Angela Parker, a recently hired educator at Flying Cloud Institute.

BUSINESS BRIEFS: FCI hires educator; Salisbury Bank shred day & food drive; MOVA awards funds to culturally specific victim services; BHS fundraiser remembers Dr. John Reynolds; BCC seeks tutors; CHP hires nutritionist

“I believe that young people benefit from exploring the world through hands-on, interdisciplinary learning that sparks their curiosity," says Parker.

Flying Cloud Institute hires Angela Parker

Great Barrington— Flying Cloud Institute (FCI) has hired Angela Parker as a Science and Art Educator. In this role, Parker will lead the summer program, vacation camps, classroom residencies, family STEAM challenge events, and work with the FCI team to inspire the next generation of artists and engineers. She brings multifaceted K-12 educational experiences to the organization as it continues to partner with local school districts to bring meaningful experiences to students.

Students from Lee Elementary School participate in a Flying Cloud Institute residency event. Photo courtesy FCI.

“I believe that young people benefit from exploring the world through hands-on, interdisciplinary learning that sparks their curiosity. I am inspired by Flying Cloud Institute’s commitment to STEAM programming that gives all students the opportunity to imagine themselves as scientists, innovators, and artists, and I want to use my program management and teaching skills to support this vital work,” says Parker.

Parker’s past experience includes initiating a multi-site STEAM museum program for the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in collaboration with the Connecticut Science Center. She also launched a tour entitled “STEAM: Sketch Like a Scientist!” that drew connections between the skills used by artists and scientists.

Flying Cloud Institute, founded in New Marlborough in 1984, works to inspire young people and educators through dynamic experiences with science and art that ignite creativity. FCI offers an array of programs in the arts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) that serve over 2,000 youth and local educators annually. More information can be found at flyingcloudinstitute.org.

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Salisbury Bank hosts drive-thru shred day and food drive

Lakeville, Conn.— Salisbury Bank is continuing its initiative to fight against identity theft while building community goodwill by sponsoring a free ShredEvent and Food Drive.

“Identity theft continues to be a concern for individuals and businesses. One way you can ensure that thieves don’t gain access to information that could be confidential is shredding documents with personal information,” stated Amy Raymond, Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Banking, Fair Lending, and CRA Officer at Salisbury Bank.

The Community “Drive-thru” Shred Day is open to anyone, and will be held at the Millerton branch (87 Main Street, Millerton, N.Y.) on Saturday, September 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Each person may bring up to 4 boxes of paper (no binders please) for shredding by Legal Shred personnel and Salisbury Bank volunteers.

Please consider bringing a non-perishable donation for a local pantry. Priority items include: canned goods, powdered milk, whole-grain cereals, kitchen spices, macaroni and cheese, pancake/cake mix, peanut butter, condiments, pasta, granola/oatmeal, and tomato sauce. Household necessities such as paper towels, diapers, wipes, socks, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, and soap are also appreciated.

All shredded paper will be recycled and all collected items will be donated directly to local food pantries.

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MOVA Awards $2.3M to culturally specific victim services in Western Massachusetts 

Boston— The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) has awarded $2,389,303 to five victim service agencies that are led by and support communities of color in Western Massachusetts. The initial contracts, supported through the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), each began on August 1, 2022, and will last through June 30, 2024, spanning state fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

The community-based programs are all located in either Hampden or Berkshire Counties and provide violence-related services. These services range in focus from gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and bullying/harassment. All services provided are culturally specific to subsets of local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, with the most served groups amongst the grantees being the local Hispanic and Black communities.

“MOVA envisions a Commonwealth in which all victims and survivors of crime can access rights and high quality services that are reflective of our diverse communities; culturally responsive and trauma-informed; and in which their voices and experiences are heard, valued, and amplified,” said Liam Lowney, MOVA Executive Director.

The dedication of funds to support culturally reflective, high-quality services in Western Massachusetts aligns with MOVA’s 2021-2024 strategic plan. This targeted grant program is in pursuit of equity and accessibility, informed by an assessment and analysis of the needs and demographics of victim services in Massachusetts.

The following agencies will be awarded funds: Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups Through Education (BRIDGE); Enlace de Familias; Families Against Violence; Mothers Overlooked, Reaching Out & Empowerment (MORE); and Parent Villages, Inc.

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Family of beloved vet challenges community to raise funds

Pittsfield— In response to Berkshire Humane Society’s “Forever Family” fundraising campaign, the family of well-known veterinarian Dr. John Reynolds announced yesterday that they will offer a gift of $500,000 to Berkshire Humane Society with a challenge to the community to match this amount. The $1 million raised will secure rights to name Berkshire Humane Society’s animal shelter at 214 Barker Road in Pittsfield as the “Dr. John C. Reynolds Adoption and Education Center.” Dr. Reynolds died tragically last December in a kayaking accident.

“We were blessed to know Dr. Reynolds as a veterinarian, Berkshire Humane Society Board of Directors member and a friend,” said Executive Director John Perreault. “His death was a shock to us and to many people in the community. We miss him and are grateful to Dr. Reynolds’ family for honoring him in such a meaningful way while providing the opportunity for others to do so as well.” Each donation to the Dr. John C. Reynolds Adoption and Education Center will be matched, dollar for dollar, doubling each gift’s impact.

Dr. Reynolds was closely associated with Berkshire Humane Society since he established Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital in 1996. In 2012 he became a member of the society’s board of directors and in 2016 he was named Berkshire Humane Society Volunteer of the Year.

Berkshire Humane Society’s Forever Family Campaign seeks to raise a total of $3.5 million to secure a better future for homeless animals and pet lovers in and around Berkshire County. The campaign is accepting donations to create a strong endowment, expand and update the homeless animal shelter at 214 Barker Road and invest in programs to save pet lives.

For more information on how to contribute to the Dr. John C. Reynolds Adoption and Education Center fund, please visit please visit berkshirehumane.org/drreynolds

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Berkshire Community College seeks peer and community tutors      

Pittsfield— Berkshire Community College (BCC) invites current students and members of the community to become tutors in all subject areas, with a particular need for biology and chemistry tutors.

Those interested in tutoring may be current BCC students who have earned a grade of B or higher in the courses they plan to tutor, or they may be community figures with study or experience in the field. Retirees and graduate students are welcome to apply. Tutors are paid per hour, and schedules are flexible.

Tutoring services at BCC are offered free of charge to all registered students. Tutors are trained to help students:

  • Clarify assignments
  • Organize materials
  • Understand course content
  • Connect readings to lectures
  • Prepare for tests and quizzes
  • Improve writing skills
  • Develop study strategies

To learn more about becoming a tutor, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/tutor, email tutorial@berkshirecc.edu or call (413) 236-1650.

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Nutritionist Devyn Renzi joins CHP nutrition team

Great Barrington— Devyn Renzi, CNS, LDN,  has joined the Community Health Programs nutrition team. She sees patients at

Devyn Renzi. Photo courtesy of CHP.

CHP practices in Pittsfield, Lee and Great Barrington, and is also available via telehealth.

A certified nutrition specialist and licensed dietician, Renzi earned her master’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.), and she completed a bachelor’s in health science at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). She received her associate degree in health science from Berkshire Community College.

As a candidate for certification, Renzi worked with MCLA students and private clients, offering nutrition assessments and nutrition education. Renzi previously worked as a nutrition intern at CHP where she developed print materials and helped develop the CHP Nutrition Newsletter. At MCLA, she served as a mentor to other students pursuing nutrition education.

The CHP nutrition staff are available at CHP practices countywide and via telehealth.