SPRINGFIELD ― Springfield Parent Academy will host “Working Together for a Stronger Springfield,” on Saturday, April 12, 2014. “We are defining a stronger Springfield as one that is safer, healthier, more prosperous and graduates students who are college and career ready,” said Stand for Children Massachusetts, Organizing Manager Luz Lopez. “All the offerings will provide support to parents and families in these critical areas.” This FREE event will be held at Chestnut Accelerated Middle School, 355 Plainfield Street from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public. It will feature a keynote presentation on bullying prevention and intervention by Anne Gilligan of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a variety of other workshops such as; Alternatives to Violence, Internet and Social Media Safety, The Road to Graduation, and How to Talk so Others Will Listen. Several classes will be available in Spanish including, Finanzas Personales and Los Padres Son Poderosos. “We are excited to collaborate with Springfield Parent Academy as it offers our parents and families this exciting opportunity,” said Springfield Public Schools’ Chief of Parent and Community Engagement Patricia Spradley. “Parents are eager to support their children and this event will provide them with the strategies and tools to do this in several areas.” “I have attended several Springfield Parent Academy presentations and have always found them to be a source of valuable information,” said Don Dorn, Springfield Public Schools’ parent. “I look forward to attending and taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity.” Attendees will also have FREE on-site childcare provided by the YMCA of Greater Springfield, FREE bus transportation within the North End through First Student Transportation and a FREE light breakfast and lunch. For a complete list of “Working Together for a Stronger Springfield” classes, the event’s agenda, class registration or more information, please visit SpringfieldParentAcademy.com or call 413 787-6764. ■
As you may recall from our February issue, in July of 1964, a white Episcopal Priest, Francis X Walter, who was born in Mobile, Alabama but was working with ghetto youth in an inner city church in New Jersey, was sent back to Alabama by his church to identify civil rights violations that could be reported to the FBI.  While he wandered around lost in Gees Bend, Alabama, he spotted some colorful quilts hanging from a clothesline outside of a broken-down cabin inhabited by African American descendants of former slaves and sharecroppers who were also coping with fallout from  racist white Southerners, who were reacting to their efforts to vote. The reaction was so bad that the sheriff stopped running the ferry, which was the primary mode of transportation for Gees Bend residents. The racist sheriff was quoted as saying, “We didn’t close the ferry because they were black; we closed the ferry because they (Gees Bend residents) forgot they were black.”  Having a priest’s compassion and a sense of the Gees Bend history, it occurred to Francis Walter that, with the proper support, the women of Gees Bend could sell their quilts for profit so he set about making it happen. And as was revealed in our March Issue, “Part II: Selling the Quilts,” very successfully. What follows in Part III goes above and beyond the making and selling of Gees Bend quilts to the artistic recognition the Gees Bend quilters earned.
© An African American POV
April 1, 2014  issue
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Something From Nothing Part III: Honors By Dr. Stephen Wittenberg
The Pastors’ Council of Greater Springfield  The Reverend Dr. W.C. Watson, President   Lenten Service Schedule 2014
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Gees Bend Quilters, Mary Lee Bendolph and Loretta Pettway Bennett Photo from: swimbikequilt.com
Mark Tolosky, President and Chief Executive  Officer of Baystate Health Systems, was born in  Lyon Mountain, New York. I know this because he  told me. This valuable bit of intelligence about his  history originated from several casual  conversations we had over several dinners when  those of us at our tables just happened to touch on our backgrounds. For some reason, I had always  assumed that Mark’s background was much more  elaborate than Lyon Mountain, New York  suggested and learning otherwise is what led to  this quasi-historical tome. 
THE MAN FROM LYON MOUNTAIN By Frederick A. Hurst
Mark R. Tolosky, President and CEO, Baystate Health Systems
SPRINGFIELD PARENT ACADEMY HOSTS “WORKING TOGETHER FOR A STRONGER SPRINGFIELD”
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