Category Archives: Shelburne Falls

‘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 For copies of the district’s educational improvement plan, including BSE’s School Improvement Plan for 2015-2016 and its Action Plan, visit 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.

‘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.

Arms Library time capsule flung toward future

ARMS LIBRARY DIRECTOR Laurie Wheeler shows off the goodies bound for the future — possibly as far as 100 years — in a community time capsule, which was promptly stowed within the library’s shiny new copper dome. Roof renovations, years in the making and achieved in 2015, were powered by volunteers.
ARMS LIBRARY DIRECTOR Laurie Wheeler shows off the goodies bound for the future — possibly as far as 100 years — in a community time capsule, which was promptly stowed within the library’s shiny new copper dome. Roof renovations, years in the making and achieved in 2015, were powered by volunteers.

SHELBURNE—Hannah-mugFriends and supporters of Arms Library put together a special box of memories called a time capsule and sent it to the future. It might be opened in 50, 75, or 100 years, making it to 2115.

According to Laurie Wheeler, the executive director of Arms Library and a member of its building committee, the box contains things that will help future generations figure out what today’s generation was all about. It was sealed up in the new roof of the library on Sept. 17 around 7:30 a.m. It will be seen next when the roof is opened up for repairs it might need many decades from now.

“A time capsule is a box or metal tube — a container you specially decide you’re going to put away for the future, and then they’ll see the items we put in there. It’s items that are important to this time right now,” Wheeler explained.

The roof replacement is part of a $670,000 “Put a Roof On It” project that took volunteers three years to complete. The roof that was replaced was built in 1914 with the rest of the library building. It is made of copper, slates, and very heavy, chalky limestone. You can touch pieces of it in the library. Pieces of the old roof copper will be turned into gifts you can buy.

Contents of the packed time capsule include children’s handprints in paint; books, newspapers, magazines, and artwork; letters; and a library card.

Fifth-grader Hanna Chase reports downtown news and features for The BSE Flow. We welcome your news tips at

Plenty to love
in Arms Library’s time capsule

WITHIN A SNUG WOODEN BOX made by local resident Frederick M. Burrington, a trove of goodies gathered this summer waits to be discovered in what Arms Library Executive Director Laurie Wheeler calls “the tippy top” of the library’s rebuilt dome some 50, 75, or even 100 years hence. Those Shelburne Falls denizens of tomorrow will be surprised when they open the box to find:

  • A piece of MUSIC for Native American flute that Sarah Pirtle wrote just for the roof raising;
  • BOOKS: “Quickening,” Susie Patlove’s book of poetry; “In a Wild Place: A natural history of High Ledges” by Ellsworth Barnard, illustrated by Charles H. Joslin; “A Jewel in New England” by Philip Bilitz; and a copy of “The Little Yellow Trolley” from the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, signed by many of the museum’s guests;
  • PERIODICAL PIECES: Local newspaper articles on the Bridge of Flowers turning 85 and the restoration of the library roof; the first seven issues of The BSE Flow; two recent issues of Ginny Ray’s Shelburne Falls & West County Independent; a recent copy of the Greenfield Recorder; a Time magazine from April 20, 2015 (“Black Lives Matter”); and a New York Times front page article on the recent landmark Supreme Court decision upholding marriage equality; a Times opinion piece from Shannon O’Neill, archivist and reference librarian at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, on libraries in transition; and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 33, excerpting D. K. McCutchen’s “Jellyfish Dreaming”;
  • AN AUDIO RECORDING AND COLLECTION OF PHOTOS of Laurie Wheeler at the library, discussing libraries, time capsules, and local history, conducted by John Snyder;
  • ART AND EPHEMERA: “Come to the Dark Side,” paper cut art by Sun James; Mohawk graduation program, June 8, 2015; a bookmark by local artist Polly French; a paper bead necklace by Miss Read’s Beads; a Christmas card from Lisa Walker showing the Buckland side of the village and the Bridge of Flowers in the snow; a hand print from Alexis J., who is 3, and hand prints from Elizabeth, Joshua, and Elizabeth Cerone; a postcard of a dry brush watercolor by Frederick M. Burrington; a box and tiny brochure from Jane Beatrice Wegscheider’s The Art Garden; and many tiny items, donated at the last minute that Laurie Wheeler says she considers sacred;
  • BUSINESS HANDSHAKES: A Massachusetts Cultural District pin; brochures from the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association; local business cards; and a Shelburne Falls Co-op bumper sticker;
  • JUST FOR FUN: a “Minions” movie character and Doctor Who “The Day of the Doctor” DVD case; “Popular Items 2015” stickers;
  • LETTERS from Laurie Wheeler and the Shelburne Selectboard; and, of course,
  • An Arms Library CW/MARS LIBRARY CARD.

— Sidebar and photos by John Snyder

What would you stash in a time capsule to help future generations understand our life and times? We’d like to share your answer with our readers — those today and those in the future. Please write

Holiday Briefs: Community Clothes Closet takes donations at Cowell site 24/7

Trinity Church’s Community Clothes Closet, next door to the West County Food Pantry in the lower level of Cowell Gymnasium, on 51 Maple St., is open on Wednesdays with the food pantry: noon to 6 p.m.

All are welcome to visit and take free apparel.

Organizers ask that donors use the clothing drop-off shed, available 24/7 in the Cowell parking lot, and that they place clean clothing in good condition in plastic bags before dropping off their goods.

Third ‘Early Night’ Dec. 31
from 6-8 p.m. at Cowell Gym

Spend your New Year’s Eve with family, friends, and neighbors at the annual party at Cowell Gym.

Early Night, running from 6 to 8 p.m., features hundreds of balloons to play with on the floor; tables filled with games, crafts, and activities; and music and dancing for all ages.

Naturally, there’ll also be a New Year’s Eve countdown featuring a silver basketball drop.

Cowell Gym is at 51 Maple St. The Cowell is hosting the event in partnership with the Shelburne Recreation Committee.

The event is free. Donations to the gym’s Operating Fund are welcome, and a donation box will be available.

For more information, call Doug Martin at 625-3054 or visit Shelburne Recreation on Facebook.

20 Christmas trees donated

The Mary Lyon Foundation is proud to acknowledge a tree grower, who wishes to remain anonymous, made 20 families very happy with a delivery of free Christmas trees well in time for the holiday.

The Mary Lyon Foundation supports all aspects of quality education in the towns of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe, and Shelburne.