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Berkshire Beat: Simon's Rock Preparing for 'Everyone Swims' Program
12:20PM / Wednesday, March 13, 2019
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Training and lessons are held at The Kilpatrick Athletic Center, featuring an eight-lane, 25-yard pool housed under gorgeous wooden beams.

'Everyone Swims'

The Kilpatrick Athletic Center at Simon's Rock College of Bard will host the "Everyone Swims" initiative this spring to give students, faculty, staff, and community members of all ages the opportunity to develop and strengthen their skills in the water. During Everyone Swims, the college will host free swimming lessons for children and adults. The initiative is one part of the year-round programming that promotes health, wellness, and safety.

Learners will focus on the five competencies of safe swimming as outlined by the American Red Cross: jumping in water over their head, treading water, turning 360 degrees, swimming across the pool, and getting out of the pool without the use of the ladder. Training and lessons are held at The Kilpatrick Athletic Center, featuring an eight-lane, 25-yard pool housed under gorgeous wooden beams.

Everyone Swims has a historical affinity with the Adult Learn to Swim Program, a nationwide initiative sponsored by United States Master Swimming and based on an adult-learning program launched by Meier at the Kilpatrick Center in 2014. More than 30 percent of the U.S. adult population doesn’t know how to swim, a statistic the Adult Learn to Swim initiative hopes to reduce by enabling members of communities to help each other learn. To achieve this goal, the national organization supports a network of program directors and volunteers at local chapters with training.

Instructors receive training in mid-March for Everyone Swims events. Swim classes will be offered throughout the month of April. To sign up, contact the Kilpatrick Athletic Center at 413-528-7777 or send an email.


Scarborough Award

The Scarborough Salomon Flynt Community Service Award Committee is accepting nominations for its third annual award. The award recognizes a person's, persons' or civic group's demonstrated dedication, excellence and integrity to community service in order to make Williamstown a better place.

The Scarborough Salomon Flynt Award is a result of the merger of the Faith R. Scarborough Award and the Williamstown Community Chest Volunteer of the Year Award. The award honors Faith Scarborough and her dedication and efforts to the town as an active volunteer in the Visiting Nurses Association, St. John's Church, Williamstown Community Chest and League of Women Voters and as the first woman to chair the Select Board; Edith and Adolph Salomon, who came to Williamstown in 1939 after having fled Nazi Germany and the gratitude they exhibited to the community that provided them refuge and a home for more than 50 years; and Hank and Mary Flynt, whose numerous contributions to the town, both as volunteers and their generous bequests, have all made Williamstown the special place that it is.

Nominators should provide a narrative of accomplishments in support of their nominee. With many wonderful people nominated in a given year, much of the committee’s decision making is based on the substance of the reasons given for the nomination and provides the content of the award recipient’s certificate. The committee will select a citizen who has demonstrated integrity, excellence, and dedication to community service. The award will be presented at town meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m., at Williamstown Elementary School.

The deadline for nominations is April 19. Nominations should be submitted via the nomination form on the Williamstown Community Chest’s website. Nomination forms will also be available on the table in the Town Hall lobby and can be emailed to the town moderator, or submitted in a sealed envelope to the town manager's office.


Get BART Smart

BArT Charter Public School is holding its annual fundraiser, Get BART Smart, on Saturday, April 6, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the school, located at One Commercial Street, Adams. Get BART Smart pits teams of up to six people against one another in fevered battles of trivia. Teams follow a "school-day schedule" and travel from classroom to classroom throughout the evening. There is a silent auction packed with unique items and packages for participants to bid on as well as a station for participants to have their "school pics" taken between classes. At the end of the night, the winning team will be crowned valedictorian.

This event is the primary fundraiser for the school, proceeds of which directly benefit student programming. Participants are asked to donate a minimum of $70 per person; admission includes a light dinner by Mezze Catering and a selection of beer and wine. The school invites companies to sponsor this well-established and well-attended event. For more information and to register, visit the website.


SVMC Diabetes gift

Diabetes patients at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, and its practices will soon benefit from an upgrade to the system used to monitor their blood glucose. The new technology, the Hemocue point-of-care testing glucose testing system, costs $20,000. Funds were generously donated by the SVHC Auxiliary.

The upgrade takes advantage of increased functionality that has been added to the devices on the market. For instance, the new machines interface directly with the electronic medical record system, which eliminates the need for entering data manually. Being automatically linked to the patient’s record will save nurses time and further decrease opportunities for errors to occur.

In addition, the gift allows SVMC to use the same model of machine throughout the organization, both in practices and in the inpatient setting. Doing so simplifies training and maintenance of the devices and increases patient safety.


Amplify applications

Music In Common seeks applications for its two-week residential program and performances, Amplify 2019, which takes place from July 7-22 at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. High school and college-aged musicians can apply online or in person by March 15. Selections are based on applicants' skill level and artistic merit, as well as the musical needs of the program.

Amplify participants have the unique opportunity to work with professional musicians and producers to learn, rehearse and perform in concert songs written by youth from around the world in the Music In Common JAMMS program. JAMMS (Journalism as Music, Multimedia, and Songwriting) is an experiential learning and cultural immersion program that deepens understanding between diverse groups of people and communities in conflict through dialogue and creative collaboration. Open to everyone regardless of musical skill or training, participants write and record a song together as a group and produce a video that addresses an issue important to them. To date, nearly fifty JAMMS songs have been written and recorded.  

Amplify musicians are ambassadors for the youth whose songs they are performing, amplifying their message in new and powerful ways that their musical limitations may have not allowed them to do on their own, and connecting the audience with the stories and cultures of the songs’ authors. In the process, musicians and audience alike learn about the faiths, cultures, and narratives of the youth whose songs are being performed, connecting them to others whose backgrounds and stories may vastly differ from their own.


Berkshire County Arc applications

Berkshire County Arc announces its 2019 scholarship award program. High school seniors pursuing undergraduate education in the field of human services are eligible to apply, and students pursing degree programs including psychology, social work, special education, rehabilitation counseling and related courses of study will be given consideration. Applications are available through area high school guidance offices or by contacting the Berkshire County Arc office at 413-499-4241, ext. 244. The application deadline is March 22.  

The selection of award winners will be based upon prior involvement in volunteer or paid activities with individuals with disabilities, the potential to contribute to the field of human services and academic achievement.  An independent panel of community members will select the winners and determine the amount of each award up to the scholarship maximum of $1,500. The awards are made possible through fundraising efforts including Berkshire County Arc's Annual Golf Classic which has raised more than $100,000 for scholarships.


Complete Streets input sought

The city of Pittsfield is seeking public input on the proposed list of projects eligible for funding provided through the Complete Streets Program from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Complete Streets guidelines contribute to the safety, health, economic vitality, and quality of life by improving the motorized and non-motorized environments in a community.

The entire list of projects may be accessed in the form of an interactive web map here. Public comments can be made via this link now through Friday, March 22. To view a project on the map, click on a selected area, followed by clicking the project symbol for additional details, and then submit a comment, if desired. Comments may also be sent via email to City Engineer Ricardo Morales.

The individual projects listed will be prioritized before being submitted to MassDOT for approval. After the approval of the prioritized list, the city can request grant funding of up to $400,000 annually.

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