Category Archives: From PTO Council

Helping Families to Preempt Racial Bias

Story Starters invites kindergarten families in Newton area elementary schools to their five month program that supports families in being color brave.

Story Starters gives families of all races age-appropriate tools and skills to preempt racial bias and build community change. Story Starters’ at-home curriculum helps 3- to 6-year-olds and their families build empathy, support connection, and get into the habit of talking about race. For more details about the program, visit

Registration is OPEN now until January 2nd and there will be an Open House at the Auburndale Library for any interested families who want to learn more.

See the flyer for information Story Starters

Open House December 10th,  5:00 – 6:30 pm (pizza included!)
Program kickoff event January 12th, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

FORJ Family Event

Come to the next FORJ Families Meeting (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) when Annawon Weeden will enact a dynamic monologue tracing the history of the Wampanoag from pre-1492 to the present day. His presentation challenges the audience to rethink their ideas about the Wampanoag and about America itself.

A member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe who grew up on the Narragansett Tribal Reservation in Rhode Island, Weeden has spent his life preserving the culture of his tribe. In 2016, he was awarded with a Congressional Honor as Culture Bearer for New England.

After Weeden’s presentation, the audience will break into small groups for a family-friendly discussion about reconciliation. The event is FREE and for Adults and children ages 10+ .

Please RSVP here:

Note: Please be ON TIME! This is a dramatic presentation and it requires quiet and focus from the audience members. This program is possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Raising Luminaries.

November 13th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Angier School

Free Hackathon

High school students are invited to a free, one-day hackathon. Together with a team, students will develop an app, game, web site or idea that improves experiences for people with disabilities. No experience necessary. Experts from Google, Microsoft, Olin College, Perkins School for the Blind, startups, and more will be there to inspire and help. Projects will be judged and thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded. Families and the public may attend the demos and closing ceremonies at the end of the day.

Register today at Space is limited.

November 16th, 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Wayland High School

Organized by Wayland High School | CS Club. Sponsored by: Balsamiq, theCoderSchool of Sudbury, and iCode of Wellesley. Organizations supporting the event with generous in-kind donations and volunteers include: Chick-fil-A Framingham, Giacomo’s Ristorante, Google, HTC, Microsoft, Perkins School for the Blind, Stop & Stop, and Wegman’s. Sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities are still available. For more info, please contact

Newton Community Blood Drive

Roll up your sleeves and help save lives! Newton Presbyterian Church will proudly partner with the American Red Cross to hold what they expect to be the first of many blood drives. The Red Cross has over 135 years of experience providing humanitarian aid, including more than 75 years of supplying blood to those in need.

Each pint of blood collected can help save up to three lives and will touch the lives of so many more. What a great way to pay it forward and make an impact on people in our community and across the country.  The Newton Presbyterian Church Mission Committee is leading this initiative. You’ll will be entertained by the Newton All City Troubadours during the blood drive, to be followed by their concert in the Sanctuary that evening at 7:00 pm.

See flyer for more information.

November 23rd, 9:00 am -2:00 pm
75 Vernon Street, Newton

Teens: Meet 16 STEM Mentors at Think Big! Free Ice Cream Social, Oct. 26

To celebrate Massachusetts STEM Week, middle- and high-school students are invited to Think Big!, a free event at the the Newton Free Library on Saturday, October 26, 2PM-4PM, to meet 16 local STEM professionals and talk informally (over ice cream from Cabots!) about challenges, satisfactions, and career paths in the wide range of STEM fields. These mentors represent a wide range of STEM:  Microbiology, running-shoe design, software development, computational biology, ecology, chemistry, drug design, solar entrepreneurship, 3D animation, manufacturing science, applied physics, genomics, and more. It’s free and space is limited, so register now. It’s sponsored by the Newton Free Library, NewtonSTEM, and the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club, with help from the Newton LigerBots. You can see what earlier Think Big! events were like in November 2015, March 2018, and October 2018. For more information, email

Middle School Hockey Program

Newton Youth Hockey has opened registration for its Boys Middle School Hockey and Girls Middle School Hockey programs. These are games-only teams open to any Newton resident in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. Participants do not need to attend a Newton school, nor do they need to be current Newton Youth Hockey players.

Games are played on weekend evenings to minimize scheduling conflicts, and the season runs from December to February. For more information, please see or email

Newton Police Department Community Conversation!

To Middle and High School Students and parents,

The Newton Police Department invites you to a Community Conversation!
See attached flyer here: flyer and RSVP here:

The group will discuss police/community relations, focusing on interactions and perceptions that influence those involved with particular attention to our citizens of color.

Participants wil include Police Superior Officers, Parents, Students, METCO Staff, NPS Staff and the conversatipns will be facilitated by Vanessa McClinchy, Educational Consultant, Program/Leadership Development Specialist, Speaker, Trainer, and Author

If you have any questions please email Community Engagement Officers Officer Lau, Officer Ferolito or the FORJ Liaisons for this event: Tamika Olszewski , Karen Carroll Bennett, Angela Pitter or Amy Behrens.

October 16th,  4:00 – 6:00pm
Newton North High School Cafeteria

Newton Turkey Trot suporting two great causes

Help raise money for the Newton Food Pantry and the Travis Roy Foundation’s Ethan Wang Fund. Register by October 28th to be guaranteed a T-shirt and avoid the late fee.

Race day is November 23rd, a USATF accredited 5K at 9:00 am and the kids’ 1 mile fun run at 8:30 am.

Details, registration and volunteer info at

Newton’s Top Chefs Cook for a Great Cause: Tickets on Sale NOW

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for Newton Food Pantry ‘s Newton’s Community Table (NCT) fundraiser. NCT is a unique event where guests can experience the tastes of some of Newton’s best restaurants and feel good knowing that all proceeds will go to benefit our community.

Please visit for details and tickets. This event will sell out quickly, so purchase your ticket today!

October 17th, 6:30-9:30 pm
The Windsor Club

For additional information see Newton’s Community Table

Next Meeting of GN School Connections September 12th

Green Newton School Connections provides a forum for parents, students and educators to promote sustainability in the classroom and beyond. All are welcome to participate to share experiences and ideas that support the implementation of green initiatives in our schools.

Recent initiatives:

  • GN School Connections petitioned the Newton School Committee about the need to improve recycling in Newton’s schools, and the committee adopted a new school recycling policy in the spring of 2019.
  • Advocacy that was instrumental in getting the city to consider environmental practices and waste reduction in schools with the selection of a new food service vendor, Whitsons. Representatives will participate in discussions with the City to improve food quality and sustainability in school cafeterias.
  • GN School Connections worked with city leaders to submit a state grant application to support the expansion of the school recycling program and is also advocating for the city’s approval to set up textile recycling collection containers outside of each school building.

For more information contact or visit the GN School Connections website.

Next meetings are September 12th and October 10th, 3:45 – 5:00 pm in the third-floor arc area of the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer Street