Friday, July 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: BCD to send aid to Puerto Rico; ‘The Constitution Today;’ CoA luncheon; test prep weekend; new horse at Blue Rider Stables

Berkshire Country Day School invites community members to meet in its Fitzpatrick Hall gymnasium Saturday, Oct. 28, at 9:30 a.m. to help pack boxes of aid to be sent to Puerto Rico.

Berkshire Country Day School to send aid to Puerto Rico

Stockbridge — Berkshire Country Day School has adopted 100 families in Puerto Rico to receive 100 boxes of supplies from a school-wide drive to be held Saturday, Oct. 28. As part of Make a Difference Day, the largest single nationwide day of service held annually on the fourth Saturday in October, BCD’s student council, parents’ association, and its wider community agreed that aiding families devastated by Hurricane Maria would be the focus of this year’s efforts.

BCD parent Mayra Rodriguez, whose son, Alex, is in eighth Grade, is from Puerto Rico and retains close ties to the island. Through Rodriguez, BCD is in contact with a network of people who are in dire need of common supplies. These local connections will distribute supplies to others in need. A former educator, Rodriguez sees the larger goal for the drive as a chance for students to learn the impact a single person can have. “You don’t have to be apart of a huge movement to make a difference, 100s of people will feel the ripple effect of each of us pitching in,” she said.

Students are collecting essential supplies this week that include boxed juice; rice; canned beans (not baked beans); canned fruit; canned vegetables; crackers; cookies; rice cakes; peanut butter; jelly; fruit and protein bars; boxed, shelf-safe milk; canned meats (tuna, sardines, salmon, chicken, ham); flashlights; mosquito repellent; and wipes and hand sanitizers.

BCD invites all community members to meet in its Fitzpatrick Hall gymnasium Saturday, Oct. 28, at 9:30 a.m. to help pack the 100 boxes to be sent out. A light breakfast will be served. To join the drive, RSVP to Mayra Rodriguez at


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Salisbury Forum to offer ‘The Constitution Today’

Akhil Reed Amar. Photo courtesy Yale Law School

Salisbury, Conn. — On Friday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m., the Salisbury Forum will present “The Constitution Today,” a talk by Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar, at the Salisbury School.

For the perhaps the first time since 1864, all four major federal institutions of power were in play in the last election. When the two national conventions met last summer, Democrats had a chance to win control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, the presidency and the Supreme Court. Instead, Republicans swept the field and now control all four institutions, even though President Donald Trump lost the national popular presidential vote.

In his talk, which is based in part on his recently released book “The Constitution Today,” Amar will discuss the constitutional significance of various modern cases and controversies such as gun control, LGBTQ rights, the electoral college, campaign finance and filibuster reform, impeachment, and presidential succession. He will also discuss the American constitutional project more generally.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Salisbury Forum at


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Councils on aging to hold luncheon

South Egremont — The Egremont and Mount Washington councils on aging invite all seniors to their complimentary lunch and program Wednesday, Nov. 1, at noon at the Egremont Village Inn. The program, “Keeping Your Mind Active,” will be presented by Seniors Helping Seniors Western Massachusetts owner Jane Apkin.

Apkin is a medical speech-language pathologist specializing in gerontology and neurogenic communication and swallowing disorders. After 20 years of service in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, Apkin opened Seniors Helping Seniors Western Massachusetts in 2014, which provides daily, in-home services to seniors throughout the Berkshires.

To make reservations, contact the Egremont Town Hall at (413) 528-0182 x17 or by Monday, Oct. 30, and include dietary restrictions and whether or not a ride is needed.


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GBRSS to offer test prep workshops

Great Barrington — Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School will host a two-day test-preparation workshop for students age 11 and older and their families Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The workshops will be facilitated by Chris Ajemian Tutoring & Educational Services and will include a mock SSAT as well as math and verbal review with a tutor.

The weekend is most advantageous for parents and middle school students attending both days together. However, parents and students can choose to attend just the “Envision Your Future” introduction to goal-setting workshop Saturday morning; the whole Saturday portion including the mock test; or the full weekend, which includes feedback and results coaching on Sunday. Students preparing for the PSAT or SAT will also gain important skills and perspectives from the Saturday morning introduction, and are encouraged to attend.

The cost for the entire weekend, including baseline testing, is $75; the introductory module only is free. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact


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Garuda, left, making friends with Rico at Blue Rider Stables. Photo courtesy Blue Rider Stables

Blue Rider Stables welcomes new Arabian horse

South Egremont — Blue Rider Stables has announced the arrival Garuda, an Arabian horse generously donated by Rolling Stone Farm in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The farm belonged to Blue Rider Stables’ board member and supporter Deborah Reich, who died in 2013.

Garuda, a 5-year-old bay Arabian gelding, was briefly started under saddle, training to be an endurance horse. “He is extremely personable and loves to have his ears rubbed. He does not have a lot of experience with a rider on his back, but is excited and willing to learn new things and already making friends within our herd. We look forward to Garuda challenging our more experienced riders. He has the athletic ability to take them to the next level and already demonstrates an understanding and desire to learn beyond his years. We are thrilled to have him,” said Blue Rider’s barn manager Anna Seagull.

This past year, Blue Rider Stables has taken actionable steps to strengthen and expand its organization. The addition of Garuda is a step toward its goal of creating sustainability in its herd and increasing program capabilities.



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