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Teachers Deserve Thanks, Not Blame

by Dr. Tom Staszewski,

Dr. Tom Staszewski

Dr. Tom Staszewski

As our public schools begin another school year, it’s time to stop blaming and criticizing teachers and start thanking and acknowledging them.

Our schools reflect society, and society has undergone a dramatic shift from previous generations. A typical classroom today consists of many students with severe behavioral problems, limited knowledge of English usage, emotional and psychological difficulties, learning disabilities and attention-deficit disorders. And many suffer from abuse and other adverse home and socioeconomic conditions.

Unlike previous generations, many parents today send their kids to school unfed, unprepared and with little or no basic skills nor social skills. In many neighborhoods, it’s the school building, not the child’s home, that provides a safe, secure and predictable haven. Despite these societal problems, we need to focus on the success stories of what’s right with our schools rather than what’s wrong with our schools.

In my previous work as a motivational speaker and professional development trainer, I have personally worked with thousands of teachers nationwide. I have found them to be caring, hardworking, dedicated, industrious and sincerely committed to the success of their students.

Teachers’ duties have now grown to the added dimensions of counselor, mentor, coach, resource person, mediator, motivator, enforcer and adviser.

Instead of acknowledging that teaching is a demanding profession, critics will often focus on the supposedly shortened workday of teachers. Still others claim, “Yes, teachers are busy, but at least they get a planning period each day to help get things done.” In reality, the so-called planning period is really a misnomer. A typical teacher is so involved with the day’s activities that usually there is no time to stop and plan. Those minutes that are supposed to be devoted to planning are often filled with endless amounts of paperwork, meetings, interruptions, schedule changes, extra assigned duties, phone calls, conferences, gathering missed work for absent students, completing forms, submitting required data and on and on.

Most teachers leave the building long after the students’ dismissal time and usually with plenty of paperwork and tests to correct. Evenings are spent reviewing homework assignments and planning for the next day of teaching.

In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate/license, once teachers begin to work in the classroom, they need to immediately continue their own education. During summertime, they are constantly updating their education, earning a graduate degree or two and making sure their teaching certificates are active and valid.

Too many people have the mistaken notion that anyone can teach. They think that they could teach because they have seen other people teach.

Yet, when looking at other professions and occupations, these same people understand that they can’t perform those jobs. They may have briefly seen the cockpit of an airplane, but they don’t assume they can fly it. They may have spent an hour in a courtroom but don’t believe that they can practice law. They certainly don’t think they are able to perform surgery.

Every day, teachers are making a significant difference. At any given moment, teachers are influencing children in positive and meaningful ways. Many societal problems exist, such as violence, drugs, broken homes, poverty, economic crises and a variety of other woes. Teachers struggle with the turmoil of society while trying to offset the negative influences outside of school. As they roll up their sleeves and take strides to improve the lives of their students, teachers are the real heroes.

Today’s teacher is more than a transmitter of knowledge; the demands of the profession are ever-increasing. Many parents and taxpayers have an expectation that a school system should be the do all and be all in their children’s lives. Some parents have a notion that they can drop off their child at the schoolhouse door, and behold, 12 years later, they will be able to pick up a perfect specimen of a human being — well-rounded, academically proficient, emotionally sound, physically fit and ready to meet the next phase of life.

But we know that teachers cannot do it alone. A sound, safe and secure home life is essential. An effort on the parent’s part to prepare the child for school is vital. And parental involvement that results in a partnership in the child’s development is necessary. When that doesn’t occur, then it’s easy to scapegoat the classroom teacher.

Instead of bashing our teachers, we should be conveying recognition, accolades, tributes and positive acknowledgments. Teachers deserve a sincere thank-you for the tremendous benefits they provide society. And that’s why my all-time favorite bumper sticker offers a profound and important declaration: “If you can read this … thank a teacher!”

In our schools today, there are thousands of success stories waiting to be told and there’s a need to proclaim those successes proudly and boldly. Teachers should stand tall and be proud of their chosen profession. Critics should not judge them unfairly. Together, let’s become teacher advocates and show admiration for the inspiring and important life-changing work they do.

DR. TOM STASZEWSKI, a former middle school teacher, lives in Erie with his wife, Linda. He recently retired after a 35-year career in higher education administration. A 1970 graduate of Academy High School, he is the author of “Total Teaching: Your Passion Makes it Happen” (tomstasz@neo.rr.com).

Granite State Rumblings: The Importance Of Grandparents Day


Nearly eight years ago my life changed in the most extraordinary way. I became a grandparent. Friends who had reached this stage before me often told me that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. I was skeptical, but knew that one day I would find out for myself. Well, all I can say is that they were right.

Having a grandchild, especially one who lives nearby so you have regular contact with them, is probably the best gift I have ever received. I have watched him grow and learn over the past seven years and know that I have done the same.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once stated that connections between the generations are “essential for the mental health and stability of a nation.”

Grandparents have always been important. Today, they’re even more important. In busy, two-career and single-parent families, an involved grandparent goes a long way to filling a void for children. In some more extreme situations, the courts have found it’s often a grandparent who can reach a troubled teen or provide the stability and support for a young child when no one else can.

On a lighter note, a teacher friend of mine had her fourth grade students talk about their heroes one day in class. One girl said her grandmother was her hero. When the teacher asked why, the girl explained, “Because she’s the only one in the whole world who can boss my parents around!”

This coming Sunday, September 13th, is National Grandparents Day. The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia, with the behind-the-scenes support of her husband Joseph L. McQuade. Together they had 15 children, 43 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

Mrs. McQuade envisioned three purposes for Grandparents Day.

  1. To honor grandparents.
  2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

But, her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She spent much of her life advocating for older adults. In 1971 she was elected Vice-Chair of the West Virginia Committee on Aging and appointed as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. In 1972, Mrs. McQuade’s efforts resulted in President Richard Nixon proclaiming a National Shut-in Day. She served as President of the Vocational Rehabilitation Foundation, Vice-President of the West Virginia Health Systems Agency, and was appointed to the Nursing Home Licensing Board, among many other involvements.

Mrs. McQuade started her campaign for a day to honor grandparents in 1970. She worked with civic, business, church, and political leaders to first launch the day in her home state in 1973. Then, after many years, much persuasion, and unending persistence, she finally achieved her bigger goal. It was in 1979 that President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day each year as National Grandparents Day (September was chosen to signify the “autumn” years of life). In part, the proclamation reads:

Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.

We all know grandparents whose values transcend passing fads and pressures, and who possess the wisdom of distilled pain and joy. Because they are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.

Mrs. McQuade was thrilled when her efforts were finally realized. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. Since the holiday’s inception, Mrs. McQuade  remained firm in her view that the holiday should not become overly commercialized, and that young and old remember its fundamental spirit.

~Source: Legacy Project, Generations United ~


Our friends at Generation United have some Grand Things that you can do this week, and every week in recognition of Grandparents and Grandchildren.

Every day this week:

  • Follow our Twitter, Facebook, and website and share the Generations United messages.  Check out our Grandparents Day Social Media Guide for sample content.  Make sure to tag your messages #DoSomethingGrand.
  • Let your grandparents, grandchildren and other older and younger people in your life know you think they are special.
  • Volunteer with and advocate on behalf of another generation.
  • Encourage your friends and family to swap their regular Facebook profile or cover photos with one that includes their grandparents and/or grandchildren and keep it up throughout the week.
  • #TakeAGrandie for Generations United’s “Grandie” contest! Learn more.

Tuesday, September 8

Wednesday, September 9

Thursday, September 10

Friday, September 11

Saturday, September 12

Sunday, September 13 – GRANDPARENTS DAY

  • Encourage your friends and family to visit or contact their grandparents and grandfriends.
  • Volunteer Together. Older adults and youth can make a difference by volunteering and having fun at the same time. See other ideas in our Take Action Guide.

All Year Round

Happy Grandparents Day!!

Republicans Are The Reason Our Public Schools Are Hurting

Jeb Bush on Education

The Republican Primary is always fun to watch as the candidates try to outdo each other the issues. Recently it was what to do about the problems facing our public school systems.

Our public education system is in rough shape and the majority of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Republican politicians who are starving our schools for money, forcing more and more standardized testing, and funneling our tax dollars to for-profit private and religious schools.

When you add all of these programs together it creates a disastrous ticking time bomb of epic failure.

The problems continue to feed themselves. It begins with cuts to the budget that lead to cuts teacher pay. This results in good teachers leaving the district and then bringing in new inexperienced teachers to replace them.

Then they test every student over and over, and reward high performing schools and make more cuts to low performing schools. (Can you see the problem yet?)

Then they give our tax dollars to traveling medicine men, selling snake oil to fix all of our problems by opening charter schools, stealing more money from struggling schools. Some of these schools take millions in federal, state, and local budgets to build new schools and then file for bankruptcy before they even open their doors.

Then they have to make more cuts to teachers and para-professionals starting the austerity cycle all over again.

The American Federation of Teachers thought it would be good to inform all of you of what a few of the Presidential candidates are saying our teachers and our schools.


Our children deserve better than a schools system that is all test and drill. We need more arts, more music, more science, and more teachers. We need pay our teachers better so that we can retain the best teachers with the pay they deserve. We need to fund our schools properly and stop forcing cuts to staff and services. We need to stop this cycle of austerity that is strangling our public schools.  Our children deserve better!


Kuster, USDA Rural Development, CCSNH to Announce River Valley Community College Opening in Lebanon

Lebanon, NH – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH02) joined with local, state and federal officials to announce that the former Lebanon College will reopen next year as a new branch of River Valley Community College. Kuster has been working with local stakeholders for the past two years on the reopening of the college.


“I am thrilled to join with River Valley Community College, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the USDA, and our many partners to make the announcement today that Lebanon College will be reopening. The investment by the USDA to this project is a critical one to the community of Lebanon and the entire region—it will help create a skilled workforce, create jobs, and support local businesses for years to come,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I fought to include this initiative in the 2014 Farm Bill knowing that there is tremendous potential for the partnership with USDA and the Community College System, and today represents the first of many projects that we will embark on using the USDA’s new rural community college initiative to expand education access throughout the Granite State.”


The reopening of the school in Lebanon was made possible in part by a $1.6 million loan awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) to the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). The loan stemmed from an amendment Congresswoman Kuster introduced to the 2014 Farm Bill directing USDA to partner with local communities to increase investment in rural community colleges. After her amendment became law, Kuster worked to bring together representatives from the Community College System of New Hampshire and USDA representatives, and the partnership resulted in the reopening of the Lebanon college as a branch of River Valley Community College, and it opened the door for similar projects in the future.


Congresswoman Kuster and local officials and representatives from USDA-Rural Development and CCSNH, and other stakeholders announced the opening of the college during a press conference today. Following the press conference, the participants held a USDA seminar on Community College Infrastructure Development for local stakeholders. During the seminar, participants got a chance to hear about and discuss how the USDA rural community college initiative could help enhance educational and economic opportunities in rural areas for students and workers, and they discussed how the initiative could affect specific programs and organizations represented at the summit and from across the region.

Following a Day of Attacks by GOP in the Granite State, Teachers Fight Back on Behalf of Students

KEENE, N.H. – Today, Jeb Bush held a Town Hall in Keene, New Hampshire, just a day after he bashed teachers at an Education Summit in Londonderry and said he wanted to voucherize education, a concept that would drain resources from our public education system and from programs that support low-income kids. 

President of the Keene Education Association, Maureen Meyer made the following statement, in response:

“One by one, the Republican Presidential candidates have attacked teachers for being the problem, not part of the solution. When Jeb Bush admitted yesterday that he wanted to dismantle and voucherize our education system, it’s clear that he isn’t putting kids first or respecting the positive impact our public schools and teachers have on vulnerable, low-income children here in New Hampshire.”

“If the candidates really wanted comprehensive education plans that put students first, they should have invited the experts to talk to them – the members of their teacher associations.”

But Jeb Bush wasn’t the only one bashing teachers yesterday. Here’s a sampling of what some of the candidates said:

Jeb Bush: Blamed unions for problems in schools and even ‘bragged’ about his fights with teachers in Florida all while suggesting we voucherize education to the detriment of students across New Hampshire.

John Kasich: Instead of explaining his harmful $1.8 billion cut to public schools, he said this:  “If I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges, where they sit together and worry about, ‘Woe is us.'”

Chris Christie: Doubled down on previous comments that teachers deserve “a punch in the facewhile saying nothing of the over $1 billion in damaging cuts he made to education funding in New Jersey.

Scott Walker: Said unions were a “barrier” to quality education and touted his union-busting credentials. Not discussed? His massive cuts to education funding in Wisconsin.

Carly Fiorina: Said teachers unions were partially responsible for crippling innovation in schools”

The Concord Monitor reported that “one voice conspicuously absent from the list of panelists at Wednesday’s education summit of Republican presidential candidates was that of a teacher.” Read more about the attacks on teachers and response below or click here for the full article:

Inside and outside, candidates and teacher union members trade barbs at education summit

Concord Monitor // Ella Nilsen

One voice conspicuously absent from the list of panelists at Wednesday’s education summit of Republican presidential candidates was that of a teacher.

Outside the education summit at Londonderry High School, it was a different story.

They “have openly come out against public schools and really would like to dismantle public schools,” said NEA-NH president Scott McGilvray. “We can’t let it go without pushing back against it.”…

The animosity between the teachers’ union members outside and the Republican candidates inside was palpable.

As each of the six candidates took the stage, they often blamed unions for country’s struggle with education. Many said the organizations exist only “to collectively bargain” and protect the interest of their members…

Carly Fiorina called teachers unions “pretty universally on the wrong side of these issues.”

Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker called unions a “barrier” to good education and talked at length about his own highly publicized fight against them in his home state of Wisconsin.

“The NEA went after me,” Walker said. “I threaten them; I threaten them because I care about getting things done.”…

McGilvray and other teachers union leaders from Maine denied the way candidates were characterizing them and said their organizations are there to support teachers and students, saying that without fair pay and benefits, fewer teachers will want to join the profession.

“We’re not the villains,” said Strout.

McGilvray said he was concerned the 2016 Republican candidates were taking their stances on education to the extreme.

“I believe among the top candidates are the most anti-public education, anti-working class group we have ever seen,” he said.

NEA NH officials said they have invited each Republican presidential candidate to talk about education issues and potentially receive the union’s endorsement… This election cycle, no Republican candidate has yet responded, Strout said.

“Not one of them said thank you for the invitation,” he said. “It says they don’t want to engage with people who know what’s going on in schools.”…

“We need to stop the attacks on public education by uniting behind policies that are right for our children and right for our schools,” McGilvray said.

Nashua Teachers Union Recommends Jim Donchess for Mayor

Teachers Back Donchess for His Strong Commitment to Education
and Proven Record of Supporting Nashua’s Schools.

NASHUA—Today, the Nashua Teachers Union announced its endorsement of Jim Donchess in his campaign for Mayor, asking its members and their families and neighbors who reside in Nashua to support Donchess during his campaign and in the September 8th Primary Election.

The Nashua Teachers Union is made up of teachers in the Nashua school district, and is a municipal affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH). AFT-NH Local 1044 President Bob Sherman, among numerous other educators, cited Donchess’ unwavering commitment to education.

“After reviewing all of the candidates who submitted their responses to the Teachers Union Committee on Political Education (COPE) questionnaire on education, the COPE Committee voted almost unanimously to support Jim. Given his longstanding record on and commitment to education in Nashua, we know that Jim is the right choice,” said AFT-NH Local 1044 President Bob Sherman.

“I’ve known Jim since our children were in elementary school together many years ago. His commitment to public education and learning has been the root of him as a citizen of Nashua and as a public servant. His support of education spans decades, and he is and has always been authentic and genuine in his commitment to our city,” says Nashua High School South teacher Judy Loftus. “In 2010, when he saw budget cuts that would have resulted in the loss of many teachers in Nashua, he and a group of citizens formed the organization Nashua Schools Back On Top. They advocated successfully to restore many of those cuts before the budget was finalized. We must elect Jim as Mayor to have a partner in City Hall who ensures that children and teachers in Nashua always have an advocate.”

“About a year ago Jim stopped by my house and we had a really in-depth conversation about education. I was, and have continued to be, very impressed by his outreach to Nashua residents and his commitment to children,” says Ledge Street Elementary School Teacher Sylvie Stewart. “Jim knows that the most beneficial way to improve Nashua is through working with educators to provide a high quality public-school education, one that meets the demands of all its children so that each child has the opportunity to thrive.”

“It’s an honor to have earned the support of Nashua’s teachers.  Education is the backbone of any community and when schools thrive, the community thrives and our economy thrives,” said Donchess. “Making children, teachers and education a priority in Nashua is key if we want our city to grow and succeed.”

About the American Federation of Teachers New Hampshire Local 1044

AFT-NH Local 1044 is the Municipal Affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire. AFT Local 1044 has nearly 1,500 members in Nashua, including teachers, para-educators, secretaries and food service employees.

New Report: High Pay Does Not Alway Mean Your Job Has Real Meaning

PayScale_ Most Meaningful Jobs [735 x 735]

Many people take great pride in their work, whether they are serving hamburgers or teaching our future generation.  However making lots of money does not always mean that you are happier with your career choice or that you feel you are helping to make the world a better place.

A new report from PayScale.com shows that the highest and most meaning full jobs, and conversely the highest paid and lowest meaningful jobs.

For example, with an average income of $35,000 a year, Directors of Religious Activities and Education ranked the highest in meaningful jobs with 98% agreeing that their jobs are making the world a better place.  The clergy are followed closely behind by; Firefighters ($43,500, 93% who find the job meaningful), primary school and pre-school educators ($32,000 – 35,000, 89% who find the job meaningful), and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors  ($35,000, 85% who find the job meaningful).

These are all great professions that are doing amazing work in their local communities.  Today it was announced by the Granite State Poll that the Heroin epidemic is one of the pressing issues facing Granite Staters right now.

Proving that money does not bring happiness and meaning to you job only 30% of advertising and promotional managers ($71,000) found their jobs meaningful.  37% of tax collectors and revenue agents ($80,500) found meaning in their jobs.  Shockingly only 40% of lawyers ($89,900) found meaning in their jobs.

The facts are hard to deny, sometimes the best jobs are not always the best paid. Take it from an unpaid blogger who devotes hours a day to help make our world a better place to live and work.

Granite State Rumblings: Some Great Ideas For Spending Time With Your Kids This Summer

Well, here we are nearly at the end of July and there is still about a month left of school vacation for the kids. If you are running out of money and ideas to keep them entertained, here is a list of fifteen no or low cost ideas.

Make Paper Planes – Look up great new layouts or teach your child the classic folds of   paper planes.

Supplies: 8×11 paper, ruler, flat surface

Build a Fort – Every child loves to pretend to be in the wild west or camping out. Capture that creativity and build a fort as a hide out or camp site inside.

Supplies: sheets, pillows, blankets, tables, etc.

Picnic – Load up a basket or backpack with all the fixings for your lunch or dinner and a blanket. Head out to your local park or even your front lawn and have a fun meal.

Supplies: lunch or dinner food, blanket, flashlight (if at night), bug spray/sunscreen

Pillow Fight – No explanation necessary here.

Supplies: big fluffy pillows (make sure they do not have buttons on them)

Hide and Seek – If your kiddo is too old for classic hide and seek, try out the night version “Ghosts in the grave yard” and allow them to play outside at night (with parent supervision of course).

Supplies: good hiding spots

Bake Cookies – Find a recipe that uses any of the baking goods you have around home or purchase a log of dough from your local super market. Let your child help with the measuring and mixing.

Supplies: cookie dough (homemade or store bought), oven, cookie cutters, icing, etc.

Visit the Library – Look for new books to read, or create a scavenger hunt for different books on animals (picture lists for the little ones).

Supplies: library card, car (unless you live within walking distance)

Scrapbook – Give your child some old photographs they love to make special scrapbook pages you can add to your own scrapbooks.

Supplies: old pictures, craft paper, glue, sparkles, etc.

Origami – This ancient art form is fun for kids of all ages.

Supplies: origami paper or really thin paper (easy to make small folds)

Make S’mores – Everyone loves to enjoy this treat. What makes it even better is it is easy for kids to make!

Supplies: gram crackers, chocolate bars (like Hershey’s), marshmallows.

Finger Painting – Allow your kids to go wild with paint. We recommend doing this craft outdoors.

Supplies: kid friendly paint, trash bags (to layout under where the little one will be painting), large pieces of paper

Treasure Hunts – This is an easy way to occupy your child long enough to get some chores done around the house (maybe even a way to get them involved in the chores).

Supplies: hidden treasure (something like a favorite toy), a piece of paper with a “treasure map”

Camp at Home – Pitch a tent your living room or yard and allow the kids to enjoy the fun of camping without the hassle of a vacation.

Supplies: tent, sleeping bags, blankets/pillows, flashlight

Photography – Set your child up with your old digital camera or a disposable camera with a few shots left from your last vacation.

Supplies: camera

Create a Play or Musical – Have your kids come up with an original play or musical and act it out for you at the end of a days practice.

Supplies: imagination, props or costumes from household items.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun!!

Thursday, July 23, 1:45pm – 2:45pm, Jeb Bush Gorham Town Hall Meeting, 20 Park St, Gorham, NH 03581


Here’s a list of some of my grandkid tested Granite State attractions. They do have admission fees. Listed in no particular order of preference.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

2 Institute Drive, Concord, NH 03301 Phone: 603-271-7827

The planetarium serves as a living memorial to Christa McAuliffe. The shows blend computer generated effects, video, slides and music into an awe-inspiring experience. Take a trip to the stars and beyond at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. In March 2009, the name of this educational center changed to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, in memory of Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut in space, who was from Derry, NH.

Story Land

850 Route 16, Glen, NH 03838 Phone: 603-383-4293

Story Land is the children’s theme park where fantasy lives! With wonderfully themed rides, lively shows, friendly storybook characters, unique play areas, and so much more, there’s a smile and adventure around every corner. Whether it’s a family tradition or a family first, a visit to Story Land creates memories to last a lifetime.

Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point State Park

570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye, NH 03870 Phone: 603-436-8043

The Seacoast Science Center is located on the last undeveloped stretch of New Hampshire coastline. Cultural and natural history exhibits for the entire family. Visitors can touch and learn about tide pool animals in the indoor tide pool touch tank and learn about the seven habitats found on the 350-acre park.

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire

6 Washington Street, Dover, NH 03820 Phone: 603-436-3853

This hands-on arts and sciences museum offers many engaging exhibits, including a dinosaur dig, a throne room, a kaleidoscope exhibit, a yellow submarine, a post office, a music matrix and more. It’s an interactive delight for all the senses!

Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum

2936 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, NH 03860 Phone: 603-356-2992

Come for hours of fun and entertainment in our educational safe environment where parents and children 0-9 can explore our wide variety of exhibitions where we encourage children and parents to interact and learn thru play! The Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum nurtures the natural curiosity of all children and the adults in their lives and encourages shared discovery through exhibits and programs that inspire exploration.

The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center

2779 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, NH 03860 Phone: 603-356-2137

The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center is an

interactive science museum that brings the wonder of the atmosphere right to your fingertips! Explore the science of climate and weather through fun, interactive exhibits like our air cannon, flow tank and wind room. With hands-on exhibits and lessons for all levels of experience, the Weather Discovery Center is appropriate for all ages.

Polar Caves

705 New Hampshire Rte. 25, Rumney, NH 03266 Phone: 603-536-1888

An amazing series of caves and passages formed by the falling of massive boulders nearly 50,000 years ago as the third continental glacier moved southward over New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Explore the Rock Garden, a jumble of glacially deposited granite boulders, and take a self-guided tour of the caves. Also, pan for stones. Buy a bag of Mining or Fossils rough and use our Sluice to wash away the dirt to uncover gems and minerals. Also, The Klondike Mine: Klondike Mine is designed for younger ages but can be fun for the whole family. Enter one of our three mines, once inside use your light and start our family scavenger hunt for minerals and other hidden gems.

Charmingfare Farm

774 High Street, Candia, NH 03034 Phone: 603-483-5623

Visit the largest collection of agricultural animals and North American wildlife in New Hampshire. A visit to this 180-acre farm is affordable, educational, and exciting for children and adults. The farm is home to more than 200 animals consisting of 30 different species. Encounter wolves, lynx, fishers, reindeer, river otters and more. The barnyard offers traditional farm animals, hands-on petting, pony rides, and horse-drawn hayrides.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats Baseball

Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 169 S. Commercial Street, Manchester  603-641-2005

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are proud to serve the entire state of New Hampshire. Through extensive community outreach programs, affordable pricing and a first class entertainment experience at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Fisher Cats have become New Hampshire’s premier outdoor entertainment destination.

Kuster Announces Support for Legislation to Increase Access to Childcare During Roundtable Discussion with Salem Parents and Early Childhood Education Stakeholders

2015-07-17 Annie KusterSalem, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a roundtable discussion with local stakeholders and staff at Salem Family Resources to discuss their work, and to announce her support for federal legislation to increase access to childcare and early childhood education. The discussion also provided Kuster with a chance to hear from parents, childcare providers, and advocates about how Congress can help support working families with young children, so their thoughts can be included in the Congresswoman’s forthcoming “Working Families Agenda.”

“All across the state, parents are hard at work earning a living for their families. But rising childcare costs are pushing many families over budget,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “We must ensure that we’re supporting working families, and increasing access both to childcare, and to early childhood education – which we all know is so important for developmental growth. During today’s roundtable, I got a chance to hear firsthand from Salem parents, educators, and other stakeholders about how Congress can best support our working families, and I was proud to announce my support for two bills that will help ease the burden on families with young children.”

During the roundtable, Congresswoman Kuster was joined by a number of participants from the early childhood education community to hear about the state of childcare across the district. Parents also shared challenges facing working families, and Kuster will take their feedback back to Washington and incorporate their thoughts into her Working Families Agenda. She also announced her support for two bills to help families better afford the cost of childcare: the Child Tax Credit Permanency Act of 2015 would adjust the Internal Revenue Code to give more families access to the Child Tax Credit and provide inflation adjustments to the $1,000 credit for calendar years after 2013, and the Child Care Access and Refundability Expansion Act of 2015, which would help ensure that middle class families qualify for a larger portion of the Child Tax Credit.

As many New Hampshire families make sacrifices and parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, Congresswoman Kuster is committed to supporting these families and has long advocated for efforts to strengthen early childhood education. Later this year, she will release a Working Families Agenda, a blueprint that outlines steps Congress should take to support working families across the country. Kuster was proud to host this event, which continued an important dialogue with families in New Hampshire and gave parents a chance to share ideas on policies that could benefit children and their families for years to come.


Shaheen Applauds Senate Passage of Elementary & Secondary Education Reform Bill

Legislation Includes Several Shaheen Provisions Supporting
STEM Education and Community Service Programming

Jeanne Shaheen STEM SpeechWashington, DC – This afternoon, Senator Jeanne Shaheen voted in favor of broad reforms to elementary and secondary education policy, known as The Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177). The Senate passed this legislation by a bipartisan vote of 81 to 17. This legislation reforms and updates many problematic policies that were put in place by the No Child Left Behind law passed in 2002.

“As a former teacher and governor, I know that it’s the teachers and administrators on the ground in our local school districts that know how best to address the education needs of their communities,” said Shaheen. “This legislation represents long overdue reforms to federal education policy by giving state governments and local school districts more control and flexibility in how they use federal funds as they work to support and improve their elementary, middle and high schools. I’m also very pleased that the legislation expands science, technology and math programs that will help create and encourage the next generation of American innovators.”

Several Shaheen priorities were added to the legislation, including an amendment that supports science, technology and math (STEM) after-school learning programs by making federal funding available under a new STEM education grant. The bill also includes a Shaheen provision that provides support for low-income students in innovative STEM activities, such as robotics competitions, as well as a provision that allows local school districts greater flexibility to use federal funds for programs that promote volunteerism and community service.

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