Newton North High School

Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices EXPO

 Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices

What is Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices?

This is a multi-year effort by the Newton North PTSO and many community organizations to help parents/guardians and those who work with teens guide the teens in making good decisions that will lead to a long, happy, and healthy life.

What is the Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices EXPO?

It’s a fun gathering of many non-profit organizations that support teens and families in Newton and provide educational and prevention information and constructive activities.

When is it?

This year it’s being held on Wednesday, January 22, from 5-7:30 p.m.

Where is it?

In the main hallways at Newton North High School (457 Walnut Street, Newton, MA).

How much does it cost?

It’s FREE! The non-profits are donating their time, and the Newton North PTSO is using parent/guardian dues and donations to support this event.

Who is the expo for?

Middle schoolers, high schoolers, parents, guardians, teachers, staff, counselors, and anyone else who cares about Newton teens.

My child is only in middle school. She/he is too young for this.

Now is the ideal time to use your influence to guide your middle schooler in a positive direction and to counteract some of society’s negative messages!

My child is a junior or senior. She/he doesn’t want to be seen with me.

That’s okay. You come with some adult friends, and have your teen come with some teen friends. Whole Foods will be giving out hot hors d’oeuvres, and we’ll have live jazz. If your teen drives to school, tell her/him that the first 50 students who bring a parent will receive a goodie bag with a chance to use the Newton North principal’s parking space for a week.

My teen is fine. We don’t need this.

The teen years are exciting, challenging, and often surprising. Some of the exhibitors offer enriching activities for teens in Newton. Others educate teens about how to navigate the challenges of academic pressure, peer pressure, and societal pressure in order to stay safe and healthy. Your teen may use this information for herself or himself, or it may come in handy when a friend needs help.

My teen will be too hungry to come.

We’ll be giving away pizza to hungry teens.

We’re too busy too come.

If you have even 30 minutes to stop by, we’ll make it worth your while. We’ll have two 15-minute sessions! First, back by popular demand, we’ll have a short presentation about crash prevention and driver’s education.

5:30-5:45 p.m.           Special presentation to be announced

Later, in response to the number-one concern expressed at the recent Newton Youth Summit, we’ll have a short presentation about stress reduction.

6:10-6:25 p.m.            Special presentation to be announced

My teen says this sounds boring.

The exhibitors are planning a fun night with things like an Angry Birds game, simulations, videos, giveaways, and crafts.

There will work to get live performances by student groups.

Isn’t Junior Parent Night on Wednesday? We can’t come to the expo because we have a junior.

Good question. The expo starts at 5:00 p.m. to give you an hour and a half to explore the exhibits with your teen before Junior Parent Night (6:30 p.m.).

My teen has sports practice so we can’t come to the expo.

The high school coaches support the positive messages of the Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices expo and encourage families to attend. If your teen has practice at North, you can swing by the expo when you pick up your teen. Your teen can grab a slice of pizza at the expo to tide her/him over until dinner.

Okay, I’m thinking about coming with my teen. Who are the exhibitors?

Educational and prevention information

Great activities

Supporters from last year

Join the Newton North PTSO for Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices, an expo featuring approximately 30 community organizations. Parents/guardians and all those who help guide teens in making sensible decisions that will lead to a long, happy, and productive life are one focus. Teenagers are the other focus. They can participate in exhibitors’ enriching and fun activities, and they can also learn how to navigate the challenges of academic, peer, and societal pressures in order to stay safe and healthy. The expo will include several short presentations and discussions on current issues teens face every day.


Be one of the first 50 students who come with a parent and receive a goodie bag with a chance to use the Newton North principal’s parking space for a week.  Come, have pizza and stroll Main Street at Newton North High School on Wednesday January 22nd from 5-7:30 pm .


“Talking to our teenagers about making smart choices is so important as they navigate the challenges of being a teenager in 2013,” said Newton North Principal Jen Price in a letter inviting community members to attend. “This is our attempt to stimulate these critical conversations.”

Gifts for Grads, Dads, Teachers, Newlyweds, Birthdays and Babies

sharon schindler photography, boats, capability mom blog
Photo by Sharon Schindler

…that should cover it! I find this time of year even more challenging than the holidays in December and am always looking for creative, beautiful gifts for Teachers, Grads, Father’s Day, Baby Showers, Weddings…Whew. I am probably forgetting something, too. Really, I am frequently forgetting things…peri-menopause or something worse? You make the call.

Since our school system has a strict no gift policy that no one adheres to…oops, I mean, everyone does…really, they do. It is not as if we want to give Birkin bags or cars in exchange for a kickin’ recommendation letter, for goodness sake, we are talking about a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble, maybe, and our kids are too young for college rec letters anyway. Don’t get me started on how hard working and underpaid teachers are (disclosure, my sister and dad are teachers). So you want to thank your child’s teacher – what is a rule-following person supposed to do?

Wilder Glassworks Capability:Mom
Wilder Glassworks

Well, we have Honor Your Teacher – a program run by the Newton Schools Foundation* that lets you make a donation in honor of a teacher – a very nice thing to do, and, as an added bonus, you are following the rules.  You can also give a class gift – which for some reason is okay or at any rate, accepted practice.  Pragmatic Mom and I brainstormed and came up with some good ideas on Teacher Gifts back in December. Other great teacher gifts are: sweet stationary – love Pixie Chicago for that – homemade treats are always nice, as are large flowering plants, books or gift certificates to your local bookstore. Don’t discount the lovely note from your child thanking their teacher for a wonderful year. Handmade cards are always the best but if you are feeling flush, go to Paper Source (good easy to pick up gifts for Grad and Dads, Teachers, too).  I also found great cards (and sweet journals – just add a pretty pen or nice colored pencils) at Target in the dollar spot (my favorite part of the store).

If you have a little more time on your hands (and you still do, relax) you might want to get something a little more special. I like to find local artists and luckily there is no shortage here (Newton Open Studios, was, as usual, wonderful). Don’t fret if you missed it. There is always next year! Here are some local artists I found…

Wilder Glass works, Newton Ma Capability Mom Blog
Wilder Glassworks

For a class gift, Wilder Glassworks is a great place to start. Beautiful fused glass plates – Pragmatic Mom gives these as her staple wedding gift – maybe I should renew my wedding vows to see if I get one (grin).  The artist, Suzi Wilder, was inspired after a visit to Venice years ago (she came home with a suitcase full of glass – read about it on her website here).  Wilder Glassworks also features gorgeous custom plates for baby gifts (several teachers had babies this year and the personalized baby plate would be perfect). In the event you are approaching a milestone birthday, like maybe 40, get a large piece from Wilder Glass. You can get a group of friends to pitch in on it together, then take the new forty-something out for a glass of wine (see if she gets carded). If Dad isn’t so very tidy and you are trying to help, get him a fused glass plate (perfect for watch or spare change and ipod).

zakim bridge sharon schindler capability mom blog
Photo by Sharon Schindler

If you need more Father’s Day gift ideas, check out Sharon Schindler Photography for gorgeous art photography. Sharon photographs the outdoors, architecture….love her Boston scenes (including some unique shots of Fenway Park) – a really wonderful gift.  Is Dad an architecture nut? Does he love boats? bridges? Her photo of the Zakim is stunning. These prints are stretched on canvas frames and available in several different sizes (great for both home and office).

sharon schindler photography newton north high school book capability mom blog
Newton North High School Photo Book

Need a Graduation Gift? Perfect for Newton North Grads (or for an alum coming up on a big reunion) is this coffee table book of the old Newton North High School. Sharon Schindler took all of these photos (almost 500 of them) and it beautifully showcases and documents the school (okay, I wrote a paragraph or two in it as well). For grads – I am about the book, or journal, or fun dorm stuff. I like Black Ink (Boston and Cambridge and  Good (Boston) – both online, too.

sharon schindler photography newton north high school book
Newton North High School Photo Book


*The Newton Schools Foundation is a non-profit fundraising organization dedicated to supporting innovation and creativity in the Newton Public Schools. Our goal is to impact each child’s education by working as a community to provide Newton Public School educators with the skills, tools and technology for 21st century teaching and learning. (from the website)


Newton North is open and gorgeous

I have been trying to link a video tour of Newton North but either my technical skills are lacking or there is a faulty link…probably the former but we will pretend it is the latter…

Newton North is having an open house on Sunday, September 12th from 12- 3 pm and here is a link for more information about the Open House from a great local blog Life in Newton

and here is the link to and the tour. 

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