GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 7, 2012

Town Talk: School gives to senior citizens

Town Talk
James Niedzinski

---- — The Manchester Essex Regional School District has always had a way with senior citizens. For the past two years, the high school has hosted an event bringing generations of residents closer together.

On Dec. 15, seniors are invited to the high school for a special holiday luncheon. The high school band and chorus will perform holiday music during the event, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students will act as waiters and waitresses for the third annual feast. Anyone interested in attending should call Paul Murphy at 978-526-2041.

“It’s a wonderful way for students to give back to the elderly community,” he said. “They have done so much for the schools, we always look forward to it.”

High school seeing green

Manchester Essex Regional High School recently completed its first green sustainability day.

According to Rachel Daley, a spokeswoman for the high school’s Green Team, efforts have paid off. She wrote to the Times earlier this week about the adventures of the Green Team.

Eighteen students, known as Green Scholars, embarked on their first sustainability day as they traveled to environmental landmarks around Cape Ann.

Eric Magers, Green Team director, said these are not just normal field trips.

“We go to several different places to enhance our knowledge of the environment and shifting climates,” he said.

Daley said the school’s director of facilities, Joe Lucido, began the day by giving the students a tour of the school’s green aspects, including the roof’s solar panels, the boiler room, and the main electrical room.

Jake Tyler, a junior, was thrilled with the experience.

“We got to climb up onto the roof to see the solar panels, which no other classes can do,” he said.

After the tour, the group went to Mike Chapman’s residence in Manchester to see his bee farm. Chapman, who has been raising bees for five years, displayed the structure of the artificial hives to the students and provided samples of the natural honey, which he harvested.

According to Magers, Chapman discussed the effects which climate change has on the bees’ behavior, providing the students with environmental literacy, a main goal of the Scholars program.

Also included in the field trip was a walk around the second largest hill in Manchester, which is off of Pine Street, where the group observed the environmental effects of the wildfire of 1957.

The Green Scholars capped off the day with a visit to the Essex headquarters of Essex County Green Belt, a local land conservation group, to learn what environmental motives lead to its founding.

“It was nice to join together with all of the separate blocks of scholars and remember that we’re making the world a better place as a unit, one step at a time,” junior Brittany Smith said.

Santa’s route set in Manchester

Saint Nick will be riding around Manchester in a red fire engine — not a sleigh, on Sunday, Dec. 9. His tour will start at noon at the fire station and he will be giving out animal crackers, but only to those who made his list.

If anyone is not going to be home by the time his route ends back at the fire station, around 2:30 p.m., residents are invited to stop by the station at 11:45 to see him as well.

The tour of town is sponsored by the Seaside Fireman’s Club of the Manchester Fire Department, and the American Legion Post 113. This year’s trip makes over 50 years of giving to the community sponsored by these two organizations.

Town Talk is written by James Niedzinski, who covers Manchester and Essex. If you have a news tip or an item for Town Talk, please contact him at 978-283-7000 x3455, or at jnieszinski@gloucestertimes.com.