Benefit for MHS Student Injured Abroad August 22

Eric Almighty benefitA benefit is planned to help a Medford resident who was recently injured while on a senior trip abroad.

The “Eric Almighty Benefit” on Friday, August 22 will help cover the medical expenses of Eric Ferrazzani, a 2014 Medford High School graduate. The event is taking place from 7-11PM at the Medford Elks, located at 19 Washington Street. The 21+ event will include a DJ, silent and live auction, raffles, and a cash bar.

Tickets are $20 each. A table for ten can be reserved for $200. 100% of the event’s proceeds will go directly to the Eric Ferrazzani Benefit Fund.

For more information contact: Jackie Covino – 781-391-5860, pjpckmcov@hotmail.com; Marie Giannino, 781-799-4068, iluvmaddi@aol.com; or Tina Dell’Anno, 617-851-9409, Tina.dellanno@yahoo.com.

According to an online fund established to support Ferrazzani, nearly $30,000 has been raised from over 300 people in the last month.

- InsideMedford.com

Tufts, MIT Team Up to Create Programming App for Kids

ScratchJr: Coding for Kindergarten

With New App, Young Children Learn Important Skills as They Program Stories and Games

Kids using Scratch, Jr. app

With ScratchJr, young children (ages 5-7) learn important literacy skills as they program their own interactive stories and games. Photo: Amanda Strawhacker and Dylan Portelance/Tufts University.

Can children learn to code at the same age they’re learning to tie their shoes?

That’s the idea behind ScratchJr, a free iPad app released this week by researchers at the MIT Media Lab, Tufts University, and Playful Invention Company (PICO).

With ScratchJr (scratchjr.org), children ages five to seven can program their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just interact with it.

“As young children code with ScratchJr, they develop design and problem-solving skills that are foundational for later academic success,” said Marina Umaschi Bers, professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts, and director of the Tufts’ Development Technologies research group, which co-developed ScratchJr. “And by using math and language in a meaningful context, they develop early-childhood numeracy and literacy.”

ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (scratch.mit.edu), developed by the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group and used by millions of young people (ages eight and up) around the world. The ScratchJr team redesigned the interface and programming language to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development. Even children who have not yet learned to read can create projects with ScratchJr.

“Coding is the new literacy,” said Mitchel Resnick, MIT Professor of Learning Research and head of the Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group. “Just as writing helps you organize your thinking and express your ideas, the same is true for coding. In the past, coding was seen as too difficult for most people. But we think coding should be for everyone, just like writing.”

To program in ScratchJr, children snap together graphical blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves – then use the programming blocks make their characters come to life.

The teams at Tufts, the MIT Media Lab, and PICO collaborated on the design, development, and evaluation of the ScratchJr software. Now that the iPad app is available, the teams will turn their attention to developing versions for other platforms (such as Android), adding new features for sharing ScratchJr projects, and developing curriculum and support materials for teachers and parents.

The ScratchJr project received funding from the National Science Foundation (DRL-1118664), Code-to-Learn Foundation, LEGO Foundation, British Telecommunications, and a successful Kickstarter campaign.

- Information and photo from Tufts University

Medford Families to Perform in OPENAIR Circus this Weekend

Many Medford families are among the students and teachers as the OPENAIR Circus holds its 29th annual performances under the big top at Conway Field this weekend.

Come watch as students of all ages from 3 to adults and teachers showcase their skills in A Haunted Circus!

Conway Field is at 560 Somerville Ave, Somerville, across from Central Street. Suggested donation is $3.00.

Showtimes:

- Friday, August 1st 7pm
- Saturday, August 2nd 2pm and 7pm
- Sunday, August 3rd 2pm

Please visit www.openaircircus.org for further details.

Pictured: From left to right: Medford residents Kerry Collins, Sarah Ruemenapp, Bianca Mase, and Leila Walker performing at the Open Air Circus in 2007. Photo courtesy Vicki Halal.

- InsideMedford.com

Senate Passes Campaign Finance Legislation

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to strengthen reporting requirements for independent expenditure committees and bring a higher level of transparency to elections in the Commonwealth, Senator Jehlen announced.

“In the wake of the Citizens United ruling, there has been a clear need for – at the very least – increased disclosure of corporate spending in politics,” said Senator Jehlen. “This law will add much-needed transparency to the process and ensure that voters are aware of who is attempting to influence the election and how.”

“Cloaked spending continues to unfairly influence elections nationwide and it is destroying the civility of the political process,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “It’s time that we restore transparency to our elections process and allow voters in Massachusetts to know who is contributing and where money is going in a timely manner.”

Under the bill, corporations, labor unions and political committees will be required to report within seven business days of making an independent expenditure or within 24 hours of making an independent expenditure if the expenditure is made within 10 days but more than 24 hours before a primary or general election.

The bill requires any independent expenditure or electioneering communication transmitted through paid television, internet advertising or print advertising appearing larger than 15 square inches to include a written statement of the top five contributors if contributions exceed $5,000 and directions to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) website for a listing of all contributors.

The bill directs political action committees to designate a depository for campaign funds and to report on all contributions received and expenditures made twice a month. The bill also prohibits public employees from serving as the treasurer of a political committee.

The bill also requires all mayoral candidates to file reports with OCPF and increases the frequency of reporting for state legislative candidates. Under the bill, candidates for state Senate or Representative must file with OCPF by July 20 before a biennial state election and by the thirty-fifth day before a special primary, among other reporting requirements.

In addition, the bill increases individual contribution limits from $500 to $1,000 in a calendar year and increases the contribution limit by money order or bank check from $50 to $100.

The bill also removes an aggregate limit on individual campaign contributions in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling which struck down a similar federal provision.

For statewide candidate committees, the bill allows a contribution of up to $100 to another candidate committee, with an overall limit of $1,500 in a calendar year. However, if a committee receives public financing in the same year, no contributions are allowed.

To address accurate reporting for joint contributions, if a joint contribution does not indicate the amount to be attributed to each contributor, the amount will be attributed equally unless it will cause a contributor to exceed contribution limits.

The bill also requires that mailed voter guides include a statement of the impact of each ballot question on state and municipal finances starting in 2015.

The Senate and House will now produce a compromise bill for final passage and consideration of the Governor.

- Submitted by State Senator Patricia Jehlen’s office

Mayor Meets With Counterpart from City in Cameroon

Mayor with Jay Ebua and Anthony Mvo Dighambong

Mayor Michael McGlynn recently met with Mayor Anthony Mvo Dighambong from the City of Wum, Cameroon. He is pictured above with Mayor McGlynn and his cousin, Jay Ebua, a Medford resident. The three discussed the differences and similarities of Medford and Wum. Dighambong was visiting Medford for an international conference.

- Information and photo from City of Medford

Medford’s Donuts With a Difference ‘Best of Boston’

Donuts With a Difference

Medford’s Donuts With a Difference has made the 2014 Best of Boston list. The annual list includes 286 winners, according to Boston Magazine.

“Visit this delightfully retro storefront, and you’ll be rewarded with melt-in-your-mouth honey-dipped spheres, jumbo coffee rolls, and coconut cake rings with the perfect bite. Best of all: Each confection is affordable enough to justify buying a dozen any day of the week.”

As any Medford resident knows, it’s always best to get to Donuts With a Difference early; their delicious treats go fast!

- InsideMedford.com

‘First Jobs Academy’ for Teens August 4th-8th

It can be tough trying to find a community service placement or finding a great a first job as a teen.

Team Medford’s 1st Jobs Academy is designed to offer training to youth that is often overlooked yet required when applying for a community service placement or first job.

In addition, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions, explore your job preferences and make your community service hours or first job count towards your future!

Cost: $25

9AM to 1PM

August 4th to 8th

Monday through Friday

Medford High School room TBA

The program will cover:

Teambuilding: Designed to kick off the training in a fun and engaging manner, youth build relationships and trust in their fellow youth, or ‘colleagues,’ through games, activities, and reflective discussions. Youth set short-and long-term goals related to employment.

Dollars & $ense: Youth are provided with introductory financial literacy information and skills, including budgeting, saving, and credit. Content is presented using games and active discussion.

Healthy ME: Youth explore the role of their physical and mental well-being in relation to development of positive work habits.

Work Wise: The first session focuses on soft skills critical to success in the workplace, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, customer service, professional boundaries, and appropriate dress.

The second session focuses on the skills needed to obtain employment from the initial application process to writing a resume to interviewing. Youth complete a formal mock interview with an employer as a culmination of their learning.

A certificate of completion will be issued.

Snacks and refreshments will be served.

This program is funded by Team Medford’s Underage Drinking Prevention and Drug Free Communities Grant.

Participants must register 1 week prior to the start date of the session.

To Register and make a payment visit: www.medfordma.org/summer

If classes do not reach minimum enrollment, you will be contacted and refunded for that session.

- Submitted by Jemima Valdouin

Kids Enjoy Street Hockey Camp With Local Coach

Last week more than twenty Medford children participated in a street hockey camp at the outdoor hockey rink at Hormel Stadium as part of the City of Medford’s summer recreation program. Each day the campers participated in shooting and passing, a warm-up on the Hormel Stadium track, multiple 25-minute scrimmage games, and a breakaway contest. The campers ranged in ages of seven to thirteen.

This was the third year of the camp which is run by Josh Glionna, an assistant coach for the Medford High Girls Varsity hockey program. Girls hockey players volunteered their time to assist with the camp including Brenna Forbes, Courtney Hardy, Riley Lynch, Ashley Rodriquez and Summer Tufts.

The camp is part of the Medford Summer Recreation program. More information about upcoming recreation camps can be found on the city website.

street hockey camp

street hockey camp

street hockey camp

street hockey camp

street hockey camp

- Information and photos from Coach Josh Glionna

Medford Junior Mustangs Opening Day Practice Monday, August 4th

Spartans

Junior Mustangs cheerleaders

1st Practice begins at Memorial Park (off Winthrop St & Rt 16) Monday, August 4, 2014 @ 5:30 PM

Former Mustang Football greats Finn and Iozza to coach Medford Jr. Mustangs Youth Football!

Former Boston College Tight End, Medford High Football Captain and Mustang Hall of Fame Inductee Eddie Finn will be coaching the Junior Mustangs (3rd & 4th) grade Freshmen Division and Rich Iozza, former Medford High School and Bridgewater State University Offensive Tackle (5th & 6th) grade Junior Varsity Division.

Divisions: Flag (1st & 2nd Grade); Freshmen (3rd & 4th Grade); Junior Varsity (5th & 6th Grade); Varsity (7th & 8th Grade).

No Weight Restrictions * Age Protected * No Player or Cheerleader left behind

All Coaches are certified in Youth Football and Concussion Awareness; the Medford Jr. Mustangs will part of the Commonwealth Youth Football Conference under the umbrella of American Youth Football and Cheer

Registrations will be accepted during the first week of practice, subject to availability

For further information: www.medfordyouthfootball.com.

- Information from Medford Youth Football and Cheer

Mustang Football Team Holding Mattress Fundraiser

Medford HS and the Medford HS Football team will be sponsoring their third annual mattress sale on Saturday, August 16th.

Profits from this sale go directly to the team. This was a very successful fundraiser the past 2 years and we are very excited to be able to sponsor our 3rd event here at Medford High School.

Brand new, name brand mattress sets will be 30% – 60% off retail. Top quality mattress sets with full manufacturer warranties. Much higher quality for price than a retail store!

All sizes, price ranges, delivery and free layaway will be available. Floor models will be on display at Medford High School from 10AM to 5PM on Saturday August 16th.

If you, or anyone you know is in the market for a new mattress…check out this fundraiser!! If you need a new
mattress before this sale or have any questions, please contact Jack Isaacs of Custom Fundraising Solutions at jisaacsCFS@gmail.com.

- Submitted by John Costello, President, Senior Medford Football Associates

Free ‘Songs of Slavery’ Concert August 3

Songs of Slavery: a Free Performance by the US Slave Song Project

Sunday, August 3, at 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Songs of SlaveryThis free concert by the U.S. Slave Song Project, held on the Royall House and Slave Quarters museum grounds, is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Medford Public Library and part of the yearlong Medford Tracing Our Faces project.

The U.S. Slave Song Project, based in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the authentic American folk music known as slave songs or spirituals. Under the direction of founder Jim Thomas, the chorus will perform songs that enabled enslaved African-Americans to communicate with one another, teach their children, record their history, and heal their pain.

Medford Tracing Our Faces sponsors monthly events to provide opportunities to consider Medford’s long history in the context of civil rights, to explore the legacies of these landmark events, and to work together to address critical issues of importance to the people of Medford. This project is co-sponsored by the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery, the Medford Human Rights Commission, and the Medford Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Collaborators include Medford Historical Society and Museum, Medford Public Library, Mystic Valley Area Branch of the NAACP, Royall House and Slave Quarters, and Tufts University.

In the eighteenth century, the Royall House and Slave Quarters was home to the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts and the enslaved Africans who made their lavish way of life possible. The Slave Quarters is the only remaining such structure in the northern United States, and the Royall House is among the finest colonial-era buildings in New England. The museum is open for guided tours on the hour at 1, 2, and 3pm, every Saturday and Sunday. On-street parking is available and the museum is located on the 96 and 101 MBTA bus routes. Visit RoyallHouse.org for more information.

- Submitted by Gracelaw Simmons

Healthy Cooking Class for Adults Begins July 31st

What's cookin'Healthy Cooking Class for Adults

Supported by the Medford Housing Authority and the Medford Family Network

Cooking Matters’ Hands-on Cooking & Nutrition Class

6 Thursday evenings
July 31; August 7, 14, 21, 28; September 4
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Location: Edgerly Hall, Saltonstall Building, 121 Riverside Avenue, Medford

Do you need to stretch your monthly food budget?

Learn how to choose, buy for and prepare delicious, healthy, inexpensive meals!

Work with a professional chef and nutrition instructor!

Cooking Matters Offers:
Free Groceries! Delicious Recipes!
Cooking Classes and Supplies!
Nutrition Information!

Cooking Matters Expects:
Regular Attendance for 6 Weeks!
Class Participation!
An Open Mind!

Registration is required and child care is available upon request. Call Lisa Tonella at (781) 396-7200 ext 130 by Monday, July 21.

- Information from the Medford Family Network