The Town of Wakefield and City of Melrose Health Departments announced today that they have been awarded a $40,000 grant each year for three years from the Patrick Administration. The award is part of more than $1 million in Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership grants awarded to 22 programs across the Commonwealth. The grants are designed to promote opportunities for healthy eating and active living in the places people live, learn, work and play. Mass in Motion is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
“These grants enable cities and towns to make healthy eating and active living easier for people to achieve,” said DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett. “Grantees such as Melrose and Wakefield are working to make the healthy choice the easy choice by ensuring the availability of healthy affordable foods and promoting opportunities for physical activity.”
The grant funding will be used to assist Melrose and Wakefield in creating and sustaining changes that make it easy for people to eat better and move more. Healthy Dining and Healthy Corner Store programs already established in both communities will continue, making it easier for residents to access fresh fruits and vegetables when eating out. This grant will also allow residents interested in walking and biking in the City and Town to have a voice.
“We are thrilled to be able to help residents in making the healthy choice, the easy choice. Adding more bike racks in prime locations and having teens involved in cooking and promoting healthy family eating is our future,” said Kara Showers, Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield grant coordinator. “A special thank you to Senator Jason Lewis, Representative Paul Brodeur, Mayor Robert Dolan, Town Administrator Steve Maio. Health Director Ruth Clay and the local Boards of Health for their support.”
The Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Initiative enables cities and towns in Massachusetts to implement local policy, systems and environmental change strategies to prevent and reduce obesity and the chronic diseases that result from being overweight. Interventions will focus on healthy eating, active living, and promotion of healthy and safe physical environments. The initiative is led by municipalities with the creation of a multi-sector partnership to develop and implement the community-level strategies.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, and the consumption of healthy foods is important in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk for chronic disease and associated risk factors, including hypertension, heart disease and stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Through Mass in Motion, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to create conditions that make it easier to be active and eat healthy food.
If you went by City Hall today, you may have noticed a flock of pink flamingoes on the front lawn. No, we aren’t turning it into a wildlife preserve—it’s time again for the Melrose Education Foundation’s Pink Flamingoes fund-raiser. From now till October 10, you can order a flock of pink flamingoes to be placed on any Melrose lawn. The cost is $25, $50, or $100, depending on the size of the flock. The Melrose Education Foundation does some great work, including holding forums such as last winter’s School Budget Forum, co-sponsoring the school science fairs, and administering the Melrose Education Foundation grants. This is a great opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause and have some fun besides!
This year, 454 schools throughout the Commonwealth attained the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Level 1 rating, which means they are maintaining high MCAS scores and closing the “proficiency gap” between high needs students and the general population. That benchmark is becoming more difficult to achieve, as the number of Level 1 schools is down from 510 two years ago, according to the Boston Globe.
I want to give special congratulations to the Lincoln and Hoover schools, which have been named Commendation Schools by the DESE. While many schools throughout the state were not able to narrow that proficiency gap, these two schools exceeded expectations. There were only 43 Commendation Schools this year, and Melrose is one of only a handful of communities to have more than one.
In addition, I want to commend the schools that achieved the Level 1 rating: the Hoover, the Lincoln, the Roosevelt, the Winthrop, and Melrose High School. Congratulations in particular to Melrose High School for attaining Level 1 status. Last year they came so close, and this year they achieved their goal! Our teachers, administrators, students, and families should be commended for their achievements.
I want to extend my personal congratulations to the Melrose High School students who were inducted into the National Honor Society last Monday. They have worked hard for this distinction and they are to be commended.
All Melrose students get a 15% discount at Pink Melon Cafe, 530 Main St., through the rest of September. Just let the staff know what school the student attends when purchasing at the cafe and the discount will be applied.
On Thursday Oct. 2nd, Pink Melon will host a fundraiser for the Melrose High School Band from 4 to 9 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from sales during those hours will be paid to the band by the cafe.
Naked Feet Yoga is running a “New Student Special”: $25 for two weeks of unlimited yoga classes. We also have discounted classes ($12) for students and seniors.
We have a variety of morning, noon, afternoon and night classes. Please visit our website
Below is the full MCAS presentation made by Superintendent Taymore at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday evening. I found it very informative, and I hope you will too.
Melrose Grad Night was a wonderful event and a great way to send off the Class of 2014. If you couldn’t be there, here’s a highlight reel of the evening.
You can check out their website and Facebook page as well, and follow them on Twitter. I hope you will consider making a donation or volunteering to help out with the Class of 2015 Melrose Grad Night.