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Changing the Odds for Boston's Youth

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This is what Love looks like!

Dear Friends,

TEEP's Parent Council named February "We Love TEEP" month and invited all TEEP parents to choose a day of the month and make a gift -- for example, someone choosing February 10 would give $10. As of today, many parents have participated and they have raised over $900 for TEEP!  

I hope you will take a moment to watch the slide show that the Parent Council and  Sheila Gunn, TEEP's Parent Liaison created to encourage TEEP parents to participate.

And then, as our Valentine to you, enjoy photos of what love looks like across the Trinity Boston Foundation community -- love shared among our staff, students and families, our partner organizations, volunteers, donors and friends.

Happy Valentine's Day and our grateful thanks to each and every one of you.

With love,

Louise Burnham Packard
Executive Director

News from the Dever: Pink Slips

Dear Friends,

Yesterday morning, the teachers at the Dever -- the lower school of the Dever-McCormack -- met with an HR representative from BPS. They'd learned last Thursday that the State had decided to fire them -- all have been "excessed" -- and they gathered yesterday to learn what would happen next.
Perhaps you heard about the Dever last October, about the school not reaching state-mandated MCAS targets for third and fourth grade reading and being placed under state receivership. Maybe you saw the letter that Trinity's rector Sam Lloyd and I sent to the State Commissioner of Education asking him to exercise restraint. We believed then and continue to believe that the conditions for success are in place and that the school needs another year to meet its benchmarks. The school's rigorous internal evaluations show dramatic improvement in reading scores, just not quite enough, quickly enough.
Alas, the State has shown no restraint at all. The teachers may be able to re-apply for their jobs in March -- or maybe April. Meanwhile, the District begins its internal hiring process for current teachers seeking new positions within BPS in February, which means that in order to be certain of having a job, most of the teachers will commit to new positions elsewhere, before re-hiring begins at the Dever.  There is no word yet about what form the receivership will take, and while the State Superintendent is required by law to announce his plan in early February, there's no certainty the plan will be detailed enough for teachers to consider staying.  
The Assistant Principal, Christine Cronin, designed, developed, and runs the very popular and successful Dual Language Program at the Dever. She calls her teachers "irreplaceable" and reports that the State turns to her and her team as experts in dual language and calls on them for advice. Now that program is at risk; once those teachers scatter, the program will end.
Research shows that supportive relationships with caring adults are the single most important factor for children to develop into healthy and competent adults. Schools are relational entities -- or the best ones are -- and the disruption planned at the Dever aggressively undercuts the very social fabric that holds the children and enables their learning. 
We can help by supporting the students and the teachers. In December, we completed a successful drive to buy more than 600 books -- one for every student at the school. Sarah McLaughlin, the Dever principal, has now invited our volunteer team to expand its role and work with students one-on-one in the area of literacy. One of our volunteers, Frances Robinson, is a literacy specialist and has offered to provide training.  Next door at the upper school, the McCormack, Trinity staff are providing programs, life coaching and clinical support to more than 60 students and their families identified by the school as in need of our services. The combined effort, Trinity@DMC, will stay the course as the receivership unfolds at the Dever.  
There are many ways you can join in this commitment. 
We invite you to Trinity Church (Angel Room, 206 Clarendon Street) on February 2, 11:15am, to hear more about what Trinity is doing to support literacy at the Dever. For information about volunteering, contact Audrey Henderson. To make a gift to support Trinity@DMC, visit our website.
With gratitude for all the ways you care,

Louise Burnham Packard
Executive Director, Trinity Boston Foundation

What Matters Most: Values, Character, Community

Dear Friends,

What do Trinity's programs mean to our students? 

Click to watch

We asked them to tell us on camera.

At the Dever-McCormack School, one girl sings about how Trinity helps her "be the best that I can be." 

A boy describes how Trinity has helped break down barriers in his life -- and how "the people just get you."  

A TEEP student says TEEP's values have built her character: "You start to become all the R's*, you become all the I's* and you just feel great about it."  

Gifts to the Trinity Boston Foundation make all this possible -- teaching values, building character and resilience, and forming vital relationships and communities that help students thrive.

It is December 30 and we have not yet reached our annual fundraising goal. If you have already made a gift, thank you! If you haven't, there's still time. Please watch the video above and make a gift before the ball drops in Times Square.

Thank you for being part of the Trinity Boston Foundation community.  We look forward to all we will accomplish together in 2014.

Happy New Year!

Louise Burnham Packard

Executive Director


* The Five Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Restraint, Reciprocity, Redemption

** The Three Is: Intentionality, Integrity, Influence

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for joining with us

to change the odds for the youth of Boston.

Happy Holidays

From our family to yours!

Trinity Boston Foundation 

To make a year-end contribution, please visit 

or mail your check to the address below.


And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, where pictures and videos tell the story of all we are accomplishing together.

A Pocket of Heaven

Dear Friends,
Last Thursday morning, Jess Leffler and I visited the Sole Train Café at the William McKinley School in the South End. McKinley is a Boston public school that serves students with behavioral
and emotional disabilities from kindergarten to grade 12. Zach Berkowitz, a teacher there, has organized a Sole Train team of high school boys; recently, a team of middle school girls has started running, too.
The Sole Train Café was an in-school bake sale with coffee and baked treats, many of them made by McKinley teachers. The high school Sole Train team staffed the Café, taking and filling orders with enthusiasm and care.  
In conversations with the principal, teachers and staff, I learned that McKinley hopes that Sole Train's positive, supportive culture will infect the entire school. Miss C told me that after spending so many hours wrangling with students about their academics and their behavior,  Sole Train offers the opportunity to have fun and do something positive together. Zach noted that because of the students' various challenges, they are unlikely to achieve success in their studies. Sole Train allows them to experience success: a chart on the big Sole Train display case in the lobby of the school records how far each student has run. These students struggle with attendance, but not on Monday mornings at 7:40 a.m. when they show up consistently for the team run. 
Over at Boston Green Academy, the teacher who is our Sole Train Site Coordinator, Lucia Mandelbaum, also values the Sole Train culture. "It is the only time in the day," she recently wrote, "when I see kids being totally supportive and encouraging of one another. There is so much positive energy and commitment from them -- it's a little pocket of heaven here at school! I love it so much."
Trinity Boston Foundation works with hundreds of young people across the city, many of them facing enormous challenges in their daily lives. Our aim is to create supportive communities, relationships that help students build resiliency to trauma, and holistic support that attends to mind, body and spirit.
None of this would be possible without the generosity of the Trinity Boston Foundation community. Here in the second half of December your checks are arriving in our mailbox and emails notify us of gifts you are making online at our website. We haven't reached our annual fund goal yet, but the finish line is in sight and we feel confident that before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, we'll cross it hand it hand with all of you.
Thank you for all you do to create these pockets of heaven -- for the love and hope that is the basis of the Sole Train culture, the TEEP culture, and the bond that forms between TBCC clinician or life coach and those they support. 
Wishing you that same love and hope in this holiday season and sending our deepest thanks,

A poem for you on #GivingTuesday

During today's #GivingTuesday, you can demonstrate your commitment to giving back by making a gift to the Trinity Boston Foundation. Here's a little poem to inspire you to join the #GivingTuesday Movement: 


To learn more, please visit or check out our #GivingTuesday partners at www.givingtuesday.orgFollow us on Facebook during the month of December to share your reasons for giving and to learn how your gift unlocks opportunity and changes the odds for the youth of Boston.

On #GivingTuesday, you can prove that reciprocity is a lifelong value

On Tuesday, December 3rd, you can demonstrate your commitment to giving back by making a gift to the Trinity Boston Foundation. Follow us on Facebook this weekend to share your reasons for giving and to learn how your gift unlocks opportunity and changes the odds for the youth of Boston.


One of the five pillars of the Trinity Education for Excellence Program (TEEP) is Reciprocity. #GivingTuesday reminds TEEP students like Catherine that the values she learns in TEEP extend far beyond high school. 


Thanksgiving night, I sat and thought about all that I was thankful for. I also thought about the things that others don't have. During my 9th grade summer, TEEP gave me the opportunity to give back by going to a farm and helping out with some of the daily responsibilities. Once I saw the people's faces that I was helping, it was like nothing I'd ever felt before. I had never before understood what people meant by, "It's better to give than receive" because as a young girl I loved receiving gifts much more than giving them. But my growth with TEEP has shown me what that quote means and how it feels. By giving to others, I have hope that that person will give to someone else. TEEP has done many things for me, but my favorite tool it taught me was that reciprocity really is all it's cracked up to be.  



To learn more, please visit or check out our #GivingTuesday partners at

#GivingTuesday - Save the Date, Dec 3rd

For the second year in a row, Trinity Boston Foundation is participating in #GivingTuesday, a special call to action and national day of giving around the annual shopping and spending season with the aim to inspire giving every day. 
On Tuesday, December 3rd, you can demonstrate your commitment to giving back bymaking a gift to the Trinity Boston Foundation. Follow us on Facebook over the next week to share your reasons for giving and to learn how your gift unlocks opportunity and changes the odds for the youth of Boston.
#GivingTuesday is a day for us to celebrate how Bostonians do more with their wallets than shop. Join us and many other charitable institutions across the city in giving thanks, and giving back. 
To learn more, please visit or check out our #GivingTuesday partners at

Boston Public School - Why Yesterday's News Matters

Dear Friends,

State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester announced yesterday that the state will take over four underperforming schools, including two in Boston. What this means practically is that plans for each of the four schools will be developed over the next several months and implemented at the start of the next school year. Plans could include dismissal of the current staff.

One of the schools, Dever Elementary School, is a new partner of Trinity's. The Dever and the adjacent McCormack Middle School together make up the Dever-McCormack School or DMC.  The DMC is the largest non-high school in the Boston Public Schools and is considered a "high-needs" school based on the demographics of the students and families it serves. 

Trinity@DMC is a multi-pronged venture providing support for both the Dever and the McCormack. At the Dever, we are building a team of volunteers to support the school in a variety of ways, including strengthening literacy by assisting the librarian, hosting a book drive to give each of the 600 elementary students a book to keep at Christmas time, and helping at last night's "Spooky Science Night" (photos below). Plans are in the works for teacher appreciation events and a workday in the spring.

At the McCormack, Trinity Boston Foundation life coaches and clinicians provide mentoring and support to a group of students most at risk of dropping out. Already this year, attendance is up and behavioral incidents are down among the students we engage. We also have a Sole Train team with 23 students and "Old Sole" adults from the DMC, Trinity, and City Year communities. We look forward to 2014 when we will be recruiting sixth graders from the DMC for TEEP.

We chose to work at the DMC for a number of reasons, including the quality of its leadership. Principal Mike Sabin has an extraordinary track record of turning around schools. While he accepts full responsibility for the school's insufficient progress to date, we believe -- along with Acting Boston Superintendent John McDonough, and many community leaders, parents and staff -- that in his three years at the DMC he has put in place the necessary conditions for future success. Our support for him is undiminished.

Trinity's Priest-in-Charge, The Rev. Sam Lloyd, and I sent a letter to Commissioner Chester expressing our support and requesting he "give the school tight and targeted oversight coupled with more time to let the existing community of teachers, administration, students, parents and partners, succeed." 

The news of state receivership is daunting for the Dever community. In this time of uncertainty, we are all the more motivated to provide whatever support we can -- to let students and families know that we care and to let the hard-working teachers and staff know we believe in them. If you would like to join the volunteer team at the Dever, please contact Audrey Henderson, our volunteer coordinator. If you'd like to support our work at the DMC financially, we have a matching donor who will match your gifts dollar for dollar.

We have high hopes and expectations for the future of the Dever-McCormack. And we commit ourselves to helping build that future.


Louise Packard


Spooky Science Night at DMC



If you can't join 'em, Cheer for 'em!

Nick (16) and Lallie (60) will run the half marathon alongside one another as Sole Train teammates!

This Sunday, Sole Train: Boston Runs Together will be running the B.A.A. Half Marathon, and we want you there! For many of our 25 mighty runners,who span the ages of 16 to 60, this will be the first time they have ever run a half marathon.  Please join our Sole Train family, with signs and support, anywhere along the Arborway from 8:30 - 10:00 on Sunday morning. Look for the blue Sole Train shirts, and cheer us hoarse. We'll return the favor. A sweaty high five in advance. 

-- David Delmar, Sole Train coach

For more info, Visit the B.A.A. website!

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