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Barrett Implores City to Aid ‘Chronically Underfunded’ Haverhill Public Library

Ahead of this spring’s budget sessions, Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett did her due diligence Tuesday night to petition for increased funding for what she calls the “chronically underfunded” Haverhill Public Library. Over the last year, Barrett said 51,000 cardholders found the location a “highly used and valued” resource—a resource that risks losing certification if the city doesn’t fill a much-needed $195,000 gap. The Library’s Board of Trustees and the City of Haverhill partner jointly to oversee the Library and over the last 11 years, Barrett said the Trustees increased their budget 41 percent, while the city boosted their contribution 0.2 percent. “The city has to have a plan for closing the funding gap and maintaining appropriate funding going forward,” Barrett said. “I don’t know if we have that plan, but I hope we can work together with the Mayor to make that plan happen.”

Haverhill has failed to meet requirements for certification 14 times in last 16 years but received waivers, Barrett said.

Haverhill Student Nutrition Focus of New $18K Healthy Breakfast Program

Eight city schools are set to share in an $18,750 grant from Project Bread and other healthy eating advocacy groups for Haverhill to implement a program called “Breakfast After the Bell,” Mayor James J. Fiorentini and state Rep. Andy Vargas tell WHAV. The grant comes four months after Vargas co-sponsored legislation that advocated for a nutritious breakfast for city children so that attendance and test scores may improve. Vargas continues to prioritize nutrition through Haverhill Promise, the city’s effort to get all students reading at grade level by the end of third grade. “There’s a direct correlation between nutrition and academic success. Students can’t learn if they’re not fed.

Four Tilton First Graders Win Northern Essex Peace-Themed Poetry Contest

Paws up for peace at Haverhill’s Tilton School! Four first grade students at the city elementary school have been chosen as winners in the 11th annual Northern Essex Community College peace-themed poetry contest, Principal Bonnie Antkowiak tells WHAV. As part of classroom instruction by teacher Beth Perry, students learned about the different elements of a poem over the last several months. In addition to contributing different pieces to a weekly poetry book, students all submitted entries to the poetry contest sponsored by Northern Essex, Perry said. “This contest was a great way for them to show what they know as young poets beyond their own classroom doors,” Perry told WHAV.

Haverhill SEPAC Hosts April 23 Presentation on How to Help Struggling Readers

A Boston-based speech and language expert is headed to Haverhill next week to deliver a presentation to local parents on how to help struggling readers during the city’s April 23 Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meeting at Haverhill High School. The 6 p.m. session on Tuesday is open to all in the main conference room at 137 Monument St., and includes remarks from Dr. Tiffany P. Hogan, the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute-backed Speech and Language Literacy Lab.

Open Mic Show: March 18, 2019

Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President joins Bill Macek to discuss Chamber happenings and offer an update on the city's early literacy effort Haverhill Promise. Attorney Paul A. Magliocchetti also stops by to chat about his work on the Haverhill School Committee.

Tilton Teacher Guertin Prepares to Release Second Children’s Book

Tilton Tigers, get ready for another storytime session with teacher Annemarie Guertin: The first-grade educator tells WHAV her second children’s book, “Why the Evergreens Keep Their Leaves” hits stores on Sept. 1. Centered around the themes of kindness, compassion and helping others, Guertin’s folktale follows her debut release “How the Finch Got His Colors” that hit stores last year. As WHAV previously reported, Guertin snagged a second book deal—and an agent!—two months after her debut hit store shelves. Familius Publishing is again backing Guertin's work.

PHOTOS: HHS Students, Local Leaders Mark Read Across America Day at City Schools

City children had a set of very special guest readers at their schools Friday when Mayor James J. Fiorentini, City Councilors, School Committee members and local leaders read stories to mark the national Read Across America Day. Organizer Sarah Emilio tells WHAV 110 Haverhill High School students were among those who fanned out to 11 city schools to read to 2,000 elementary students on what would have been the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss. As Emilio explains, the day of volunteerism allows Hillies to pay it forward. “The students at Haverhill High are always excited to participate in this day and connect with their elementary counterparts, giving back to the students what others had for them when they too were elementary students in Haverhill Public Schools,” Emilio told WHAV. Students were aided in the effort by members of the Haverhill Exchange Club and the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Emilio said.

Green Eggs and Ham, Storytime on Tap for Dr. Seuss Day Saturday at Haverhill YMCA

Saturday, March 2 is National Read Across America Day and the birthday of none other than Theodore Geisel—best known to readers of all ages as Dr. Seuss—with several activities planned to mark the occasion at the Haverhill YMCA. After city schools have their own themed Seuss parties on Friday, head to the Haverhill YMCA at 81 Winter St. Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon for a Dr. Seuss Day celebration. Children and parents in attendance will be treated to—what else?—green eggs and ham, with stories read by former Walnut Square School teacher and Read Across America VIP Mrs. Jean Ray.