Devens School laptops
Marcony has worked relentlessly to advocate for our children and schools.
He secured a $5,000 donation from the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation for laptops at the Devens School so students could prepare for MCAS testing, which is now administered electronically.
Advocacy for students in housing crisis
When he heard about the homeless student population, Marcony brought in the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance and initially won a $30,000 grant to help homeless students and their families in crisis to cover emergency expenses for food and housing. This assistance has helped improve absenteeism, school grades and graduation rates. To date he helped to bring an additional $50,000 to continue the program.
“One of the proudest moments I’ve experienced was when I attended the special graduation ceremony at Youth Harbors, a local organization working with students in housing crisis, whose assistance to several Everett High School students helped them overcome difficult barriers to graduate,” Marcony recently said. “They have bright futures ahead.”
Marcony helped sponsor two Everett High School (EHS) graduates who are launching a mentoring program designed to “empower students to recognize their potential and giving them a network to succeed” by connecting them with members of the community.
Grant to Assist with Youth Sports and Activities
The Everett Public Schools’ sports program gained additional help with a grant of $4,000 from the Reebok Foundation and its nonprofit BOKS. Ward 5 School Committee Member Marcony Almeida-Barros helped facilitate the grant after meeting with the leadership of BOKS and connected them to the EPS administration to apply. The grant award provides assistance with physical activities at both the English and Everett High Schools.
The organization leads a free physical activity program designed to get kids active and establish a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. Many kids today need to be more active to avoid the continued prevalence of childhood obesity. Among the myriad issues facing our education system, obesity may not seem like a top issue, but its health implications are undoubtedly impacting students’ ability to learn.
“The well-being of our students is one of my top priorities, and I’m thankful to BOKS for providing us with this funding, and happy to be able to bring their program to our schools,” said Almeida-Barros.
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
Sponsored the creation of a new Subcommittee for the School Committee – the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Subcommittee. This Subcommittee seeks to work with the Superintendent and the whole school community to assist in the equity performance of the district in all appropriate areas, such as curriculum, hiring, policy (including parent engagement) and professional development so that we can ensure a more balanced and equitable system that will lead us to greater outcomes for the district.
Book Donation Drive
November is National Family Literacy month, and Marcony sponsored an incredible project at the School Committee on behalf of two EHS graduates, Haley Peloquin and Jada Vaughan.
The District of Equality, Inc. is an Everett based nonprofit organization owned by Haley and Jada that strives to provide an open platform for community members to discuss their experiences with injustices in America as well as educate, communicate, and raise money for local charities.
And for their first fundraiser, they teamed up with the Soulside Skincare, another Everett small business owned by EHS alumina, to raise funds to buy books to promote inclusivity for Everett students. They distributed those books for middle schoolers attending the Parlin, Whittier, and the Lafayette Schools, and donated the remaining to the EHS Library.
Azeb Freitas and Faith Pinho unveiled their plans for the “Crimson Community” at the final School Committee meeting of the year in June. The two, who were introduced by Ward 5 member Marcony Almeida-Barros, spoke eloquently and passionately about their experiences as EHS students and how beneficial it is to have strong mentors help you prepare for college and/or the workplace.
“This is exactly the type of program that enhances and empowers our students to recognize their full potential,” says Almeida-Barros. “That’s why I was honored to sponsor this item at our last School Committee meeting and bring Azeb and Faith to present their fantastic initiative.”
According to Freitas and Pinho, the Crimson Community will serve as an “extra layer of support for students, to supplement the excellent work provided by EHS guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators.” The network of mentors will include “EHS alumni, residents, and anyone who demonstrates a loyalty to the city.”
The Crimson Community will take shape in the coming months. Freitas and Pinho are working with administrators to launch a six-month pilot program in January of 2020, starting with 15 mentorship pairs that will be required to meet in person once a month and communicate at least once a week. A research-based curriculum and detailed guidelines and policies will be established, although mentors will be encouraged to mold each mentorship to the specific needs of each student.