“Think for yourself, and let others do the same,” exhorts the American Library Association poster for the 2014 Banned Books Week. Even though the annual Banned Book Week, September 21–27, is over this year, protecting every person’s freedom to read what he or she prefers is a year around job for librarians. Recent displays of books that have been banned somewhere, at some time, and set up on the main floor and in the young adult sections of the library last week served as great conversation starters, said the librarians at C.H. Booth Library.
The Sandy Hook Sole Sisters (SHSS) & Friends were at work this week to “Tie the Town Pink,” hanging large pink bows throughout Sandy Hook Center and along Berkshire Road to launch breast cancer awareness month. They have also been conducting a fundraising campaign. Ribbons of Hope are for sale for $10 to support the team’s participation in the annual two-day, 39-mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer–NYC on October 18 and 19. Money raised will be applied to the $1,800 per walker requirement for team members. Excess funds will go toward local cancer support services. Another fundraising event will be on Saturday, October 11, between 10 am and noon: SHSS Cover The Court. The public is being invited to help the team literally cover the basketball court at Dickinson Park, on Elm Drive, with spare change.
One of the 17,000 people each year who volunteers with Appalachia Service Project, working toward a goal of providing “warmer, safer, and drier” homes for families in Central Appalachia (generally including counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina), is Katie Temple, a graduate of Newtown High School and a 2013 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Newtown High School junior Ashley Gong has been selected to be one of this year’s five National Student Poetry Ambassadors. Ashley has known about her achievement since July, but had to keep it a secret until it was announced. That announcement came during a visit to Washington, D.C., September 17-20, during which First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a reading, which was the first event the five National Student Poetry Ambassadors took part in, kicking off their year as ambassadors. The National Student Poets Program is the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. The five young poets were appointed by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to showcase the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success.
Through its Community Impact Grants Program, The Home Depot Foundation has awarded $5,000 to Newtown VFW Post 308. The donation will be used to rebuild the front entrance and upgrade part of the existing handicapped entry to the building on Freedom Defenders Way. Walter Dolan, the local post’s junior vice commander, is the project chairman. Mike Porco, Sr, of Newtown has agreed to donate his time to serve as the project’s general contractor. The project will also include the replacement of stairs including supports, or stringers, leading to the post’s main entrance; additional handrails for the handicapped ramp; and the replacement of the “entire top landing, but not the supports themselves.
Nobody can deny, after sampling 10 seconds of her soul-lifting musical output, that Esperanza Spalding has earned every plaudit her global devotees have dealt — and all the critical acclaim she has received — because of the beauty, talent and gifts that come from deep inside this former childhood musical prodigy. Local fans already aware of Spalding’s talent and sublime showmanship can visit with her in person, while newcomers can revel in the experience of catching her lightning in a bottle performance when she opens a brief early fall tour at The Ridgefield Playhouse October 1.