Harvard University

Happy Mother’s Day!

IMG_4663Are you reading this while waiting for your surprise breakfast in bed? Then go read this beautiful essay by Laura Shea Souza.

Mom, ours forever

Breakfast still not ready and you hear a lot of commotion? It’s okay.

Enjoy the cards, the flowers from the yard and the spilled juice. What is on deck? When your family asks what you want to do for your special day – be ready with some family friendly ideas.

The Art of Craft is an open artisan market held in Cambridge over Mother’s Day weekend. Join the fun Saturday, May 11th and Sunday, May 12th 2013 from 10 to 6:00. This celebration of local artisans and community members includes music, children’s activities, and delicious locally made food for all. Parking and admission are free.

The Art of Craft features only handmade work from artists and artisans from all over New England. With over 80 different artists who work with a variety of media, there is something for everyone. From gorgeous wooden cutting boards and woven textiles, to perfectly crafted jewelry and fun, funky handmade toys to edgy hipster T’s we’ve got it all this year.

There will be a live stage with music for listening, dancing and singing along. In addition, this year we have some fabulous food trucks joining us on Saturday late afternoon and Sunday starting at lunch time.

Located in Cambridge just off of Route 2, near Fresh Pond and easily accessible by car, bike, or bus. A portion of the proceeds of this event will go to support the arts at the Fayerweather Street School.
Artists are welcome to subscribe to our artists’ list to be in the loop for the Art of Craft 2014 and have access to updates, event news and more here.

https://www.facebook.com/FSSCraftShow
http://artofcraft2013.eventbrite.com
https://twitter.com/onceuponaschool

Go for the food trucks, stay for the art and music. Well, I’m hungry.

Also today is Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. Sure it’s raining now but it’s supposed to clear up around noon, Really. Pack a picnic – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anyone?

Still waiting for that breakfast? Also check out Mother’s Day Guide from Boston.com. You can plan your day while you wait (it shouldn’t be long now). Have a lovely Mother’s Day!

 

A Step Up for Strong Women, Strong Girls

There is a group of really dedicated women who have taken it upon themselves to find local charities who need a boost or, if you will, a step up. They focus on small, local non-profits that do not have huge marketing budgets but that are doing good work. It is an informal gathering of women (sorry, guys – you can send a check, though!) and the suggested donation is only $35.  It is a really nice way to connect within your community, socialize a little and make a tangible difference. I encourage you to go (it is fun), get involved and do some good. I wrote about my experience here and they liked it so much they asked to put it on their website. The next fundraiser is October 13 and focuses on Strong Women, Strong Girls which is a great organization that pairs college-age mentors with younger girls.

Our Mission

Strong Women, Strong Girls is an emerging not-for-profit organization that supports the leadership and self-esteem development of women and girls. The mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls is to build upon the lessons learned from strong women throughout history to encourage girls and young women become strong women themselves. By building communities of women committed to supporting positive social change, Strong Women, Strong Girls works to create cycles of mutual empowerment for women and girls.

To do this, Strong Women, Strong Girls has created an innovative after school model that uses the study of contemporary and historic female role models, mentoring relationships with college undergraduate women, and skill building activities to help at-risk girls in grades 3-5 build positive self-esteem and skills for life-long success.

In addition to supporting the development of young girls, Strong Women, Strong Girls also emphasizes the leadership and growth of the college women who volunteer as mentors. Strong Women, Strong Girls seeks to build the skills and leadership capacity of these talented young women to engage them as mentors for girls in their communities now and as life-long advocates for women and girls.

There are chapters at the following institutions of higher education: Boston College,Harvard University,Northeastern University, Simmons College, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and U0niversity of Pittsburgh.

From A Step Up’s website:

The mission of a step up is to educate members of our community about the innovative, important contributions made by local charities and to raise money for specific initiatives at these organizations. All of the money we raise goes directly to the people who need help – none goes to overhead or fundraising costs.

To achieve this mission a step up invites women we know to attend fun, informal gatherings. We host the events at our homes and we invite a representative from the organization to speak about their work and impact. We ask guests for a $35 donation which will go towards a specific initiative at the organization we are supporting. We have a chance to socialize with old and new friends while learning about a charity and the many ways to get involved in our community. We hope to make positive changes in peoples lives and raise our level of awareness while meeting new and interesting women.

So please join me in strengthening our community and supporting these hard-working volunteers (they charm local merchants into donating the refreshments and I suspect they go out of pocket if no one ponies up) all funds go to the featured non-profit. They donate the space, the food and beverages (yes, there will be wine) and their time and energy. The least you can do is to join in. Contact them at a.step.up5@gmail.com for more information.

Families First : Parenting in the Digital Age – A fundraising event that inspired, entertained and educated…then over to The Local for a bite to eat.

Last week (yes, the same day I resisted chocolates from Fancy Nancy – only to succumb another day), I went to a fundraiser for Families First , a great organization that offers parenting workshops in the Greater Boston area.  It was held at the Boston College Club in downtown Boston (on the 36th floor of what I call the pregnant building or, really, the Bank of America building). Great views, a  nice glass of white wine, some killer appetizers and a great group of people…now we were all in the mood for…more wine?  Nope, a parenting talk. Fortunately, and as is customary for Families First, we were in for a treat…not just a parenting talk but a truly inspiring parenting talk.

The first speaker was La Verne Saunders, a wonderfully enthusiastic, funny and knowledgeable parent educator from Families First.  She did a fantastic job of engaging the audience (of mostly tired parents) and showing how a parenting class would be run. We laughed, nodded and smiled at each other as we all made connections to her presentation of how the principles and values in our lives affect our parenting decisions and how sometimes we ignore them and why.

Next was the keynote speaker, John Palfrey of Harvard University, who immediately charmed the audience by sharing that he would not take up much time as he had a date with his son at the Red Sox game and joking that La Verne was a tough act to follow – she is – and he was as compelling.  He has co-written, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives and here is a link to his site Digital Natives at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He spoke about children and their digital experience and presented a short film (by a student) that showed it clearly and wonderfully. Here is the video.  It is amazing to visualize your – or your child’s – tracks in the digital age. Digital Dossier from Digital Natives.

I have several friends who have long been involved with Families First and have been lucky enough to see first hand (at workshops and other events like this) what Families First can do.  I have always been impressed by the program offerings, the parent educators and the people involved and this night was no exception.

After the event, a group of us met up at The Local, a great neighborhood spot that is truly the neighborhood’s favorite spot, a great space with friendly staff and wonderful food.  Home to amazing burgers, fries (and I do know my burgers and fries) and phenomenal flatbread pizzas and some lobster mac and cheese dish that I want to try.  Definitely not your standard fare. The chef is Brian Counihan (he is also the chef at Isabella’s in Dedham – more amazing food!)  We watched the finish of the Red Sox game, chatted with the super friendly owners… it was the perfect end to a lovely evening.

%d bloggers like this: