News Briefs

Book Club  to Meet

A reminder that the You, Me & Them Book Club will meet on Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Winthrop Public Library, 2 Metcalfe Square after our summer break. The book is “The Boston Girl,” by Anita Diament.

Also, Winthrop Art Association will hold its last Art in the Park for the season on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Crest Avenue Park in the highlands.


NARFE to meet

The North Shore Chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m. at the Peabody Community Life Center, 75R Central St., Peabody. This very important business meeting will include election of officers for the coming year. Refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Mike Evers, 781- 842-3619.


Clark, Merkley Announce Legislation to Put Mental Health Counselors in Every K-12 Public School

Marking National Suicide Prevention Week, Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Oregon’s Sen, Jeff Merkley recently introduced the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act, a new bicameral legislation that would help fill the critical unmet need for school-based mental health services providers in elementary and secondary schools in America.

“We know that for kids to succeed, schools can’t just be about test scores,” said Congresswoman Clark. “We must invest directly in school nurses, social workers, and counselors who are central to fostering safe schools and promoting the long-term health and welfare of young adults.”

“Mental health care is essential health care, full stop. But right now in our schools, we’re treating it like an optional afterthought,” said Merkley. “That’s unacceptable, and it puts our students’ lives at risk. This National Suicide Prevention Week, let’s commit to ensuring that every child in America has access to the mental health care they need.”

In addition to Merkley, the legislation was cosponsored in the Senate by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME).

The recommended student-to-counselor ratio is 250 students per counselor, but currently the national average is 482 students per counselor and this average continues to rise. For school psychologists the recommended ratio is 500 to 700 students per provider and 250 to 1 for school social workers.

This disparity between students’ need and available resources can have critical consequences for young Americans. Mental illness affects 20 percent of American youth. Approximately half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and more than a third of students 14 and older with mental illness drop out of school. Fully 90 percent of youth who die by suicide had a mental illness.

Youth with access to mental-health service providers in their school are 10 times more likely to seek care than youth without access, but school districts across America lack the investment and resources to provide students with the in-school treatment and care they need. Young people often find themselves waiting months for mental health treatment—an unacceptable delay, particularly at a vulnerable stage of life.

The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act would tackle this crisis head-on by finally providing the necessary resources for schools to provide the mental health counselors their students need and rely on.  Specifically, it would establish grants to states to help ensure that every school can meet the recommended counselor-to-student ratios.

The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act is endorsed by the National Education Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the School Social Work Association of America, the American School Counselor Association, and the American Psychological Association.



‘I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good’

A musical comedy about golf?  Yes, and it’s a hole-in-one.  The world premiere of I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good will take place at the Winthrop School of Performing Arts, 45 Pauline St., Winthrop. The odd couple of golf will be teeing off on Oct. 12, 13,19, and 20 starting at 7:30 p.m. The Oct. 21 performance will start at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20. Online sales are $15 plus a handling fee at Type “I’d Rather Be Lucky than Good” in their search box.

The lead characters in the play, Lucky Lou and Meticulous Max, embark upon a rollicking and contentious round of golf at Hacker’s Haven. To heighten their regular monetary stakes, the loser of the match must engage in a life-changing action chosen by the winner. They encounter Golf Gods, an irate golfer, a sexy cart-girl, a golf widow, and a disgruntled grounds-keeper. Waiting to hit behind slow golfers, they discuss numerous topics including: golf as a metaphor for life, aging, hazards of senior dating, the true nature of friendship, and the adversity they had to overcome due to their racial and ethnic backgrounds.  The play is set in two acts and contains ten original songs with accompanying choreography. The music will be performed by the Squeezebox Stompers Trio. The audience is asked to join in the fun and wear golf attire.

The script, music, and lyrics are written by local playwright and musician, Ralph Tufo. The play is directed by award-winning Boston area director, Harris Lefteri. The outstanding cast includes: Arthur Williams III, Ken Brassard, Sonya Joyner, Larry Segel,  Aicia Zipp, Michael Joseph Reardon, and Adjovi Koene.

For further information contact: Ralph Tufo- playwright and producer  [email protected] (617)671-5644.


Mammography Van

The Dana-Farber Mammography Van will be in Winthrop on Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location has yet to be determined.  All interested parties should call or email Deana Faretra to register, 617-846-1077 ext.1061 or [email protected]

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