Open Your Hearts and Home to Host a Foreign
Student for Three Weeks
Hi, I am asking each one of you to consider
opening your hearts and homes for three weeks this summer to Chinese
students, age 12 - 18, coming to Grafton from July 14 - Aug 3, 2008 to study
English, visit top universities and most importantly, live with an American
family. Education First (EF) is the top in its field of international
student exchange and is the translator for the Olympics with 50 field
offices, but home-based in Cambridge, MA. The Educational Homestay
non-profit (EHP) oversees these students providing local 24 hour support for
families and students.
Host families would provide a bed and 3 meals a day, though students would
be busy five days a week, from 9 am - 5 pm, in an educational course
(probably Grafton Municipal Center) and/or at activities throughout the
Blackstone Valley. This program will have academically elite and focused
students, who will visit Harvard, MIT, etc., but they also need to learn
that a well-rounded, happy home life is the most successful.
On weekends and evenings, the student(s) will share your family life.
(Sometimes, Chinese students like to be coupled with another Chinese
student.) They are expected to share chores, make their own bagged lunch for
weekdays, and completely immerse into your family. They might travel to NYC
for one 3 day weekend.
There are many benefits for hosting, including: exploring another world from
home, learning about other cultures, speaking another language, making long
lasting friendships. But there are also some financial benefits, too,
including points, discounts on student exchange and adult travel or au pair
services, and financial incentives - enhanced for those who commit before
But most importantly, you can make friends from another country, join the
students for certain activities and excursions and introduce yourselves or
your children to another culture, language and way of life.
Please visit www.efhomestay.org for more info or contact me: Ellen Onorato,
Fay Mountain Rd, Grafton at 508-839-8885 /BlackstoneDaily@aol.com at
Lastly, there are broader implications as to why I have chosen to get
involved and be a Program Leader with this wonderful organization.
The Blackstone valley is a treasure trove of history and recreational
opportunities. In fact, it could easily be claimed as America's most storied
place, with the 750 AD Upton Chamber, 1675 King Philip's War, 19th century
Dale of Hope pacifist society, Grafton's Willard Clock Museum and John Eliot
Praying Village and of course, the birthplace of the American Industrial
Age, to name just a few assets. Five national scholars just proclaimed it to
be the "epitome" of historical preservation.
Yet with all that and so very much more, the potential of generating
tremendous economic development potential of tourism has never been
realized, even with millions of federal tax dollars from the National
Heritage Corridor. Yet, having broad networks in all 24 Valley communities,
I know tourism can work, once a process is developed hands-on!
We all want to live where there is a thriving arts and cultural scene,
preserved history and wonderful open space, trails, walking, biking,
kayaking fun. We all want to live where small business, the core of our
communities generously giving to our schools, Little Leagues and more,
Tourism is an economy that preserves our significant assets, restores a
healthy river for kayaking or fishing, helps small business for dining, gift
stores, etc and advocates for the arts, the bike path and much more. We have
all the assets we'll ever need throughout the Valley, yet if not
economically viable, it all could disappear! Your students (and I) will
share these stories, itineraries and recreational assets for you to enjoy
yearround! You will be shocked to find that our history surpasses
Lexington/Concord or many other areas that have "branded" themselves better,
yet offer less. So, please, consider opening your hearts and home for the
personal experience that will be everlasting but also to help establish a
viable process of itineraries for regional and foreign visitors to visit and
support our B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, museums and historic and recreational
assets for years to come.
Are you worried about working during the day or being away for part of the 3
week duration though you'd like to host? All this can be worked out, so
please don't hesitate to call or email me....thanks so much. Ellen Onorato
Blackstone River Watershed
Association Hosts Community Meeting
you looking for the opportunity to help protect and preserve your local
Please join us at
Visitors Center, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA on Wednesday, March 19th
We can tell you how to become part of our plan to make a difference and
positively impact your waterways!
At the meeting, we will discuss
local practices that are adversely affecting the
Mumford, West, and Mill Rivers
and to provide solutions to the communities involved through education
and awareness of “river-friendly” behavior.
past two years, volunteers have surveyed these Rivers and found various
areas of concern including riverbank erosion, invasive plant species,
stormwater runoff, vegetative buffer zone issues, pipe runoff and trash
including old construction materials, machinery, booms, and litter.
concerns have a negative impact on oxygen levels, overgrowth or eradication
of native aquatic plants, pollution in the form of bacteria and other
harmful chemicals, all of which upset the river ecology killing fish and
other aquatic life and making our rivers an unhealthy resource to use.
You Help? Survey and document problem areas along the Rivers; work with
local municipalities to remediate current hazards and avoid potential
threats to these Rivers in Douglas, East Douglas, Upton, Northbridge,
Whitinsville, Uxbridge, Mendon, Hopedale, and Blackstone; and outreach to
residents and businesses along the Rivers to implement “river-friendly”
practices through education and awareness
your help, we can draw more attention to these areas of concern and help
make all of our rivers a more enjoyable natural resource!
us at Riverbend Farm Visitors Center, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA on
Wednesday, March 19th at 7pm.
information please e-mail the BRWA at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Michelle Walsh, BRWA Outreach Coordinator at
A Call for Volunteers–
Introductory Meeting March 19th at
North Grafton, MA – The
Community Harvest Project, using volunteer labor, grows fresh vegetables for
the Worcester County Food Bank .Over the last three years, the organization
has supplied more than 100,000 pounds of vegetables to over 200 programs
served by the Food Bank throughout Worcester County. We are looking for new
volunteers to join our team this growing season.
On Wednesday, March 19th
from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., the Community Harvest Project will hold an
informational session for anyone interested in learning more about the
project or about becoming a volunteer . It will be held at the Brigham Hill
Community Barn, 37 Wheeler Road in North Grafton. Our current volunteer
needs include, team leaders, field workers, mowers, and farm equipment
operators, food preparers, data entry persons, and folks to work on
fundraising events. All volunteers work on flexible schedules.
Volunteers are vital to our
organization, as they contribute over 10,000 volunteer hours per year to
operate the farm. Volunteers are children and adults. They come
individually or with groups. They represent civic organizations, church
groups, schools and businesses. If you love meeting people and working
outdoors, this is the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. Please come
with all of your questions!
If you are interested in
attending this meeting, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Michele
774-551-6455, or via e-mail at
email@example.com. Please also take a few minutes to
visit our website at
www.community-harvest.org. Thank you and we look forward to hearing