Rainbow’s Healthy Garden
The establishment of Rainbow’s Vegetable Garden last summer was the corner stone of the Center’s nutrition and healthy lifestyle initiatives. Fresh tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cabbage filled the raised beds prominently placed in the front of the Center. Hands-on gardening has enriched the Center’s curriculum, improved students’ interest in learning, and encouraged children and their families to make healthy food choices. The Center’s chef often prepares and serves vegetables the children pick from the garden in many of their lunches. Funds and assistance from many of RCDC’s Community partners, namely, the Regional Environmental Council, UMass. Memorial, Worcester Technical High School, Holy Cross, and Worcester Department of Public Works made the garden feasible. The first of many Garden Parties was celebrated last Fall. As the garden started with seeds and have grown into nutritious food, so have the children blossomed and grown.
African Arts in Education
The African Art Installation was absolutely outstanding! For one month students, teachers, administrators, parents and community partners enjoyed viewing collection pieces from the Gallery of African Art. Colorful masks, shields, an ornate wooden bench, game board and an African Djembe drum graced the Center. It was the first time the children had seen and appreciated such exquisite African Art pieces. Enjoying the art for four weeks set the stage for a memorable African Concert. Students, administrators, teachers and community partners listened and danced to lively African music! An interactive student drumming lesson for over fifty students followed the concert and was nothing less than spectacular! Students were completely captivated learning how to drum from a Master African Drummer. The following is a sample of students’ remarks: “So Awesome!” “I loved it!” “Thank you for the BEST school day Ever!”
Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito Visit to RCDC
Early during Governor Baker’s and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito’s campaign, they visited RCDC. It was an excellent opportunity to provide the candidates with an overview of the Center’s vision, mission and many innovative programs that ultimately transform the lives of low income children and their families. They were extremely impressed with the Center’s broad range of academic, social, emotional and cultural programs. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito acknowledged the Center’s resourceful efforts to close the achievement gap for hundreds of low income children.
Chili Cook Off and Art Exhibit
RCDC hosted its first Chili Cook Off this past Winter! The family friendly event took place a on Sunday afternoon and offered families different types of chili to taste that were prepared by professional chefs and parents. The afternoon included an opportunity to view students’ framed art work that was extraordinary! Grant funding has allowed preschool and school age children months of working with an accomplished artist and participate in a program entitled ArtReach. Children were introduced to multiple artists and the artist’s specialized techniques. Children’s exhibit included their interpretation of Georgia O’Keefe Watercolor Collage, Peter Max Lady Liberty, Mona Lisa Figures, Printing, and “Tech”ffiti Busses. Parents also viewed the Center’s new installation of hydroponic gardens donated through a partnership with Boston College.