Category Archives: Education

Back to School Gloucester Public Schools update from Superintendent

The traditional end of summer ‘welcome back’ notice for parents from the Gloucester Public Schools Superintendent has great news for the whole community! I’ve noted funding sources, like Applied Materials, when they were listed, and will add in any that were missed!

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  • Back to School / Open House dates

 

 

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  • JOHN BARRY, KURT LICHTENWALD, DAVID SCHNEIDER – amazing teachers’ program receives #1 state and national engineering awards and recognition
  • BACH IS BACK  Gregg Bach has returned to GPS, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • JODIE GRENNODIE new Principal at Beeman
  • GHS – FULL ROOF REPLACEMENT great details about the construction project and an earlier update from July 
  • DEADLINE INFO for BUS PASS applications and  FREE/REDUCED LUNCH applications

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  • GHS ERIC LEIGH AND DAVID ENOS write and secure $109,154 biotechnology grant
  • GHS $499,000 WORTH NEW FAB LAB AND EQUIPMENT – Grant awarded for a brand new Fabrication Lab/Maker space and state of the art, industry level equipment for advanced manufacturing and pre-engineering program in  Career and Voc
  • O’MALEY ACADEMY aka after school offerings, directed by the amazing counselor Allison Cousins, have been extended and funded for a 4th year as the program deemed exemplary ($140,250 grant )

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  • O’MALEY new BioLab space thanks to Applied Materials and MA Life Sciences Foundation
  • O’MALEY band and chorus music room to be souped up acoustically thanks to $136,980 from Gloucester Education Foundation
  • ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS – BUILDING BLOCKS exciting new elementary science program
  • ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS new teacher collaboration opportunities

Read more

Listen to Gloucester’s own author Hannah Kimberley live on NPR’s All things Considered!!

Listen Sunday August 13th at 5pm on NPR for Hannah’s interview about her new book A WOMAN’s PLACE IS AT THE TOP! (Some states may air at different times.)


Share the love folks!! Congrats Hannah!!!

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Top notch GPS O’Maley & Veterans teachers engage Cape Ann Museum, Backyard Growers, and Black Earth Composting thanks to Essex Heritage | North Shore Magazine spotlight

Gloucester Public School teachers shine through the North Shore Magazine September 2017 issue with exemplary projects helped in part by one of Essex Heritage grant programs: “A Park for Every Classroom”.  Essex Heritage supports local initiatives in a big way.

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Congratulations to Gloucester Public Schools dynamite O’Maley Innovation Middle School 6th Grade teachers: Pat Hand, Mary Beth Quinn, and Jessica Haskell!

O’Maley 6th grade students collaborated with the Cape Ann Museum and a local cartographer to create maps of their diverse Gloucester neighborhoods. Part of an effort to get the entire 6th grade community to come together as they experience their first year of Middle School, the project aligned with the curricular focus on geography.  A collection of the students’ maps, called “Gloucester Through My Eyes,” is on display at the Cape Ann Museum.” 

Congratulations to Veterans Memorial Elementary School teachers Laura Smith and Mary Housman!  Their “students worked with Backyard Growers and Black Earth Composting to understand the benefits of composting, created posters and presentations to share their knowledge, implemented and monitored lunch-time cafeteria composting, and used the compost they created to enrich the soil in their school garden.” We were lucky to hear about this project during a pitch night at Awesome Gloucester.

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Farewell Reunion from 6-8PM June 7 retirement tribute for Albina Papows, Mrs. Reis, at the AMAZING Gloucester High School preschool program!

SAVE THE DATE. Farewell Reunion. Retirement tribute. June 7th. 6-8PM. Gloucester Preschool at the High School.

The unusual and innovative preschool at Gloucester High School meshes the education of Gloucester public high school students with a class of 4 year old preschoolers. These two age groups don’t usually interact. How does it work? Albina Papows, that’s how, for forty years.

Albina Papows is a visionary educator.

Along with Mrs. Papows and Mrs. Reis, there were eight to ten high school seniors selected as full-time “student teachers.” Another fifty or so high school students enrolled in 1 to 3 periods a day throughout the week. The high school student teachers were assigned to teams that alternated amazingly coordinated and extensive curriculum…weekly.

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photo: sample weekly news

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below photo: “…this was Allie’s activity. She gave us bee like toys and there were flowers, we made out of paper with bowls in the middle of the room which were filled with glitter nectar and we took the bee toys (which we had decorated) and we put glue on them and then we flew from flower to flower scooping the glitter nectar pollen from the bowls in the flower.”

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Papows designed two classrooms with an access passage between them. This clever hall is a threshold, constructed with a line of cubby lockers along one wall and an immense window along the opposite wall. The “glazing” was actually a two-way observation mirror for viewing into the preschool classroom.

photo: doorway into the cubby entrance to the preschool (Mrs. Papows leaning down to speak to each student as they head out for the day). High school students turned right to enter the high school classroom.

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The program was woven into the high school environment fluidly and effectively. The preschoolers went on “field trips” to the foreign language rooms, the auto mechanic trade rooms, and the library.  Special holidays and events were teaching opportunities and fun. On Thanksgiving, the preschool program prepared not one but three turkeys with full accompanying sides, all cooked and prepared as much ahead with the preschoolers. I am sure Mrs. Papows and Mrs. Reis needed to give up much of their predawn hours to prepare not only for the preschoolers, but for all those hungry high school students! The Gloucester H.S. Preschool teachers and student teachers volunteered their time in the community. I will never forget when they created activities and collected toys and treats for a friend of my sons, a 5 year old little boy stricken with cancer and in a hospital for years awaiting a bone marrow match. They walked at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and to raise awareness for the “swab to save a life” bone marrow campaign that the little boy needed. Today he is thriving and cancer free.

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On weekends the high school students sent home their school projects which were serious work on their end and magical custom hand made activities and games for our kids.

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I have to thank John and Alexandra, Alexandra’s Bread, for steering my family to this incredible preschool resource.  Upon their recommendation, I made an appointment to visit the program and was immediately bowled over by seeing so many engaged and vibrant young adults–male and female– with so much energy and hope in their faces all directed at these lucky little preschoolers. I vividly recall my mother–who had a long career in education and extensive experience with teacher evaluations– putting her hands on my shoulder to grab my attention when she visited the class for the first time.

“Do you understand how remarkable it is that Mrs. Papows can switch her style back and forth each and every day teaching preschoolers and high school students like that?!  They require completely different skills, approaches and handling!” Ok maybe not ‘handling’.

Ah, no, I didn’t. Her comments did bring back my sons’ first day of school when I experienced Mrs. Papows’ quick social intelligence and observation skills.  She leaned down to study my sons, identical twins, and would not let them pass until she knew them. She did it so fast, I thought,  is she one of those super recognizer people, the ones I’ve read about that are so adept at facial recognition and reading people?

I came to believe that this impressive preschool program was so good that it was clearly a terrific opportunity for Gloucester to reveal an outstanding teaching model. Maybe it could inspire other programs or be replicated across other school systems? So I wrote letters and made phone calls to successive superintendents and principals, some contacts, and a few local and national media outlets about this hidden jewel, urging them to please, please keep Gloucester High School and this inspirational model program in mind and share it. What a great teacher story! What great high school students! At the time, national attention was focused elsewhere.  Forget the preschool and kindergarten at the 92nd Street Y and other private preschools in New York City: here was a local public school facing some economic challenges offering work at a high caliber.

When my kids went to elementary school, there were more great teachers. I thought it would be nice to have a Staff Shine box on the Gloucester Public School and city website. There would be no hesitation which teacher I would write about first.

Now my kids are at O’Maley Innovation and are learning from excellent middle school teachers. When the Honor Roll is published, the list is filled with former Gloucester High School preschool students. Thank you Gloucester preschool at the High School, all the former high school student teachers, Mrs. Reis and especially Mrs. Papows!

Please share the “Farewell Reunion” news so that former students and preschoolers can join in! SAVE THE DATE. Farewell Reunion. June 7th. 6-8PM. Gloucester Preschool at the High School.

LIVE at City Hall: GEF Gloucester Arts Festival

Listen to sweet voices from Veterans school chorus, “Imagine”.

 

Gloucester High School chorus

 

More theater, bands and chorus coming up!

Kurt Lichtenwald and GHS robotics presented at 1pm. GHS has 11  engineering courses — teaching to the top! Showing us Propane furnaces, LADAR, magnetic Newton’s cradle (no sound), a hovercraft that can carry 60 pounds… Design. Build. Modify. (More than one kid behind me said “I can’t wait to go to high school.”) Displayed art by O’Maley Middle school artists throughout City Hall, Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free.

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Woodwork display is amazing!

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O’Maley Academy benefit Thursday May 4th: dine and enjoy the Drama Club’s medley of Broadway music and theater!

Mike Springer photograph for Gloucester Daily Times “Olivia Heasley rehearses a scene in “Be Our Guest” a musical revue at O’Maley Middle School…Dinner and drama: Performance meal to benefit  O’Maley Academy 18 (after school) clubs” 

  • Tickets: $10 adults, $5 kids and seniors, $20 per family, includes dinner and medley of Broadway musicals and drama
  • Date: Thursday May 4, 2017
  • Time: 6PM
  • Where: O’Maley
  • O’Maley Drama Club O’Maley Academy

 

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BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Women’s Equality Cape Ann (WECANN) official t-shirt. Staying active and alert! #wecann #gloucesterma

Buy one or buy ten and help support desperately needed scholarships!

CLICK BELOW TO GET YOURS TODAY!!

https://www.booster.com/capeannlowvscholarships

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Jessica Marie says “YES YOU CAN, YES WECANN!”

Author Wayne Soini Talks about Abraham Lincoln at Sawyer Library

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————REMINDER————

When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA
Subject: A brief talk with Questions and Answers on “Researching and Writing about Abraham Lincoln in 2017”
(None of my books on sale that night but I will gladly sign copies if people bought copies on Amazon.)
Author of DEEP SNOW, HIGH WATERS and FULL HEART (Young Man Lincoln Trilogy)…
Free and Open to the Public.

 

Oil painting of Abraham Lincoln by artist and sculptor Richard R. Miller

SELL OUT WARNING Loretta LaRoche in Beverly Tomorrow Night

As promised, we warn FOBs when a show is about to sell out. Tomorrow’s Loretta LaRoche – Love Laughter and Lasagna (taking you back in time to the humor of growing up with her Italian family in Brooklyn) is selling fast and there are only a few tables left at our new, intimate venue, 9 Wallis in Beverly.  You may have seen Emmy-winning Loretta LaRoche on PBS or during prior tours, but you’ve probably never seen her in an intimate room with comfortable table seating, a delicious Lasagna dinner and bar service!

You don’t want to be one of those people who calls us tomorrow begging for a seat that we can’t give you because there just isn’t any space left, do you?

Here’s Loretta on PBS:

More videos here.

Author Wayne Soini Talks about Abraham Lincoln at Sawyer Library

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When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA
Subject: A brief talk with Questions and Answers on “Researching and Writing about Abraham Lincoln in 2017”
(None of my books on sale that night but I will gladly sign copies if people bought copies on Amazon.)
Author of DEEP SNOW, HIGH WATERS and FULL HEART (Young Man Lincoln Trilogy)…
Free and Open to the Public.

 

 

 

Oil painting of Abraham Lincoln by artist and sculptor Richard R. Miller

Art teachers: they get the job done. Mary Sullivan and Brett Dunton at O’Maley Innovation Middle School

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Mary Sullivan and Brett Dunton, fine artists and visual arts teachers at O’Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester, MA, act like art is the best subject anyone could dream of teaching. It’s evident that they’ve established an inspiring collaborative approach; they work together seamlessly and dazzle the students.  Their art rooms are just the way you’d dream they should look–ample rooms that look like art work is done there in a big way.

 

They are super resourceful and adept at re-purposing and re-inventing materials. They adhere to the ‘your trash is our treasure’ school of thought. Any donated supplies can be dropped off at room 130 before or after school.

 

Art Room Wish List

– Yogurt cups (clean)
– Cardboard (clean)
– Wood (untreated by chemicals)
– Large paper grocery bags
– Magazines
– Hardcover books
– Yarn or string
– Fabric
– Any art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, paint, brushes, etc)
– Any kind of paint (tempera, acrylic, watercolor, latex house paint . . .)
– Posters of artwork
– Hardware (hammers, nails, screwdrivers, clamps, saws, sandpaper . . .)
– Other building supplies such as carpet, tiles, and linoleum
– Doo-dads and whatcha-ma-call-its
– Anything that could possibly be turned into art

contact: msullivan@gloucesterschools.com   mcsullivan.com and bdunton@gloucesterschools.com

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Sawyer Free at a crossroads: building plan meetings tomorrow January 11 at 4:00pm and 6:30pm

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Sawyer Free Building Committee is meeting at 4pm January 11, 2017 to discuss schematic design, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC grant opportunities), and ready another presentation. At 6:30pm they’ll give a second public presentation with the building team. (Today’s Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont has more information: Commish Questions: Library board presenting proposal at community forum Wednesday night) Below are photographs from the January 4th meeting for coporators and other invited guests. The library’s building committee and the new building team gave a presentation and fielded comments and questions. Attendees expressed both support and dismay. Like the schools, it’s a big topic.  There are similarities: seeking a matching state grant, steep building compliance requirements, same project manager as West Parish and architects as West Parish. Questions and concerns can be directed to a communications consultant engaged by the library who will help to connect you with answers. There was a scrumptious catering spread from Willow Rest. I liked the artisan flatbread school of fish display. Melissa and the Willow Rest team are so creative.

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The current North Shore Magazine gives a shout out to Beverly Library for being rather library-ish, “unlike a lot of libraries, it’s quiet.” Plus more interior photographs of the Boston Public Library.

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Boston Public Library passing through Daniel Chester French doors

 

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Longfellow among the 30 Boston notable mosaics

 

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Louis Saint-Gaudens twin lions, honoring Civil War veterans; grand stairs, ceiling, windows, partial peek at Puves de Chavennes murals

Balancing and balance

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Prior post: Proposed building plans. Plus universal access, consolidated archives and digitization

Good Stuff! (and stuffing)

If you follow any of what I write on GMG you’ll know that every once in a while I absolutely can’t not brag about the amazing things happening at the school where I am so blessed to work.

Having taught at Harborlight Montessori for 24 years, I left the classroom last year to join the pretty amazing Administration Team as the Director of Communication.  So, more than ever, I feel like not only is it ok to sneak in a post about Harborlight every now and again…but, I’d be remiss not to.  Just doing my job, friends 😉

So, this is what went down this week.  Lots.  Some FANTASTIC spreading of holiday joy…for such great causes.  The best part about it all…the teamwork!

The end result:

  1. 17 complete Thanksgiving dinners gathered, shopped for, and delivered to Pathways for Children in Beverly.
  2. A nice pile of cash left over to help with a Toy Drive next month
  3. More than 40 pies donated to Beverly Bootstraps
  4. More than 200 pies purchased to help fund the Middle School Class Trip
  5. A Thanksgiving Feast enjoyed by students from grades 1st-8th and faculty + staff thanks to AMAZING parent/grandparent volunteers

The process:

We have a wonderful tradition called Turkey Chores.  The students do chores at home, their parents give them a very small salary (I know, I know. Some of you will say that they should be doing chores around the house without expecting to be paid…but, this is for charity so go with it), the money raised goes towards buying dinners for Pathways for Children.  At the same time, each student brings in one Thanksgiving food item to supplement the dinners.  Each classroom builds a Thanksgiving Meal Basket. Yesterday morning, the Middle School students gathered the Donation Baskets and money from each of the classrooms, boarded our smaller bus, and hit the aisles of Shaw’s in Beverly.  They divided, conquered, and gathered all necessary items to build 17 Thanksgiving dinners….including, of course, turkeys.  Upon checking out, the Manager-on-Duty at Shaw’s gave us 25% off….hence giving the students the extra money for next month’s holiday store/toy drive.

The students loaded the meals onto the bus and went right to Pathways. Once there, they worked hard to unload and deliver all of the items they had purchased.  17 families, who may not have had a decent Thanksgiving meal, will now enjoy one.

Meanwhile, the same Middle School students were working with Jim’s Bagel and Bake Shoppe.  The Middle School students offered the school community the chance to buy pies…with part of the proceeds going to fund their Middle School Spring Trip. The option to buy an extra buy to give to Beverly Bootstraps was also presented.  More than 200 pies were ordered.  So, the amazing employees over at Jim’s might be extra tired. And, 40 extra pies were purchased.  Another local charity benefitted from the students’ hard work…on the very same day.

While both of those activities were going on, a village of parent (and grandparent) volunteers, like a bunch of magical elves, were busy preparing a Thanksgiving meal on campus for close to 90 students and the entire faculty and staff.  Our 18th Annual Upper School Feast went off without a hitch.  Easy for me to say, right?  Wow…did those volunteers work hard…as did the brave teacher who offers to lead the charge each year.

Did I mention that those same insanely busy Middle School students also worked together to bake TONS of their own pies for all to enjoy at the feast?  Did I mention that the younger students peeled and chopped carrots and potatoes…and made lovely place settings? Oh, wait.  Did I mention that some 3rd Grade representatives began the feast by reciting some traditional words of thanks from “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message”?

What would be the sweetest way to end an already pretty sweet day?  During the late afternoon hours, with 6 extra pies left for sale and looking lonely on the table…. two young boys came along with their mom and purchased them all…to deliver to their neighbors.  Love.

Kudos to the families for their participation and help in pulling all of this off.  Huge Kudos to the students for their hard work and giving spirit.  I am so incredibly proud of them all.

www.engageyourworld.org

Fine artist and award winning children’s book illustrator and author ANNA VOJTECH @Sawyer Free November 26

Don’t miss Anna Vojtech‘s special program for Cape Ann Reads from Sawyer Free children’s services. “Informative and casual master class about how to work with publishers and what do to for preparing and sending your children’s books to publishers.”

 

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Local Veterans read picture book, Heroes in Our Neighborhood, aloud to elementary school classes this week

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(photos Cape Ann Veterans Services)

This past week Cape Ann Veterans Services brought copies of the children’s picture book, Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood, and super volunteer readers, into our local Kindergarten, first and second grades to read aloud in the classes. Copies of the book were gifted to the classroom libraries. Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood ©2012 is by Valerie Pfundstein with illustrations by Aaron Anderson and foreword by John Vigiano Sr., a Marine Veteran and retired FDNY Captain, who honors his sons’ memories (both lost on 9/11) by volunteering his time and resources to Gold Star families and wounded heroes.

Volunteer readers at East Gloucester School: Members of the US Coast Guard Station, Gloucester, Navy/Veteran/Gloucester Police Department Officer Kevin Hicks and marine Corps Veteran Michael S. Grossi who read to his son’s class. 

Volunteer readers at West Parish: members of the the US Coast Guard Station  Gloucester; David Parisi Air Force Veteran who read to his daughter’s class; Marine Corps Veteran/State Trooper Tim Sova who read to his daughter’s clas; Coast Guard and Marine Veteran/deputy harbor master Chad Johnson; Vietnam War Marine Veteran Brian O’Connor; Army Veteran Anthony Trupiano who recently returned home; Ray Towns Army Veteran/commander of Gloucester Amvets; and Korean War Veteran Melvin Olson .

Volunteer readers at Plum Cove: Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Services Francisco Urena, Marine Veteran; Trina Parisi-O’Donnell, Air Force Veteran whose son attends Plum Cove; Police Officer Brendan Chipperini and Vionette Vee Chipperini Army Veterans; Gloucester Sea Cadet Commander Robert Pallazolla Air Force Veteran; Police Officer Chris Frates Coast Guard Veteran; Richard J Cavanaugh, Army Veteran; and Devan Smith and Mike Pillelli of US Coast Guard Station, Gloucester

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Adam Curcuru telling Pauline Bresnahan and Anita Coullard Dziedziek about the book last month.

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Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Robert McNamara, Norman Mailer, Maxwell Taylor & lots more

We just voted. It was easy. No lines. We understand if you don’t like the choices. You probably seldom do. But you still have to choose. We all do. That’s kind of the point of a democracy. We never get exactly what we want, but we all work together for the good of our country as a whole.

More importantly, there are MASS referendum measures on the ballot today that will most likely affect your life far more than the new president will. I woke up today with this song in my head. It’s Paul Simon’s satire of Bob Dylan and politics all wrapped up into one fun song on Simon & Garfunkel’s mega-hit album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (all of which we have growing in our garden). Listen, laugh, vote and feel better! Lyrics below the video…

I been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored
I been John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d
I been Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I’m blind
I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed
That’s the hand I use, well, never mind

I been Phil Spectored, resurrected
I been Lou Adlered, Barry Sadlered
Well, I paid all the dues I want to pay
And I learned the truth from Lenny Bruce
And all my wealth won’t buy me health
So I smoke a pint of tea a day

I knew a man, his brain was so small
He couldn’t think of nothing at all
Not the same as you and me
He doesn’t dig poetry
He’s so unhip that when you say Dylan
He thinks you’re talking about Dylan Thomas
Whoever he was
The man ain’t got no culture
But it’s alright, ma, everybody must get stoned

I been Mick Jaggered and silver daggered
Andy Warhol, won’t you please come home?
I been mother, father, aunt and uncled
Been Roy Haleed and Art Garfunkeled
I just discovered somebody’s tapped my phone

Don’t miss a chance to publish: still 1 week to register for Cape Ann Reads picture book contest! Plus a shout out to artist volunteers!

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Entry forms are rolling in! 

Applicants have until December 15th to upload a book submission,

but they need to register by November 15th or they won’t be eligible for the contest.

Shout out to local artists John Bassett, Bonnie Sylvester and Alexia Parker. Last week we reached out to local media including the Gloucester Daily Times, Cape Ann Beacon, Cape Ann Chamber newsletter, This Week on Rocky Neck and Good Morning Gloucester to help us broadcast the contest and/or seeking volunteer artists. Artists (and writers!) generously stepped forward with intriguing and generous offers! Scroll down to read more about three of the artist volunteers that responded to this recent public appeal. At this time we have more volunteers than requests. Amazing and inspiring!

Glass sculptor, artist John Bassett www.basglas.com, was the first to reach out with a generous and flexible offer. His website links to pages of glorious works.

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His offer was quickly followed by Bonnie Sylvester’s thoughtful reasoning: “As an artist and early childhood educator, I would love to add my name to the mix of local volunteer artists that writers may consider. I think it will be a lot of fun to work this way.”  Sylvester works in a wide range of material including mixed media, acrylic, and watercolor. “I believe exceptional picture books are a marriage of story and picture. It’s so important to see the creativity in the author’s vision.”  She has a master’s degree in early education and is a docent at Cape Ann Museum.

Alexia Parker wanted to volunteer after she was urged by a couple of her friends and fans: “I had couple of friends and coworkers who saw it in the Gloucester Daily Times and contacted me. I grew up in Essex…I also work…in Essex. As far as my art goes, I have just recently been exploring avenues to get my name out there a little. Illustrating childrens’ books has been a dream of mine since I was a child, so I thought this could be a fun way to try it out.” She included this stunning collage as an example.

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Stay tuned for more exciting news:

The Jury panel will be announced this week!

There will be a second jury panel made up of children. If you know a Cape Ann K-5th grader who likes to read or be read to, and would be excited to be part of the kids jury panel, let your library know! Names will be pulled out of a hat. For more information contact Capeannreads2016@gmail.com.

Cape Ann Reads children’s picture book contest is open to Cape Ann residents of ALL ages, students attending school on Cape Ann and people who work on Cape Ann. One winning book will be published by Cape Ann Reads in 2017, a first-edition printing prize valued up to $10,000. Additional honors will be announced.

Sponsor opportunities:

The 4 Cape Ann libraries and many regional partners have coordinated a calendar of wonderful events throughout 2016. Additional sponsors and support are sought and welcome! After the registration deadline, the contest organizers will announce additional specific prize categories.

 

 

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