If you've seen preschool children walking downtown with wagons full of goodies in tow, you've seen Parker River Community Preschool students learning about Rowley through hands-on activities. The preschool, located at 181 Main St. next to Pine Grove School, provides a community-based program with a strong focus on nature, leading the students to partake in many walks.
Most recently, while studying the town of Rowley, the students visited the Rowley Food Pantry during one of their walks. After interviewing the women working there and returning to their classroom, the students discussed how they could help the pantry.
"They honed in on two things: that there were only two jars of baby food on the shelf and that the chairs that the women were sitting in were not in the best of shape," said Hilary Odoy, one of the preschool teachers who accompanied the students on the trip."
The students then wrote and sent out a letter to parents requesting donations. They set up a collection area with signs and baskets, and sorted and counted all of the donations. "We have been delivering the donations by walking our wagon over to the pantry on Tuesdays now for more than a month, and the students are still working on how to get the ladies some new chairs," the school reports.
The students' study of Rowley will continue through the year, with proposed visits to the firehouse, the church tower, the library, the post office, the pharmacy and bakery, and the Council on Aging.
"We are bringing our study of the town into the classroom, too, by adding photos of Rowley buildings taped to blocks to the block area in the school, as well as posting a giant map of Rowley to study and post where we have visited and where we live," Odoy said.
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The winter workshops to be held this month at Pine Grove School for children ages 21/2 to 4 are open to all Rowley residents. Registration is required to attend.
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, Pine Grove reading specialist Adrienne Mavragis is offering a Snow is Falling and a Good Book is Calling workshop from 9 to 10 a.m. Handouts and books will be provided. Contact Mavragis at email@example.com to register.
On Friday, Jan. 28, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Kyle Campbell, Pine Grove's former physical education teacher, who is now the school's guidance counselor, will offer Get Going When It's Snowing! It will feature physical activities to do inside while waiting for good outdoor weather to return. Contact Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
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The Rowley Public Library is sponsoring a Wellness Program on Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m., featuring a panel of five experts in the field to assist people in setting goals to make health a priority for the new year.
Maura Mastrogiovanni, a certified yoga instructor who teaches at the library, will speak about the benefits of yoga, and Laurie Drogue, a licensed massage therapist from Meridian Body Therapies in Newburyport, will discuss the touch-based healing methods of massage and craniosacral therapy.
Chiropractor Dr. Stephanie Rittenour of Healthcare Complete in Newburyport will highlight the importance of nutrition, and licensed acupuncturist Susan Patten will introduce the many different facets of Chinese medicine. Finally, Susan Scheuer, a clinical exercise physiologist from Body Basics Pilates, will explain how Pilates can improve posture, breathing, core strength and flexibility.
Plenty of time will be allotted for questions. The snow date is Thursday Jan. 20. For more information, contact Eileen Fitzgerald at the library at 978-948-2850.
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Michelle Pelletier Marshall reports on the town of Rowley for The Daily News. She can be reached at email@example.com.