Dorchester neighborhood notes

Link Boston Homes
This old photo shows a bookkeeping class at the H. L. Pierce Grammar School in 1892. To learn more, visit the Dorchester Historical Society at www.dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org. It is a great place to learn about Dorchester’s fascinating history.

Spring Fling at the Zoos                                                                              

Spring is in bloom and everyone is invited to celebrate at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 3.

Watch as animals receive some tasty seasonal enrichment that’s sure to add an extra spring to their step. While exploring, be on the lookout for other sure signs of spring: hidden flowers placed around the Zoo as part of a mobile scavenger hunt.

Visit www.zoonewengland.org/engage/spring-fling for more information and tickets (Event included with general admission).

Boston Youth Poet Laureate program for teens

As people strive to live in the now, the past hold truths that can them make conscious choices in the present and plan with vision for the future. In this workshop from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 3, poets will be crafting their versions of a memory lane.

Participants should come prepared to write two poems, one for a free write and the other answering a prompt. Be a part of a stroll down memory lane as you write and share your progress and visions through poetry. 

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration. 

Matt Heaton - Musical concert                                                                   

The Roxbury, Grove Hall and Charlestown Branch Libraries will host an 11-week series, “TWINKLE TWINKLE: Performers, Songs, Stories & Crafts” for children, ages 0-5, from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays through June 9.

Matt Heaton will kick off the series with a musical concert on April 7.

Matt Heaton songs are a mix of rockabilly, surf, American roots and Irish traditional music, delivered with a wry sense of humor and a sincere sense of fun for all ages.

The performance will be available on Zoom and will also be streamed on Facebook Live via the Roxbury Branch of the Boston Public Library FB page.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

‘The Happiness Project’: Book discussion for a happier life

Following the book discussion of The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin that took place in January, participants will meet monthly to discuss their personal resolutions, swap ideas, build enthusiasm, give encouragement, and – perhaps most importantly – hold each other accountable. Being part of a group is a terrific way to build friendships, have fun and figure out ways to make yourself happier.

The group will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays as follows:

-          April 7: Inspiration

-          May 5: Happy memories

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

A look inside the movie industry                                                   

The movie-making industry for the big and small screen is a fascinating and powerful artistic force. Many people watch movies and maybe consider filmmaking as a career. There are so many roles within the industry. What do those movie credits really mean?

Mariona Lloreta will provide teens (ages 12 to 19) with an overview of the filmmaking industry from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 8 with time to answer questions - big and small, hosted by GrubStreet.

Go to https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/6021511ba37b844500629314 for more information and registration.

‘Homegoing: A Restorative Justice Initiative Colloquium’

UMass Boston is hosting a restorative justice initiative colloquium. Each two-hour session will consist of two parts: a webinar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Zoom breakout rooms from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. to discuss themes of the novel in small groups.

Using Yaa Gyasi’s novel Homegoing as a guide, participants will explore the history of the Black freedom struggle, from the European colonization of West Africa through the present-day criminal justice system in the United States. These six webinar sessions, including one with the author, explore how this history has impacted our culture – and how we can take action to change the inequalities we see in everyday life.

Session 5: April 8

Homegoing student-led panel discussion on identity, culture and activism.

Session 6: May 6

Homegoing performance including music, theatrical performance and dance.

Learn more about and register for Homegoing: A Restorative Justice Initiative Colloquium at www.umb.edu/restorative justice colloquium.

Reading the Rainbow                                                         

Reading the Rainbow – a Boston Public Library online-exclusive book group geared towards members of the LGBTQ+ community – will meet from 4 to 5 p.m. on second Friday of the month.

Join the group on April 9 for a lively discussion of Amber Dawn's Sodom Road Exit.

Visit https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/603cddeab8fa66a708384d98 for more information and registration.

Run Wild with Zoo New England's First Virtual 5K Series                    

On your mark, get set … Run Wild with Zoo New England’s first virtual 5K series.

Join the pack and set out for a run, walk or stroll on a route of your choosing while providing support for Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo’s animals.

The first race, “Run Wild 5K.” will take place in April (registration is open).

The second race, “Run Wilder 5K & 10K,” will take place in July (registration opens May 1)

The third race, “Run Wildest 5K, 10K, Half Marathon,” will take place in October (registration opens Aug. 1).

Registration costs $30 to enter an individual race or $75 to register for the Run Wild series.

Visit www.zoonewengland.org/engage/run-wild-virtual-5k-series for more information and registration.

25th Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace

The Mother's Day Walk for Peace is a beloved Boston tradition and celebration of the potential to create more peaceful communities. It is the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s (LDBPI) largest fundraising event to grow and sustain services, advocacy and training. 

This year’s virtual walk is all about celebration and remembrance of 25 years of walking for love, unity, faith, hope, courage, justice and forgiveness while honoring lives impacted by homicide. 

Join the 25 Days of Walking, beginning in April, leading up to the online broadcast at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 9.

Visit https://www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org for more information and registration. 

Dorchester New Parents Group

A new parents’ group, hosted by Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS), will be held from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays. Parents with a baby under the age of three are invited to attend.

The parent groups provide safe and nurturing spaces for parents and their babies to give and receive support.

Visit jfcsboston.org for more information and Zoom registration.

Story Time @LowerMills                                                    

Join Mr. Ritse for a morning of singing, reading, and having fun on Facebook Live from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on Wednesdays.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information about the Boston Public Library’s Future Readers Club and the quick link to the Facebook page.

Virtual Baby Cafés

The BMC Baby Café at Codman Square Health Center will virtually meet from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.

This group is staffed by Jenny Weaver, RN, IBCLC and peer counselors who have extensive experience counseling moms with lactation and infant concerns. Limited translation for Haitian Creole speakers is available.

Visit www.codman.org/event/virtual-baby-cafes for more information and registration.

Children's Mental Health Story Time                                           

Families with young children are invited to the Children’s Mental Health Virtual Story Time from 3:30 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays through June 24 over Zoom, co-hosted by the Vital Village Network Mental Health Committee and the Boston Public Library.

Together, they bring families together for book readings and activities focused on Social-Emotional Learning, inspired by the Children's Mental Health Story Time Toolkit.

Sessions are designed for children, 3-8 years old, however, younger and older siblings are welcome to join the fun.

At the end of the session, there will be an opportunity for Q&A and resource sharing with parents/caregivers.

Visit vitalvillage.org for more information.

Register at https://cutt.ly/child-mental-health-storyTo join the group.

Healthy Lifestyle Enrichment Activities at BGCD

Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester will be starting various spring athletic enrichment programs that are a part of the Healthy Lifestyles curriculum. All classes will take place at the Marr Clubhouse on 35 Deer St.

Some of the programs will start in late March and others will be offered as part of the April School vacation schedule. Classes being offered are: Boxing for ages 13-18 at 5 p.m. on Mondays; Softball Clinic for ages 8-13 at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays; and Basketball Clinic for ages for 12 and older at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Contact Brendan McDonald at bmcdonald@bgcdorchester.org for more information and registration.

ADSL Zoom Club

All Dorchester Sports & Leadership (ADSL) offers a virtual after school enrichment and tutoring program for students in elementary and middle school (4th to 8th grades) from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 22.

Hop on Zoom calls to hang out, play group games and study with some friends. Their virtual tutors and mentors (students from local high schools and colleges) will be there to help.

Visit alldorchestersports.org for more information and registration.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston onsite/online

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston provides in-person day-time learning support during school hours and in-person and virtual interactive after-school programs such as academics, arts and music, character & leadership and healthy lifestyles on their Facebook and YouTube platforms.

Go to bgcb.org for more information and registration.

BPL online Homework Assistance Program (HAP)

The Boston Public Library offers online homework help, mentorship and afterschool activities provided by trained high-achieving high school students from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays through May 14 (except during school holidays and vacations).

Students in grades K-8 are welcome on a drop-in basis, no registration required.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the Zoom link.

BPL Reading Challenge                                                      

As the pandemic drags on and Boston residents remain cooped up in their homes, the Boston Public Library invites readers throughout the city to participate in “Reading Together.”

In the challenge, each month has a distinct theme and participants are asked to read a book tied to the theme.

The library offers recommended book lists for the monthly themes for adults, teens and children at bpl.org/yearlong. Participant patrons can track their progress as well.

Visit bpl.org for more information.

#ZooToYou/Kids’ Corner and onsite fun         

Tune in on Facebook at 1:30 p.m. for #ZooToYou: a daily dose of animal cuteness, chats with the care staff, crafts and activities to do at home, and lots more. Visit the Kids’ Corner online for more fun.

Franklin Park and Stone zoos are open for a roarin’ good time following COVID guidelines and online reservations. Virtual tours and other activities will continue.

Visit zoonewengland.org to learn more about the re-opening procedures before you visit.

DAP: ‘Power to the People’                                                                                    

Join the Dorchester Art Project (DAP) on IG Live from 4 to 5 p.m. on Sundays for “Power to the People.”

DAPS mission is “to empower the Black community by acknowledging the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses and returning power back to the people.”

‘The Fire Never Goes Out’  

The Boston Public Library Teen Book Discussion Group will meet from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 15 to discuss the graphic memoir, The Fire Never Goes Out by Noelle Stevenson.

Visit https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/5fe1127a316797310b3f8ef1 for more information, including the book synopsis and link to Twitch.

Book Discussion Group: ‘The Lost Family’                                              

Join the virtual Lower Mills Branch Book Discussion Group and fulfill the Year-Long Reading Challenge for April. This month, discuss The Lost Family by Libby Copeland from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 15.

Visit https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/604f96eb6fb99b2e0095e95f for more information.

Free healthy meals to go

Codman Academy is offering free, homemade, hot meals to-go for anyone who has a child under 21 years old at home. Community members, students and families are welcome to as many meals (breakfast and lunch items) as they need to feed their family for that day. No ID required.

Meals can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Codman Academy main entrance on Epping Street. When you arrive, phone 617-287-0700, ext. 175 for delivery.

For more information, email Anthony Travers at atravers@codmanacademy.org.

The Daily Table                                                                    

The Daily Table is a nonprofit community store and kitchen with a mission of making healthy food affordable to everyone.

The Daily Table sources nutritious, delicious food options at prices that every budget can afford, including grab-n-go, ready-to-eat meals from their kitchen.

The Daily Table offers delivery and in-store pick up at the same prices as their stores.

Store locations: 450 Washington St., Dorchester; 2201 Washington St., Roxbury; 684 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge (recent opening)

Store hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday noon to 7 p.m.

Customers 60+ hours begin at 9 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Visit dailytable.org for more information.

Kroc Community Center update  

Salvation Army-Kroc Corps Community Center, 650 Dudley St., is open following health and safety guidelines. Check the status as they intermittently close due to COVID spikes.

The Center has a fitness floor, cardio loft and expanded cycling studio in the gymnasium. Access to the fitness areas is by reservations only.

The Kroc Playground is open; The Water Park is closed.

The Salvation Army’s social services, food pantry and meal distribution efforts are ongoing. If you need assistance, including food or other resources, call their Social Service Department at 617-318-6940 or email Social Services Ministries Manager, Lurena Hood at Lurena.Hood@use.SalvationArmy.org.

Everyone is welcome to attend their Sunday worship service at 11 a.m. livestreamed on Facebook.

Visit https://bostonkroc.salvationarmy.org for more information.

Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information                              

Boston Eats provides free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens, along with other information is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

Chez-Vous GoFundMe fundraiser                                                 

The Chez-Vous Rollerskating Rink (11 Rhoades St.) has been a staple in Boston for more than 85 years, providing memories and entertainment for families of all ages.

The rollerskating rink, which has been closed since March 2020, has established a crowdsourced 

Gofundme fundraiser to sustain them until they are allowed to re-open, coming together again as one big family. All donations (no matter how large or small) are greatly appreciated.

To learn more about this family-fun establishment and to make a donation, visit chezvousrollerrink.com. For more information, phone 617-825-6877.

Emotion Revolution exhibition

Emotion Revolution is a virtual multimedia exhibition curated by student Mary Morris Evans and co-produced by Dorchester Art Project and Northeastern University’s College of Art, Media, and Design.

On view at emotionrevolutionshow.com, this exhibit explores how they cope with the chaos of the present and the inscrutability of the future through their work.

Rainbow Peace Flag Project/City Peace Project

The mission of the Rainbow Peace Flag Project is to extend kindness and caring across national borders, with love that includes people of all sexualities, genders, abilities, religions, races and cultures, and to condemn acts of violence and hatred, embracing peaceful dialogue instead.

The City Peace Project (part of the Rainbow Peace Flag Project) – an effort of individuals and local groups in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan to share the message of peace, inclusivity and non-violence – is inviting people to display Peace Flags at homes, spiritual institutions, schools, businesses and throughout their communities.

This is an ambitious effort and they welcome all who would like to volunteer to help package, distribute, promote, display, and share their story of why this symbol is important for them, their family, loved ones or community.

Donations are accepted, but not required to receive a flag or flag display.

Go to commonstreet.org/rainbow-peace-flag-project for more information.

Big Sister mentoring                                                                                    

Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.

The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide award-winning (virtual) support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little sister’s family.

To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit www.bigsister.org.

ADLS programs 

All Dorchester Sports & Leadership (ADLS) provides quality programming for youth, ages 5-18, helping them to build self-esteem, leadership skills and healthy lifestyles through athletic and academic achievement.

ADLS programs are currently open with limited activities following strict health and safety guidelines.

Register to participate, to learn, to play, to volunteer, to mentor, to coach at alldorchestersports.org or phone 617-287-1601.

EMK Institute programs and activities for at home fun

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate at Columbia Point features a variety of interests for the family to enjoy.

While video highlights from the Institute, including Getting to the Point programs and Year in Review 2019 among other items can be found on YouTube, links to a variety of activities can be found on their website.

Make a Difference activities encourages young people to think about how they can make a difference in their communities and in the world; About the Senate activities are for children and families to learn more about the work Senators do, how they work together, and some traditions they follow; Youth Action Guides include resources for teens on how to get involved with important issues facing the nation and the world; and Issue Investigations explore different perspectives that shape the debate on current policy issues before Congress.

Visit emkinstitute.org for more information, including quick links to YouTube and the activities.

JFK Library and Museum digital content and curriculum

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum adds a weekly digest of digital content for families to enjoy, including curriculum and content that parents and educators can easily incorporate into their daily lessons for K-12 students.

The Library and Museum remains closed at this time.

Visit jfklibrary.org for more details.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston provides a comprehensive array of services for people in need.

Please consider donating food, gift cards or toiletries to keep their food pantries and basic needs operations open and fully stocked.

Phone their administrative offices at 617-464-8500 for donation guidelines.

Visit www.ccab.org for more information, including a list of places that they service.

Franklin Park Zoo seeks donations                                               

The Franklin Park Zoo has set up the “All Our Animals Fund” to keep the Zoo’s mission alive, to provide vital care to their animals and to maintain the Zoo’s infrastructure.

Visit zoonewengland.org for more information, including ways to donate.

The Neighborhood Aid Network   

The Neighborhood Aid Network, coordinated by The Human Network Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has a simple goal: To provide a central place where neighborhood digital platforms can aggregate and standardize and where volunteers receive information and training.

Visit www.humannetworkinitiative.com/neighborhoods for more information.