Newsletter of the Rotary Club of Needham for May 25th, 2021
In our Community:
Arbor Day (photo below): to celebrate the beauty and importance of trees in fighting climate change, we distributed 500 Fraser Fir seedlings, one for each fourth grader in Needham. The code on the labels, supplied by Chuck Buyer, linked to a description of Needham Rotary Club, information on Arbor Day and planting instructions.
Raised beds (photo below): together with members of Needham High School's Interact Club, we built raised planting beds at the Needham Housing Authority, and we filled them with soil in preparation for gardening.
Diversity BookFair: runs through May 31st. You can buy books for the five Needham public elementary schools, Saint Joseph Elementary School, and the Tynan School in South Boston that allow children of racial or religious minorities to see themselves as full members of their classrooms.
Needham Rotary Club Summer Picnic: Tuesday, June 15th at 5:00 at Claxton Field.
Today's Speaker: Sara Shine, Director, Needham Youth and Family Services (NYFS)
Sara spoke with us offering an overview of the services provided by her department. Founded in 1967 out of concern for youth drinking and drug use, the mission of NYFS has broadened over the years to provide leadership and the promotion of community wellness through education and communication about youth and family issues. Sara noted that in addition to the stresses of family relationships, school and adolescence, the pandemic has increased both the frequency and intensity of of need for counseling services. NYFS offers counseling to individuals, groups and families. It's free due to generous sponsors from our community, including the Rotary Club of Needham. While counseling is normally offered in home, office or school-based settings, the pandemic has made most sessions virtual for now. Referrals for service can come from schools, courts, parents or from youth themselves. NYFS has an important class called "Youth Mental Health First Aid" that helps families identify the need for mental health support.
Other NYFS programs offer one-day community service projects around Needham during school vacations (Project VAN), and a youth job postings board. Fee-based programs include: babysitting training, a peer-tutor program that trains high school students to tutor 3rd-8th graders needing academic support, and the substance abuse awareness program.
For more information on NYFS programs or to connect with Sara, see the Town of Needham's website: and click through the "Town Services" menu to "Services for Youth".
Next meeting: Tuesday June 1st, 2021 at noon via Zoom.