Letters to the Editor

Extremely Thankful for the Incredible Generosity

To the Editor:

The Harvard-Kent Parents Association is extremely thankful for the incredible generosity of everyone who supported our Fall Fundraiser. We would also like to thank our corporate sponsors: Harvard-Kent Leadership & Scholarship Partnership, Inc., Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment Team-Joseph J. Corcoran Co & Leggat McCall Properties, The Flatley Company, Hood Park, Nancy Roth-Gibson Sotheby’s, Owens Companies, Reitz Realty Group, Christ Church of Charlestown, Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard & Grace Bloodwell-Coldwell Banker Residential. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community and sponsors we raised over $20,000.  Funds raised at our one and only fundraiser of the year will go towards supporting our students and teachers with remote learning this school year.  We look forward to continuing to support our Harvard-Kent Community.

Thank you,

The Harvard-Kent

Parents Association

Thanksgiving 2020

To the Editor:

As we all know the Pandemic has altered all of our lives.

For the past 35 years a group of volunteers have quietly supplied cooked meals for many senior citizens in Charlestown, MA

The meals were prepared at the American Legion. The night before Thanksgiving a group of volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club would prep all the vegetables.

Thanksgiving Day the delivery people would show up to pick up the meals and

deliver them. I cannot thank them enough for the years and years of help we have received from all of them.

The list is to long to thank everyone and we do not do it for that reason anyway.

This year is going to be different with the help of Paul Sullivan; Meghan Murray, Ronnie Doe (617-816-0870) and Tom Howard. We are coordinating a delivery system (team) to move forward with covid guidelines in place.

We still need volunteers to help deliver if you can help please contact Bob

Sweeney (781-526-9004) or contact one of the above organizers.

Hopefully, we are back to normal next year.

God Bless and Stay Safe.

Bob Sweeney

Support our Proposal

Open Letter to the Charlestown Community from the Board of Directors of the Kennedy Center

This is a critical moment as the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project nears the end of the public comment period on November 20, and heads towards a vote on Phase 1.

The Kennedy Center has consistently advocated for high quality housing and services for the residents of Bunker Hill Housing, who make up ninety percent of our clients.  As a center focused on the care and empowerment of some of our most vulnerable neighbors, we support the opportunity to create a thriving, transformed neighborhood which promotes the wellbeing of all residents, no matter their background.  The redevelopment team took an important step towards this inclusive approach by reducing the number of buildings which would be exclusively subsidized units and increasing the number of integrated, mixed income buildings. Now is the time for the next step: commit to services and  programs which promote inclusion and neighbor-to-neighbor connection.

The Kennedy Center proposes a way forward:  design high quality and affordable childcare into the heart of the new community center with an array of other services promoting health and wellbeing. Not only is there high need for affordable childcare, there is evidence that quality early education programs promote social cohesion in mixed income communities while also improving the economic success of low-income residents and residents of color.  Furthermore, we can attract additional investments by focusing on quality early education and services which promote the wellbeing of a racially and economically diverse neighborhood.   The state program EEOST  grants up to $1million for building projects which expand access to affordable childcare.

We are ready to partner with the redevelopment and our sister organizations in Charlestown to make such a center a reality as soon as possible. We bring 54 years of experience and a stellar reputation for our network of programs for young children, families and elders. Our childcare  programs are accredited, with teachers highly trained in not only child development, but also social emotional development and resilience through trauma. Since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, we have been a lifeline for neighbors: distributing food, PPE, cleaning and hygiene kits, and activity packs to support  vulnerable children and seniors isolated at home.  Now, while schools are shut down, we are open and adapting our preschool  to offer both in-person and remote programs with online support to parents.

But we are doing this work out of temporary spaces after being displaced from the BHA building on Bunker Hill street due to pandemic restrictions.

The Kennedy Center needs a permanent home for programs which literally feed and clothe our neighbors, and the space to expand childcare programs for all income levels.  We believe we have the skills, the community trust, and the long-standing partnerships to earn a lead role in creating an exemplary new hub for community services–a center which brings people together from all walks of life and ensures special attention to the most vulnerable of our neighbors: young children and elders.

It is urgent to move forward the community center as part of Phase 1, with the Kennedy Center as a lead partner. The effects of the pandemic are still unfolding. We must sustain our COVID response services and we cannot forget we have hunger and struggle in Charlestown right alongside wealth. The Kennedy Center is committed to continuing to work in partnership with our “sister” organizations in town to provide immediate assistance and to build long-term resilience. Strong collaborations create strong safety nets.

We respectfully ask our Charlestown neighbors to support our proposal by submitting a public comment on the redevelopment.  Full instructions are available on the homepage of our website www.kennedycenter.org.

Members of the Board of Directors:

Eileen Ward, President

Tom Cunha, Vice President

Eric Philippi, Treasurer

Lorrie Morton, Secretary

James Collins

Phyllis Hickey

David Flanagan

Jim Henry

Ed Katz

Gina Powers, Esq.

Irene B. Kershaw

John L. Tobin, Esq.

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