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Holliston February 2018

Holliston February 2018

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Page 2 Holliston Local Town Pages www.localtownpages.com February 2018 DI TEAM continued from page 1 pretty much they were just trying to get kids to vape,” says Matthew Cunis, aged 10. The electronic sign flashed the messages, “Quit smoking,” “Buy Your E cigarettes,” “Try Vaping,” and “We Sell Fidget Spinners.” When the kids saw it, their first thought was “Take that sign down,” says Jack Baribeau, a member of the DI team. Chris Baribeau and Patti Baribeau, who coach The Raw Spaghettis, comprised of five fourth-graders and one thirdgrader, says the DI team chose the topic “Community Affairs” in preparation for the local Destination Imagination competition, which will take place on March 11th in Bellingham. “Basically, the requirement was they have to pick an issue that has an impact in the community and try to do something about it a,” says Chris. He had the team start brainstorming, following the DI process. “We talked about drugs and alcohol, talked about the food bank, and even some other ideas like development cutting down trees and more deer in the neighborhood. Then one of the kids said the vape shop was advertising fidget spinners. All the kids got really angry. They didn’t really know what vaping was, but they knew it was a smoke shop and smoking was bad.” Patti Baribeau, a nurse, sometimes substitutes at Holliston Schools. She says she has discussed the problem firsthand with school nurses. She says vaping devices are being used in class, and they are odorless and can look like pencils or flash drives. The Raw Spaghettis did their research on the health effects of vaping on kids. “There’s chemicals in vaping, chemicals found in anti-freeze, Formaldehyde, Propylene glycol Love your cut found in aircraft de-icing fluid,” says team member Anthony Stucchi, “and one cartridge of has the same nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.” The boys also found research that suggested vaping could lead to tobacco use and possibly other stronger substances. “If you have vaping you might want to try more dangerous things,” says Jack Baribeau. The excited boys originally wanted to stage a protest, but after talking to a one of the team’s fathers, who is a judge, and a local police officer, they decided a protest might be too complicated. Plus, it was cold. They decided to create a petition and hold an event, for which they made posters, at the Adams Middle School to encourage Holliston residents to sign. They would take the signatures to the shop. On January 24th, the team’s advisors took the petition to the vape shop. The end result? “We met with the vape shop owner,” says Chris Baribeau. “He agreed to take down the sign, and he was very cordial.” Kent Braley, Vape City Smoke Shop manager, says he was surprised when presented with the petition. He was more than happy to take down the graphic. “We have a very strict identification policy; they need to prove with valid ID that they are of age upon entry. The last thing we’d want is to have any of our products designed not for (those) underage to get into underage hands.” His customers, he says, must be 21 years of age BOY SCOUT continued from page 1 or older in order to shop there. As to concerns over kids getting their hands on vaping products online, Braley agrees, “It’s a valid concern. Parents should be well aware that as well as making sure stores are making due diligence, that very few websites will ask for confirmation of age. If (those under age) have their parents’ credit card and they’re determined, it’s possible.” The Raw Spaghettis will present a skit at the Destination Imagination competition acting out what they did and learned. scout in uniform is free, and $20 limit per family. On Scout Sunday, scouts are encouraged to wear their uniforms to their places of worship, and at St. Mary’s Church, at 9:30 a.m., boy scouts will attend Mass with a procession in full uniform. This event always helps raise funds for the troop for the various activities occurring over the year - community actions, merit badge and rank advancement, youth adventures such as rock climbing, hiking, snowshoeing and camping, in such areas as the White Mountains, Deer Lake, CT, Lonesome Lake, Nickerson State Park in Cape Cod, and Camp Squanto, as well providing funds to purchase required equipment for such events. 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February 2018 Holliston Local Town Pages www.localtownpages.com Page 3 100’s Turn Out for Spilka’s Social Emotional Learning Forum By J.D. O’Gara About 175 educators and others attended a forum on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) hosted on Tuesday, January 9th by Senator Karen E. Spilka (D- Ashland) with the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy (www.renniecenter.org). The conversation highlighted the work of exSEL: Excellence through Social-Emotional Learning (www. exselmass.org), a network bringing together school districts across Massachusetts to design and implement policies and practices that promote SEL. “About nine communities are using SEL and have it embedded into their curriculum a little bit ahead of communities in Massachusetts,” explains Sen. Spilka. The exSEL Network is led by the exSEL Coalition, whose members include the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives and Massachusetts School Administrators Association. The exSEL Coalition’s non-profit partners, the Rennie Center and Teachers 21, provide expertise, support and training for the network. The forum was part of Senator Spilka’s MetroWest Kids Initiative, designed to identify strategies to help children in MetroWest learn, grow and succeed, with a focus on social-emotional learning. SEL is a research-backed framework to bring skills like stress management, positive relationship-building, responsible decision-making and empathy into classrooms. Spilka, who served as Ashland SPECIALIZING IN COMPLETE COLLISION & BODYWORK Free Estimates School Committee chair at one time, started the MetroWest Kids initiative about two years ago. “There were times I’d meet with school committee members, parents, school administrators. I’d hear there were gaps in information coming to them about raising healthy, resilient, strong kids. And so we did some research,” says Spilka. What she found was a new movement, called Social-Emotional Learning, was taking hold across the country. “Children in school learn how to apply the knowledge and skills necessary to understand themselves, their own emotions, their goals for themselves and for others,” says Spilka. Some of this learning might focus on setting and achieving positive goals, appropriately feeling and showing empathy, being able to maintain positive relationships and making healthy decisions. “Talking many of my community members, when I asked if that would be a good thing to bring resources to my communities, there was a resounding yes.” Spilka organized her first major forum on Social Emotional Learning about a year ago, inviting the CASEL group out of Chicago to come speak in January of 2017. “From my perspective, social and emotional learning should be an integral part of all of our education systems in what we do, not as a separate component of curriculum, but throughout the curriculum, from preschool through high school,” says Spilka. Schools, she says, are looking at how to coordinate frameworks so as teachers teach academic components, social and emotional components are embedded in • Complimentary Pick Up / Drop Off Service • Complimentary Detail With Every Repair • Free Towing For Collision Repairs • Repairs Backed By Lifetime Warranty* Present This Coupon and Receive 10% OFF A CAR DETAIL Stop Being Overcharged at the Dealer Present This Coupon and Receive 25% OFF classroom instruction. “It’s been used to create a more welcoming, participatory and caring climate in schools, which is much more conducive to learning,” she says. The Senator explains that schools that have utilized SEL practices have seen decreases and bullying. While last year’s conference served as more of an introduction, this year’s forum featured the Rennie Center, of Boston, for a deeper dive into Social Emotional Learning topics. “As chair of ways and means, I have really focused on building resilient kids,” says Spilka, who began her career as a social worker and maintains a strong focus on children and mental health. “All of us have hardship during our lives, and you want kids to weather it, be persistent, have empathy and make good healthy decisions. I do feel that school systems, because of MCAS and testing, that we’ve gotten away from social emotional learning, but I think we really need to look at growing the whole child.” Spilka was pleased with the turnout for the event, which included educators, administrator, parents, and even students. She adds that the SEL approach in school must take place “in conjunction with parents and families and communities. You can’t have one without the other. 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