Summer 2016 Newsletter

Save the date: Advisory Commmittee Meeting with the Boston Fed, 09/19 @ FSU's Hammond Hall
Join us and representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as we discuss how to utilize data to improve local decision-making:

    - When: September 19th from  12:00-1:30.  Lunch will be served    
    - Where: Hammond Hall Room 324, Fitchburg State University
    -  Focus: Utilizing data to improve collaboration and decision-making
    -  Special Guests: Representatives from the Boston Federal Reserve

Check out some of our data!
You might have seen some of the ReImagine Team exploring the neighborhood in recent months. We've been doing a lot of surveys: looking at housing conditions, block conditions, and interviewing residents. We'll show you some of our findings at the meeting, but here is a quick preview of some of the ways we've been looking at data (click on the image for link):


"I wish I knew ______"

Here at ReImagine, we use data to tell our story. Is your organization's story incomplete because you're missing data? Do you need data help? Let Tom know, and he'll see if he can add it to the meeting agenda on the 19th. 

Summer Updates

A LOT has happened since our last newsletter. A few quick updates:

Neighborhood Beautification

On May 14th, with the help over over 300
volunteers, North of Main residents and members of Crossroads Community Church helped spruce 
up the neighborhood with our annual beautification! Two signature projects were completed: a  block clean-up on Marshall Street, and a revamping of recreation areas in and around Longsjo Middle School.  All in all, 45  projects were completed at the cleanup. Many thanks to Crossroads for all of your amazing support and  leadership in the months leading up to this event!

The event was followed by the first-of-its-kind Porchfest at North of Main. Nearly 100 folks turned up in the hours after the cleanup, to listen to some awesome music at various venues throughout the neighborhood. Thank you to the wonderful artists and volunteers who helped make this event happen. We look forward to building on this success in the summer of 2017!

Fitchburg Farmers Market at the Upper Common

This summer, ReImagine has been supporting one of our Advisory Committee partners, Growing Places, with logistics and marketing for the farmer's market. If you haven't been there yet-it's every Thursday, from 4-7 at the Upper Common-be sure to stop by! There is music, good people, and lots of great food. Growing Places has done a phenomenal
job pulling things together at this new
location: vendor have noted that sales have increased by over 30% from the old location. It's been great to see the Market grow into its new home this summer, and
we can't wait to see it continue to grow and thrive over the coming months.

Community Organizing

Meredith Geraghty, Director of Community Organizing at NewVue
, has focused her summers' work on "NeighborCircles":  small, informal get-togethers among neighbors in the North of Main.  The main focus of these meetings is to build a strong network of engaged residents in the neighborhood.

This summer, Meredith has led 6 NeighborCircles, which have engaged roughly 75 residents altogether. In addition, her team has supported 3 larger get-togethers of residents-we call them "Marketplaces"-connected over 100 residents with the different resources and projects available in the community. Through these efforts, we hope to  continue to build a strengthen these networks. If you know of any residents that might like to join these efforts, please contact Meredith for more details.

Tactical Support grant

The team recently received an additional "Tactical Support" grant from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which represents the Fed's continued support of our work. Among other things, it will support a wi-fi project in the downtown, a historical district study on Main Street, and support for our Community Organizing efforts.

One of the funded projects-a summer reading program at Crocker Elementary-has already been completed this summer. The program, which is geared towards struggling 3rd grade readers, supported curriculum (including the Brainology software program, below) and staff to teach 17 students over the course of the summer. During the 5-week course, 12 of the students improved by one reading level, while nearly a third doubled that mark! We hope this program will be the first of many successes funded through this new grant!