‘Breakfast,’ with compound words underlined, by Rikku

"Birch Collage" by Reuben Bassett
“Birch Collage” by Reuben Bassett

AS THE SUNSHINE comes into my bedroom and wakes me up, I push off my bedspread and go barefoot into the living room to find my grandfather and grandmother reading the newspaper and waking up.

When they see me, one of them offers to make my breakfast. I want pancakes with strawberries.

Afterward, we all have places we need to go.

Rikku is a BSE fifth-grader. Reuben completed this collage in sixth grade; he is now at Mohawk. We welcome student work that reveals something of who we are as a community. These pieces are perfect.

LEC: ‘School Improvement Plan stronger with you’

LEC seeks family, community voices;
Shelburne seat still open

Dear Flow readers,

Our LEC (Local Education Council) is an advisory board to the principal. Members consist of parents of current students, teachers, and members of the towns of Buckland and Shelburne.

This year’s members are  parents Jennifer Martin, Elizabeth Garofalo, Rachel Silverman, and Amanda Kingsley; school staffers Sandra Carter, Kate Dwyer, and Lillian Black; and community member and Buckland resident Mary Brooks.

A seat is open for a Shelburne resident as well.

Flow staffer Myah Grant, then in 4th grade, is determined to report on the Dec. 17, 2014, LEC meeting.
Flow staffer Myah Grant, then in 4th grade, is determined to report on the Dec. 17, 2014, LEC meeting.

The LEC creates the Family-School Connection portion of the School Improvement Plan. Some schoolwide initiatives that have come from the LEC include the school garden, after-school enrichment programs, and the back-to-school Community Night.

[The SIP also covers Effective Instruction, Student Assessment, and Tiered Instruction and Adequate Learning Time. — Ed.]

The LEC aims to respond to the needs of Buckland-Shelburne families to help strengthen the relationship between home and school that is so important for our students.

There is always time in our agenda for community comment, and we welcome input from any member of the Buckland-Shelburne community. We just ask that you contact Principal Joanne Giguere first so that you can be put on the agenda.

The LEC meets at the school library at 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month and follows the open-meeting laws. Sometimes decision-making happens over the course of several meetings, as we carefully consider concerns brought to our attention.

We hope to hear from you.

— Jennifer Martin, on behalf of the LEC

For more information on the LEC, contact Jen Martin at 625-3054 or jem1024@gmail.com. For copies of the district’s educational improvement plan, including BSE’s School Improvement Plan for 2015-2016 and its Action Plan, visit mohawkschools.org and click the tab for Buckland-Shelburne.

What’s on your mind? The Flow welcomes a diverse range of family friendly views on pertinent topics.

What it means to be different — and alone

KYLIE LOGOI HEARD THE NOVEL “Out of My Mind” as a read-aloud in Mrs. Eklund’s class. Now I’m reading it to my mother.

Based on the author’s own daughter, it’s about this girl, Melody Brooks, who has cerebral palsy. She can’t speak or walk. She can only move her thumbs.

Everybody thinks Melody doesn’t know a lot but she’s actually very intelligent. The book explains her troubles through fifth grade. She’s alone with her thoughts and feelings. Then she gets a computerized device called a Medi-Talker that she can use to help herself be understood.

For the first time she can communicate by voice. She makes friends.
The author says on her website that she didn’t want anyone reading the book to feel sorry for Melody because she wanted to make Melody an unforgettable character — someone to cheer on. She also said she wanted her readers to think people are more alike than different. And what it’s like to be handicapped.

Staffer Kylie Lowell, then in fifth grade, reviews 'Out Of My Mind' by Sharon Draper for our April 2015 edition.
Staffer Kylie Lowell, then in fifth grade, reviews ‘Out Of My Mind’ by Sharon Draper for our April 2015 edition.

We know a lot about Melody because the book is written from her perspective, in the first person. She really likes country music. Her favorite song is “Elvira,” by the Oak Ridge Boys. Her name is musical, too. This was a good detail.

The book made me think of how smart people can really be, even if they’re in a wheelchair — and it made me think badly about how so-called “normal” people can treat people in wheelchairs. I don’t do this but I have seen it happen.

The cover of “Out of My Mind” shows Melody’s goldfish, Ollie, leaping out of his bowl. We discussed this in class. Melody had felt badly for Ollie because he was swimming in circles, doing the same thing, every day, and then it finally jumped out of the bowl. I think the book is called “Out of My Mind” because Melody is relating to the fish: She’s in her mind; she can’t say her thoughts. She can’t speak.

I think that when the fish jumped out of the bowl she sympathized.
Mrs. Eklund is a very good reader. Our class really liked hearing this story, and we were sad when on certain days we missed it. We were also very sad at certain parts of the story, because Melody’s situation was sad, and then things changed. I admire Melody for having gone through everything she did.

This novel is good for kids and adults. Read it.

‘Audrey’s Angels’ seeks teams for May 22 cystic fibrosis walk

SHELBURNE—Winter will end and spring will bloom, and with it will arrive the 17th Annual Shelburne Falls Great Strides walkathon, which is raising funds toward a cure for the debilitating disease cystic fibrosis.

Walk day, which leaves from BSE, is a fun, family-oriented event with a healthy 2.5-kilometer walk, children’s activities, food, and festivities that participants look forward to year after year.

Participants can form walk teams at their workplace, through their clubs and organizations, and with friends and family.

The event is Sunday, May 22. Check in is at 1 p.m., and the walk starts at 2 at BSE. The route will traverse the Bridge of Flowers.

According to Great Strides’ Massachusetts/Rhode Island chapter, the event is part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Locally, the walk is  in honor of BSE alumna Audrey Clark.

Clark notes on Great Strides’ “Audrey’s Angels” page that she is fighting for her life against CF, which affects 70,000 people worldwide, including 30,000 Americans. CF is an inherited disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.

“Cystic fibrosis has caused me to need two double lung transplants, the first of which when I was 12. I am 21 now. I have rejected them both and need to wear oxygen to breathe. Only due to the money raised toward research could this have happened and given me this much extra life. Please donate so others don’t need to endure the hardships that I have,” she says.

Clark adds that she plans to walk the route. You can raise funds as a walker or “virtual walker” by visiting Great Strides.

Clark’s mother, Sandra Gaffey, is the bookkeeper at Mohawk. Each year, she says, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and drug development.

For more information, call Sandra Gaffey  at 413-625-0227 or call the CF Foundation at 800-966-0444.