The LABBB Collaborative Newsletter
January, 2015
Our new after school Recreation Robotics Class at LABBB
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri

"Achieving the Honorable"


"Achieve the Honorable" has stuck with me for over thirty years. It was the motto of a prep school I attended. Today we would probably call this a tag line! I never put much thought into this motto until later in life, but I do remember how much it was emphasized within the academy culture and community. To be honest, I became tired of hearing it all the time during our mandatory study hours, dinners, classes, and assemblies; it was intolerable at times! These three words were imprinted into my mind.


You couldn't help but feel the rich tradition of this prep school founded in 1834. The academy had rigorous academics and cultural values.  I lived inside the academy so you had to follow their very strict rules. Many past alumni were still involved in the academy and they were often seen at assemblies and special events wearing their black and red academy jackets.  Students attended the academy from all over the United States and the world, including; Argentina, Dominican Republic and Asia. It didn't matter where we were from; we were all in this together and we all followed the same rules. The students, teachers, headmaster, secretaries, coaches and other personnel all bonded and we became a community within the walls of the academy.

It was expected that you learn a four in hand knot, a half Windsor, how to put your napkin on your lap when you sat for a meal, along with many other etiquettes. The headmaster was a true model of these manners. He lived on campus with his family and always carried himself with the utmost respect, character and dress. "You represent our academy, make sure to put on your sport coat and tie anytime you go outside our academy." he would say. We were taught to be accountable, not just for our academics, but just as much for our presentation and effort.  


Fortunately, they didn't listen to our complaints because later in my life this education had significant meaning, and the imprint to "Achieve the Honorable" now made sense. The "etiquette" lessons became a tool that was much more important than any of the academics I gained from this educational experience.  


Our training in LABBB is about helping our students "Achieve the Honorable." As a community, this must be something we strive for everyday because it will give our students more opportunities. We cannot do it alone. We teach our students to be responsible young adults, we stress the importance of values, character, and how to represent ourselves in our communities and businesses.


When a student goes to one of our worksites, part of their responsibility is to learn how to be a productive employee, but just as important, our students are taught how to present themselves and communicate effectively. Our job is to repeat this over and over, yes, even when we get push back and resistance. We have a small window of time to leave this imprint that will give our students the most opportunities later in life.


Be an active participant in the LABBB Community, and encourage our students to "Achieve the Honorable."


Parent Resources and Events
  • February 12: PAC Meeting 
    Topic: The ICE Program at Middlesex Community College
    Presenter: Patric Barbieri 
    Time and Location: 7:15 - 9:00 Lexington High School
  • March 19: PAC Meeting
    Special Needs Planning: Legal, Financial and Healthcare
    Presenter: Frederick M. Misilo, Jr. Esq., Tletcher Tilton PC
    Time and Location: 7:15 - 9:00, Lexington High School 
If you would like to add a resource or event to this page please e-mail

LABBB Parent Advisory Council (PAC)


Click here to visit our Yahoo discussion group


Click here to visit our website and resource page


January Recreation News and Events 
by Paula Rizzo

We started off the new year with a trip to the Boston Celtics on January 2. This trip was the biggest afterschool trip LABBB has done in the past 20 years. A total 75 people attended which included: LABBB students, Best Buddies and LABBB staff.  The trip went well and it was a nice way to ease back into school and work. 

On January 9 we had a trip to see "The Art of the Brick."  which is being held at Fanueil Hall. This will be the last show at the Fanueil Hall auditorium. They are converting the space from an auditorium to retail space. This makes this trip even more special to know that we will be one of the last groups to go through that space before the transformation.


This time of year is a little slower for the LABBB Recreation Department for after school weekly events.  This is the preparation time for the spring events. This is the time of year when the Tuesday and Thursday bowling programs are getting organized,  the Wednesday Recreation programs are finalized, and we put the push on planning for the LABBB Disney Trip and Special Olympics. The Disney trip is April 28 - May 2, and the Special Olympics will be held on May 20.


Be on the look out for a packet to be coming in the mail (USPO) for sign ups for the bowling and Wednesday Recreation and our February events.  


January 14           Lexington Best Buddies Trip to the Movie
January 15           LABBB Movie Night
January 16           LABBB Monthly Mini Golf
January 21           Chenery Best Buddies Event
January 23           LABBB Providence Bruins Trip
January 26           LABBB Around Town Dining 
January 28           LABBB Motown Trip
January 30           LABBB Basketball Team @ Cotting 7 PM

LABBB Legends Set to Plunge Again!

By: Caroline Brown

The Polar Plunge is an annual event organized by Special Olympics of Massachusetts. This year, the plunge will take place on Saturday February 28 at Revere Beach, and the LABBB Legends are gearing up for this icy cold dip! During the past five Polar Plunges, our LABBB team has raised over $20,000 - 70% of which came directly to LABBB for our Special Olympics track and field event each spring.  Team members recruit pledges to donate to this worthy cause and could certainly use your support! If you cannot make the plunge with us, please consider contributing to the team financially or offering moral support from the shore.


This year, the LABBB Legends team is undergoing a makeover!  Rob McDonough has enthusiastically offered to assume the role of team captain.  Rob has been plunging with the LABBB Legends since 2013, and has singlehandedly raised close to $3,000 in two plunges. 

To join, or sponsor our team, go to  Under "Registration Options," select that your team is participating in the "Cool School Challenge."  Select "Register Here" on the left. After agreeing to the terms, click "Join a Team" and select the LABBB Legends from the drop menu. 

Special Olympics is a wonderful organization which helps individuals with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, and fosters joy, confidence, and fulfillment amongst the athletes. While it is free for the athletes to participate in Special Olympics events, it is certainly not free to host an event, which is why the fundraising efforts of the LABBB Legends are so important. Please consider joining us for the plunge, or making a financial contribution to support this wonderful cause!

Radio Controlled Vehicles
By: Brian Walsh


If there is energy and student learning in the classroom, it's most likely nothing less than LABBB students spotlighting and showcasing topical issues such as: tobacco, steroids in sports, safety and first-aid, obesity, battery/electric automobiles, or even the psychology of product design and store placement.

Students at LABBB's Career Direction Program at Minuteman High School are asked to select three science topics of their choosing each year. Once they have teacher approval, the research and bi-weekly check-ins and student-teacher conferences begin. Students are provided ample in-class time to research their topic, design their project/demonstration/experiment, before finally presenting their in-depth science project to their peers. Valuable peer feedback and follow up question and answer time is key for student growth, participation, and further exploration, in addition to their insights and comments on their post self-assessment evaluation. 

Please make some time to view these and other student initiated projects on our classroom blog,


Radio Controlled Vehicles  

LABBB Vocational Department
By: Chris Holet

iWork Program 


The LABBB Vocational Department continues to seek opportunities for students to work and learn appropriate work related skills in an environment that is as independent and interest oriented as possible.  The goal of the iWork program is to provide a stepping stone for students to gain skills beyond a cohort work model and provide the ground work for independent work placement.  So far this year, several students have participated in our i-Work program.  


Students in i-Work benefit from having a paid job experience in a real world work environment.  Students continue to hone their work related skills and level of responsibility as they progress towards increased independence.  While students participate in the LABBB i-Work program, they have an on-site work mentor to help them learn their new job, help them navigate any areas of concern, and to help them become independent, meaningful, and productive workers. LABBB Vocational Counselors continue to support our i-Work students as needed and provide invaluable support regarding the specific skills, needs, and interests of our students.


Through participation in the i-Work program, students gain the necessary skills necessary to advance to competitive, independent job placements.  Many of the students in our i-Work program have either been hired by their i-Work host company, or have transitioned to other work opportunities.  Needless to say, i-Work students comment on how valuable their experience was and how meaningful it was in helping them transition to the next phase of work.


If you are a business and would like to participate in the iWork program, please contact Chris Holet at 781-861-2400 x 1013 or





Forever Fit Program


We are proud to announce our new work partnership with Forever Fit.  This student work opportunity is located at 191 Watertown Street #1, Watertown, MA.  Forever Fit is a full service exercise, free-weight and Cross-Fit training facility with a juice bar.  LABBB students have enjoyed cleaning exercise and free weight equipment, maintaining and organizing the Cross Fit area, and freshening things up throughout the fitness center.  
Owner, Jim Morando says, "The students from LABBB have been doing an excellent job cleaning our fitness center. They are diligent workers and a real asset to my business!".  Customers have enjoyed seeing and interacting with our students and student, Dan LaRue responded, "I really like this work site.  It is a great work environment and has really nice people".   If you would like to partner with LABBB Collaborative, please contact Chris Holet
Giving Back to the Community
By: Melissa Allen


For the second year our classroom has given back to the community by donating personal care items and clothing to the homeless families living in Bedford,MA.

In the classroom we talk about having wants and needs. We also talk about how there are families living in our communities that don't even have the things they need, never mind the things they want!  We talk about how this might feel and try to take the perspective of others, as well as talking about how it feels to us when we are able to help others that need it.


We encouraged students to not just ask their parents for money to donate, but to do an extra chore or two around the house, donate some money from their paycheck or maybe even give up buying a snack or drink for a week and instead donate the money.  We are grateful to the parents of the students in our class who greatly helped to support this message and cause; some students even donated the coins they had in their piggy banks!!


Our final count came to $194.51. Wow!! We then went to the Dollar Store in Burlington to shop for the items we knew were necessity items for these families.  We were able to put together twenty buckets filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, mesh sponges, tissues and lotion.  We threw in a candy cane filled with chocolates as well!  We also purchased many outfits for some of the infants and toddlers in these families.  


This project was a wonderful experience on many levels.  Not only were we able to help others in our community, but we were also able to work on our budgeting, purchasing, vocabulary and social skills as well. A big thank you to Ann Guay for being the conduit for this project.  She not only collected the packages we made, but she also came in to talk to the students about the families that they were helping.  


During a time of the year that can often be so much about getting rather than giving, we are happy to receive the gift of feeling good while helping others at the same time.  Happy New Year from the students and staff in room 825!


Happy New Year from Ms. Doherty's Class 2015!
By: Lori Doherty

As our new year rolls in, our class has been discussing something called resolutions. We learned that resolutions are goals we make for ourselves at the start of a new year that will help us to improve ourselves and our lives!

Some of the resolutions our classmates have made include:


1) Working harder at school.


2) Making healthy choices in the cafeteria.


3) Doing more chores at home.


4) Improving our listening skills.


We plan on working on our resolutions to the best of our ability. How about you? 

Sharing the Holiday Spirit
By: Keren Averback

  LABBB had the pleasure of having Anne Mironchik, a speech-language intern from Boston University, work with students in the LABBB Arlington classrooms this Fall.  Besides studying speech-language pathology, Anne is also an established jazz musician. For her last day at LABBB she organized a sing along in which the LABBB Arlington students paired up with the students from two of Ms. Christo's Arlington High School choir classes.  Anne practiced the song "Let it Snow" with all the students from LABBB before the sing along, teaching them the lyrics, rhythm, and then putting it all together. She used picture symbols to help with the lyrics, for those students that needed them. 


On December 19th, each LABBB student paired up with an AHS student and sang a number of holiday songs, including "Let it Snow". Students who use augmentative communication devices also participated by selecting "Let it Snow" on their device during this repetitive part of the song. It was such a joy to watch the interactions between the students. In addition to singing as a group, each pair came to the front and sang the song together while Anne accompanied them on the piano. We are so thankful to Ms. Christo for letting us join her classes and for the AHS students' participation in this activity. Thank you to Anne for creating this memorable event. It really was a great time and we hope this becomes a yearly tradition at AHS! 


About Us
For more information please visit us at:


LABBB Collaborative Central Office
36 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
(339) 222-5615