Girls Inc. of the Valley Receives Grant from Collins Aerospace
HOLYOKE — Girls Inc. of the Valley announced a grant of $30,000 from Collins Aerospace for the Her Future, Our Future comprehensive campaign. This commitment from Collins Aerospace will support the creation of a dynamic MakerSpace in Girls Inc. of the Valley’s new headquarters and program center. The collaboration between Collins Aerospace and Girls Inc. of the Valley will include volunteer opportunities to conduct STEM workshops for students and assist teens navigating the college-application process, as well as job shadowing and internship opportunities. The MakerSpace and Collins Aerospace volunteers will have a major impact on Girls Inc.’s Eureka! Program, a unique curriculum that offers youth a sustained, five-year experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Eureka! is open to all Hampden County girls in grades 8-12. With $4.8 million raised toward the $5 million goal, Her Future, Our Future is Girls Inc. of the Valley’s comprehensive campaign that has three important goals: expand Girls Inc. programming to more Valley communities, support the growth of Eureka!, and complete a new headquarters and program center.
UMass Amherst, AIC to Share Classroom, Lab Space After Fire
SPRINGFIELD — UMass Amherst and American International College (AIC) signed an agreement allowing AIC to use clinical simulation laboratories and classrooms at the UMass Amherst Center at Springfield following a fire on the AIC campus in July. The agreement will assist AIC nursing students in continuing their education uninterrupted as repairs are made to AIC’s health-sciences facilities. The July 27 fire on AIC’s campus in Springfield, sparked by a lightning strike, caused extensive damage to Courniotes Hall, which houses the college’s nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and public health programs. Under the agreement, the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing at UMass Amherst and AIC’s nursing program have developed a schedule to share instruction space at Tower Square in downtown Springfield through May 2024. This fall, more than 50 AIC students have used the facilities for instruction, assessments, and other activities.
The Children’s Trust Honors Square One with Award
BOSTON — The Children’s Trust, the state’s child-abuse-prevention agency, awarded Square One in Springfield with its Community Partnership Award at its annual A View from All Sides conference. The Community Partnership Award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated a commitment to the mission of the Children’s Trust and has developed strong and long-lasting relationships, understands the shared responsibility to support families and children, and has directly impacted the goals of the Children’s Trust. Square One’s programs include early education and care, serving 500 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers each day; and family-support services that impact more than 1,500 families each year. This past June, the Children’s Trust partnered with Square One to launch the Commonwealth’s first Financial Support Program for young, first-time parents. The pilot program provides cash assistance to parents enrolled in the Children’s Trust’s Healthy Families program in Springfield. Program participants receive $500 per month for the first 15 months, then three additional monthly payments of $550, $650, and $750, respectively, for a total of 18 months. Participants who enroll in the financial-assistance program while pregnant receive a lower monthly stipend of $100. Upon the baby’s birth, parents are then eligible to receive regular monthly payments to help support the transition to parenting and the baby’s first months. The Children’s Trust also offers optional financial skill-building courses to program participants. Because Healthy Families program participants meet with home visitors regularly, the first-of-its-kind financial-assistance program is unique in its built-in case-management component as well as access to referrals for other basic family needs.
IT’SUGAR Now Open at Holyoke Mall
HOLYOKE — IT’SUGAR, one of the largest specialty candy retailers in the U.S., has opened a 2,400-square-foot candy store inside Holyoke Mall. The Holyoke Mall location epitomizes what the brand is known for: hundreds of varieties of over-the-top sweets, humorous products, and immersive candy experiences from America’s beloved brands, including Sour Patch Kids, OREO, Nerds, Skittles, Reese’s, and Starburst. It also includes shops devoted to retro and international candy, TikTok-trending treats, and much more. IT’SUGAR’s new store is located on the upper level in Center Court, next to H&M.