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March in Newton

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March in Newton

It's March - and hopefully soon, spring! This month we continue our guides to local community spaces with a "tour" of the West Suburban YMCA. We at Newton Neighbors have been grateful to work with the Y on various initiatives over the past few years, including our Newton Project Takeout program. We also had a YMCA basketball Newton Neighbors rivalry as three of our coordinators' children played in the second grade league this year (go Kings! go Bulls!) so we have a special place in our hearts for the Y, although the rivalry did get tense at times.




In this email, we also have info for incoming kindergarteners, a few book-related events, and a way to help neighbors by donating to help send local kids to summer camp.


Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. Some local individuals are coordinating efforts to help and have shared information in our Facebook group - please consider joining the group to learn more about this and other ways to connect with people near and far.

Community Spaces Tour: the West Suburban YMCA

Your name/role, and anything you’d like to share about your connections to Newton: ​Jane Carroll, Senior Director of Member Engagement and Wellness

Tell us about your organization - where is it located, when was it founded, what is your mission? ​The West Suburban YMCA is located at 276 Church Street in Newton Corner; right off the Mass Pike. It was founded in 1877 and is among the oldest YMCAs in the United States. Our mission is to strengthen the foundations of our community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility for all.

What programs do you offer? We offer a range of programs that serve individuals and families across the lifespan. The Y is unique because there is a place for everyone here! Programs include:

​Fitness: Cardio Machines, Free Weights, Personal and Small Group Training, Group Exercise Classes, lap swimming, and open gym time

Instructional and team sports: basketball, soccer, t-ball, lacrosse, and more

Instructional and team aquatics: Lessons for all ages and safety-around-water community events

Summer camps: Camp Pikati at the Y, Camp Chickami in Wayland, and Camp Frank A. Day in East Brookfield

Childcare: Preschool, after school programs, and babysitting

Specialty programs: Creative arts, chronic disease prevention programs, adaptive sports and aquatics, and LiveStrong at the YMCA for cancer survivors

Summer Eats program: youth up to 18 can come to the Y Monday-Friday during the summer and receive a free lunch, even if they are not enrolled in our programs.

Do you offer scholarships, free programs, or other ways people can access financial support? No one is turned away from our YMCA due to an inability to pay. With funds raised through our Annual Campaign, we are able to offer financial assistance to all qualified applicants. We use a sliding scale based on household size and income to determine subsidies, and our simple process means that financial aid applicants can start participating right away. In 2021, over $400,000 in financial aid enabled hundreds of participants and members to grow and thrive at the Y.

Awards must be renewed annually and rates are subject to change. Annual memberships must have financial aid awards determined before beginning membership. Temporary memberships are not eligible for financial aid.

What is your favorite thing about the village/neighborhood near your building? ​I love that there are so many small businesses and restaurants within walking distance and the true sense of community.

How can people find out about programs or events? How do people stay in touch with your organization? People can find out about our programs and events by calling our Welcome Center, 617-244-6050, using our website www.wsymca.org; or following us on social media: https://www.facebook.com/westsuburbanymca

Instagram: @wsymca Twitter: @wsymca

Helping Neighbors: 2022 Summer Camp Fundraiser

We have raised $2,000 toward our goal of at least $7,500 to help 15 - 20 students attend summer camp. Thank you! Here are two stories of campers we hope to support (names changed for privacy).

Jazmin learned about coding during Hour of Code library class this year and is interested in learning more about STEM. She wants to attend a two-week coding and STEM camp through the Newton Community Education this summer so she can jump start her engineering career (at the young age of 9)! Her family can contribute a little to the fee, but it won’t cover the balance from her 50% scholarship.

Natalie has never attended summer camp before, but has heard so many great things from her friends at school. This year she became a Girl Scout and wants to go to the overnight camp for a week with some of the other kids in her troop. The Girl Scouts has provided a generous scholarship, but it will only cover about 60% of the fee. Natalie’s troop had an archery lesson over the February vacation and she can’t wait to practice more at camp!

You can help more kids like Natalie and Jazmin by making any size donation here: https://www.newtonneighbors.org/donate. We have the next month to raise funds and secure spots at local Newton camps. Thank you for your continued generosity, Newton Neighbors!

City News

Want to stay on top of the work of the Newton City Council? Sign up for the City Council’s newsletter.

Watch out for runners: Marathon training season comes with a reminder to share the road with runners. The Newton Hills/the Comm Ave Carriage Road host thousands of runners each Saturday and Sunday morning between now and Marathon Monday (Monday, April 18). Many fundraising groups set up water stops along the course to assist the runners too. Keep an eye out for pedestrians and share the road and be patient.

Have a rising Kindergartener?

Registration information: Kindergarten Registration for the 2022-2023 School Year: If you have a child who is turning 5 by September 1, 2022, please see this document regarding kindergarten registration. This year, Newton Public Schools will hold a New Kindergarten Parent/Guardian Information Night virtual webinar on March 3, 2022 at 7:00pm.

Consider kindergarten soccer:

There are two kindergarten soccer programs in Newton.

  1. Garden City Kindergarten Soccer: Tends to draw mostly from the north side of Newton; Hosted at Burr Elementary School -- registration now open!

  2. Kindergarten Soccer: Tends to draw mostly from the south side of Newton; Hosted at Oak Hill Middle School -- registration open soon!

(Players in grades 1 and up may register for Newton Youth Soccer and Newton Girls Soccer.)

March Events:

Story Starters is a Newton-based organization that provides families with strategies to raise children to develop anti-racist values and inspires racial justice action in homes and communities. Their Spring Open House will be held March 5th (rain date March 12th) from 3:30 - 5 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Newton.


Newton Free Library has a number of fun programs for kids coming up, including:

The Write Stuff: Starting Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30pm. Does your child like to write? Are they in second grade? Then this program is for them! Each month we will learn about a different type of writing, including creative writing, non fiction, comics and small moments. Participants will learn to expand their thoughts and description as they grow as writers. They will have time to work and share each session. We meet once a month on the following dates: 3/23, 4/27, 5/25 and 6/22. Online registration (required) begins Wednesday, March 9 at 6:30pm. When you register, you register at the same time for ALL 4 months. A reminder email and zoom link will be sent out prior to each session.

Trivia Brothers present Harry Potter Trivia! Tuesday, March 22 at 7pm. Test your knowledge of Harry Potter! The Trivia Brothers will challenge players with questions from a variety of categories. A trivia team can be composed of a single player or multiple players. Recommended team size is 3-6 players. Online registration is required. One registration per person or team, please. Open to kids, tweens, teens and families!

Find more Newton Free Library events on their events page.

Need Support? Have something to give? Community resources:

Food assistance: information on food pantries, grab and go, and more available on the city's website here. Info on the Newton Community Freedge (free fridge), a 24/7 free community food resource, is available here.

The Horace Cousens Industrial Fund is a charitable trust, established in 1930, which gives financial help to Newton residents who are faced with a temporary but severe financial problem. Grants are for one-time specific needs. https://www.newtonma.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=41413

Welcome Home, Inc. is a home goods pantry based at Trinity Church in Newton. Want to shop? Email welcomehomemass@gmail.com to schedule an appointment. www.welcomehomemass.org New Community Veterinary Clinic: The Veterinary Technology Program of UMass Amherst – Mount Ida Campus in Newton community veterinary clinic - open during allotted times on Fridays and by appointment only. To schedule a non-urgent appointment call 617-243-1640. Newton Neighbors has a Facebook group to connect community members to support one another and share resources for people who live, work, pray, play and/or learn in Newton. Join here.

Find local events & learn more about what’s happening in town

There are lots of great resources to find out what's happening in Newton - check out some that might interest you below!

We’ve created a landing page for those new to town, featuring important apps to download and helpful email lists to sign up for. Check it out here: www.newtonneighbors.org/welcoming-neighbors

In addition, visit the following web pages and subscribe to these newsletters to find out more info about what’s happening in town - events, important city discussion and decisions, and more.

  • Local media: New TV is Newton’s local cable access TV station: https://newtv.org/, the Newton TAB is our weekly newspaper, the Newton Patch is online, and the Boston Globe has a “Newton Report”.

  • Mayor Fuller’s newsletter: https://www.newtonma.gov/government/mayor-fuller/updates

  • Amy Sangiolo’s Community Newsletter covers local government and events: https://amysangiolo.com/

  • Village 14: https://village14.com/ They aim to be “the “go to” place for discussion of any issue in Newton, but there’s also plenty of room for humor and a bit of fun too.

  • Arts & Culture & Community: Newton Community Pride: https://newtoncommunitypride.org/, Newton Arts Calendar: http://newtonartscalendar.org/; Newton Cultural Alliance’s weekly newsletters: https://newtonculture.org/

  • Newton’s City Calendars: https://www.newtonma.gov/government/public-buildings/calendar

  • Newton Free Library’s Calendar of events: https://newtonfreelibrary.libcal.com/calendar

  • The Charles River Chamber of Commerce has a regular "Need to Know" newsletter covering local business issues and other topics of local interest https://www.nnchamber.com/

  • All Over Newton has local shopping and restaurant information and guides: https://www.allovernewton.com/

  • The Newton Senior Center's "Coming of Age" newsletter has info of interest to local seniors. Subscribe here.

  • Bike Newton has a weekly newsletter www.bikenewton.org, with information on weekly rides as well as other items of interest for cyclists of all ages and abilities within Newton

  • Family Access Community Connections has information about early childhood programs and support in our region.

Love a local newsletter, website, or other news source you don’t see here? Email us at newtonneighborshelping@gmail.com to suggest it!


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This month, we are excited to continue our community spaces tours with a guide to the Newton Free Library. We also hope you will consider volunteering with our next project - a gardening initiative wi