These past few months have brought a number of worrisome potential closings. In December, we first heard that the Farragut Elementary School was on the list of potential Boston Public Schools to close at the end of the academic year. This is heartbreaking news for this community including students and their families and those at the Scott/Ross Center. Our long term partnership with the Farragut has resulted in student founded and led America Reads and America Counts programs and Education Sparks. These programs bring Simmons undergraduate students together with Farragut elementary school students in after school reading and mentoring programs. The GSLIS/Farragut relationship began in 2003 and resulted in a completed book collection and fully operational library. Several spring breaks have been spent cataloguing, sorting and processing books. We will miss them.
Next up on the chopping block is the Peterborough Senior Center in the Fenway. Over the next few months the patrons and staff will explore ways to keep the doors open. The senior center provides many wonderful services for this impressively active senior community in the Fenway and will leave a big gap for this population.
In February, Americorp programs were included in the federal government budget cutting proposals. Almost everyone knows someone who has been in Americorp or benefited from Americorp. The work that these dedicated volunteers accomplish is invaluable both to the communities they serve and to the individuals enrolled in the program. Over the past nine years, many Scott/Ross Center initiatives were assisted and launched by the hard work of a MACC Americorp*VISTA. Each year up to 30 Simmons students provide service through and benefit from the Americorp Student Leaders in Service program. Last year, our ASLIS members completed close to 10,000 service hours and our MACC VISTA worked full time on college access programs and community partner development. This necessary and vital work is irreplaceable.
Building and supporting community is one of the keystones of the Scott/Ross Center and we are committed to keeping services available to these and other vulnerable populations.
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." - William James