Some of the best inspirations come from a book, and that’s how a group of town employees got together to come up with Winthrop Engages to be held May 15 at the Cummings School from, 6-8 p.m., an event to share information and bolster a civic pride in residents.
There will be speakers such as the town manager, town council president, and local officials to speak briefly about getting involved in the community.
The little seed for this idea was in the book.
Asst. Library Director Mary Lou Osborne came across the book, called “This is Where you Belong: the Art and Science of loving the place where you live,” by journalist Melody Warnick, who moved to the Virginia Tech community right after the shootings.
“She discovered that by getting involved in a community you fall in love with it. One of the ideas was to have a fair where people could pick up information on how they could get involved,” Osborne said.
“Sometimes we see a lot of anger on Facebook, people are confused and have lots of questions but don’t know where to go for the answers,’ said Library Director Diane Wallace.
“We thought this would be the way to offer some answers,’ she added.
Then they pulled in Betsy Shane, executive director of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, and her assistant Ann Ward to help gather information. Also rounding out the group is Town Clerk Carla Vitale, who, let’s face it is your first encounter and your last one in Town Hall.
Vitale will have high school students available to register voters. Representatives from Census 2020 will also be available.
“Their main goal is that everyone is counted,” Vitale said. “The census tells us about funding, how many teachers we need, how many public safety people are needed, it determines federal monies and demographics.”
“Sometimes being engaged means registering the vote,”” Wallace said
“Sometimes being engaged means registering the vote,”” Wallace said.
All the children of the Cummings School have been invited to make a poster about what Winthrop means to them. All will be displayed for the event.
People can sign up for email alerts from town offices. There will also be information from boards and committees to get new people involved.
“We feel like the next layer of civic duty is out there,” Wallace said.
Vitale also stressed the importance of the volunteer in the workings of local government. Members of the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Licensing Board, Board of Appeals and other boards and committees are made up of citizen volunteers.