Partnering with Medford

Medford Indian dancers Home to the Tufts main campus since the founding of the University, Medford offers a wealth of interesting partnering opportunities. As more students and faculty focus their efforts on the Medford community, Tisch College continues to seek new ways to strengthen and build on its ongoing partnership with Medford schools and local organizations.

Citizenship and Public Service Scholars

Tisch College Citizenship and Public Service Scholars have initiated a variety of projects in Medford, enhancing community awareness of literacy issues, cultural diversity, the importance of leadership, and more. Learn more.

Medford Media Initiative: Scholar Michael Stone (A ’07) has partnered with Medford’s McGlynn School and Andrews Middle School to provide an after-school program for students interested in learning about media and news production. The Medford students build confidence through writing, interviewing, and public speaking exercises. They also conduct research about local and global events. Through a collaboration with Tufts University Television (TUTV) studios, the students then have a chance to apply their skills and learn from mentors. The Medford students increase their understanding of how the media influences perception and affects communities—and they become more aware of how important it is to be an active citizen in the community.

Springstep: Working with Springstep, Medford’s new center for traditional and contemporary arts, Scholar Rachel Shatten (A ’07) has coordinated a series of lectures for the 2004-2005 academic year focusing on the theme of diversity and culture in the arts. By researching local community leaders with cultural expertise and inviting them to lead and facilitate a lecture, Rachel has developed four programs relating to African-American, Chinese, Irish, and Native American cultures. Each program contains two components: a lecture given at Springstep, and a visit to the Medford schools. Learn more about Springstep.

Medford Family Network: The Medford Family Network (MFN) of the Medford Public Schools is a family support and parenting education program accessible to every child and caregiver who lives or works in Medford. It is designed to help nurture the development of children ages 0-6 and support families caring for children of this age. Scholar Sarah Kohnstamm (A ’07) has built a partnership between the MFN and the Tufts Child Development and Education departments. She assists with outreach, helps with workshops and events, and is designing an MFN workshop of her own to be presented in the spring of 2005. Sarah will also participate on an MFN panel in a presentation to the Experiential Learning Opportunity group, a national organization, in April 2005.

Big Buddies: For the past two years, Scholar Chloe Kaplan (A ’07) has led an after-school program called Big Buddies, which builds partnerships between the Tufts Greek system and the local community. More than 30 Tufts students from the Sigma Nu Fraternity and the Chi Omega Sorority work as volunteers with elementary school students at Medford’s McGlynn School. Chloe coordinates the volunteer work and has developed mentoring activities focused on academics and building leadership. Learn more about current Scholar projects.

Tisch Active Citizen Summer Fellows Program (ACS)

ACS provides support to students who are taking an active role as committed public citizens to build stronger communities. To be considered for funding, a student must submit an application and a proposal detailing a partnership with a local organization. Learn more.

Last summer, senior Alex Sherman worked with the Friends of the Mystic River on their invasive plant management program to remove Japanese Knotweed from the banks of the river in Medford. For more information about Mystic River projects, please see our Mystic Watershed Collaborative page.

Tisch Civic Engagement Fund

This Fund was established to encourage greater student participation in active citizenship, expand community support beyond existing Tisch College programs, and foster new ideas for positive change. Learn more.

Melissa Henry (A ’07) is building an after-school environmental education program for students at the Andrews Middle School in Medford. One day a week, Tufts students will visit the school and conduct activities including field trips to the Mystic River and the Middlesex Fells Reservation, both located in Medford. They will explore topics such as the plants and animals that live in the local habitat, and they will teach the students how to read maps.

Tufts Literacy Corps (TLC)

TLC supports the Tufts commitment to public service by providing training and supervision to students who work with children in the Medford and Somerville schools. Student volunteers from Tufts help K-8 students at several Medford schools develop literacy skills. Learn more.

Tufts Hillel

Tufts Hillel—the organization for Jewish life on campus—is committed to creating and sponsoring social justice programs and community services activities. Learn more.

Read by the River: An annual educational fair promoting the importance of early childhood literacy, Read by the River is held by Tufts Hillel in partnership with the City of Medford. Tufts students visit Medford schools to promote the fair, and they participate in the celebration, showing children how to incorporate reading into their everyday lives. More than 500 Medford school children attend the event and form bonds with the local community and Tufts students.

Academic Courses and Internship Opportunities

Internships and professional training requirements frequently place students into community settings through a variety of Tufts programs. In some departments, courses with strong education for active citizenship goals build positive links between academic learning and the work of community organizations, often providing students with experiential learning opportunities in Medford. View the Resource Guide.

Public Anthropology: In the spring of 2005, Professor Rosalind Shaw is teaching Public Anthropology: Place, Race, and Memory: The West Medford Afro American Remembrance Project (Anth 185A). Students will learn about the memory of place, race, culture, and social transformation in West Medford, one of the oldest African American communities in the country, by documenting those memories. We have been invited to participate in a community initiative called the West Medford Afro-American Remembrance Project, which documents the lives and achievements of those who were pioneers in this community. Working with members of the project committee and Medford High School students, Tufts students will help collect biographies and photographs of Medford residents living before and during the Civil Rights era. This collection will become part of a public exhibit at the Medford Historical Society Museum. Learn more.

For information, contact Shirley Mark at 617-627-3656 or email to shirley.mark@tufts.edu.