Atkinson Church Tonight Hosts Film, Discussion on Teens’ Mental Health Challenges

Local parents and grandparents who want to support their children’s mental health can learn more at a program hosted by Atkinson Congregational Church. Area mental health professionals will lead a discussion after guests watch the film, “What I Wish My Parents Knew.” It shows the individual struggles of 10 young people dealing with anxiety and depression. “We’re living at a time when anxiety, depression, and suicide seem to be rising at an alarming rate in young people,” said Pastor Jim Thomas.  According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates for Americans ages 10 to 24 increased by 62% between 2007 and 2021, the latest date for which full statistics are available. “This event is meant to help parents and grandparents become more educated on sensitive mental health issues, while being able to ask questions and find resources in a safe environment,” Thomas said. The program, run in cooperation with Southern Rockingham Coalition for Healthy Youth, is on Tuesday, May 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Atkinson Congregational Church, 101 Main St., Atkinson, N.H. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and light refreshments will be served before the program begins.

Haverhill Gardeners Prepare for Season At Annual Plant Sale

It’s a gardener’s dream: shopping for lovingly hand-raised plants, access to soil testing, and a pre-season tune-up for garden tools, all provided at the Haverhill Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale. The club’s lone fundraiser for the year, the sale supports the organization’s scholarships and public planting projects. Shoppers will find a wide variety of annuals, perennials, herbs and small shrubs, until they are sold out. A master gardener will be on hand to test a sample of gardeners’ soil, and club volunteers will clean and sharpen tools for maximum performance in local gardens. The popular event is a favorite of area gardeners, and items normally sell out quickly.

Learning English or Spanish? Practice with Others at the Haverhill Public Library

The Haverhill Public Library gives English or Spanish language learners a casual and welcoming place to practice with regular conversation groups. On Mondays from 6 to 7:30, those who are learning English can converse with native English language speakers. There will be no class on May 27, because of the Memorial Day holiday. The remaining Spanish language conversation practice for May is from 11 a.m. to noon on the 18th. Registration is not required for these sessions, which meet in the Milhendler Room.

Atkinson Congregational Church Debuts Spring Fest

Atkinson Congregational Church will welcome spring with a celebration of food, fun, family and friends. Pastor Jim Thomas said the goal of the church’s first-ever Spring Fest is to “provide a festival that’s about community and simply being together. It goes without saying that we’re excited for this event.”

A wide range of activities will take place on church grounds, including dining on fare from a variety of food-truck vendors, arts and crafts fair, and a multitude of offerings of interest to children, from a touch-a-truck event, bounce house, face painting, and games. All ages will enjoy music from a local, five-member band, Splatter Band. Parking will be in a field next to the church, accessible from the entrance on Meditation Lane in Atkinson, N.H., and will be clearly marked.

Georgetown Theater Group Stages Final Show of Season

“Making God Laugh,” a play that visits a span of four decades in the life of an ordinary family, begins a nine-day run Saturday to close the Georgetown Theater Workshop’s 2023-2024 season. An ensemble of local actors and crew from Haverhill, Boxford, Georgetown and beyond deliver a mix of funny moments, relatable situations and heartfelt connection. Written by Sean Grennan, and directed by Matthew Lundergan. The play will be on stage at the Byfield Community Arts Center May 11 to 19. Georgetown Theatre Workshop is nearing 50 years providing community theater committed to showcasing local talent.

Haverhill SEPAC Plans Online Social-Emotional Learning Workshop

A Haverhill organization that offers resources to parents whose children have special needs is making an online workshop about social-emotional learning available to the public

The Haverhill Special Education Parent Advisory Council will team up with the Federation for Children with Special Needs to provide a Zoom link to the presentation, which takes place Tuesday, May 14, from 7 to 9 p.m.

In it, parents will learn what social-emotional learning is, why it’s important, how to identify social-emotional skills and how to acquire them. The presentation will also touch on what social-emotional learning looks like in the classroom and how these skills can be included in a student’s Individual Education Plan. Visit the council’s website, and click on the RSVP button on the event listing page to receive a link to the online presentation.

Haverhill Yoga Studio Hosts Makers Market Saturday with Gifts for Mom

Wellness Hot Yoga will host a fundraiser for Emmaus House in which shoppers can find handmade items to give as Mothers Day gifts. The yoga studio incorporates charitable giving in its regular business model, hosting fundraisers like the one for Emmaus House, which provides services to the city’s homeless, as well as weekly community hot yoga sessions where the only fee is a donation to a nonprofit or organization that provides a service. More than 10 vendors, each of whom creates a unique set of items, will showcase their talents and offer items for sale. A raffle of items donated by the artisans is also planned. Children are welcome, and will have the opportunity to try their hand at arts and crafts at a special table set up for them.

‘Battle of the Badges:’ First Responders Compete for Most Blood Donors

The Battle of the Badges 2024, Haverhill edition, renews a friendly rivalry among the city’s first responders to see which group can recruit the largest number of eligible donors for an American Red Cross blood drive. Those who wish to help swell the ranks of Team Police or Team Fire can call 1-800-REDCROSS or, enter “Haverhill” and register with one of the groups to schedule an appointment. This procedure allows prospective donors to complete paperwork before the day of the collections. The actual Battle of the Badges takes place this Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., Haverhill. Battle of the Badges is an annual, nationwide event that employs local public servants in a quest to replenish blood and platelet stocks used in lifesaving efforts across the U.S.