Neighbors: Become a Greenfield student’s pen pal and read a great book at the same time

Hello neighbor.

Greenfield’s Math and Science Academy is bringing back the ever-popular community pen pal project this spring.

Over the past several years, the project has been exclusive to sixth-graders throughout Greenfield schools, but all 92 students in grades four through seven will participate this year by writing letters to community volunteers about a selected book.

The book, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, won the 2008 Caldecott Medal and tells the story of a young boy searching for his place in his community and the world.

In April, each student will be paired with a community volunteer and they will exchange letters of introduction before April vacation (April 21 to 25).

After vacation, students and volunteers will begin reading the book and will write three letters discussing it throughout May.

There will be an event sometime in late May or early June, which will include a snack and students and their pen pals will watch the movie “Hugo,” which is based on the book.

Greenfield School Department has purchased 30 copies of the book for students to share in their classrooms. The library will also provide students and pen pals with copies.

Anyone who volunteers will receive an information packet, which will contain project details and a timeline for the project.

For more information or to sign up, contact Greenfield District Volunteer Coordinator Marianne Harcourt by Monday at 413-772-1316 or email her at:

RELAY FOR LIFE TEAM CAPTAINS will meet on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at Greenfield Savings Bank Corporate Center on Munson Street to discuss this year’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Anyone interested in forming a team should attend. Lunch will be provided.

Teams may consist of families, community groups, schools, businesses and anyone else.

Relay for Life is a two-day overnight camping event held at Franklin County Fairgrounds on June 13 and 14. There are typically 80 teams with about 1,500 participants.

This year’s campaign will be led by Sue Pennison and Michael Nelson.

They tell me that Franklin County typically raises about $270,000 each year for cancer survivors and research.

If you are considering, but aren’t sure about what you want to do, attend the meeting. You are under no obligation.

I WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT SOMETHING I told you earlier this week. Proceeds from the Maple Breakfast being held at Mary Lyon Church on Upper Street in Buckland on March 22 from 8 a.m. to noon will go to the Buckland Public Library — not the church.

The price is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free.

For more information, contact Ann Bodkhe at 413-625-9455 or the library at 413-625-9412.

THE COUNTRY PLAYERS will hold Trivia Night at the French King Bowling Center on March 22 from 7 to 11 p.m. The cost is $10 per person with a maximum of 10 people per team.

For more information or to reserve a seat, call Dave Peck at 413-992-7194 or visit Country Players on Facebook.

Money raised will help the local theater company start its Youth Group, which will give area children and teens ages 18 and younger a group to perform in or opportunities to work backstage during productions.

EIGHT STUDENTS AND STAFF of Greenfield Community College will participate in a Habitat for Humanity building project in Easthampton from March 17 through 21. The group will work with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity to build a single-family home for Kim Antequera, her partner Alex and her four children.

Home Depot in Greenfield will donate carpenter’s pencils, 25-foot measuring tapes, speed squares, safety glasses, and paint trays, rollers and brushes.

Carlos Massa, a student at GCC, works at Home Depot, so helped make the connection.

For more information about the project or Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, visit:

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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