The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2003

When there's nowhere else to go

To the Editor

We are all now starting to think about the approaching holiday season and the warmth and comfort of having our families together. For a moment, however, I would ask you to think about those families whose problems have become so over-powering that they become dysfunctional and potentially dangerous. What happens when the traditional safety net of extended families, friends and churches is, for whatever reason, not able to help? What happens when families are in crisis and there is nowhere else to go?

For these families, the last resort is often the Department of Social Services or DSS, the department of the state government that is charged with protecting children and families who may be in danger. Concord and Carlisle are covered by the Framingham Regional Office which is responsible for 23 towns in the Metro West area.

Over the last three years, 23 families in Concord and Carlisle and over 35 children have been serviced by the Framingham office. Services include family counseling and support, foster parenting, adoptive services and residential placements for children.

As foster parents, my wife and I have become familiar with the wonderful and caring people who provide these services and, of course, many of the children who have unfortunately been caught in these difficult circumstances. Both the care providers and the children deserve our support.

How can you help? I might suggest three ways. First, the office is always looking for new foster parents. I can assure you that this work is not only much needed but unbelievably rewarding.

Secondly, the Regional Board for the Framingham office accepts monetary donations which are utilized to support the needs of the children, the foster parents and the social workers. Gifts are much appreciated.

Finally, please keep an open mind and a warm place in your heart when you hear folks talking about wasteful and bloated government programs. I can assure you that this is one place where government expenditures are much needed and well spent.

If you are inclined to help in any way, contact me at 1-978-369-0448 or I will see that you are directed to the right place.

Have a wonderful holiday season with your families and, please, give a little thought to those families who sometimes have nowhere else to go.

Timothy Hult
Audubon Lane
Chairman, Framingham Area Board, Department of Social Services

CEF is creating an endowment fund to honor retiring Carlisle School Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson

To the Editor:

Davida Fox-Melanson will be retiring from the Carlisle School this year, after a brilliant 13-year career as its superintendent. In her honor, the Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF) is embarking on an initiative to establish an endowment, the Davida Fox-Melanson Fund for Excellence in Teaching. This endowed fund will be a tribute to her inspiring tenure as an innovator, her commitment to teamwork and collaboration in all aspects of teaching and administration, and her tireless advocacy for excellence for Carlisle's children. The fund will honor her belief that the school should be a learning community for teachers as well as students, where they can and must continue to learn and grow professionally.

All of us recognize the excellence of the Carlisle School. That excellence is in large part the result of the dedication and eagerness of the teachers to research and implement new ideas and then to teach each other on the school campus. It is also the result of setting long-term goals to offer consistency in curriculum within and across grades. This has happened over the past 13 years under Davida's leadership. The goal of the endowment will be to fund teacher professional development, and to provide for new initiatives, training, visits to other schools to observe "best practices," and curricula to support these programs. We hope that this endowment will allow the school to continue to adopt proven new practices to keep our teaching current and continuously improving at a time when financial resources for this kind of initiative are scarce.

We will be sending out a letter to each of you in the community within the next several weeks to ask you to consider a donation to this effort. We are excited at the possibility of creating an opportunity to provide this lasting support for the school.

Laura Snowdon
president, Carlisle Education Foundation

CSA house tour raised $4,500 for the school

To the Editor:

The Carlisle School Association would like to thank the seven gracious homeowners who opened their homes to the public for Carlisle House Tour on December 5. They decorated their homes in unique and special ways each home was different ranging from contemporary to antique. We heard from people who visited from out of town who told us that they had had no idea that Carlisle offered such varied and unique homes! We would also like to thank the more than one hundred volunteers who brought warmth and welcome to the homes in which they worked. We were delighted to welcome a number of Carlisle seniors who were excited to support the school in a way that they could enjoy. The artwork done by first-grade students and now exhibited in the school library was a huge hit and a source of pride for our first graders. We heard from so many people who were impressed with the organization and professionalism exhibited throughout the day. At the end of the day, when the ticket sales were counted up, we had raised $4500,, which the CSA will turn over to the school to support programs that might not be possible in another tight budget year.

None of this could have happened without the dedication and commitment of a hardworking and cohesive House Tour Committee and the incredible generosity and support of so many people the homeowners, the many wonderful volunteers who worked on Friday, the Balboni family, and the school administration.

A special thank you to Dale Ryder, who guided the committee through the premier house tour. As Dale said, "I hope that we will all take a moment to reflect on one of our many blessings of living in a town like Carlisle an outstanding school and the many people willing to give of their time and resources and skills to support that school in a way that includes our community."

Cynthia Sorn
CSA Publicity Coordinator
Rutland Street

Where can we give used clothing?

To the Editor:

We appreciate the information on donations in today's Mosquito.

We see that only one organization appears to be accepting ordinary, indoor, clothing (as opposed to heavy outdoor clothing), and that one, only for a short time. We've also noticed that the Salvation Army Boxes at the transfer station are usually overflowing. The implication is, there's not much demand for ordinary used clothing in good condition.

Does anyone know of a local organization that really wants, and can make use of, such clothing?

Jean Keskulla and George Stalker
Concord Street

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito