Category Archives: Children

Wheelock School reading

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This year Wheelock School invited me to read, and this morning I had the distinct honor and pleasure to read Stellaluna, one of my all time favorites.

The train hat is left over from a Medfield Day I ran about fifteen years ago where I had the volunteer train drivers wear train engineer hats with the town seal on the front.  The kids recognized the town seal, even though it is pretty small.

When we talked about how bats are able to “see” in the dark, one boy explained that it was by “echo location” – impressive!

7 GS Gold Awards 3/19

March 4, 2016 Osler Peterson Medfield Town Selectman Medfield Town Hall 459 Main Street Medfield. MA 02052 Dear Selectman Peterson, GIRL SCOUTS It's that time of year again in Medfield! We are honoring an incredible number of Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients - seven! With over 40% of our 12th Grade Scouts being Gold Award Recipients, Medfield Girl Scouts ranks well above the national average of 5% - a very special distinction. In addition to recognizing these remarkable Scouts, seventeen of our 12th Grade Ambassador Scouts will be concluding their thirteen years of Girl Scouting and bridging to Adult Girl Scouts. Of additional note is that 9 of our 17 Ambassador Scouts have also earned various Girl Scout National Leadership Awards. Finally, we are very pleased to be celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting in Medfield. We arc one of the oldest Service Units in the country. Enclosed is a detailed description of each Scout's Gold Award project for your perusal. These seven Girl Scouts join an elite group of young women who are respected throughout the world for their dedication, leadership, and concern for their community. As you can see, we have a lot to commemorate and we hope you can join us Saturday. March 19th at 1:00 PM with a reception directly following the ceremony. This year the ceremony will be held at St. Edward Church at 133 Spring Street in Medfield. We invite you to arrive by 12:30 to be a part of our opening ceremony and walk in with the other dignitaries. I will call your office in the next few days to see if it is possible for you to attend this very special event. Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter, I remain with kind regards, Sincerely, Medfield Girl Scouts Gold Award Ceremony Committee Chair kcsteeger.a - 617-640-3277 - (c) MAR 1 4 2H6 About the Medfield Girl Scouts 2016 Gold Award Projects The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award available in Girl Scouting and is only earned by Girl Scouts who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to their communities and an outstanding dedication to achievement. In order to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, Scouts must first complete a series of prerequisites that take anywhere from 18 months to two years to complete. These pre-requisites are designed to give the Girl Scouts experiences in goal setting, leadership, career exploration and community service. Once the prerequisites are completed, each girl submits a plan for her Girl Scout Gold Award project that will require a minimum of 85 hours to complete. Each project needs to combine the skills and passions of the candidate in unique ways so that once completed, her project will leave a lasting mark on the community. Katherine Lyons My project addressed the issue surrounding the lack of knowledge of how poverty affects kids living on Cape Cod. Before beginning my project, even I was unaware of the severe poverty that affects many people living on the Cape and my goal was to make as many people aware of the issue in my hometown and surrounding areas as possible. I hope the awareness raised through my project benefits not only those who are Jiving in poverty, hopefully through increased donations and support, but by raising awareness to the fact that not all poverty is right before our eyes. I was able to put together 30 new backpacks filled with brand new school supplies and a few hundred books with bookmarks made by the kids at the Medfield Afterschool Program that were delivered over the summer and in the fall to Chatham Elementary School. My project also involved organizing the Cradles to Crayons 'Give Back with an Outfit Pack' drive within Medfield Girl Scouts. We were able to create 27 complete packs, 5 partially filled packs, 2 bags of additional items and had a total impact of 37 kids. Emily Piersiak My project addressed the issue of the absence of safe crossing at the end of Baker Pond in Medfield, and the Jack of encouragement for young women in the STEM fields. With the help of Girl Scout Troop 74900 and other members of the community, I constructed a bridge to span the runoff at Baker Pond. The project also included a class I taught at the Medfield Public Library, in which I was able to share my interest and knowledge in structural engineering and bridges. I am very pleased with the outcome of my project, especially the completed bridge and the information I imparted on all of the children who attended my classes. I would like to thank everyone who helped me complete this project, whether it was by donating materials or by physically helping to build it. I appreciate all of the help from my wonderful community, and I hope people enjoy all aspects of my project for years to come. Eliza beth Raine For Gold Award Project, Bats for a Cause, I addressed the decline of the local bat population due to human impact. I specifically designed this project not only to attempt to bolster the bat population for the purpose of offsetting human impact on the bats' local environment, but also to educate the public to the benefits of helping bats. I posted four bat boxes at the Trustees of Reservations as a refuge for migrating bats which would serve as nurseries for their newborn pups. My hope was that a growing bat population could help to regulate the recent overpopulation of mosquitoes, which may transmit harmful viruses to humans, like Triple E. Since the bats would stop the mosquitoes from transmitting those viruses, helping the bat population would ultimately benefit human healthcare. I also decided to educate the public about bats from around the world in order to dispel human fear of bats. I planned and executed presentations to various audiences in the community during Medfield Day, at MAP at Wheelock and Dale Street Schools, free time at Medfield's Council on Aging, and at Stony Brook's Earth Day Celebration. -OverZoe Smith Volunteering is something I value. It is a big pa rt of my life. For tunately, I had a program like Girl Scouts to start me on an early path of volunteerism. However, not everyone has t his type of opportunity. My goal for my Gold Award was to share my passion for volunteering in order to better my community. With this goal in mind, I chose to work with middle school students in my town to offer them diffe re nt opportunities to give back to the community in hopes of insti lling in them a passion to volunteer. I acted as a lia ison, connecting students with local volunteer organizations. Strong relations hips formed quickly. Many students are now volunteering regularly. Last ly, in order to receive their deserved recognition, students will have the chance to earn a President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). The PVSA recognizes citizens for bettering the coun try by volunteering. By working with middle school students, I was able to establish a genuine passion for volunteering which they can continue to pursue throughout their lives. Grace Sowyrda My Gold Award project addressed the issue of the lack of poetry programs and creative outlets in school, particularly in my town of Medfield. Poetry is a positive vehicle for connecting with others through raw emotion. It has universal themes that inspire others in the message that we are not alone in our feelings. I saw a need to provide this type of creative outlet. I addressed this issue by creating an after school poetry program at Blake Middle School to provide a safe and fun place for teens to connect and learn about poetry. I also created a poetry hour program at the library where I read poetry to the children a nd did a creative craft. To connect the town, I led an all age poetry reading at the Medfie ld Public Library and also led a poetry reading at the Senior Center. To support my efforts, I created a poetry website with easy ways for teachers to incorporate poetry into the ir curriculums. With each event, I was amazed to see poetry work its magic in connecting all the pa rticipants. Poetry is a very important part of my life and I am so lucky to have had the privilege to share its beauty and power with so many wonderful people . . Julia Steeger My project, "Co nn ecting Kids Who Have with Kids Who Need': addressed the issue of poverty a nd the many ways poverty affects children. It was the SOth anniversary of the "War on Poverty" launched by President Johnson that gave me the idea. Even with 50 years of effort, 15% of our state's chi ldren continue to live in poverty. I created my Gold Award project to educate kids in Medfield about how poverty affects kids who live in it and what we could do together as a community to help improve t heir circumstances. I wanted kids here in Medfield to know there was something they could do to help kids who live in poverty and that by passing along their gently used clothing, books and toys, they could help kids in need. With the help of the school administration, I was able to have a Cradles to Crayons collection unit placed at the Wheelock School. I also ran several assemblies at the schools to educate kids about the affects of poverty on kids who live in it, and established several town-wide collections: an annual "Stuff the Truck" event for clothing, books and toys as well as a food drive for Medfield Food Cupboard. Olivia Taylor Previously, there had been no prominent tutoring service in Medfield for children in grades K-5. My project was to create a tutoring program that connected high school students with e lementary school students. It is a imed to improve core academic skills, as well as create a bridge between older and younger children. I ran a six-week program at the three elementary schools in Medfield for students in grades K-5, with 15 tutors and 36 participants across the three programs. The objective was to supplement what the kids were learning in class in a way that didn't fee l like school, a nd to help the kids with a new perspective. I also created a website to share my project, with an online sign-up to connect high school a nd elementary school students for one-on-one tuto r ing. In the end, I hope my project provided a new service for the children and their parents, and a leadership opportunity for the high school students.

The Girl Scout celebrate 100 years of scouting in Medfield at its spring gold awards and bridging ceremony on 3/19.  The gold award recipients always have such interesting, thoughtful, and substantive projects.  It is also great to see so many girls having such a good and productive time together and with family.20160304-GSA-invitation_Page_120160304-GSA-invitation_Page_3

Read Across America

Marie Pendergast shared with me the photos she took of her class and I reading the Dr.  Seuss book on Wednesday, Wacky Wednesday.  I brought along about five hats and the jester hat was the “reading hat” the class voted for me to wear.

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Spelling bee

spelling bee

11th Annual Spelling Bee – Registration NOW OPEN

This much loved, low-key, low stress, FUN, spelling event will take place on April 5th at the MHS auditorium. This year’s theme is “Release Your Spelling Bee-st”. The online registration is now open (from March 1st – March 18th). The cost is $60 per team of three. Each registrant gets a cool Spelling “Bee-st” T-shirt. Concessions will be available for sale.


Click here for more information and Bee registration:



Read Across America

Dr. SEuss

Each year Memorial School invites people in to read to the children on the birthday of Dr. Seuss (111th) as part of Read Across America, and today I got to read Dr. Seuss’ Wacky Wednesday.  The children found all of Dr. Seuss’ multitude of wacky things in the story, as the wacky items per page climbed from one to twelve.  The kids voted my jester hat as the one I should wear while reading, and corrected me about my tie really showing Goofy and Donald, not Bert and Ernie, not the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.  A fun morning, and a great tradition.

Memorial School


Winter Carnival 3/12

A1 Booth Detail Poster

Stress & mental health big student issues

MHS sigh

This article is from the Medfield Press.

At the Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) meeting this morning, that focused on the high levels of student stress and mental health issues noted in the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, Jeff Marsden, the Superintendent, said that the full survey will be released after the March 9 presentation on the data to parents.  Seeing in the data the high numbers of our kids that are contemplating suicide requires us, as a town, to respond.


  • Posted Feb. 29, 2016 at 2:22 PM


    Medfield often receives praise for its small-town community atmosphere and strong school system, but similar to other towns in the region, more Medfield adolescents are experiencing stress, feelings of sadness, and suicidal thoughts, according to the most recent MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey administered in 2014.

    In addition to stress-related data, parents and community members at large will have a chance to learn what other important information the survey revealed about Medfield students at a special presentation at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 9 in the Medfield High School auditorium.

    Speakers will be Susan Cowell, head of the Wellness Department for Medfield Public Schools, and Christi Barney, RN, MSN, a mental health expert from Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, who will talk about the unique signs of adolescent stress and share strategies parents can use to help their children.

    “On the positive side, the survey showed a decline in cigarette and marijuana use, however, the uptick in areas related to mental health are very concerning,” said Cowell, who has overseen student participation in the biennial survey since it was first administered in 2006.

    Other areas of concern based on survey findings include:

  • Bullying/cyberbullying
  • Distracted driving
  • Sleep deprivation
  • High-risk alcohol use
  • Unhealthy weight loss and body image
  • Use of e-cigarettes (“vaping”)

“Medfield is not alone in trying to address student stress and related mental health issues – it’s a problem affecting youth across the MetroWest region and beyond,” said Cowell. “We also know mental health issues are on the rise in college-aged adults too.”

Medfield Superintendent of Schools Jeff Marsden said, “It is critical that all of us – the school community and greater Medfield community – become more aware of the issues impacting the health of our youth and identify ways we can work together to support them. Our presentation on March 9 will be an important step in the right direction.”

The MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, developed by the MetroWest Health Foundation, is part of a long-term initiative to monitor trends in health and risk behaviors. Based on 2014 responses, more than 40,000 students in grades 6 through 12 from 25 towns took the anonymous survey.

According to Cowell, with a few exceptions, Medfield’s local data reflects the regional data. Regional data on all health topics surveyed among high school students can be found at