FOCRLS honored to be chosen by CRLSstrong as recipient of funds raised (4/28/2013)

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FOCRLS is touched and honored to have been chosen by CRLSstrong as the recipient of funds raised at the CRLSstrong event this Sunday, April 28, 2013. This very meaningful gathering, which brought together students, alums, faculty, parents, and community members in Joan Lorentz Park in front of the Cambridge Public Library, was organized by the CRLSstrong group of alumni/student group which is “committed to providing a safe and open space for members of CRLS and the wider Cambridge community” to reflect on the recent tragic events. These funds will further strengthen programs supporting the students, faculty, and alumni of CRLS, and demonstrate the values of Opportunity, Diversity, Respect that CRLS, CRLSstrong, and FOCRLS stand behind.

Read an article on the event from the Boston Globe on 4/28/2013.

Follow CRLSstrong on Facebook and Twitter.

CRLSstrong community gathering on April 28 from 2-4 pm (4/25/2013)

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The past week has been a trying one for our community. We would like to encourage you to attend this Sunday’s CRLSstrong community gathering, organized by a group of CRLS students and alumni, in Joan Lorentz Park from 2-4pm — see details below.

#CRLSstrong Community Gathering:
Sunday, April 28, 2013
2:00 pm until 4:00pm
Joan Lorentz Park on the corner of Ellery Street and Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
Facebook events
Cambridge Chronicle 4/22/2013

The CRLSstrong Organizing Committee wishes to thank everyone for their strong showing of support for the students and faculty, past and present, of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) and the entire Cambridge Public Schools District (CPSD). CRLSstrong is committed to providing a safe and open space for members of the CRLS and wider Cambridge community to reflect on the Boston Marathon attack and the subsequent tragic incidents that caused many deaths and injuries. The event will be held in honor of the CRLS school motto: Opportunity, Diversity, Respect.

This community gathering is being organized by CRLS students past and present. To help organize, please email

Having two of our own accused of causing terror and destructing lives and property has been a hurtful, confusing and disturbing experience. Many in the CRLS community are still processing last week’s events. We are more than last week and the country and world deserve to know that our city’s diversity and our school’s unity are unmatched.

Follow CRLSstrong on Facebook and Twitter.

Thought-provoking talk on “Closing the Opportunity Divide” at FOCRLS meeting March 27 (3/28/2013)

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Friends of CRLS Community Meeting

Wednesday, March 27 — 7:30-9 pm
Pearl K. Wise Library, 2nd floor – Rindge (Main) Bldg.

Gerald Chertavian, Year Up founder, CEO, and CRLS parent was the latest speaker in our guest series on March 27th at the community meeting at the Pearl K. Wise Library.  Gerald brought another guest with him, Akeem Raphael, a CRLS graduate who is currently at the Harvard Busness School working with IT through the Year Up Program.  It was a rich and thought-provoking evening, focused around the mismatch between the proliferation of high school (and even college) graduates without jobs, and a current workforce in which millions of jobs are going unfilled. Year Up is a national urban program addressing this “opportunity divide”.

Photos are posted on the FOCRLS Facebook page.

Thank you to all who joined us!

Benefit night at Flatbread Pizza a success! (3/9/2013)

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Wow, what an amazing community-building event at Flatbread Pizza in Davis Square last week, Tuesday, February 26, 2013!! From our benefit event, FOCRLS raised $1,000 from the pizza sales and raffle. We would not have been able to raise these funds without the support of our supporters and alumni. Check out the photos on Facebook here.

We must say the flatbread pizzas were delicious; our supporters, alumni, and guests were excited to participate in our first benefit night at Flatbread; and some of our guests chose to bowl, while others tried their luck with our raffle donated by several alumni and local businesses. The benefit night was truly an evening to remember.

FOCRLS would like to thank our generous raffle donors, supporters, and alumni for supporting us with our event. The funds raised from our benefit night will go towards furthering our current and future initiatives for students, faculty, and alumni.

Thanks again for everyone who stopped by for our benefit night at Flatbread Pizza in Davis Square!

Thank you to our raffle donors:

  • Autographed Patriots’ Football by wide receiver, Brandon Lylod, donated by the New England Patriots
  • Soul.Train. A Mind and Body Fitness Studio Gift Certificate donated by Jonathan Medeiros, CRLS Class of ‘98
  • Falcons’ Pride Basket donated by CRLS teacher, Jacquie Cesario and senior class board
  • Health Consultations donated by Noah McIntyre, CRLS Class of ‘98
  • Express Facial at Salon Capri donated by Salon Capri in Newton Highlands
  • Handmade Soap Basket donated by CRLS parent, Elisa Pepe
  • Tommy Doyle’s Gift Cards donated by Garrett Tingle, CRLS Class of ’99 and Tommy Doyle’s
  • Brunch Gift Basket donated by the Lima sisters: Lisa Lima-Soares, CRLS Class of ’92, Christina Lima, CRLS Class of ’96, and Sandra Lima, CRLS Class of’ 98
  • Party Gift Basket donated by FOCRLS
  • Henry Bear’s Park in Porter Square Gift Certificate donated by FOCRLS
  • Framed Tribal Print donated by FOCRLS
  • Spectacular Notecards donated by FOCRLS

Blizzard CRLS house party on Feb. 10 a wonderful, well-attended event (2/11/2013)

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The blizzard had just ended. The day was sunny, but Cantabrigians were still digging out, a Cambridge parking ban was on, and the T hadn’t yet started running! And yet the show went on thanks to our gracious and can-do hosts, Lindsay Frazier and Owen Dempsey, parents of two current CRLS students and another who recently graduated. A warm, wonderful, and well-attended afternoon it was.

Deans Allan Gehant (Science) and Jeffrey Gaglione (Math) and Principal Damon Smith were our special guests. They spoke about their work at the high school, and their visions for CRLS. They had trudged in from Cambridge, Somerville, and Framingham. We thank them for their work, especially for their “extracurricular” support of CRLS and FOCRLS on a Sunday. Jamie Sabino, Treasurer of FOCRLS, and Elaine Schear, President, spoke about the accomplishments of FOCRLS over the organization’s six years of developing new academic opportunities at the high school.

In attendance were a wonderful group of parents of current and prospective CRLS students. An array of wines, mulled cider, cheeses, desserts were enjoyed by all.

A unique and worthwhile afternoon!

FOCRLS benefit night at Flatbread Pizza, Davis Square, Tues Feb 26 from 5-11:30pm (1/31/2013)

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We are thrilled to announce that Tuesday, February 26, 2013, from 5 pm to close (11:30 pm) is FOCRLS Benefit Night at Flatbread Pizza in Davis Square!


  • Autographed football by Patriots’ wide receiver, Brandon Lloyd – donated by the New England Patriots.
  • Falcon’s Pride Basket (an assortment of things including t-shirt, bag ornament, pens & lanyard) – donated by CRLS teacher and senior class advisor, Jacquie Cesario and the senior class board.
  • Soul.Train A Mind and Body Fitness Studio Gift Card (includes a 5 pack of group exercise classes, 1 hour fitness consultation, and 1 hour personal training session (valued at $250.00) – donated by Jonathan Medeiros, CRLS Class of’98.
  • Two Gift Cards for $50 for Tommy Doyle’s – donated by Garrett Tingle, CRLS Class of ’99 and Tommy Doyle’s.
  • Brunch gift basket (includes Stonewall Kitchen Pancake and Waffle mix and Wild Maine Blueberry Spread, blueberry scone mix, maple syrup, coffee, and tea) donated by the Lima sisters: Lisa Lima-Soares, CRLS Class of ’92, Christina Lima, CRLS Class of ’96, and Sandra Lima, CRLS Class of ’98.
  • Framed hand-painted tribal print from North India – donated by FOCRLS.
  • Express Facial with Candyce at Salon Capri (valued at $65.00) – donated by Salon Capri in Newton Highlands.
  • Health consultations – donated by Noah McIntyre, CRLS Class of ’99.
  • Handmade Soap Basket – donated by CRLS parent Elisa Pepe.
  • Party Gift Basket (includes wine, baked goods, and the like) – donated by FOCRLS.
  • Henry Bear’s Park (Porter Square) $50 Gift Certificate – donated by FOCRLS.
  • Spectacular nature photography note cards by anonymous donor – donated by FOCRLS.

Here is your chance to enjoy scrumptious, hearth-baked pizza from one of the pioneering restaurants in MA for the local and organic food movement. Whether you eat in or take out, the Flatbread Company will donate $1.75 for every small pizza sold and $3.50 for every large pizza sold to FOCRLS, which will support our various initiatives at the high school. There will also be a raffle that evening of exciting local prizes (need not be present to win).

Why not make it a night out with pizza and bowling? Bowling is available on site. There are ten bowling lanes: five lanes for reservations and five lanes for walk-ins (first come, first serve).  Bowling information can be found here.

ALUMS: There will be an alumni networking hour at the bar from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Connect with others!

GROUPS:  There is a call-ahead seating option available. Reservations are recommended for parties of 8 or more.

Check out Flatbread’s website here. Flatbread Pizza is located at Sacco’s Bowl Haven, 45 Day Street, Somerville, MA — steps away from the Davis Square T stop on the Red Line.

Read the article on the upcoming event in the Cambridge Chronicle, published on 2/18/2013.

Please help spread the word. Invite your friends and family.

See you there!

FOCRLS parents’ volunteer meeting featured a “Spotlight on the Arts” by Dr. Elaine Koury (1/24/2013)

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The FOCRLS parents’ volunteer meeting on Wednesday evening, January 23, 2013, featured a “Spotlight on the Arts” by the dynamic Dr. Elaine Koury, K-12 Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts in the Cambridge Public Schools. Dr. Koury – Bates College (B.A.), U Mass Amherst (M.A.T.), Harvard (Ed.D.) – has been a teacher in Boston and Cambridge, a principal in Boston and San Francisco, and an actress/singer in Cambridge, Boston, and New York. She has written many plays for young people and one for adults and has won several awards, including Emmy, Ollie, and Gabriel.

Her lively and engaging overview of arts offerings at CRLS brought home the hard work and commitment by staff that lies behind the ever-increasing improvement in the visual and performing arts departments at the high school, and the importance of the parent and community support that helps contribute to their success.

When she was first hired for the job six years ago, one of the main things Dr. Koury was tasked with was to improve the music department. Guillermo Nojechowicz whom she hired in 2007 has been a great boon to the school. He has immensely improved the level of music classes, bands and clubs.

The performing arts department, including theatre, music and dance, has been steadily improving. It took some time to organize a uniform for the school band, the members of which are now attired in black, gray, and white – CRLS school colors – proudly representing their school at games and other events. There are now no less than six a capella groups, who make it a point to accept all invitations to sing, in and out of the school, always accompanied by a faculty member.

Dr Koury outlined the efforts of the department faculty to provide opportunities for all students to develop, and involve students from a wide array of skills and backgrounds. For example, in music, this means parsing the scores to allow students at beginner levels to have sections of pieces that they are able to handle, while providing opportunities for more advanced students to be challenged and shine. They also place a high value on diversity, making active efforts to recruit across the student body. All of this takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication on the part of staff. In just one example, Dr. Koury pointed out that each student-choreographed piece in a dance recital represents hours and hours of work not just by the student but by a faculty member.

The Visual and Performing Arts department is also closely connected to various community organizations and higher education institutes in the area. An upcoming event is a gallery installation at the Longfellow Hall at the Harvard Graduate School of Education – the HGSE will also host a reception for the event.

It does the Cambridge public school system credit that CRLS students routinely do as well or better at the Scholastic awards and other inter-school competitions and events than private schools.

Dr. Koury underlined the significance of parent involvement. She cited the many ways in which they contributed to the program, from volunteering at the box office at performances and cooking for cast dinners, to the role of the Arts Committee in stressing to the school and School Department administration the importance of the arts program at CRLS.  She also stressed the importance of parents’ presence at performances, which makes the experience far more meaningful for the students.

Dr. Koury herself is a shining example of how the arts can help students to develop their true potential. In a touching anecdote she shared that she was so shy and quiet as a little girl that her first grade teacher actually thought she could not speak, and wrote in her report card that she was doing remarkably well, considering her “handicap.” It was her music teacher who got her to “discover” her voice, and take part in the chorus, a stepping stone to her auditioning for the school musical, and from that to a career in theater and the arts.

FOCRLS Faculty Innovation Grants Awarded for Fall 2012 (1/22/2013)

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Our 9 FOCRLS Faculty Grantees for Fall 2012, listed below, were chosen from among a wide variety of programs and departments. Congratulations!

Grant recipients reflect the commitment and vision of faculty and other CRLS staff to the academic and social development of CRLS students, and FOCRLS’ deep interest in supporting the ongoing professional development of the teaching community at CRLS.

Our review panel of 7 CRLS parents and community members gave careful consideration to each proposal, awarding grants of up to $1,000 each, totaling $6,612 in this grant cycle. There are currently two grant cycles a year, the next being in Spring 2013.

We thank our many donors: family, friends, alumni, and business leaders, for supporting the power of the ideas of our exemplary CRLS educators.

Fall 2012 FOCRLS Faculty Grantees:

Ed Byrne & Larry Aaronson – “Technology Upgrades for CRLS Yearbook and Defraying the Cost of Yearbooks for Students Experiencing Financial Hardship”
Patricia Cronin & Alice Chen – “Go, GO, GO Graphic Novels!!! Building Reading Interests Through Reading and Reviewing Graphic Novels”
Karla Gandiaga – “Exposing SEI Science Students to Science Museums and Climate Change Workshops”
Bianca Hegre – “Taking It to the Next Level: Soldering in Jewelry Making”
Kris Newton – “Supporting the CRLS Science Team (Olympiad)”
Janet O’Reilly – “STEP It Up! Promoting the Art of STEP at CRLS”
Kim Parker – “Black History Month Performance Poetry Celebration featuring Joshua Bennett”

Congratulations all!

A request for proposals will go out soon for the Spring 2013 cycle of FOCRLS Faculty Innovation Grants. In addition to welcoming proposals on any topic or theme, we are particularly encouraging projects from any department or program with an  environmental, health, or nutrition focus in honor of the recent Whole Foods donation to Friends of CRLS.

FOCRLS wins 2013 Education Award of the Cambridge NAACP! (1/21/2013)

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In news particularly meaningful for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are extremely proud and honored to announce that Friends of CRLS is this year’s recipient of the coveted Education Award of the Cambridge NAACP! We were told that our work in trying to address the needs of all sectors of the CRLS population was a key factor in our selection.

New: Read an article on the award ceremony in the Cambridge Chronicle on 3/11/2013.

FOCRLS will be presented the award at the 28th Annual NAACP Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Breakfast on Saturday, February 23rd, at 9 am, at the Cambridge Marriott Hotel in Kendall Square. The keynote speaker is Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. The flyer for the event is available here.

To hear that we have earned this kind of acknowledgement from the NAACP is both humbling and deeply significant. This, we believe, is a moment in which to reflect on the steps we have taken and will continue to take, developing opportunities for all communities at the high school, with particular mindfulness toward ending academic, financial, and social divides and injustices.

Thank you to all of those – parents, teachers, administrators, Cambridge businesses and community members, and alumni – who have supported our work through volunteering, donating, or both! This award is your award!

We hope you will join us for this very meaningful celebration. Tickets can be purchased for $60 from the Cambridge Branch of the NAACP. For more information about the breakfast, please call (617) 895-7760 or email

First Annual Alumni Homecoming, Nov. 16-23, 2012. All grads welcome! (11/2/2012)

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What says “home” better than Cambridge and Thanksgiving? The CRLS Alumni Association invites alums of CRLS, CHLS, Rindge Tech and their guests to attend the First Annual CRLS Alumni Homecoming Week, for a series of events beginning Friday, November 16th, through Friday, November 23rd, 2012. For tickets, visit We hope to see you there!

CRLS Alumni Week Events:

Fall Musical
Enjoy a special presentation of this year’s Fall Musical, Urinetown, written by Greg Kotis and composed by Mark Hollmann. Following the performance, CRLS Alumni Association will be hosting a meet & greet in the Media Cafe with fellow alumni, students, cast & crew.
Friday, November 16, at 7:00 pm in CRLS’ Fitzgerald Theater

Football Game & Tailgate – Cambridge CRLS vs. Somerville High School
For the first time in years, the Thanksgiving Day Football game will be played against Somerville! CRLS Alumni Association invites you to “Tailgate” with us before and during the game with hot coffee and doughnuts.
Thursday, November 22, at 10:00 am at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville

“Back to the Future” – The New CRLS Open House
Tours of the renovated CRLS (it’s fantastic!), meet and greet, alumni roundtable, refreshments.
Friday, November 23, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Drop in anytime. FREE EVENT.

The CRLS Homecoming is enthusiastically sponsored by the Alumni Committees of Celebrate CRLS and Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Bring your friends.  Pass the word.