Quest in the news

QUEST Hosts Spring 5K Run/Walk

The Quabbin Education Foundation (QUEST) hosted the third annual “Jungle QUEST 5K” on Saturday, May 30th, 2015 at the Quabbin Regional High School cross country course.

The event featured a 5K cross-country run/walk race beginning at Quabbin Regional High School and continuing on through the school’s cross-country course and area fields. Following the race was an awards ceremony, and race results were registered and listed with Cool Runnings. 

Visit the Events page for more details.

QUEST grant supports Bully Prevention Program

From the Worcester Telegram
March 29, 2011

Author Doug Wilhelm Doug Wilhelm, author of "The Revealers," has lunch with Quabbin Middle School student Sarah N. Peterson of Hardwick yesterday. Mr. Wilhelm discussed his book, which addresses bullying, with students. (T&G Staff/TOM RETTIG)

By Lee V. Gaines SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM & GAZETTE

BARRE — After reading the young adult novel, “The Revealers,” Quabbin Regional Middle School students and teachers gathered yesterday to listen to and discuss bullying with the author, Doug Wilhelm.

Though it's hard to believe anyone would dare tease the now 6-foot, 10-inch Mr. Wilhelm, he told students he was routinely bullied in middle school.

“I was a very awkward, ill-fitting, skinny, strange kid,” said Mr. Wilhelm. Middle school “is a time of so much change and so much confusion, and a lot of kids are sort of ugly-duckling kids at this stage; they don't fit very well. And I was one of those kids.”

Drawing from Mr. Wilhelm's own experiences, “The Revealers” tells the story of three bullied seventh-graders, who, in order to take a stand, create a forum through their middle school's computer network to publicize their bullying experiences. Soon, other students come forward with their own stories of harassment, and eventually bullying — once a taboo subject — comes to the attention of school officials and other students.

Written in 2003, the book has been used worldwide by schools to help address the problem of bullying.

“Bullying is something that is not usually talked about within a school,” said Mr. Wilhelm. “It's a form of abuse, and all abusers try and keep it in the dark. When a school says we are going to talk about this, there's a lot of courage in that.”

To fund reading of “The Revealers,” the school received a grant from the Quabbin Education Foundation for Students and Teachers, a nonprofit that promotes innovative educational initiatives.

“We bought 50 copies of the book and distributed it to all teachers and paraprofessionals,” said school guidance counselor Barbara Page. Before the books were given out, the English Department developed a set of discussion questions.

“We pulled stuff (out of the novel) that would steer discussion toward bullying issues,” said Jason Sacramone, who teaches Grade 8 English.

Students and teachers met in small groups for a half-hour almost every day for two weeks to read the novel. They met yesterday with Mr. Wilhelm, who also spoke last night to parents.

“It made me recognize more what was happening in schools today and how severe and how often (bullying) occurred,” said seventh-grader Katie Jefferson of Barre. “I think some people bully because it happened to them or it makes them look cool in front of other people,” said seventh-grader Amber Morin of Hardwick.

Amber said that reading “The Revealers” made her realize how bullying goes on both inside and outside school. “Sometimes people take it really far and severely hurt somebody,” she said.

“I've never been bullied,” said Zoe Bates, a seventh-grader from Petersham. “But hearing about how it hurts kids would make me want to go to a teacher and tell them about it.”

“It gives kids something to think about,” said Grade 8 English teacher Lee George. “It might not change all the behavior, but it brings it to the forefront.”

“I asked my kids if they knew who the bully, the popular kid or the bullied kid was, and they could all draw connections between the book and our school,” said Mr. Sacramone. “The book made them think about how they interacted with one another.”

“You can tell the kids have been bullied,” said Mickey DeMartino, who teaches Grade 7 English. “They grin when the bullies get it in the novel. The kids don't like to admit it singly, but they'll raise their hands when we ask. It's a shame for kids, even though it's someone else causing that shame.”

To get kids to open up about their experiences with bullying, Mr. Wilhelm said, it's better to listen than pass judgment.

“Adults will often give easy answers,” he said. “But most of the time the problem is much more complex. We have to fight our tendency to offer the answers and we have to just really listen.

“And if you give a kid the sense they are being listened to, that what they are going through matters, the listening can be the most powerful thing,” he said.

To help support anti-bullying initiatives that all Massachusetts schools must have in place this year, programs similar to Quabbin's are under way. More than 500 girls in Grades 7 and 8 in Worcester, charter schools and surrounding towns will attend presentations, along with parents, teachers and others, on April 7 and 8 at Worcester Technical High School. The presentations will be given by Rachel Simmons, author of “Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.” The Empowering Girls program is sponsored by the Women's Initiative of United Way of Central Massachusetts and Investing in Girls Alliance.

Contact Lee Gaines by email at lgaines@telegram.com.


Radio talk personality Hank Stolz interviews QUEST president Kerry Conaghan for the Hank Stolz Experience.

 


The following article is from the Ware River News. Used by permission.

Quabbin students head to Harvard University Science Center Laboratory

By Cristy Bertini
Turley Publications Correspondent

BARRE – Quabbin students traveled to Harvard University to participate in a bacterial resistance laboratory on April 8. The Harvard Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology offer a number of outreach programs for high school biology teachers and their students. These programs try to foster excitement for science and encourage students to pursue biology at a more advanced level. Harvard allows students from area high schools to apply to these programs and they accept approximately 30 schools a year. Each school is allowed to send 24 students. Quabbin High School Biology teacher Amber Pouliot applied for and received a grant through the Quabbin Education Foundation for Students and Teachers, to attend such a program.

Pouliot brought with her 11 biology students- sophomores, juniors and seniors, along with eight other Quabbin students that wanted to attend. The students performed a bacterial resistance lab, led by three Harvard graduate students, who were specializing in microbiology, and one post-doctoral research fellow. Pouliot said it was very interesting to do a lab in their facilities and actually have the grad students there to offer their expertise. The students learned why some bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics.

Senior Allison Hubbard found the experience interesting. “I thought it was really neat to be at Harvard, and it was really cool to actually go there and be able to run a lab and test the DNA of the E. coli and be able to see the results play out.” Junior Ashley Hudson would return again if given the opportunity. “I thought it was really cool to see that in the DNA of the actual bacteria, there are certain things that tell it if it’s going to be resistant or not and they can interchange them.” Both students want to pursue careers in the field of science.



QUEST fundraiser Quabbin's Funniest Person is featured in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Read the article here



Following is a recent article from the Barre Gazette, authored by a student beneficiary of a QUEST grant. Used by permission.


Quabbin students make a difference all over the world

By Brittany Strew
student, Quabbin Regional High School

For the past few months, students in Health 3 at Quabbin Regional High School have been learning about world hunger related to poverty in the developing countries. Being moved by some of the organizations, the students have begun to plan fundraisers to raise money for these organizations. One such organization is The Heifer Project. The Heifer Project is non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to work with communities to end world hunger, poverty and to care for the Earth as well. The Heifer Project accomplishes this by providing appropriate livestock, training and related services to small scale farmers and to communities throughout the world. The Heifer Project also believes in “passing on the gift.” This assures that each participant in the program becomes a donor and gives animals and their offspring to another family in need. This helps build communities, enhances dignity and maximizes participation in each project. If donors are concerned about the animals’ welfare, they have nothing to worry about. All animals donated are not donated as kill animals but for their resources they provide to the people in need.

During the months of March through May, Health 3 students from Quabbin Regional High School are participating in service projects that involve the planning of different fundraisers to help raise as much money as they can for The Heifer Project and other organizations that also have the same beliefs related to fighting poverty and world hunger.

For example, groups of students are planning on having bake sales after school, a dance-a-thon, a movie night, collecting money at school lunches and collecting supplies to send to a school in Nicaragua. Also, before the end of the semester the students will be going on a field trip to Heifer Project’s Overlook Farm in Rutland. This was made possible by a grant from QUEST, the Quabbin Education Foundation for Students and Teachers. During the field trip, students will participate in hands-on activities that will bring to life the issues that they studied in class.

If you wold like more information on any of the organizations, or information on how to donate to one of these fundraisers, please send an email to the following address: EndHungerAllOver@yahoo.com



The Quabbin Education Foundation is featured in a November 2009 article published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Read the article here or download the PDF.

 


 
Quabbin Education Foundation • P.O. Box 855 • 872 South Street • Barre, MA 01005 • info@quabbinedfoundation.org