Monday, February 28, 2011

Don't Sit Out On This One! baystateparent April Summer Camp and PROM issue

baystateparent's April issue will continue to offer summer camp advertising so that you can prepare for your children's upcoming school vacation.
baystateparent is also offering a special teen section in April based on the prom experience. Check out what's new in prom flowers and fashions, learn about some new trends and read one mom's harrowing account of when she almost lost her teen son (he was supervised at a parent-chaperoned drinking party).

Friday, February 18, 2011


Mary Poppins Broadway Musical
Boston Opera House,  February 17 - March 20
by Carrie Wattu, baystateparent editor

I want a Mary Poppins coat!

That's what I thought after baystateparent designer, Steph Renaud, and I took my 10-year-old daughter to see Mary Poppins in Boston last night.

Caroline Sheen as Mary Poppins was so striking and elegant, it made
me fall in love with the character. Her voice was as stunning as the vibrant colors of her wardrobe.

I've always liked the gratuitous Disney songs but never loved Mary Poppins.

Until now.

The whole performance was magical from the chimney sweep tap dancing to the hip
choreography in "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

And yes, there are many over-the-top Mary Poppins-esque theatrics that take the performance to
a "new heights." Lots of surprises!

If you get the chance to see this happy show, we highly recommend it. The parking was reasonable (just $12). The Opera House is beautiful. And the performance....supercalifragilisticexpiadlidocious.

Just note that producers recommend this production for children ages 6 and older. We would agree as it's a lot of money to spend on a ticket for a young child who may not have the patience for the entire show (it is long as musicals tend to be). Also, many adults told us they felt "funny" going to the show without their children. Don't! My daughter enjoyed it, but as an adult, I really appreciated the ingenuity and  intricacies of a production of this size that a child may not be old enough to understand.

One thing is for'll be humming cheerfully the entire next day!
(Apologize ahead of time...I did)

Book Club Picks

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua (Penguin Publishing, 2011) and
Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids: Dealing with Competition While Raising a
Successful Child
by Clark University professor, Wendy Grolnick (Prometheus Books, 2008;
co-written by Kathy Seal) are short, easy-to-read and filled with conversation starters. While Professor
 Grolnick's book was written three years before the release of
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, it is definitely
 the calm before the storm. And what parent does not prefer the latter?

From Carrie Wattu, editor of baystateparent:
I absolutely loved talking with Professor Wendy Grolnick of Clark University about the ideas presented in Amy Chua's new book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. If you are feeling a bit anxious about making sure your children are excelling and in with the "right" groups and activities, it's normal, says Wendy. She wrote a researched and practical book about this three years prior to "Tiger Mother":  Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids: Dealing with Competition While Raising a Successful Child. Highly recommend her book, parents! It will make you feel so much better about raising your kids during these competitive times.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

38th Annual New England Adoption Conference Comes to Bellingham April 2nd

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Bellingham High School, 60 Blackstone Street, Bellingham, MA  02019

Adoption Community of New England, Inc. is pleased to announce that Susan Badeau will be this year’s keynote speaker and featured workshop presenter. She will share some of her tales of the journey as the lifetime parent, with her husband, Hector, of twenty---two children, two by birth and twenty adopted. They have served as foster parents for more than 50 children in three states, and as a host family for refugee youth from Sudan, Kosovo and Guatemala.

Susan Badeau has a degree in Early Child Development and Elementary Education from Smith College. She has been a child welfare professional for thirty two years. Currently, she is the Director of the Cross Systems Integration team within the Knowledge Management Department of Casey Family Programs. In recent years, Ms. Badeau has served as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children’s Commission and as the Deputy Director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care.

We are looking forward to her contributions to Tales of the Journey: Past, Present & Future

The 2011 conference will include over 90 workshops with a wide mix of topics. We have a mix of workshops on tried and true topics with established presenters as well as workshops on new topics to help workshops help you navigate the changing world of adoption. Whether you are an adoptive or foster parent seeking to learn more about parenting your child, a birth parent interested in search and reunion, an adopted person interested in returning to your country of origin, a professional looking to hone your skills, or a prospective adopter seeking to discover whether adoption is a good choice for you. This year there will be two new workshops on social media and internet safety related to adoption, stories from birth parents, a birth sibling in an adoptive family, and single parents. Former ACONE Board member Sue Harris O’Connor returns after a several year hiatus with Reflections of a Transracial Adopted Person.

The gym will be filled with dozens of exhibitors, adoption service providers, support organizations, and vendors with goods of interest to the adoption community. Children of the World, LLC will sponsor the conference bookstore, providing books on adoption and adoption---related topics, in addition to many multi-cultural books for parents and children.

What makes the ACONE conference stand out from all the others? It is the inclusion of all members of the triad. Come see, hear, and learn from adoptive parents, birth parents, and adopted persons. Some of the comments and reflections from previous conferences: “Just wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful conference experience this year.” “I really enjoyed the conference.” “Loved it!! Powerful, helpful, thought provoking.” “I laughed, cried and learned a lot!”

Registration information will be available online NOW. Do not wait to register. 
Please contact or call 508-366-6822

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scholarship Opportunities at Applewild School, Fitchburg

bsp advertiser sent us this press release. Thought it might be helpful for some of you.
Good luck!
Peggy Williamson
Applewild School, 120 Prospect St., Fitchburg, MA 01420

Scholarship Opportunities at Applewild School
Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2011 are invited to apply for Merit Scholarships at Applewild School in Fitchburg, serving families in central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.  This program is aimed at admitting students of exceptional academic caliber into the fifth and sixth grade programs.  The best candidates will demonstrate a history of strong academic achievement, excellent character, positive citizenship and community involvement, and will possess talent or passion in an area of special interest.  
Grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded to the top applicants.  Partial scholarships may be available.  Applicants who require additional financial aid are invited to apply for need-based financial aid.  Students who do not qualify for merit awards will continue to be considered for admission to Applewild, and may qualify for need-based financial assistance.  The deadline for completed applications is March 1, 2011.  More information, including required forms, is available at  To speak with Emily Bracchitta, Director of Admission and Financial Aid, call 978-342-6053 x110.  Applewild  School is an independent school for Kindergarten through eighth grade located at 120 Prospect St. in Fitchburg, MA.  Financial aid is available at all grade levels.

See bsp's February Mom: Comedian Christine Hurley

Welcome Christine Hurley, fab mom of FIVE to baystateparent!
Christine is featured in our award-winning Moms Rock! in our February issue and will be
writing a monthly humor column about life with five kids called "Dirty Laundry," which
premiers in March.

  • Feb 25 Venus 2 in Marshfield for Mizuno Baseball Club
  • Mar 4   Quincy Sons of Italy for BroadMeadow School PTA
  • Mar 5   Weymouth Elks for S. Shore Baseball Club (Bobby Niles)
  • Mar 12 Venus 3 in Hanson with Lenny Clarke
  • Mar 18 Abinton K of C hall with Paul Keenan
  • Mar 19 Melrose Elks for LaCrosse funraiser with Johnny Pizzi  
  • Mar 26 E Bridgew/Abington Hockey with Mark Riley
  • April 8  RI show to be announced
  • April 9  To Be Announced
  • Apr 15 MDA fundraiser in Randolph w/ Paul Keenan
  • Apr 16 Quonset Pt. RI
  • Apr 22 Weymouth Elks w/ Bobby Niles for School fundraiser
  • Apr 23 Leon's Place w/Steve Sweeney
  • May 13  Stadium Theater
  • May 15 Rehobeth, MA.
  • May 20 Tupelo Room LondonDerry NH w/Rich Ceisler
  • Jul 24  Bavis Foundation New Seabury CC

For more information or to inquire about booking Christine, contact Dawn Christensen
 V.P. of Talent and Social Media at Loretta LaRoche Productions, 50 Court St, Plymouth Ma 02360
  508-746-3998 ext 15

Sunday, February 13, 2011

baystateparent Wins for Ad Design and Editorial

  Thank you baystateparent readers, advertisers and contributors for all of your support in helping us to remain competitive in the New  England News and Newspaper (NENPA) Competition.
  The Holden Landmark Corporation, baystateparent's parent company, attended the ceremony last night at the Boston Park Plaza. baystateparent took home 8 awards including FIVE FIRST PLACE
honors for....

First Place General Excellence in Advertising: Excellent ad layout and design. Great use of 4-color in ads and content. Appears to be a strong revenue producer. Excellent Holiday Section with great cover page,
print and online applications.

First Place Personality Photo: Allison Cottrill Photography

First Place Human Interest Story: Trish Reske, contributing writer: "For the Love of Luci," an inspirational story about an everyday hero. These are the kind of stories that readers love, and this one was
particularly well written.

First Place Local Color Ad: Perfect graphic placement. Great white space usage. Putting "Stephanie
Pearl" in color and only that made this ad highly readable and attractive.

First Place Local Black and White Ad: Some of the best eye-catching graphics I've seen. As powerful
as a full-color ad. Particularly like the caps and lower headline. Don't see this enough.

Second Place Black and White Ad: Everyone will read this ad. Creative and clean. Creative
yet clear message.

Third Place Local Color Ad: Without the blue, just an ordinary ad. With any more pink it
would have been too much. Great photo. Great color selection.
Third Place General Excellence:  baystateparent covers all the bases for parents in Massachusetts. Easy design to read. Eye-catching covers. Some lack of male writers for a publication covering mother/father
parenting issues. Places to go on Mother's Day weekend is an excellent idea. Who's Coaching our Kids is a nice touch. baystateparent is a great reference with a full calendar. Cancer coverage was solid.

Congratulations to baystateparent's sister publications, Worcester Mag, The Holden Landmark 
and the Millbury Sutton Chronicle who also took home several honors. Proud
to work with you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Teen Community Service Fair at the Chestnut Hill Mall Sun., Feb. 13

bsp received this press release about teen volunteering opportunities. The Community Service Fair is coming this weekend, Sunday, Feb. 13th, at the  Chestnut Hill Farm. 

TeenLife Media to Host Fourth Annual Community Service Fair for Teens

February 13th Event Will Feature More than 40 Boston Area Non-Profits Willing to Engage Teen Volunteers

Cambridge, Mass. – January 10, 2011 – From increased self-esteem to acquiring valuable job skills, teens today are experiencing the benefits of volunteerism.  Many middle and high school students in Greater Boston are required or strongly encouraged to spend a certain number of hours outside of school volunteering for non-profits. However, many students do not know where or how to find meaningful opportunities that match with their needs and interests, and most parents and educators do not have the time or the resources to keep up with all of the interesting options.

On February 13, 2011, TeenLife Media will bring together more than 40 local non-profit organizations willing to engage teen volunteers for the 4th Annual TeenLife Community Service Fair.

The annual event will take place at the Mall at Chestnut Hill from 12 noon to 4 pm.  This free event will bring together more than 1000 students, parents and teachers from more than 150 public and private schools across Greater Boston with non-profit organizations, sponsors and supporting exhibitors.

“By engaging in volunteer work, teens have an opportunity to learn experientially.  They discover where their passions lie while undertaking meaningful work,” said Marie Schwartz, president and founder of TeenLife.  “This allows them to make more informed choices about college courses and career options as they continue on in life.” 

TeenLife is a unique resource that helps families and schools to connect students to all sorts of meaningful educational and experiential learning opportunities. The first TeenLife Community Service Fair, modeled after similar events held by colleges for incoming students, was held in the winter of 2008 to help families and educators find volunteer opportunities for teens. It has quickly established itself as a “go-to” event in the area, attracting hundreds of students, parents, and educators annually from a wide variety of private, public, and parochial middle and high schools.

Exhibiting non-profits at the 2011 fair will include The American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, Boston Cares, Challenge Unlimited, Combined Jewish Philanthropies,           Cradles to Crayons,, The Food Project, Hale Reservation, Horizons for Homeless Children, New England Aquarium, People Making a Difference,                       Roots & Shoots, Tenacity, United Way, and many others.

“In the past two years, our presence at the TeenLife Community Service Fair has resulted in numerous school group visits, new staff and volunteers for our summer programs and a host of inquiries from individuals who want to know how they can help,” said Jay Walsh, environmental resource manager at Hale Reservation.  “We are looking forward to being part of this year’s event and continuing the groundswell of results.”

As part of the event, Bristol Recording & Voice Studios will host a high school a cappella Sing Off at the Fair. Pitch Slapped, a coed a cappella group representing the Berklee College of Music on NBC's hit show The Sing Off, will also make a special guest appearance. Participating high schools include: Wayland High School, Milton Academy, Nobles and Greenough, Brookline High School, and Winchester High School.

Sponsors of the 2011 Community Service Fair include American Camp Association, Bristol Recording & Voice Studios, Internship Connection, Maine Arts Camp, Middlebury Monterey Language Academy, Princeton Review, REI, United Planet, Veritas Tutors, and Visions Service Adventures.  High School Quiz Show on WGBH-TV and are the media sponsors and the Mall at Chestnut Hill is the venue sponsor.

“We look forward to hosting the fourth annual Community Service Fair again this year at the Mall at Chestnut Hill,” said Laurel Sibert, regional vice president of marketing, Simon Malls in New England. “The event provides a wonderful forum for young teens to engage with non-profit organizations, and we are thrilled to be able to provide a venue to support this volunteerism,” she added.

The 2011 TeenLife Guide to Community Service, generously sponsored by global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will be distributed for free to all attendees at the Community Service Fair as well as to middle and high school students attending public and private schools in the Greater Boston area. This year’s guide, published in conjunction with the non-profit People Making a Difference, showcases more than 200 non-profit organizations that are willing to engage teens in a variety of volunteer activities.  To request copies, contact

Parents, students, and educators are encouraged to pre-register for this free event in order to expedite check-in and receive important pre- and post-event information. To register for the fair, visit
About TeenLife Media, LLC
TeenLife Media helps families and schools to connect middle and high school students with all sorts of meaningful opportunities, such as summer programs, community service, after school and weekend activities, and gap year programs. We also list extensive resources on how to find a job or internship and gain admission to college. Our goal is to become the "go to” online destination for students, parents and educators nationwide who are seeking programs, products and services geared to college-bound teens, aged 13-19. For more information on TeenLife Media, please email, call 617-868-5848, or visit