5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – May 17, 2019

by | May 17, 2019 | Headlines, News

WORCESTER – In our latest daily feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com will explore five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the City and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.

In today’s edition — May 17, 2019 — the Kindness Coalition of Massachusetts is hosting a backpack packing event for those in need, another public information meeting on the Kelley Square Improvement project takes place next week, the Grafton Hill Business Association is offering two $500 scholarships, the Worcester PD is accepting applications for its G.A.N.G. Summer Program, and the City launches a student trauma alert program.

Kindness Coalition Hosting Backpack Drive

The Kindness Coalition of Massachusetts is hosting a backpack drive on Saturday, May 18 from 1 PM to 4 PM at St. George’s Orthodox Cathedral at 30 Anna St in Worcester. The Kindness Coalition will be filling 1,000 backpacks for children in need. The event is free and will feature a Zumba demonstration, Tae Kwon Do Demonstration, arts and crafts, photo booth, door prizes, DJ, face painting and free pizza and salad.

Kindess Coalition will be accepting donations to place in the backpacks — see the list here for things they need donated!


Public Information Meeting on Kelley Square

MassDOT is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, May 22 at 6 PM with an update on the complete design for Kelley Square and construction and traffic management plans. 

The meeting will take place at the Worcester Academy Performance Center at 14 Marion Ave. in Worcester.

Grafton Hill Business Association Offering Two Scholarships

The Grafton Hill Business Association is accepting applications for two $500 annual scholarships to graduating seniors who reside in the 01604 area. 

The students that apply must be accepted into a post-secondary or technical training institution. Call George Kerxhalli 508-753-5372 for information. 


The Worcester PD Now Accepting Applications for G.A.N.G. Camp

The Worcester Police Dept. is accepting applications for its one-week G.A.N.G. camp this summer. The camp includes celebrity speakers, field trips, swimming, sports and informative gang prevention talks held mostly at Clark University.

The application deadline is June 14. Applications can be dropped off at the Worcester Police Station C/O Gang Unit, or by fax to 508-799-8679 or via email to [email protected] 


Worcester Launches Handle with Care Program

The City of Worcester has partnered with the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, the Worcester Police Department, the Worcester Public Schools and the state’s Department of Children and Families to launch the nationally recognized Handle With Care program.

The Handle With Care program provides notification to school personnel and teachers when a student has experienced or witnessed trauma. The program has been adopted in 20 states, including the Plymouth County area of Massachusetts.

In Worcester, the program is a complement to the Worcester Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (WYVPI), the City’s response to youth violence that is rooted in toxic stress. Through a trauma-informed lens, the WYVPI strives to decrease exposure to trauma and connect youth experiencing trauma to the appropriate supports.

When the Worcester Police Department responds to a call and finds a child who has witnessed a traumatic event, the child will be identified and a confidential message will be sent to the child’s school. No details of what happened to the child will be provided to the Worcester Public Schools other than the child’s name, school, age and the words “handle with care.” This message will serve as a notice to school personnel to be sensitive to the child’s needs due to their life circumstances.


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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]