Talk of the Times: First R Foundation kicks off 18th season

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo. Patricia Earle, founder of the First R Foundation, reads "So, What's it Like to be a Cat?" to a group of first-graders at Plum Cove School in May. The First R Foundation is beginning its 19th year of reading aloud and giving books to each kindergarten and first-grade classroom in Gloucester and Rockport next week.

The First R Foundation will kick off its 19th season of reading and donating books to the kindergarten and first-grade classrooms on Cape Ann this coming Monday and the program will continue during next week at each of the schools.

First R’s volunteer readers are city officials, business people and local artists and craftspeople. To begin the week’s readings, First R founder and director Patricia Earle will read to the first grade at the Plum Cove School on Monday, Oct. 7, at 8:50 a.m. Volunteer reader coordinator Debby Nelson will read at Rockport Elementary on Thursday morning, Oct. 10.

The books that will be read are "We Don’t Eat Our Classmates" with kindergarteners, and "Sorry, Grownups, You Can't Go To School!" with first-grade classes.

Here are the other readers lined up for the week at each school:

East Gloucester: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 1:15 p.m., Steve LeBlanc, kindergarten; Friday, Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m., Jonathan Pope, first grade.

Beeman Memorial: Friday, Oct. 11, 9 a.m., Grace Giambanco, kindergarten; Mike Costello, first grade.

Plum Cove: Friday, Oct. 11, 9 a.m., Martin Ray, kindergarten.

Veterans Memorial: Friday, Oct. 11, 12:25 p.m., Gordon Baird, kindergarten; 12:50 p.m., Leslie Wind, first grade.

West Parish: Friday, Oct. 11, 9:10 a.m., Annie Thomas, kindergarten; 1:55 p.m., Rick Isaacs, first grade.

Rockport: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2:15 p.m., Debby Nelson, first grade; Thursday, Oct. 10, 11:15 a.m., Nan Araneo, kindergarten.

Appreciate your harbormasters

Gloucester, along with the towns of Manchester and Rockport, will partake in the first Harbormaster Appreciation Day, a nationwide effort organized by US Harbors, for Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The day is intended to "honor our U.S. harbormasters and the great work they do," according to the event's website. Be that managing mooring sites, slips and docks, search and rescue, medical response, or law enforcement on the water.

Locals are encouraged to take some time out of their day and thank their harbormaster for the work they do in town. Online shout-outs can be made using the hashtag #harbormasterday2019.

Gloucester Harbormaster Thomas Ciarametaro, a city native, has been on the job since 2016. He also serves in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves after 11 years of active duty. Chad Johnson, a retired Coast Guardsman, is the city's deputy harbormaster. 

Rockport's two harbormasters, Scott Story and Rosemary Lesch, have been on the job for the past 30 years. Prior to their work as harbormasters, both were employed as EMTs and maritime licensed captains. Assistant Harbormasters Ron Petoff and Story Reed round out the department.

In addition to enforcing the laws of the sea in Manchester, Harbormaster Bion Pike leads safe boating courses, maintains waterfront infrastructure, and coordinates permitting and planning for large-scale, seaside projects with state and federal agencies. He is joined by Assistant Harbormasters Tom Aldrich, Claude Beaudet and Mike MacEachern, and Deputy Harbormaster Paul Stone.

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