Arts

Meet the five “Wonder Women” decorating Malden’s bike path AND the women behind them

By Samantha Deras In the midst of bright colors and bold outlines, you can see five of Malden’s famous women looking back at you. A new Malden Arts mural by artist Amanda Hill highlighting five local “wonder women” was recently installed along the bike path this October (off Main St. between Charles and Madison St.). Malden Arts is a community organization that was founded in 2006 by former Maldonian Naomi Brave who is on its board of directors along with four other women: Candace Julyan, Robin Inman, Naomi Kahn, and Sharon Santillo. The group’s mission is to bring art to the Malden community and put the spotlight on local artists. “As much as we want to support local artists and all that they do, we felt that not everyone goes to galleries, not everyone goes to museums, but public art is truly for everyone involved in this very diverse community,” Malden Arts historian Sharon Santillo said. “And we wanted to put art out there that everybody could enjoy, just in their daily life or as […]

Education

School Department continues to support controversial curriculum despite charges of racial insensitivity

By Avieana Rivera The Malden School Committee and superintendent continued to support the district’s new curriculum at their November meeting, despite charges from parents and teachers that it is racially insensitive. Seven different educators, all members of the Malden Education Association (MEA), along with two concerned parents, spoke out against the Amplify curriculum at October’s monthly school committee meeting, which they claimed is racially insensitive and a potential civil rights violation for English language learners. Amplify ELA (English/Language Arts) is a national-for-profit curriculum and was purchased by the Malden School District for all students in grades Pre-K through 8. They said one of the more disturbing lessons for 8th graders included a passage written by 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass where he quotes a slave master using the N-word four times to express his displeasure of slaves being taught to read and write. “I did everything I could to prepare my students for what they were going to read. Nothing prepared me for the gasps, the looks on their faces when they saw the illustrations. […]

Arts

“Second House” filmmakers discuss filmmaking, Malden, and their next project shooting at Urban Media Arts

By Jack Drees Lights, camera, Malden! A new short film is set to begin production in Malden this weekend. The untitled “proof of concept” production for a proposed feature film — a psychological thriller — will take place at Urban Media Arts, and YOU have the opportunity be a part of it! The production invites people with varying levels of experience to fulfill some behind-the-scenes roles. It will also bring back two minds behind the award-winning science fiction short film To Err. The two returning minds are Anthony Martinez and Anders Johnson. They are passionate about films and how they are made. Both have origin stories that relate to their craft and the setting for this upcoming film. Now a Malden resident, Martinez was a TV reporter while still a student at the University of Missouri. Comfortable in front of and behind the camera, he took his newfound interest and pursued his Masters degree at the London Film Academy in England, where he worked with international students and collaborators. He describes it as an “incredible […]

Arts

How my community benefits from immigration: The Immigrant Learning Center’s 2023 essay contest

“It is simply impossible to act as if our ethical and other differences do not exist; however, we can learn to embrace one another’s customs and lifestyles instead of disregarding them. Our distinctiveness is, after all, what makes us human, and brushing these things aside will only end in ignorance.”  From “How Malden Benefits From Immigration” by Dina Genene, First Prize, The Immigrant Learning Center’s essay contest, 2022 By Jamie Perkins The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, Massachusetts, holds an annual essay-writing contest that, according to their website, celebrates “the impact of immigrants and refugees.” The 2023 contest concluded with an awards ceremony at The Immigrant Learning Center on Monday, May 22. This year’s topic was “How My Community Benefits from Immigration.” All Malden High School, Everett High School, and Medford High School students can apply to the contest at no cost. Participants must write their essays in English but are not solely evaluated on English proficiency, and English learners are encouraged to apply.  The Immigrant Learning Center is a non-profit organization providing free English […]

Business

Rain, Snow, or Shine: outdoors serves as classroom for local preschool

By Jamie Perkins “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær.”  This common Norwegian saying translates to “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Malden preschoolers and their families learn to embrace this perspective at the Boston Outdoor Preschool Network’s (BOPN) Malden/Melrose location.  BOPN is the brainchild of three local educators: Sarah Besse, Shela Sinelien, and Sara Murray. Masters-level educators with experience in public and private schools, Montessori education, and special education, the three founders opened BOPN’s first program in 2019 at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.  They’ve since opened three additional sites, including one at Pine Banks Park, a 107.5-acre park on the Malden/Melrose line. The Pine Banks Park location began in September 2022 and offers a half-day, mixed-age program for preschool and Pre-K-aged children.  As stated by their website, BOPN provides “mixed-age, nature-immersive programs designed to teach resilience, persistence, and problem-solving.” Programming runs throughout the year, including during the summer.  According to Besse, the program emphasizes a play-based curriculum that strengthens children’s social-emotional skills. “The research shows that children […]

Arts

Community Comes Together at 6th Annual Malden Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration

By Rachel Sorlien, Malden Juneteenth Committee (special to Neighborhood View) It may have rained all day, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of hundreds of attendees at Malden’s 6th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration this past Saturday, June 17th. In a quick pivot and with the steadfast support of Superintendent Ligia Noriega- Murphy and custodial staff at the Ferryway School, the event location was moved indoors from Lincoln Commons to the Ferryway School. Opening presentation for the Juneteenth celebration in the lobby of the Forestdale School. Lydia Harrell (at podium) leads attendees in the Black National Anthem. Photos by Anne D’Urso-Rose. The Freedom Day Celebration began in the Ferryway lobby, where former U.S. Marine Eric Henry raised the Juneteenth flag as Lydia “Lovely Singer” Harrell sang the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” A crowd filled the atrium and waved miniature Juneteenth flags, as Mayor Christenson gave his annual Juneteenth Proclamation and Malden Juneteenth committee member Erga Pierrette made a stirring statement about the need to center humanity and acknowledge the continued impact […]

Education

Education Beyond classrooms:  Nekita Lamour aims to provide experiential learning for students and adults

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based, participatory digital archiving program, through UMass Boston’s Healey Library, that documents people, places and events in Massachusetts through family photographs and stories. Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. Since then, Neighborhood View has been contributing photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. The in-person event is now scheduled for April 27, 2024. More info at the end of this article. By Joy Pearson A microcosm of the world, Malden, Mass. has an abundance of cultures, each with its own heritage.  Nekita Lamour, a Malden resident, wants students to learn more about their own heritage.  She knows this will enrich their lives.  She has long desired to help transform education for Blacks, especially Haitian Blacks.  To her, students need experiential learning and learning from professionals outside the classroom. Their perception of their world creates an internal environment, she says, and that “internal environment has to be positive.” Many of […]

Education

Growing for Malden: behind the high school community garden that could

By Bryan Liu In an empire of sawdust, a jungle blooms. Malden High School’s makerspace is a warehouse-sized engineering classroom that doubles as a fully-stocked workshop for hands-on STEM-based extracurriculars — but against the windowsill, a row of lush hydroponics sticks out like a sore thumb — a green one.  This is where Malden’s Youth Community Garden trains in the off-season.  Malden High School Senior, Jadelini Mora, explains that the makerspace is the perfect nursery for plants to mature indoors during the colder months until it’s warm enough for them to be moved into one of 23 planting beds that make up the garden outside. To expand their planting space, the club built a greenhouse in April. It’s somewhere between professional and DIY.  The thermal ‘greenhouse effect’ owes its namesake to the sheets of UV-resistant plastic affixed with only a mile of duct tape and several elbows’ worth of elbow grease. The layers of tarp are just translucent enough to glimpse the sun-kissed gloss of green-ish horticulture from a distance.  Now the club can garden […]

Education

The vote for “the Voke” has led to a surprising twist

Selected site for the Northeast Vocational High School building draws opposition By Karen Buck A $317,422-million dollar plan to rebuild the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School sounded promising to many when first proposed. “The Voke” hadn’t been significantly renovated since it was built nearly 50 years ago. It was time for a rebuild with updated technology.  However, the project has now sparked fierce opposition, even among those who voted in favor of it on Jan. 25, 2022.  The controversy is not about rebuilding the Voke, but what would be sacrificed for the new construction.  The 1/25/2022 ballot question approving the construction costs of $317,422,620 did not specify the location of the new building site other than to note the current school address of 100 Hemlock Drive. A low turnout of 9,043 residents voted on the issue of funding the new school building, with 7,471 in favor of rebuilding the Voke. However, some voters from the communities served – Wakefield, Chelsea, Malden, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Saugus, Stoneham, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn – were later […]

Arts

“If you’re gonna learn to garden, you need to know how to say hello to a worm.”

Artist Kari Percival and the importance of connecting children to nature By Colette Lauture When author, illustrator, and mother of two Kari Percival was little, she tried to grow orange seeds in her backyard. Saving the seeds from an orange she ate, she brought them outside, and buried them in the ground. When nothing came up, she asked her parents about the delay. She felt embarrassed to learn that orange seeds don’t grow in this New England climate.  With parents who grew up in Maine, Percival always engaged in gardening activities with her family. She remembers planting peas with her grandfather, specifically. “I felt like I was a sorcerer’s apprentice standing next to a magician and learning the art of life,” she said. “How we’re alive is that we get food from sunshine, [and] through these other beings that we can learn to grow.” Stories like this are what contributed to the publishing of her February 2022 award-winning book, “How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to the Outside.” Its digital woodcut […]