Education

Malden High School students reflect on a year of remote learning

By Saliha Bayrak Having a conversation over the lunch table, waving to your friends between classes, sharing excitement over college admission letters — these are some of the things that Malden High School teenagers yearned for as they attended their classes virtually.  As Malden High School (MHS) transitions to hybrid learning with a phased process that started the week of March 15, nearly one year after schools switched to fully remote, students look back on all the ways that online learning has impacted their life. Remote learning uprooted the life of teens around the city and forced them to reimagine what their high school experience will look like. Now they ponder on how they will move forward.  Sheilly Patel, a senior at MHS, worries that she may miss some of the big milestones of high school such as senior prom and graduation. But she also misses the small activities that accompanied going to school in-person.  Patel says that she often finds herself “missing that kind of little social things that happen in between classes,” and […]

Education

What does a water tower in Guatemala have to do with Malden?

By Fern Remedi-Brown and Elena Martinez  Malden residents Fern Remedi-Brown and Ginny Remedi-Brown have been spearheading a nonprofit organization, Sowing Opportunities, that seeks to cultivate self-sustainability, education, and wellness in rural Guatemala – one village at a time. The locally based organization wants to highlight and celebrate Monday, March 22, United Nations #WorldWaterDay. This year’s theme is #ValuingWater  and the efforts of Sowing Opportunities demonstrate how a group of individuals is effectively addressing water issues in Guatemala.  Sowing Opportunities was born from the family’s quest and journey to find their adopted daughter’s birth mom. In 2015, Sowing Opportunities began working with the village of Chajmaic, Guatemala, where their daughter was born. With a Guatemalan team, they learned about the needs and aspirations of this indigenous, remote community.  Following a needs assessment conducted last summer, Sowing Opportunities decided to develop a greenhouse workshop in which a group of trainees would learn how to plant, to develop leadership skills, and to maintain a greenhouse – starting with corn and black beans – and to sell vegetables for their livelihood. […]

Education

Teaching from afar: How Malden’s educators have been working through the pandemic

By Catherine Riordan  Like many other schools across the country, Malden schools have had to grapple with how to teach children through remote and hybrid learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since last March, the Malden Public Schools have been fully remote but early grades returned with a hybrid phase of learning beginning on February 8. Wendy Yaakov, a kindergarten teacher at Malden’s Beebe School has taught her students throughout the pandemic. According to Yaakov, the focus with the children during this new hybrid learning space is on what they lacked, such as handwriting, and learning what it is to be in a classroom and not their bedroom. The children in her class have never had a traditional school experience as they began their school career remotely and entered hybrid learning. Yaakov said “It’s going to be an adjustment… for some of them; it’s the first time in school.”  Yaakov told of a little girl who asked her teacher if she needed to be doing more learning because the little girl is used to remote learning where teachers […]

Education

The TrailblazHers host a 5K in Malden dedicated to Louise Stokes.

The Boston-based women’s running group chose the Malden River Loop to host their weekly run dedicated to trailblazing women. (Photo by Frances Ramirez) By Saliha Bayrak, Amanda Hurley and Catherine Riordan A group of trailblazing women, clad in running gear and masks, were out for a run at the Malden River Loop on Sunday morning, March 7. The group, TrailblazHers Run Co, dedicated their weekly 5k run to Malden track & field star Louise Stokes, one of the first African-American women to qualify for an Olympic team.  TrailblazHers is a Boston-based women’s running group that was founded in October of 2020. The group’s members are fervently dedicated to unifying and uplifting each other while being powered by its mission to celebrate and empower women of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds.  The group originally emerged from an event known as the “Bra Run,” a tradition that continued for three years before the co-founders Elizabeth Rock, Abeo Powder, and Frances Ramirez, realized that there were many other women who were also looking for a community of runners.  Rock describes the organization as “A […]

Education

Uncomfortable Conversations: Staff and board at UMA take on race and social justice through internal dialogue

By Saliha Bayrak As the nation rose to voice their indignation and call for an end to racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd, Urban Media Arts (UMA), joined thousands of organizations across the country and made a statement of solidarity to champion the Black Lives Matter movement. The staff at UMA (formerly MATV) did not want this statement to be a momentary and hollow expression of support without any actions to succeed it. In the months that followed, staff members began to have periodic meetings and discussions to address issues of race, injustice, and inclusivity, guided by the belief that every course of action begins with a conversation. Terlonzo Amos, the Director of Operations at UMA, believes there is an urgency to have these conversations now due to the recent blatantly unjust events that occurred throughout the nation. “These problems have always been in the Black and brown community…since 1619,” said Amos. “For those that may not have believed that these things were happening…a light was shown on it.” Amos often leads these […]

Education

Confronting Slavery: Local NAACP highlights the push for reparations

By Elizabeth Scorsello Growing up, Schiffon Wong listened to her grandmother talk about reparations for the country’s Black citizens. The family had been sharecroppers and her grandfather’s parents were enslaved, and they could barely make a living. “She used to say we never got our reparations and it always stuck with me,” Wong said.  Today, Wong heads the newly formed Reparations Committee of the Mystic Valley Branch of the NAACP, which seeks to provide the larger community with a better understanding of the issue of reparations.  The committee has launched a drive to send copies of the  book From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, by William A. Darity, Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen to every member of the U.S. Congress to keep the subject of reparations in the public discourse. “It is our hope by sending this really important book to our congress it would give us the opportunity to educate them and engage them,” Wong said. “We want all of us to have a shared understanding anchored in […]

the Mayor and the councilman hold Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime, in front of City Hall.
Arts

Malden Reads Launches New Season with Procession to City Hall

“It made the most sense at a time when we needed the humor and a need for us to learn about each other’s history.” Erga Pierrette By Annie Bennett Malden Reads hosted a COVID-conscious launch on Tuesday, January 26, with a car procession starting from the Malden Public Library on Salem Street, past UMA – Urban Media Arts (formerly MATV) on Pleasant Street, and ending at Malden’s new City Hall.  The procession symbolically linked the two anchor institutions (the library and UMA) that help coordinate the volunteer-run “One City, One Book” program, which first launched in 2011. According to the group’s website, the mission of Malden Reads is “to promote literacy and a love of reading, and to build community in the city of Malden.” It is known in the community for its unifying effect. This season, participants will be reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, a response to the fervent cries for racial justice across the world over the past year. Noah is a Black comedian and a South African native, most well-known […]

Education

Teaching through the lens of love: A conversation with Jennifer Hedrington, MA Teacher of the Year

By Antonia Sheel As an educator and mother to young children,  I had the opportunity to chat with the newly appointed Massachusetts Teacher of the Year (2021), Jennifer Hedrington a seventh-grade math teacher at Ferryway School in Malden, and her former student, Taylor Neal, a sophomore at Point University. The experience  was both refreshing and inspiring.  Our Zoom conversation touched on everything from what brought Hedrington  into the field of education to how Hedrington’s teaching impacted Taylor, who has kept in touch with her years after she first sat in her 7th grade math class.   This interview has been edited for space and clarity. Antonia: I want to say first and foremost congratulations! How do you feel? Jen: I’m overwhelmed and humbled. I’m very private. You know I went from having 100 people on my Facebook to 300 or 400.  I’m like, oh my gosh this is crazy. I have to remind myself that this is not about me. This is about them. God has blessed me for one year to be a voice to speak up for the kids. […]

Education

Get Ready to Mark Your Ballot: Voting options for Election 2020 in Malden

By Will Sullivan  During the past few months, service cuts at the U.S. Postal Service have raised concerns about the potential for delays in the mail-in voting process. But as the second Massachusetts election during the COVID-19 pandemic approaches, Malden City Clerk Greg Lucey wants voters to know that voting by mail is still a good option while the virus remains a public health issue. “It’s a very safe way to vote,” said Lucey. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Massachusetts, mail-in voting “is probably the way to go,” he said.  For those concerned about their ballot reaching City Hall via mail in time to be counted, the city has two drop-off boxes for mail-in ballots. As long as voters drop off their ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3), their votes will be counted. Both boxes can be accessed at any time. One is in front of Malden City Hall, at 215 Pleasant St. The second, which will be installed this week, is in front of the Malden Police Station, at 800 Eastern […]

Education

MaldenCORE conversation series

MaldenCORE will hold a series of 4th Wednesday Conversations beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6:45 pm with a presentation by Daniel StrongWalker Thomas, Traditional Chief of the Delaware Nation (Anadarko Okla.), Lenape People, and a descendant of the Oneida People (of Green Bay,Wisc).  The topic for discussion will be Indigenous social justice issues. Due to the pandemic, the conversation series is online. Thomas serves as the President of the Board of Directors and Chief Servant Leader of Global Initiative for Indigenous Advancement, Inc. (GIIA).  As Keeper of Fire for GIAA, he believes that the concentration on the four pillars of social, health, education, and economic status will help generate the overall wellbeing of Indigenous People worldwide.  When he attended Salem State University he was awarded the Charlotte Forten Distinguished Scholar Award and was a member of the honors society. MaldenCORE, Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity, hosts 4th Wednesday Conversations, community gatherings for community members, to learn about and confront systemic racism. Speakers introduce topics and then participants break into fall groups to share personal […]