26°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-20-24 PDF
February 20, 2024
2-12-24 PDF
February 12, 2024

UMass Boston joins in to celebrate the Community Fall Festival

Community+Fall+Festival
Community Fall Festival

Fun and excitement found themselves on Oct. 24, at the McCormack Middle School for the Community Fall Festival. In its first year of its existence the Community Fall Festival was a very welcoming environment for the parents and children of the Harbor Point Housing, Paul A. Dever Elementary School, and the John W. McCormack School.
Sheldine Jean-Baptiste, a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA, with the Massachusetts Campus Compact (MACC) Inc. program and UMass Boston’s College of Public and Community Service, brought the festival to life with the help of the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester, the Paul Dever Elementary School, the Dever-McCormack Middle School, Blueprint Schools Network, and the Housing Opportunity Unlimited (HOU) in Harbor Point.
The students and parents were able to come and enjoy the music, a scavenger hunt, raffles, food, and more while obtaining information from each sponsor in the Harbor Point community. Fatiha Mouiny, a Harbor Point resident, said that she “loved that the event was a very positive place for the kids.” She went on to say that she “would like to see more carried every month, if not everyday!”
Along with the sponsors, many people came from all over to volunteer throughout the night, including UMass faculty and students. Olivia Fitzgerald, a junior at UMass Boston, got involved with the Community Fall Festival through her Models of Practice with Urban Youth class. When asked why she wanted to volunteer at the festival, she stated, “I wanted to be a part of creating something positive for the community.” And that she was.
Smiles grew larger as the event progressed, resulting from many parents and children took home prizes from the raffle that included an array of items from books, to basketball hoops.
As the night was coming to an end, the fun did not stop. The kids and volunteers still danced while eating ice cream and laughing. One of those dancing was Professor Joan Arches of the College of Public and Community Service. When asked about the event, she gladly noted that, “this was an incredible first time event bringing those who are concerned about youth and education on the peninsula!” The parents and children felt the same way. Everybody, including nine-year-old Chris Rodrigues, was hoping to see the festival implemented again in the future. When asked if he enjoyed his time at the festival, he burst out with joy, saying, “Yes! I can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Jean-Baptiste set out to bring all, or as many as possible, community partners and organizations together to showcase their programs and work that they are doing at the youth center, the elementary and middle school; connecting and engaging families with these partners and organizations to provide families with information about available resources, and to encourage them to participate in future family events. And she did so.
Parents are now well informed about the resources and organizations the Harbor Point community has to offer. Jean-Baptiste hopes “that these community partners and organizations, including and especially UMass Boston, will continue to come together to collaborate and sponsor this event at least once a year.”
The Community Fall Festival was successful, and the Harbor Point community would love to see it return annually.