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Town Coronavirus Hotline: 508-358-6805

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Disclosure: Waylandenews Executive Director Kim Reichelt is a member of the Wayland School Committee. Her work on this site, however, is as an individual, not as a member of the School Committee.

Non-Profit Spotlight:
Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable

Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization of men and women incorporated in 1999. The goal of the Roundtable is to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence through community education and networking and to improve the coordination between public and private services for victims and families touched by domestic violence.

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Would you like to serve on a Town Board or Committee?

The following board or committee positions are currently open.  Please send your information to the Board of Selectmen c/o Seath Crandall at scrandall@wayland.ma.us:

Committee Term Ending Date
Cable Advisory Committee open end date
Cultural Council (multiple positions) three-year terms
Public Ceremonies Committee (moderator appointment) June 30, 2021
Surface Water Quality Commission June 30, 2020

Cradles to Crayons Collect & Sort

Gather your new or gently used kids’ clothes, shoes, small toys, books and diapers (open packages accepted) for our Wayland Cradles to Crayons Collect and Sort Event taking place at Loker School on Saturday March 21, 9-11am.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Beginning February 26, drop off items at Loker School (storage bin outside the school), Claypit Hill School, Happy Hollow, Wayland Middle School, Wayland High School, The Children’s Way, and the library. You can also bring your donations to the event on March 21
  • Volunteer to sort donations at the event. Please email Marci to sign up for a volunteer shift. We
    need all hands on deck to make this event a success so please register!

This is a family event so bring your kids and give them the hands-on experience of doing something to help others. All donations go directly to children age 0-12 living in low income, homeless or emergency situations in MA. Check here for more information about what Cradles to Crayons.

Questions? Email Allison Kates

2020 Annual High School Community Service Awards

Honor High School students who 50 hours or more of community service.  You can nominate a friend, a student, your child, or yourself! This includes all WHS students, and Wayland residents who attend independent high schools.  INominations are due by May 1 (application and complete details are online here).  The award ceremony will be held on Wednesday, June 10 at the Wayland High School Media Center at 7pm.  Sponsored by Wayland High School and Wayland Youth and Family Services.   Questions? email Dossie Kahn WYFS or call her at 508-358-4293.

 

 

Tutoring for English and Citizenship

[Learn how to get involved in tutoring English online here]

When I signed up to teach adults English five years ago, I didn’t realize that I was also going to become a citizenship-producing machine.  The program I joined, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), has been ably run out of the Wayland Library by Ginny Steel for many years, with dozens of trained tutors teaching many adults from Wayland and the surrounding communities how to speak, read and write English.  That remains its primary mission, but I soon learned, with the four learners I was tutoring, that they had a somewhat different agenda: citizenship.

Those of us who have been American citizens our whole lives rarely think about how important it is, and for how many people all over the world it is a much wished-for goal. I learned that it was an important goal for my learners, and that to them, learning English was the first step on the path to acquiring citizenship.

My first tutee was a young Pakistani man, named Abdul.  He spoke virtually no English when he arrived to live with his brother in Sudbury.  I had been a high school teacher for nearly forty years and that, combined with the training that I had received, gave me a certain level of confidence, though I had never done this sort of teaching before.  But now, I understood quickly, I was freed from all public school teaching constraints: there was no class time, no bells, no state mandates, no tests required, no grades.  Anything I wanted to do to teach Abdul I was free to do.  So, I improvised.  I used some of the library materials, but I also took him to see the battlegrounds of Lexington and Concord.  (And had him read the names on the monuments for practice).  He wanted to learn some things, I wanted to teach him others, and we met somewhere halfway between these two poles.  After about a year and a half, and because he was bright and already spoke several other languages, Abdul’s English was good enough for him to communicate in a variety of ways and in many different situations  That is when he broke the news to me that he wanted to become an American citizen.  I was, at first, surprised, but certainly was glad, because of the lack of constraints in our tutoring relationship, to go in that direction.

So it began.  The BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service), the Federal agency responsible for the citizenship process, tries to be very clear and helpful.  There is a long application, which I helped Abdul to fill out, consisting primarily of background questions designed to prevent people from becoming citizens who have been involved in foreign wars or terrorist attacks.  But the core of the process is a l00 question exam, administered orally.  The questions are available in print, and also as flash cards from many different sources.  The answers are provided for the questions.  A person applying for citizenship must answer six out of l0 of these questions, selected randomly, to pass the exam.  The questions range from the very easy, ‘what is the name of the ocean on the west coast of the US?’ to more difficult, ‘how many Constitutional Amendments are there?’

There are also short reading and writing sections, but these are not difficult or long.  So, the path to citizenship, Abdul and I learned, is to go over and over the l00 questions and answers until he knew them very well   This, we did and when we traveled to Lawrence, one of the two major testing sites, he had little difficulty passing the exam.  A month or so later, my wife and I accompanied him to Worcester, where he, and many others, was sworn in as an American citizen.

After this experience, I was a veteran, so when I tutored Katya, a 65-year-old Ukrainian woman, and Luba, a 77-year-old Russian woman, and both wished to become citizens, I was not surprised but was prepared.  We filled out the applications, reviewed the questions many times, and both passed.

My most recent student was a 36-year-old Ukrainian woman, Marina, whose English was clearly the best of the four.  But she was informed of the date for her exam only l0 days before she was to take it.  Being a Ukrainian university graduate, and very intelligent, she studied overtime and answered the questions quickly and successfully on her test day.

So, Abdul has joined the workforce, but I continue to teach Marina, Luba and Katya, and now all four are citizens, and are registered to vote in Massachusetts.   They are very pleased with this outcome, and I derived a lot of satisfaction for having shepherded them through the citizenship process.

by Don Gould

 

Volunteer Day: Invasive Plant Removal, Saturday, November 16

Volunteer Day: Invasive Plant Removal, Saturday, November 16, 10-11:30am. The Wayland Conservation Department is looking for volunteers to help remove invasive plants on conservation property. Volunteer work days will take place on the third Saturday of every month May through November 2019 from 10:00am – 11:30am. Locations will vary. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Conservation Department at conservation@wayland.ma.us

New Tutors Trained in Wayland Library’s ESOL Program

Immigrants in our area who want to improve their competency in English now have greater opportunities. Ten generous and enthusiastic people have recently completed a training course and are now certified to be tutors of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). These recent “graduates” include six from Wayland – Susan Crowley-Bechtel, Dan Eng, Doug Sacra, Jenny Silberman, Dianne Solomon and Alexandra VanRooyen; three from Sudbury – Dianne Cermak, Inna Poliakova and Kelly Sherrer; and one from Concord – Amy Simon. These new tutors, like those who were trained last spring, and others who have been tutoring for years, work one-to-one with learners who have signed up through the Wayland library. Learners currently being tutored have come from China, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Korea, Egypt, Venezuela, Taiwan and Iran. Applications for tutoring are always welcome, and since Wayland is a “Welcoming Community,” participation in our program involves no risk to a learner’s immigration status.

As usual, we can put all possible tutors to work with waiting learners. The next tutor-training course will be offered on Monday afternoons in the winter, starting on February 24. Tutors do not need to know another language, nor do they need to know every detail of English grammar.

For more information contact Ginny Steel at 508-358-7517 or at virginia@thesteels.com.

Can You Drive A Senior to the Doctor?

Wayland’s FISH program — Friends in Service Helping — provides free rides to Wayland residents who have no other way to get to a medical appointment. Created nearly 30 years ago as a grass-roots community program, FISH is now managed by the Wayland Council on Aging.

Residents request rides by calling FISH (508-358-FISH), and administrators reach out to find a volunteer driver who is available. More than 90 percent of rides are in the MetroWest area. This is a flexible, “as-available” volunteer role, and vitally important to Wayland residents who face transportation challenges.

Give a neighbor a lift, and get one yourself, by helping to meet these important needs. When neighbors help neighbors, it knits our community together. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Ann Gordon at the Wayland Council on Aging, 508-358-2990, or download a volunteer application from the COA website.