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Calendar

Friday, May 9

“Jack and the Giant”: 7 p.m., Country Day School, 14 Main St., Groton. The Country Day School Junior Drama Program is putting the finishing touches on this musical production. Brought to life by young performers in grades three to five, the students tell the story of a young boy who uses his courage and imagination to overcome the impossible.

Tickets, available at the door, cost $5.

Saturday, May 10

“Jack and the Giant”: 3 and 7 p.m., Country Day School, 14 Main St., Groton. See May 9 entry for details.

Thursday, May 15

Spring concert: 7 p.m., Applewild School Performing Arts Center, 98 Prospect St., Fitchburg. The award-winning Jazz Band at Applewild School and will perform.

Go Green: 6 to 8 p.m., in the Harvard Elementary School gymnasium. At this year’s Earth Day Fair families can explore recycling, reducing and conserving energy and water, planting trees to help reverse the effects of global warming — the possibilities are endless. For information visit hesearthdayfair.pbwiki.com.

Friday, May 16

“Barnum”: 7:30 p.m., in the Cronin Auditorium. See briefs for details.

Saturday, May 17

“Barnum”: 7:30 p.m., in the Cronin Auditorium. See briefs for details.

Briefs

DPS now accepts applications

DUNSTABLE — Dunstable Pre-School is now accepting applications for its new prekindergarten program for 4- and 5-year-olds. The preschool also offers a program for children who will be 3 years old by Dec. 1. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays or Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Dunstable Pre-School has served children from Dunstable and neighboring communities since 1981. It encourages parents and their young children to visit. To schedule a visit call (978) 649-9680. Register before May 15 and registration fees will be waived.

Ayer students moving to State Fair

AYER — The Massachusetts Regional Science Fair was held this past Saturday. One of the projects from Ayer Middle-High School (AMHS) advance to the Massachusetts State Fair.

The project, Plant Reaction, by Alyssa Ware, Samantha Igo and Shannon Tucker, all sixth-graders at AMHS, received third place at the Regional Science Fair. This is the first time Ayer has been involved at the regional and state levels of the Massachusetts Science Fair.

Parker rallies students

AYER — Ayer Middle-High School Principal Don Parker recently called an assembly to rally the 400 students in his school for the May 10 Janis Bresnahan 5K Run for Education. Parker emphasized the great benefit the run brings to the schools. Kevin Bresnahan spoke about the many opportunities surrounding the race, such as volunteering and running or walking in the race to “give back to your school.” Betsy (Bresnahan) Dolan spoke about Janis, an Ayer High School graduate, for whom the race is named. Katrina Folger spoke about the many educational grants that the event has made possible for Ayer schools. The annual road race has raised $100,000 for the Ayer Education Foundation (AEF). From left are Parker; Betsy, Janis’ cousin; Folger, AEF co-president; and Kevin, Janis’ brother.

Massachusetts celebrates the achievements of student writers

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Center for the Book (MCB) is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s state Letters about Literature program. Alexander Du, of Ayer, received recognition for his outstanding letter. He was awarded honors for his letter to J.K. Rowling about “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

In partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Target Stores, the Calderwood Writing Initiative at the Boston Athenaeum, and with support from Houghton Mifflin Co and the Massachusetts Library Association, each year MCB invites readers in grades four to 12 to read, be inspired and write back to the author who has somehow changed their view of the world or themselves.

More than 56,000 young readers nationwide participated in this year’s Letters About Literature program; Massachusetts ranked third among the 50 states behind California and Illinois in the number of students writing letters.

This year, judges recognized achievements at three levels — Top Honors, Honors and Honorable Mention — in each of the age-level categories. The top honors letters advance to the national committee where they are considered for additional recognition.

More than 300 people attended an awards ceremony at the State House for the winners, including Du. Students and their guests took tours of the building after the event, further linking their reading with the larger community and making books a vehicle to civic engagement on many levels.

For information on MCB visit www.massbook.org.

GDSTEM offers Summerskills workbooks

GROTON — The Groton-Dunstable Science Technology Engineering and Math Foundation (GDSTEM) is offering the popular Summerskills Sharpeners, a series of math workbooks spanning prekindergarten to grade eight pre-algebra, algebra I, geometry and high school math.

The books align with the National Math Standards. They are designed to reinforce the mathematical concepts learned in the just-completed school year. Parents are generally advised to select the book grade level that corresponds with the grades their children have just finished. Summerskills Language Arts (prekindergarten to grade seven), Spanish (I and II) and French (I) workbooks are also available.

GDSTEM is selling Summerskills books for $16 each — a savings of $2 off the publisher’s list price. Samples of the Summerskills workbooks can be previewed at www.summerskills.com. Order forms are available at www.gdstem.org.

Orders placed by May 16 are guaranteed to be available before the end of the school year. One additional order will be placed May 30.

For information contact Janet Sheffield at (978) 448-5591 or info@gdstem.org.

Bromfield to present ‘Barnum’

HARVARD — The Bromfield School Drama Society will present the musical “Barnum” May 16, 17 and 19, at 7:30 p.m., in the Cronin Auditorium.

The production, which includes over 50 students in grades six to 12, traces the career of America’s greatest showman, P.T. Barnum, played by Tyler Alderson. Barnum, with the help of his wife, Charity (Rebecca Turner), and his partnership with James Bailey (Lewis Pacheco), created a circus troupe dubbed “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Barnum acquires famous circus performers for his show along the way, including Gen. Tom Thumb (Paul Jordan Talbot); Joyce Heth, the oldest woman in the world (Molly O’Rourke Friel); and Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale (Kristina Kronauer and Liz Frothingham).

The production is directed by Michael McGarty and Martha Brooks, with music direction by Talia Mercadante and choreography by Kathy Fricchione. Tickets, priced at $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens, will be available at the door. For information call (978) 456-4152, ext. 557.

Basic Rights workshop

TOWNSEND — Confused about how to get the help your child needs? Curious about evaluations, IEPs or 504s?

To find out attend the “Basic Rights” workshop May 19, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the North Middlesex Regional High School (NMRHS) Academic Support Center. This workshop is presented by the NMRHS Special Education Department and coordinated by the school’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

Bromfield students check out modern energy

The freshmen physical science II curriculum at The Bromfield School, devoted to traditional subjects of physics, took its second annual “Power Tour” May 1.

One main objective of this unit is to link the study of physics to today’s pre-eminent societal concerns, such that students are exposed to such concepts of work, energy and power long before they otherwise would have been. This way they can better address immediate social and technological issues that are at the forefront of global environmental, economic and geopolitical issues.

From a more pragmatic standpoint these units enable students to interpret their residential energy bills and understand many other fundamental aspects of energy and power issues.

For the field trip, the entire ninth-grade physical science II class traveled to Power Technologies, of Fitchburg; Pinetree Power, of Westminster; and the Littleton Light Department to see modern facilities involved with the design, development, manufacture and production of energy-generating equipment and the distribution of energy.

At Power Technologies (PT), in addition to being treated to an informative presentation on power generation equipment design, students were able to actually spin the blades of a 20,000 shaft HP aero-derivative gas turbine generator, roam about the internals of a packaged power plant and witness one of PTs recorded “dynamite” shock tests.

At Pinetree Power, students were guided through the 20 MWe “Green-House Neutral” power plant that produces power from waste wood products and landfill gas. All students even stood inside the operating air-cooled condensers.

Further, they stood within arms reach of the operating steam turbine generator and saw where the produced power was stepped up from 13.8 kilovolts to 69,000 volts for transmission.

At Littleton Light, there was a very informative presentation on modern distribution systems and students saw the havoc that one "Rocky the Squirrel" can present when he roams too far from his oak tree.

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