Friday, October 24, 2014

Holyoke Council on Aging to Show "Gen Silent" Documentary at Holyoke Senior Center

On Wednesday, October 29th at 6:30pm, the Holyoke Council on Aging will be showing the documentary “Gen Silent” at the Holyoke Senior Center located at 291 Pine St. Admission is free.

This award – winning documentary shares the stories of six lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults, exploring how they deal with—and often conceal—their sexual orientation, gender identity, spouses and friends in order to survive in the healthcare and long-term care systems. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers – from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT older adults feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT older adults face discrimination, neglect or abuse.

Screening will be followed by a community conversation about the documentary and the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults within our community. The discussion will be led by David P. Stevens, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and a member of the statewide LGBT Elder Commission.

This event was planned by the COA LGBT Older Adult Task Force whose members include Professor Elizabeth Mullin - Springfield College, Paul Bebo – local real estate broker, Alicia Zoeller – Administrator, Office for Community Development, Shirley Morrison – former Board Chair, Holyoke COA, Rev. Roberta Morkin – United Congregational Church and Kathleen Bowler – COA Executive Director and supported by Mayor Alex B. Morse.

“This film viewing is a great opportunity to learn about and discuss important issues facing our LGBT seniors,” Mayor Morse said. “Bringing these issues to light is a step toward making our city a more just community for all of our residents.”

“The mission of the Council on Aging is to serve all older adults in Holyoke and screening this documentary is a reflection of our charge. The members of our task force are hopeful that the community conversation will lead to identifying specific programs supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender older adults living in our community,” Kathleen Bowler said.

For further information, contact Kathy Bowler, Executive Director – Holyoke Council on Aging at 322-5625.

Holyoke Public Library Reading Program Hits New Heights

Holyoke Public Library Children’s Librarians, Jason Lefebvre and Nathan Hayes, have completed their analysis of this summer’s recent Children’s Reading Program and have reported that the program achieved all of its major goals with a total of nearly 2,000 youngsters participating in one or more of the many activities and events offered.

A total of 260 youngsters registered for and participated in the annual Summer Reading Program itself, which involved a commitment by each youngster to read a set number of hours each week, either by themselves, or in the case of the younger participants, reading with an adult.

A popular part of the program included the presentation of a series of special events and guest performers, with a puppet show proving to be the most popular attracting some 65 children. Other favorites were a visit by the Whalemobile, which featured a life-size inflated whale, and a performance by Magician, Mike Bent. A special guest from the Springfield Science Museum presented two special science oriented shows and the summer series concluded with a party for the children who had participated,

Weekly Story Time presentations were well attended and a total of 154 youngsters participated in the library’s free craft program. With 74 distinct activities offered by the Children’s Department many of the youngsters took advantage of multiple events. The Library also welcomed daily visits by children enrolled in programs run by the Holyoke YMCA and Holyoke Boys and Girls Club, combined totals adding up to more than 700 visits.

Preliminary planning is already underway for special children’s activities for this fall and winter. Among them are a preschool program “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” which will involve both children and adults, with the parents (or other adult) reading to the child and gradually assisting the child to reach a level where the child can read simple words and sentences, and gradually, short children’s stories. This program is part of an effort to improve reading skills among young children to help give them better preparation for their entry into kindergarten itself, and long-term, an overall better start in school.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Holyoke Parks & Recreation

Information on many Holyoke Parks & Recreation events and youth sports can be found at . The information for the competitive suburban basketball league for players in grades 5-8 is on the main page of the City website.

Also, stay up to date with the Holyoke Parks & Recreation Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monster Mash

Saturday, October 25th from 12:00 – 4:00 

Join the Holyoke High School Marching Band at The Merry Go Round for a costume parade, then head to The Children’s Museum and dance to DJ Stephan. 

There will be arts and craft and goodie bags 

Sponsored in part by The Holyoke Parks and Recreation Department

Admission to the Museum and rides on the Merry Go Round will be 1/3 price when you come in costume.

Merry Go Round hours 12:00 – 4:00

Children’s Museum hours 10:00 – 4:00

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Groundbreaking at Holyoke Council on Aging - Senior Center for New Parking Lot

Mayor Alex B. Morse is pleased to announce a groundbreaking scheduled for Wednesday October 22, 2014 at Noon at the Holyoke Senior Center for a new parking lot.

Since the opening of the new Senior Center in December 2012 at 291 Pine Street, attendance and use of the facility has greatly increased. From educational and social opportunities to noon time meals and evenings activities, use of the Senior Center has outpaced expectations. To meet this increased demand, Mayor Morse allocated $120,000. in federal Community Development Block Grant Funds through the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development to build an additional 25 parking spaces at 291 Pine Street, Holyoke.

Join Mayor Morse, Council on Aging Executive Director Kathy Bowler, and other officials as they break ground on the new parking lot. Mayor Morse says “Through construction of the Senior Center, Holyoke has demonstrated its leadership in services to older residents. I am proud to enhance these services and welcome more users to this state of the art public facility.”

The project will be managed by the City of Holyoke Department of Public Works. Jack Goncalves & Sons, Inc of Ludlow MA will be the general contractor.

WHAT: Groundbreaking for New Senior Center Parking Lot
WHEN: October 22, noon
WHERE: Senior Center, 291 Pine Street, Holyoke MA

Monday, October 20, 2014

Support MIFA Victory Theatre!

The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) has presented great art since 1994 with artists like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vanessa Redgrave, Hal Holbrook, Eddie Palmieri, William Kentridge and London’s Globe Theatre along with wonderful Massachusetts artists and institutions. A restored Victory Theatre in Holyoke helps us do even more.

Make great art happen in Western Massachusetts. 

Support MIFA with a donation by clicking here.

Holyoke Public Library to Present Report on Puerto Ricans Living in the US

“Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium,” a dynamic report on the social, political and health conditions of the Puerto Rican population in the United States, will be the subject of a special presentation by Edwin Melendez Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY, on Friday, October 31, from 6 to 8 PM in the Community Room of the Holyoke Library. The program will describe improvements that have been made in many of these aspects, as well as persistent challenges faced by many Puerto Rican residents.

The information to be presented is based largely on research included in the book, “Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium” published by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) and demonstrates that this recent profile is dramatically different from what it was at the turn of the century. Over the last decade, with a combination of emigration and mainland U.S. births, the Puerto Rican population living in the United States outnumbers that on the island. During that period there has also been a concomitant change in population distribution, with Puerto Ricans dispersing across state lines.

While New York is still home to many Puerto Ricans, with more than one million, the rate of Puerto Rican mobility within the U. S. is higher than that of the general population. The South, particularly Central Florida, is the most popular destination on the mainland. Contrary to many media reports, the book notes, this pattern of migratory behavior is being fueled by the movement among those born in the United States and not only by island-born or recent migrants. Over the past decade, 7 out of 10 Puerto Ricans moving to another state, were born within the continental U.S.

Recent research also indicated that there is no appreciable evidence of a “brain drain” on the island contrary to popular belief that the island is in crises because its youngest professionals are leaving the island in droves for jobs and better opportunities in the United States. Evidence shows that the proportion of those highly educated is no greater than in the past.

The findings in “Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the Millennium” also challenge the portrayal of Puerto Ricans as lacking socio-economic advancement, when compared with other immigrant groups. They also indicate that dispersion may be contributing to better socio-economic outcomes for stateside Puerto Ricans. Military service, for example, seems to be a factor contributing to this dispersion and offering a pathway for better socio-economic advancement for Puerto Rican youth.

“Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium” also presents new research on social, economic, political and health conditions of the Puerto Rican population in the United States, and also highlights the improvements and the challenges in this rapidly changing and growing community, which should prove to be of particular interest as we approach a national election in a few weeks.

Other locations hosting presentations of “Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium” include the New York University Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao, and Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe in San Jaun.

As this is expected to be a highly popular program with large attendance anticipated, advance reservations are strongly recommended. Reservations can be made by phone by calling the library during regular hours at 413-420-8101, or by registering in person as the Library Circulation Desk.