Cambridge School Volunteers gave four outstanding community members who are volunteers in the public schools Mack I. Davis Awards on May 22 at the Broad Institute. Terry Hackford, Tony Leonardo, Meg Moulton, and Dorothy Crawford are this year’s honorees. Bill Sullivan, who marked 20 years as a volunteer also recognized for his long and enthusiastic service.
The ice cream social event was co-chaired by Supt. of Schools Kenneth Salim and Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, who congratulated and thanked all CSV volunteers who donated time this year, as well as the award winners. The Cambridge Street Upper School (CSUS) Jazz Band, led by Aimee Chanler, entertained the crowd with, among other compositions, “Oye Como Va.”
CSUS Principal Manuel J. Fernandez attended the event, as well as Kennedy-Longfellow School Principal Christine Gerber and Rindge Avenue Upper School Principal Julie Craven.
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, one of Cambridge School Volunteers’ corporate partners, hosted the 28th annual awards ceremony, which honors former board member Mack I. Davis, a Harvard University dean.
On behalf of students and their families, Cambridge School Volunteers warmly appreciates its four Mack I. Davis II Award winners for 2019.
Tony Leonardo, a business unit executive at IBM, is a standout CSV KeyPals volunteer with fifth-graders at Kennedy-Longfellow Elementary School in East Cambridge. Having just completed his 10th year with KeyPals, Tony volunteers in other good works as well, among them teaching skiing to physically challenged kids, participating in United Way efforts, and recently earning a Community Organizer Award from Parkway in Motion for expanding the local lacrosse program, particularly for girls. According to Kennedy-Longfellow’s Instructional Technology Specialist, Kathy Walsh-Malone, Tony has been a strong role model to many Kennedy-Longfellow students. He is always helpful with checking in, offering words of encouragement, and making strong connections. He supports his students, and especially boys, showing them the importance of putting positive effort into their school work.
Cambridge School Volunteers’ KeyPals program, which pairs volunteers with Grade 5 students, is the organization’s oldest (25 years old!) corporate volunteer program. Students write email to and are mentored by professionals from three scientific and engineering corporations.
Margaret “Meg” Moulton has served at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School as an academic support tutor and college/career mentor during the day, after-school, and on Saturdays for the past six years. Her ability to connect with seniors who will be first-generation college attendees and/or English language learners is “phenomenal,” says CSV Director of High School Volunteers Deandra Williams. “She gains their trust. The intensity on her face and the students’ as they talk about what skills they need, and her support assuring a student that ‘you got this!’ is a sight to see.” Meg is an educational management consultant and co-founder of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. A current student at Clarion University, Bernadin Senatus, whom Meg had helped through the college application process as a CRLS senior, came to the stage. He spoke about the value of Meg’s mentorship to attendees at the event.
Cambridge School Volunteers’ College and Career Mentoring Program leverages the experience and caring of volunteers to help high school seniors, some of whom may be the first in their families to apply to college, with research, applications, and essays as well as, in some cases, financial aid and scholarship applications.
Dorothy Crawford has volunteered with CSV’s Early Literacy Program for 14 years. With a background in Educational Media Production at the Science Museum’s planetarium and elsewhere, she joined CSV to continue a role in hands-on, interactive learning for children. Beginning all those years ago with now-retired Kindergarten teacher, Suzette Abbott, Dorothy volunteers at both the Baldwin School and the Haggerty School. Every Tuesday morning, Dorothy arrives at a Baldwin School classroom taught by Carrie O’Leary for the writing mini-lesson and then confers with students for the next 45 minutes, staying afterward for the “author share.” The teacher praises her for being thoughtful in her feedback, keeping in mind each student’s individuality. At the Haggerty School, Dorothy has been one-to-one reading support tutor with Kindergarten teacher Susan Doherty for 10 years. When Dorothy works with a child, Ms. Doherty knows that she will be able to make a connection to help the student feel comfortable and confident working on tricky skills.
Cambridge School Volunteers’ Early Literacy Program deploys volunteers for one-to-one or small-group work with children in Grades K through 3 to improve reading and writing skills during Reader’s or Writer’s Workshop periods.
Terry Hackford followed up a thirty-year career in publishing as a senior editor with Little, Brown and Company with seven years as a CSV Early Literacy volunteer at Graham and Parks School, in Kindergarten. One of her collaborating teachers, Claudie Baptiste, says Terry loves Writer’s Workshop and loves helping students to develop their ideas. She draws out more detail from each student to elicit their authentic voice. For her part, Terry has said she is impressed by the high expectations for kindergartners around creating a beginning, middle, and end for each story. Terry shares, “It’s incredible how much feeling and experience kindergartners can capture into the written word.” In addition to literacy work, helping to tie shoelaces, and participating in quotidian Kindergarten life one full day a week, Terry is known for a special project called “Myself and Others.” She works with small groups of students to help each student to learn how to draw a partner. First, students learn how to observe their partner’s features, such as location of the eyes and nose. In art as in writing, Terry encourages students to look closely and notice details. She asks them to use their power of observation to find features that are distinctive to capture. At the project’s end, she holds the portraits up for students to guess who it is. The parents and families, who see the finished work at a breakfast in April, are always amazed at how the students can capture a likeness. Terry, unfortunately, will be moving out of state, and so this award must serve as a parting gift for seven wonderful years of helping Cambridge Public School students.
The ice cream social was also an opportunity for CSV to recognize five-year and ten-year volunteers. Cambridge School Volunteers Executive Director Jennifer Fries announced that a “Lisa P. Van Vleck Society” for volunteers reaching the 10-year mark, honoring the organization’s longtime Corporate Programs director who died in 2017, would be launched during the next school year.
Bill Sullivan was recognized for 20 years of service has been a Reading Buddy since his first year at Volpe National Transportation Systems, itself marking 21 years partnering with CSV. Reading Buddies Program Director Susan Reynolds called out Bill’s easy-going and upbeat attitude, with students enjoying his good sense of humor. When work commitments required Bill to go from being a full-time reading buddy to a substitute for Volpe volunteers who are absent on reading day, Bill became one of the leading alternate volunteers.
Cambridge School Volunteers’ Reading Buddies program pairs volunteers with students in Grades 1, 2 and 3 at two elementary schools for 30-minute read aloud sessions.
All photographs by Max. Rottersman.