By Rep. Thomas Stanley
Waltham has a growing population of new immigrants from all over the world. Many of these people are eager to learn the language and customs of the American way of life and want their children to become fully integrated into our society. The Waltham Family School (WFS) provides the avenue for families that wish to become active participants in our community.
The WFS is an Even Start Literacy Program which provides educational opportunities for children and their parents by integrating early childhood education, adult education and parenting activities in a comprehensive family literacy program. WFS serves Waltham’s families who have a preschool age child, age 3-5, and who want to work on improving their English language skills and strengthening their parenting and life skills.
Waltham is one of seven communities in MA awarded a federal grant, funded through the Massachusetts Department of Education, for an Even Start Literacy Program. WFS is a partnership of the Waltham Public Schools and four key community agencies located in Waltham, including Breaking Barriers, Inc., the Parent Child Home Program, the Power Program and the Waltham Partnership for Youth (PFY). For more information about the WFS or to learn if your family might qualify, please visit http://www.city.waltham.ma.us/school/Webpage/wfs.htm.
As an advisory board member of the WFS and a board member of PFY, I encourage residents to support these great nonprofits which serve many members of our community by attending the Fiesta for Families. Everyone benefits from literacy and learning programs, such as those offered at WFS, which influence the lives of families and children in positive ways that ultimately create a stronger community.
Given the current economic climate, less public funding is available for human service agencies and non-for-profit organizations. Therefore, I hope you will join me at the 2nd Annual Fiesta for Families 2009 on June 11th, an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Waltham Partnership for Youth’s (WPY) and Children’s Hospital Boston at Waltham. This great organization that does so much for our community and residence needs assistance and I urge you consider sponsoring or contributing to this great event.
The Fiesta will take place from 5:30 to 8:30pm at Children’s Hospital Boston at Waltham located at 9 Hope Ave. All proceeds will benefit the Waltham Family School (WFS). To download the RSVP form or view the event flyer, please visit http://www.walthampartnershipforyouth.org/fiestaforfamilies2009.htm.
Rep. Thomas Stanley, D-Waltham, is also a city councilor.