Start With Hello program engages Sizer School students

Sandy Hook Promise looks to fight social isolation in Fitchburg

Thursday, Jan. 16, a speaker from Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) visited Sizer School to give a presentation to Division 1 & 2 students (grades 7-10) about the "Start With Hello" program focused on raising awareness of and eliminating social isolation.

The Massachusetts Assistant District Attorney's office is supporting all of the Fitchburg Public Schools with programming and resources from SHP. SHP is a national nonprofit organization working to promote school safety, inclusivity, and mental health access for students. 

The program overview focuses on social isolation as an epidemic that can cause students to pull away and even hurt themselves or others. The Start with Hello program is one of Sandy Hook Promise’s free Know the Signs programs and teaches students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other.

The Start With Hello training program empowers students to end social isolation by teaching them how to recognize the signs of loneliness and social isolationand ways thatstudents can help others feel included. And that starts with Hello.

Start With Hello to break the ice and strike up a conversation.

Start With Hello includes activities and lesson plans that can be used to teach students the skills they need to create a culture of inclusion in their school and community. The "Start With Hello" mission of promoting inclusivity also aligns with the Sizer School Think, Care, Act model. Guided by its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the school seeks to send graduates into the world who THINK for themselves, CARE about others, and ACT creatively and responsibly.

Find out more about Sizer School today, visit www.sizerschool.org or apply now for grades 7, 8 & 9 for the 2020-2021 school year: just visit sizer.schoolmint.net. For more about Sandy Hook Promise, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org

Hoops for Hope a slam dunk for Sizer School Senior Emma McEvoy

Over 40 local teens, including members of the Sizer School varsity and junior varsity basketball teams joined Emma McEvoy of Hubbardston for Hoops of Hope on Tuesday, to raise awareness for Transverse Myelitis.

“It. Was. Amazing,” said Sizer School Senior Emma McEvoy. “I had so much help from so many people. And it was a learning experience, not just for me but for everyone involved – from people who didn’t know how to do [an event] like this to those who didn’t know what Transverse Myelitis was. Thank you, to everyone who came out to support the event.”

On Monday evening, the Sizer Senior and Hubbardston native hosted Hoops for Hope at Sizer School, located at 500 Rindge Rd. in Fitchburg. Emma was joined at the basketball charity event by over 50 peer volunteers and attendees who came together to help Emma spread awareness and raise money for her cause.

Little more than 10 years ago, Emma’s mother Tammy McEvoy was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis.Transverse Myelitis is caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, which causes neurological dysfunction. It can result in paralysis or weakness in the arms and legs, sensory symptoms such as numbness/tingling, pain and discomfort, as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction. 

“When I first decided to do my senior project on Transverse Myelitis, my mom was my inspiration for my topic,” said Emma. “My mom was diagnosed with TM in 2006 and was paralyzed from the T6 [vertebrate] down. She has been fighting her way back ever since.”

The players, many of which were members of Sizer School’s girls and boys basketball teams as well as parents and faculty, played two 20-minute halves while Emma and company shared information and sold collectable rubber duckies and SRNA (Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association) t-shirts with the Hoops for Hope logo, sponsored by RADCO. And $500 was raised. 

The SRNA is a not-for-profit international organization that advocates for, supports and educates individuals and their family’s diagnosed with TM. The SRNA invests in scientific research, therapy development and training of clinician-scientists.

 "Seniors this year have really committed themselves to designing Senior Projects that reflect our mission to Think, Care and Act,” said Peter Nelson, 12th grade English & Literacy Specialist and Senior Advisor. “Many of their topics and products are service-oriented. Seniors are raising awareness and funds for medical research, addressing mental health challenges through the arts and trauma sensitive practices, directing resources to those who are homeless and food insecure, telling their own stories of hardship and perseverance ...the list goes on and on. I am inspired by their compassion and action."

Senior Project is a graduation requirement of Sizer School. It is an opportunity for a student to independently explore a topic of their choosing. Senior Projects demonstrate a personalized learning experience and are designed as a “spring board” into life beyond Sizer, allowing students to move beyond the limiting, often stifling world of high school.   

About putting on a fundraising event like this, Emma said, “It was challenging, definitely, but with the right supports you realize you can do anything. Everyone at Sizer was so ready to help, it was awesome.”

To any student who wants to make a difference in their community, no matter what age, Emma says: “If you have something you are really interested in, just go for it. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Ask friends and teachers for support, they’re going to be happy to guide you through everything. In the end, it’s all going to be worth it.”

 

Apply to Sizer School today! Now accepting applications for 7th, 8th & 9th grades for the 2020-2021 school year.

Fellow Sizer School Seniors Grace Vartanian of Hubbardston and Sebastian Rodriguez of Ashby helped Emma McEvoy of Hubbardston at the information booth!
Tammy McEvoy gives speech about having Transverse Myelitis
(r-l) Anna Berd of Hubbardston, Emily Toupin of Oakham, Tori Crevier of Ware, Abby Marsh of Barre, Sabrina Negron of Fitchburg and Emma McEvoy of Hubbardston ready to keep score!

Sizer students enjoy a dramatic visit to Bridgewater State

ACT Instructor and Drama Teacher Noah Dawson took several students to a High School Drama Workshop today, January 9, 2020 at Bridgewater State University.

The event was run by the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild.

Sizer students took workshops in clowning, playwriting, and acting for the stage!

 

Apply to Sizer School today www.sizer.schoolmint.net

Friday Flash January 3, 2020

 
It's Friday already!
 
Sizer School has a number of events coming up this month, starting with a Senior Project Product this coming Monday. Senior Grace Vartanian will be raising money at Monday evening's varsity boys' basketball game to provide scholarship assistance to Sizer seniors who may have spent time in the foster care system.
 
Next weekend, SiTA presents their first production of the year, The Last Time I Cried.  This is an original, student-written production that contains monologues, scenes, and even an original song.
 
On Monday the 13th, senior Emma McEvoy has organized a basketball tournament to benefit the Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association as part of her senior product.  
 
Please see the Flash for more information on all these great events.  
 
Want to get involved in some other great events coming up, such as the Souper Bowl to benefit the Sizer Community food pantry?  Join us for an hour on Tuesday night at the January PTSO meeting.

 

 
Have a great weekend, and we'll see you all back here on Monday.

Sizer Senior Emma McEvoy to host Hoops for Hope on January 13

Sizer School Senior Emma McEvoy of Hubbardston is making her Senior Project personal.

And in so doing, hopes to spread awareness about a rare neuroimmune disease known as Transverse Myelitis at an event called Hoops for Hope on January 13 at Sizer School.

“When I first decided to do my senior project on Transverse Myelitis, my mom was my inspiration for my topic,” said Emma.

Emma’s mother Tammy McEvoy was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis over 10 years ago.Transverse Myelitis is caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, which causes neurological dysfunction. It can result in paralysis our weakness in the arms/legs, sensory symptoms such as numbness/tingling, pain and discomfort and bowel and bladder dysfunction. 

“My mom was diagnosed with TM in 2006 and was paralyzed from the T6 [vertebrate] down. She has been fighting her way back ever since,” said Emma. “It’s [been] really hard watching her fighting her battle every day with TM and it feels great to be able to do something to raise awareness and money, to support her and others fighting this disease.”

“My life came to a brutally abrupt and sharp stop when I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis 13 years ago,” said Tammy. “I was paralyzed and told there was no cure, no treatment. I was so scared. I fought my way back from paralysis. Fought through intense pain and frustration. Fought with accepting my limitations and struggled to find peace with how my life had changed. Today, I have made an amazing recovery. Through this journey I have learned that it is possible to do what people and doctors say is impossible. It is important to never give up, to stay hopeful to know that we are capable of doing amazing things.”

On January 13, 2020 Emma will be hosting Hoops for Hope, at Sizer School, 500 Rindge Rd. in Fitchburg at 5 p.m. This event is a basketball charity event. The players are all volunteer, many of which are members of Sizer School’s girls and boys basketball team. Play will include two 20-minute halves with fun challenges during half time. The fundsraised during the event will go to the SRNA (Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association).

The SRNA is a not-for-profit international organization that advocates for, supports and educates individuals and their family’s diagnosed with TM. The SRNA invests in scientific research, therapy development and training of clinician-scientists.

“We need to continue to raise awareness and funds for much needed research for every single person whose lives have been affected [by TM]... I am so proud of Emma's part in this. It fills my heart with love, pride and gratitude,” said Tammy.

“I am specifically focused on raising awareness and money for the newest human clinical trial for people affected by Transverse Myelitis. QCells are the first FDA approved cell therapy to promote, repair through myelin regeneration in Transverse Myelitis. This is the FIRST human clinical safety study to treat central nervous system disease,” said Emma.

For more information on the event, email info@sizerschool.org. If you cannot attend Hoops for Hope donations can be made to The Pauline H. Siegel Eclipse Fund. 

 

Photo Captions: 

In photo 1, from (l-r) Sizer Seniors Claire Petersen of Hubbardston and Emma McEvoy are joined by fellow seniors and Sizer basketball players Sebastian Rodriguez (Captain) of Ashby, Axel Sanchez of Fitchburg, Anna Pettirossi (Girls Varsity Basketball Captain) of Hubbardston and, Noah Colbert of Fitchburg. Both the girls and boys basketball teams have volunteered their time to help make this event possible.

In photo 2, (l-r), fellow Sizer Senior Sebastian Rodriguez, Captain of the Boys Basketball Team, Emma’s sister Ava McEvoy and Emma McEvoy at the MA Walk, Run and Roll in 2018.

 

In photo 3, (l-r), fellow Sizer Senior Sebastian Rodriguez, Captain of the Boys Basketball Team, Emma’s sister Ava McEvoy and Emma McEvoy at the MA Walk, Run and Roll in 2018.

 

Images: 
pic 1 McEvoy
pic 2 McEvoy
pic 3 McEvoy

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