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Update: Producers Gets Standing O; Reading for Pennies and Pleasure

Theater crowd wow'd. This fundraiser is a real page turner.

Update: Producers Gets Standing O; Reading for Pennies and Pleasure

While we’re on the subject...

The iconic classic, “Little Women,” will be discussed tonight, as part of the “Concord Reads: Fiction from Life” series. Discussion on Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic will begin at 7 p.m., at the main branch of the Concord Free Public Library. It is geared for students in fourth and fifth grade and promises to be a lively discussion, as Louisa would have it. There is no cost to participate.

Producing a standing ovation

This isn’t really news because I am sure you’ve heard by now. The production received a standing ovation following its opening night performance.  I was fortunate to be among the packed audience. Adapting Mel Brooks’ "The Producers"  for the high school stage was not easy, but the students and staff made it look simple and fun.

I urge you to purchase tickets for the shows this weekend, if you haven’t already. Though I would not dub the Producers “family entertainment,” it is certainly enjoyable.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket  ~ Chinese Proverb

A book that captivates a child’s attention plants the seed for a lifelong love of learning.  And now, third graders in Concord can spread those seeds of knowledge into seeds of nourishment through a unique local fund raiser. 

The Read for Seeds initiative kicked off March 6 and runs through March 20. Participating third graders - and some fourth graders - will solicit donations for every page they read. The money is used by Gaining Ground to purchase seeds and seedlings for organic produce, which is grown for the sole purpose of being donated to hunger-relief programs.

Gaining Ground is a 17-acre organic garden along Virginia Road that produces thousands of pounds of fresh, high-quality produce every year. The harvest, however, is not for sale. Every edible morsel plucked from the earth is donated to area hunger-relief programs. A small staff of two and a 15-member board of directors oversee the operation, as well as the scores of volunteers with whom they toil alongside. Together, they produce foods that aid community food pantries, free meal programs, shelters and residents of low-income housing.

The directors have devised a business model that not only thrives, but is often duplicated. The coffers rely upon donations, grants from local and national organizations and other fund-raising events. To quote GG’s literature: “Good ideas and strong organizations attract money.”

Read for Seeds began at and, like dandelion seeds in the wind, has spread out. Readers in third grade classrooms throughout Concord have since cropped up at and  schools, and fourth grade classrooms at and schools. The children seek donations of, for example, two cents per page read. 

GG farmers visit third grade classrooms, read to the children and talk about the importance of organic farming and hunger alleviation. Coming full cycle, the children often visit the farm and work alongside the farmers for years to come.

If you would like to join me by sponsoring a child, call the GG office at 978-610-6089, or visit the web site, www.gainingground.org.

Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at mcb23@comcast.net and I will be happy to help spread the word.

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