Post image for Neary students transform Sticks & Stones into Hope & Kindness

Above: Southborough students paint “Hope Sticks” and plant “Kindness Rocks”. (photo left contributed, right cropped from Facebook)

Neary School’s motto this year has been “#Choose Kind”. It’s a theme that has made its way into the Art Room this spring.

Art Teacher Denise Johnson shared news and images of two big projects this spring involving Southborough’s 4th and 5th grade students. Both are being used to extend the school’s positive message beyond its doors.

I’ve included contributed pictures with each story below. (Click on thumbnails to enlarge and for captions.)

Kindness Rocks

Neary Students Sprinkle Kindness Around Town
Recently, children in fourth and fifth grade at the Neary School painted “Kindness Rocks”. Kindness Rocks are simply stones painted with inspiring or kind messages. The stones are then placed in public areas for others to enjoy. If you come across a Kindness Rock, you may take it or share it with a friend who could use a bit of inspiration. Often times, people then pay it forward by painting a stone or two and placing them outside for others to find.

The Kindness Rocks Project began a few years ago on Cape Cod and is now quite a world-wide movement. [You can learn more about the movement here.]

This art project was inspired by our school’s One School, One Read book, “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. All 263 Neary students took part in our One School, One Read and there were various school-wide projects and events that connected to this story’s message of acceptance and inclusion. Art teacher, Denise Johnson thought the Kindness Rocks Project tied in nicely with the school’s motto to “Choose Kind”. First, students were asked to collect smooth stones, then parent volunteers spray painted the stones, and then (the fun began!) students and teachers painted kind and inspiring messages on the stones.

Some stones were delivered to the Southborough Public Library and the Southborough Senior Center by Girl Scout Troop 68062 led by Kristen McCarthy and Sara Stein. Other rocks were shared with the Southborough Food Pantry. And, lastly, students in Mrs. Soldo’s fifth grade class delivered some to the school district’s central office and to the Neary School entrance. Spreading kindness truly feels wonderful and, more importantly, students and teachers alike have heard back from people who have felt touched and inspired by our small act of kindness.

Kindness Rocks painted by Neary Students Neary students position rocks outside for display Kindness Rock display outside of Neary Anna McCarthy, Joely Stewart, Maya Regan, Scarlett Gobron, and Maddy Wall deliver Kindness Rocks to the Southborough Library and Senior Center

Hope Sticks

Neary Hope Sticks
Neary School Art Teacher, Denise Johnson, submitted a proposal to the juried Art on the Trails exhibit titled “Hope Sticks”. In preparation for creating their own Hope Sticks, students then learned about Tibetan Prayer Flags and American Indian beliefs around Medicine or Spirit Sticks. They learned how color often played a symbolic role in these belief systems. We all have hopes–hopes for a family member, a group of people, or the environment. Inspired by their own hopes and the Tibetan and American Indian belief systems, each student painted a branch.

During the beginning of May, Neary students found out that their submission had been accepted. Now it’s time to prepare the 263+ painted branch for their Hope Sticks art installation!

Hope Sticks will be on display from June 13 through September 23, 2018 at the Beals Preserve. This year’s Art on the Trail theme is “Unexpected Gestures”. Mrs. Johnson and her students hope that their colorful, collaborative Hope Sticks installation will catch people walking the trails in a pleasantly unexpected way!

The easiest way to access the art installation is by entering the Red Gate trail head. As you near the pond on your right, go left onto Lone Wolf trail.

We hope you can join us at the Opening Reception on June 13 from 6-8pm!

Neary students ( Abbe Or, Therese Moore, Rosey Gebauer, and Scott Cronin from Mrs. Martinez's 4th grade class) paint "Hope Sticks" Hope Sticks painted by Neary students Sketch of planned Hope Sticks exhibit installation for Art on the Trails


Post image for Algonquin drama students putting on Wegmans the Musical 2.0 – June 7th & 8th

Above: Previewing the upcoming musical, ARHS Drama students “rehearsed” on camera with a WCVB reporter (image cropped from video uploaded to ulocal)

Mark your calendars. A cult classic is returning to Algonquin next month.

Students will be putting on a reboot of an original school production, “Wegmans the Musical”.

Back in 2012, an Algonquin Drama class created an original musical inspired by all the hooplah around the opening of Wegmans in Northborough. What was just a class project drew a lot of outside attention. (Beyond local media, news of the project was shared by CNBC, Huffington Post, a business journal, and a national weekly.)

Over time, videos and clips on YouTube have racked up about 65K views. (Not exactly Logan Paul, but still pretty good for a class project. It even beat out the 2013 ARHS Good Time viral video, also a class project.)

Recently, I was confused by the new posting of the musical on Northborough Cable’s YouTube site. Why was a 6 year old school video suddenly resurfacing?

The answer came in the form of a tweet. The drama teacher who sparked the project then, and is apparently leading a reboot, shared a link to footage of a recent visit by WCVB:

Wegmans the Musical 2.0 flyerDigging into it, I found Gonk Arts’ promo of the upcoming Wegman’s Musical 2.0 on June 7th and 8th at 7:00 pm:

Wegmans…the Musical 2.0 is coming to the ARHS auditorium June 7 and 8 @7pm. 61 students are part of this original show about twin brothers managing competing supermarkets in Northborough, a lost elderly man living at Avalon apartments and the real-life event of a proposal in the store. This updated show was written by the 2012 Advanced Drama show, adding a live all-student pit band. Wegmans is providing props for the show where food and theatre collide.

A few more details were posted to a community calendar for Northborough:

The songs include parodies from RENT, Les Miserables, Wicked, Hamilton and Eminem. Six years have passed since Wegmans… THE MUSICAL hit the Algonquin stage. This is a minimally updated version

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

As mentioned above, the new version won’t be a carbon copy of the old, and certainly the actors will have changed. But you can get a taste of what’s in store by viewing the 2012 production. Below is the video recently posted to Northborough Cable. (So, presumably, its the “official” version.) [click to keep reading…]


Post image for Reminder – Memorial Day observances tonight and Monday

Above: Memorial Day observances begin this evening when the public is invited to help replace flags at veterans’ graves. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

The Southborough community is again invited to participate in the town’s traditional Memorial Day services.

As usual, residents, veterans and scouts are encouraged to help mark veterans’ graves with fresh flags in preparation for the holiday. That is this evening, Friday May 25th, at 6:00 pm.

The event takes place at the Rural Cemetery on Cordaville Road. Volunteers should meet in front of the Maintenance Building at the back of the cemetery.

Then, on Monday morning, veterans, local officials, and scouts will march in the annual parade. The morning begins with veterans invited to gather at the VFW/Legion Post Headquarters (at the Community House, 28 Main Street). That gathering takes place at 8:30 am this year.

Participants for the 9:00 am parade should gather in advance in the Main St. Bank parking lot (corner of Rt. 30 and Newton St). Groups traditionally joining veterans on the march are the Algonquin Regional High School Band, the Trottier Band, Boys Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts.

At 9:00 am, the parade proceeds down Main Street, then to the cemeteries and memorials:

Following tradition, we will pay honor and respect to those Veterans who have been laid to rest at the Rural Cemetery, Burnett Cemetery and Revolutionary War Cemetery.

We’ll also pay tribute at the Civil War Monument to honor those who died during the War Between States where a student from Trottier will recite the Gettysburg Address.

Observances will end at the All Wars Memorial with the traditional speakers, singers from Algonquin Regional High School and finish with our National Anthem.

The public invitations were issued by Commander Steve Whynot, VFW Post 3276 and Commander John Wilson, American Legion Post 161.

For a photo gallery of last year’s services click here.


Post image for Movie Night at the ballpark – with Home Run Derby and more – June 9th

Southborough Little League is holding a Movie Night in two weeks. The public is invited to join them.

The event is on Saturday, June 9th at the Mooney Field complex (Baseball fields at Finn School).

Movie Night and Home Run Derby

(click to enlarge)

The fun begins at 3:00 pm with:

  • Bounce Houses
  • Radar Gun Station
  • Home Run Derbies (AAA at 4:30 and Majors at 6:00)

At 8:00 pm, the movie Jumanji will be projected on the big screen.

During the event, you can buy BBQ dinner (via New England Smoker Rentals) and dessert from Uhlman’s Ice Cream.

The festivities are sponsored by Carvalho & Roth Orthodontics.


Post image for Pops Night concert at Algonquin – May 31st

Above: It’s time for ARHS’ big annual music festival (photo cropped from Northborough Cable’s 2017 video)

Algonquin’s annual Pops Night concert is an evening of performances by every instrumental and vocal ensemble in the school:

All the different musical groups at Algonquin come together for a single night of incredible performances with a lighter, more contemporary focus.

For the occasion, the ARHS gym is transformed into a “Boston Pops” style venue with seating for several hundreds of guests (including reserved round tables on the floor).

This year’s event is Wednesday, May 30th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $10 each. Tables are $100.

The fundraiser is put on by the Northborough-Southborough Music Association.

yummy mummy flyer pops night 2018

(click to enlarge)

NSMA is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the talented music students, faculty, and programs, at Algonquin and the Middle Schools of Northborough and Southborough. Proceeds from POPS NIGHT go to these communities through grants, music enrichment awards, and senior scholarships.

In addition to enjoying music, the audience can purchase goodies from from Yummy Mummy. Platters of 24 assorted treats can be ordered in advance for the tables.

NSMA is always looking for helping hands to make this night happen. You can volunteer here.

For those of you interested, here’s a look back at Pops Night 2017 (video produced by Northborough Cable):


On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on May 24, 2018

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 19 Orchard Road went on the market this week for $1,125,000 (MLS photo)

Here’s what went on and off the market this week. Thanks to Gail DuBois (email) of Keller Williams for supplying the town’s new listing information for the week.*

New on the market

Sale pending

  • 18 Valley Road (map) – 5 room, 2 bed, 1f 0h bath Ranch – 35 days on the Market, Listed at $339,900
  • 20 Flagg Road (map) – 7 room, 3 bed, 1f 1h bath Ranch – 5 days on the Market, Listed at $399,000
  • 12 Bryden Road (map) – 9 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Split Entry – 5 days on the Market, Listed at $434,900
  • 11 Breakneck Hill Road (map) – 7 room, 3 bed, 1f 1h bath Cape – 3 days on the Market, Listed at $439,900
  • 12 Mount Vickery Road (map) – 7 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Split Entry – 4 days on the Market, Listed at $449,900
  • 134 Middle Road (map) – 10 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 9 days on the Market, Listed at $599,900

[click to keep reading…]


Seeking vendors for Craft Fair

May 24, 2018 11:24:31 AM
Thumbnail image for Seeking vendors for Craft Fair

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School is seeking crafters to join their 2nd Annual Assabet/Valley SkillsUSA Craft Fair.

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Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

May 24, 2018 09:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

The open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers.

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Why flags will be at half staff: May 25, 2018

May 24, 2018 07:30:33 AM
Thumbnail image for Why flags will be at half staff: May 25, 2018

Flags in Southborough and across the state will be flying at half staff tomorrow, May 25, 2018, at the order of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The lowering is in honor of another long-ago fallen soldier whose remains were recently identified.

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Special Town Meeting wrap up: No to Kallander Field, yes to Saturday Meetings

May 23, 2018 04:00:00 PM
Thumbnail image for Special Town Meeting wrap up: No to Kallander Field, yes to Saturday Meetings

Last night, irony seemed rampant as Recreation Co-Chair Kristen Lavault championed her Citizen Petition Articles for repairing Kallander Field and moving Annual Town Meeting.

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3rd annual “24 Heroes in 24 Hours” fundraiser for veterans over Memorial Day weekend

May 23, 2018 01:45:14 PM
Thumbnail image for 3rd annual “24 Heroes in 24 Hours” fundraiser for veterans over Memorial Day weekend

A fitness facility in town is organizing a special fundraiser for veterans over this Memorial Day weekend.

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Police logs, make way for ducklings, and more

May 23, 2018 12:31:16 PM
Thumbnail image for Police logs, make way for ducklings, and more

The latest log from Southborough Police Department.

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Town Meeting voters on ZBA: Affirm Quorum at 4, leave questions to Attorney General; allow board to write rules; remove inter-agency appeals (Updated)

May 23, 2018 11:06:31 AM
Thumbnail image for Town Meeting voters on ZBA: Affirm Quorum at 4, leave questions to Attorney General; allow board to write rules; remove inter-agency appeals (Updated)

Last night, a large contingent of the voters at Town Meeting appeared to be there specifically to curb the powers of Southborough’s Zoning Board of Appeals. In the end, they supported 2 of 3 Articles towards that end. (One of them with the backing of the ZBA.) But, with each requiring a 2/3 approval, one failed to pass. And one of the Articles passed may not pass muster with the Attorney General’s office as written.

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Special Town Meeting: How the votes played out

May 22, 2018 11:13:51 PM

Here’s my quick recap of Southborough’s Special Town Meeting tonight.

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