The first STEAM in the Port night was a huge success! On February 12th, Margaret Fuller House collaborated with Tutoring Plus of Cambridge and The Community Art Center in the FMA gym to provide students and families with a night to learn about Science, Engineering, the Arts and Math! We want to give a special thanks to Sharlene Yang, who was instrumental in the success of this event! Thanks also to Danger!Awesome, Mmmmaven, Volpe Center, and the Fletcher Maynard Academy for participating in the event and offering activity tables. And thanks especially to MIT for sponsoring the event! We look forward to future collaboration with these wonderful organizations to provide this great neighborhood with more STEAM-based fun. Stay tuned for details of the next event!
We’re the LITs (Leaders in Training) at the Margaret Fuller House. Specifically, there’s four of us writing this together, and our names are Christelle, Heizy, Mariysa, and Haley. We’re all 13 or 14, and some of us have been coming to the House since we were almost babies (or like 6 years old).
So Mark, our Director, asked us if we could write a little bit about what our experience at the Margaret Fuller House has been like. He wants to try to convince you that it’s worth it to give money to the Fuller House during the holidays. We have to agree! We came up with some questions we thought you might want to know about the Fuller House, and some answers we have to give.
What makes the Margaret Fuller House Special?
It has an old vibe, and is really a family place. It’s a house, and it really feels like a home. It’s also a place where it doesn’t matter about your skin color, or your background. Everyone is welcome here! It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re trying to get to. It’s a place where kids and adults can grow together.
What makes kids stay here so long and become leaders in training?
The kids actually want to come here. It has tons of opportunities, like Girls Group and Boys Group, Strong Women Strong Girls, STEAM Team and Leaders in Training. For the kids, it makes doors open for them. Unlike at school, the teachers actually act like they want to be here. If you make one mistake in school, suddenly that’s what you are. At Margaret Fuller House, they are forgiving. Every day is a new day. For LITs like us, it’s the kind of education you don’t really get in school.
Why should strangers give their money to the Margaret Fuller House?
If the strangers were in the same situation that many of the people here are in, they would want people to give to the house too.
If you want to DONATE, please go to: http://www.razoo.com/story/Mfnh-End-Of-Year-Wishes
So this is the first letter we’re writing. Mark asked us to send you one or two more before the holidays. We hope that you’ll really think about what we’ve been saying, and think about giving to the Fuller House!
Peace and Happy Holidays!
The Boston Globe featured our neighborhood- and the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House- on its Sunday front page this weekend. The article, entitled “Area Four Residents Live in the Shadow of the Future,” explores the stark inequalities in our neighborhood:
“As global pharmaceutical companies build new labs, Internet giants Google and Twitter expand, and startups snap up office space at ever-higher rents, families living in the shadow of the innovation economy are flocking to the local food pantry at three times the rate of a decade ago. The waiting list for public housing is double what it was five years ago. The beds in the Salvation Army homeless shelter on Massachusetts Avenue are always full.”
The article goes on to note:
“When executive director Barbara Kibler took over Margaret Fuller 11 years ago, the community center’s food pantry served about 400 people a month. Today, it’s about 1,200. On many days, the line stretches down Eaton Street.”
We have the power to meet the needs of our neighbors; we just need the funds. You’ll hear more from us during the holiday season- specifically, from some of the teens who grew up in the Margaret Fuller House, and so we thank you in advance for your generosity this season.
Thanks to the support of our neighbors and friends, we raised $7,000 and provided Thanksgiving meals to over 400 local families, a total of 22,000 pounds of food. We really had a successful Turkey Drive and we want to thank all of the fantastic volunteers who worked incredibly hard getting, moving, organizing, and giving out the food (and cleaning up)!!! It was such an impressive day and we hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.
On Saturday September 6th, neighbors, friends, and family came together to celebrate Peace & Pride in the Port Community. People of all ages enjoyed the neighborhood cook-out, arts & crafts, music, and amusements available. We especially loved the talented face painters, and of course the pony rides are always a hit!
The day’s performers included the Hip Hop Transformation Project, a group of Cambridge teens learning about the history and production of hip hop. They were a great group of energetic talent and we look forward to see where they go next! Also performing was the Fred Woodard Collective who were simply put, a group of amazing instrumentalists. Closing out the day was of course, our friends JG and the MeggaTones who played the hits of today and yesterday.
The basketball tournament was a highlight, despite the extreme late summer heat! Congratulations to this year’s winning teams!
We were so grateful to have Chandra Banks, Conflict Mediator of the Cambridge Public School District, on hand to address the crowd about peace and respect and caring for our neighbors. The Change for Peace Art Installation attracted new participants to express their peaceful ideas in an artistic way. Overall, it was a fun and peaceful day spent with friends and family.
The event was planned in partnership by the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, MIT, the City of Cambridge Police Department, City of Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs, Cambridge Public Health Department, the Port Action Group, the Area 4 Coalition, and Pentecostal Tabernacle.
A major thank you and shout out to all of our amazing volunteers who made this day happen! We hope everyone has a great autumn and we look forward to all of the fun events in our neighborhood to come.
This past Saturday, hundreds of people from Area 4 and across the city of Cambridge came to celebrate neighborhood strength at a block party in our backyard.
The half-day event featured musical performances and face painting, basketball playing and water dunking—all of it thanks to a new community group called the Kensley Project, and the many people who support it.
The Kensley Project formed earlier this summer to honor the memory of Kensley David, a 22-year-old father shot and killed on Windsor Street in July. In the aftermath of that tragedy, several of his friends committed to strengthening the quality of life for residents of Area 4/The Port—and they’ve been adding members to the group ever since.
We’ll bring you some of their voices in later posts, but for now, enjoy some photographs of the block party below. Thanks to all who organized it, supported it, attended it, and cleaned up after it—and see you next Saturday, Sept. 6, for Area 4 Pride Day!
To learn more about the Kensley Project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are lots of great events that the MFNH is proud to support! Come spend some time with the Margaret Fuller Family before summer ends!
Friends of the Margaret Fuller House are welcome to join the staff and families of our Summer Explorations Program for an End-of-Summer Party! Just in time for our kids to get ready to go back to school, our friends from the Novartis Corporation, Draper, and Amgen will be providing back-packs full of supplies! This party is a cookout and potluck, will feature a youth talent show, a slideshow of all the fun events and moments shared over the summer, and will offer the chance for parents to learn more about our after-school program.
This party will take place in the Margaret Fuller House parking lot on Wednesday, 8/27, from 5:30 – 7 pm.
The Port Café is a new community meal right here in our neighborhood. This meal will offer delicious food and a space for fellowship and community-building with neighbors. Our friends who are organizing the Port Cafe need YOUR help, as neighbors, to give the Port Café flavor!
The first Port Café potluck dinner was on Monday July 28th the Margaret Fuller House, and it was a blast! The second Port Café will be a potluck dinner on Thursday, August 28th from 6:00-8:00 PM. Location is currently TBD but will be in the Port/Area 4 neighborhood!
Please take a moment to RSVP here. Feel free to invite a neighbor!
The Port/Area 4 Pride Day is a free public event featuring activities and resources for all ages.
This year, Pride Day will feature an exhibition of the Community Art Center’s “Change for Peace,” an ongoing art-making and music series. Local community based organizations will be in attendance to offer information about critical resources and services ranging from health to housing to education. Popular events such as the basketball tournament and live music will be back this year. Children’s activities will include arts & crafts, face-painting, pony rides, and more!
Port/Area 4 Pride Day is Saturday, September 6, from noon to 5 at Clement G. Morgan Park (at the corner of Columbia and Washington Street) and surrounding streets, Cambridge, MA 02139. Rain Date is the following Saturday.
Two weeks ago, our LITs (Leaders in Training) took a trip to the New England Aquarium. Last week, they went rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders of Somerville. Here are some of their reflections and pictures:
Adrianna: “I loved it–there was a variety of types of rock climbing to choose from. Auto-belay, manual and free-climbing.”
Mariysa: “I don’t have much to say–it was fun.”
Sage: “I loved the challenge. I was surprised when I completed the intermediate-advanced climb.”
Stephen (on left): “This trip was my first experience rock climbing. I wasn’t expecting anything, good or bad, when I came in but I was surprised.”
Check out these pictures from the trip to the New England Aquarium! It’s been a fun few weeks!
Stay tuned for more of the LIT adventures to come this summer!