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NH Impact Center at PSU helps teachers hone skills

PLYMOUTH — Dozens of New Hampshire mathematics educators are honing their classroom skills and preparing for new federal testing standards with the help of Plymouth State University's NH Impact Center. According to Director Natalya Vinogradova, the goal of the NH Impact Center is to help teachers enhance their mathematics instructional skills.

"We make sure every teacher leaves with ready-to-use activities, projects, games and experiments that they can take back to their classroom," Vinogradova said. "We want their students to find mathematics interesting and wonderful."

New Hampshire educators from every grade level attend the N.H. Impact Center's workshops and professional development institutes every year. Many of these events are free.

A December 4 workshop, "What's and How's of the Smarter Balanced Assessment," drew an overflow crowd to PSU; it was the fifth workshop of this kind arranged by the Impact Center. The "Smarter Balanced" math assessment is required by law; it is critical because the results are supposed to reflect how students are progressing toward statewide expectations for what students in grades three through eight and grade 11 should know.

"In the past, students would come out of high school and attempt to be ready for college, but some had what we call a 'remedial gap' between what they learned in high school and what is required for college," said Scott Mantie of New Hampshire's Department of Education. "Smarter Balanced Assessment changes how we measure whether students are ready for college or a career."

"Offering a seminar like this is invaluable," said Jim George '76, of Campton Elementary School. "I'm getting information on Smarter Balanced Assessment, which I will share with our staff. That leads to our students having a better chance at success, not only on the assessment, but what they do with the knowledge after they leave our school."

Stefanie Miller of Plymouth Regional High School agreed, saying she attended because she wants to get new ideas on preparing her 11th and 12th grade students for the assessment, which occurs next spring.

"I want to give them information like the material they'll be tested on and what they'll be asked to do," Miller said.

The New Hampshire Impact Center at Plymouth State University was created in 1999 through a grant from the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) at Northeastern University. The Center's main objective is to improve mathematics education by working closely with school districts and teachers to enhance teachers' content and pedagogical knowledge. The NH Impact Center provides meaningful professional development on a variety of topics for various grade levels.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 08:46

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Gilford Methodist Church plans free Christmas dinner

GILFORD — An annual tradition in the Lakes Regions will continue this Christmas Day at the First United Methodist Church in Gilford. Every year for the last 18 years the church congregation and many community friends have served a hot holiday meal for those people in the local area that might be alone or in need. The tradition started with one family, The Keysar's of Laconia, who felt the holiday had lost some meaning to their family. The Keysar's wanted to give something to their neighbors and working with the church, were able to organize the first annual Free Christmas Dinner.
The day begins at noon with a fellowship hour or carols, goodies and merriment. At 1 p.m. the dining room doors open to a ham dinner with all the trimmings. Candied carrots, potatoes, rolls, and homemade pies are just part of the meal prepared by the 40 plus volunteers who work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to get the dinner on the tables. Many local families come to work and others help with monetary donations.
All are welcome at this meal regardless of faith or need and seats are still available for this year's feast. Reservations are necessary so that the cooks can plan and purchase ample food for all. They may be made by contacting dinner chair, Jessica Keysar Alward at 520-3910 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Those looking to help out with the event can also contact the Alward family to volunteer. Help is needed for three shifts. Dec. 24th at 2 pm for set up and prep. Dec. 25th at 12:30 to serve and finally at 1:30 on the Christmas Day for cleanup.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 08:40

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Fund established to assist Wolfeboro fire victims

WOLFEBORO — Donations are being accepted to help a Wolfeboro couple whose home was destroyed by fire which resulted in serious injuries to one of them.

Artisans John and Mary Beth Cole saw their home and all their belongings go up in flames in the early morning hours of Nov. 21.

The fire left Beth Cole with third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body. She remains in a coma in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Thanks to the Red Cross, John Cole, who suffered minor burns, has been able to stay at a hotel adjacent to the hospital, but will soon have to vacate the hotel room.

A fund has also been set up at TD bank under the name of Muriel LaRochelle. People will need to note on their payment: "Relief Fund for Mary Beth & John Cole."

After being awaken by his dog, John Cole tried to put the fire out, but when the smoke and flames became too much, he and his wife tried to escape. Unfortunately his wife went back into the burning house to rescue the couple's other dog.

John said his wife is expected to remain in the hospital for more than a month, but he only has two more nights in his hotel. He said he hopes someone will help out so he can stay by her bedside in Boston.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 08:35

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Lecture on the historic churches of Laconia offered on Monday

 

LACONIA  —  At the Laconia Historical and Museum Society's December Lecture Program on  Monday, December 15 at 7 p.m. LHMS Executive Director, Brenda Kean will present a lecture on the Historic Churches of Laconia.

Laconia is the home of many architecturally beautiful buildings and among them are the many historic churches. As a follow-on to a recent driving tour, Brenda will share photos - past and present – of the churches that were included as well as their tales of the past ... and future.

"I have long admired the architecture of Laconia's Historic Churches and wondered at the beauty that must be inside." says LHMS Director, Brenda Kean, "Our recent tour was an invitation for Laconia Residents to pay a visit to these architectural gems – learn about their history and view their amazing interiors."

The program is free and open to the public. For more information about this event, contact the Laconia Historical and Museum Society at 603-527-1278, email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit on the web at www.laconiahistorical.org.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 08:19

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