greater than 15 days is torture.

Phil also said most of the arrests are for non-violent “crimes” such as drug possession. He pointed out that for decades many of the so called drug crimes were no crimes at all. Before the early 20th century there was no prohibition on any drug. Each of the drug laws prohibition had at least a partial basis in race. 

The presenter pointed out that modern drug laws are a continuation of the slave plantation mentality of the majority society. After the Reconstruction Period in US history the vagrancy laws were enacted to prevent Black people who had little or no resources from travelling to look for work. These laws were a means to repopulate the prison labor system, especially in the Southern United States. 

The modern day drug laws and anti-panhandling laws to some extent are a continuation of the system to keep the prisons full.

Eileen, an activist from Northern Worcester County, spoke about gas pipelines being built in Massachusetts. Her message was new gas pipelines are not needed and that they would be environmentally harmful.

What she said was not entirely encouraging, as it seems to be a done deal that the pipelines in the Boston area are a done deal. However, the pipeline in Northern Worcester County was likely going to be diverted through New Hampshire.

Brian, a town representative from Shrewsbury, spoke on the use of citizen petitions to have issues placed on the Town agenda.

Dave, a co chair of the Nashua River Green Rainbows Chapter, reported that Jill Stein got 50 percent of the primary vote in the March 1, 2016, state election. She will get half of the ten delegates from Massachusetts committed to her at the Green Party US national convention in Houston, TX.

This will be Dr. Stein’s second run for President of the United States. She, in the 2012 presidential election, received the highest number of popular votes that any woman had received in any previous Presidential election. I wish her well this time around, although she will be overshadowed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump!

WPL parked in Yum Yums!

FUN THINGS TO DO AT THE WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY DURING SCHOOL VACATION WEEK … and in February

Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!

The Tanglewood Marionettes!

The Tanglewood Marionettes will be a very special guest at the library on Wednesday, February 17.

They will be performing their production of “Cinderella” at 2 p.m.

Set in the eighteenth century, and featuring a dozen lavishly costumed marionettes, this production is the Tanglewood Marionettes’ showpiece.

The story unfolds as the pages of a giant book open to reveal each beautifully painted setting. This family event is not to be missed, and is sponsored by the Friends of the Worcester Public Library.
 
On Thursday, February 18 at 1 p.m. join us for a screening of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic fairytale “Cinderella” featuring an all-star, multi-racial cast. 

Stick around, at 3 p.m. children from the Goddard School of Science and Technology and Woodland Academy take part in a children’s performance based on the stories, “How Frog Went to Heaven” and “The Adventures of Mouse Deer,” presented by “In Our Own Voices,” from the Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University.
 
The fun continues on Friday, February 19 with “A Visit from Cinderella” from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Come meet Cinderella, listen to her tell her story and sing beautifully.  She’ll also show you how to bow and dance in a kid-friendly ballroom style circle. Be sure to bring your camera!

Princesses and Princes are welcome to dress up to meet this fairytale character come to life! This magical visit is sponsored by the Friends of the Worcester Public Library.
 
There’s so much more going on during the week, including a book club for chocoholics, a screening of “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” a visit from a certified pet therapy dog, and games of all kinds.

Be sure to stop by for Beauty Basics, a program where you can learn to make your own beauty products!

… There’s also Poetry with Pizza, legos, knitting, and the always exciting Science Saturdays – this month learn about George Crum and his invention of the potato chip in celebration of Black History Month.
 
Mark your calendars and be sure to join us the following Friday, February 26 at 4 p.m. for African Drumming, where you can learn about West African Drumming and have fun making noise. This exciting event is also sponsored by the Friends of the Worcester Public Library.
 
For more information on the Worcester Public Library and a complete list of events and programs visit www.mywpl.org