The LABBB Collaborative Newsletter
March, 2015
LABBB Chenery Middle School students engage with their Best Buddies!

In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri

Reunions and Building a Community Culture 


"Taking the time to build community, to get to know your people will have long-lasting benefits"  
-Clifton Taulbert

My 30th annual high school reunion was held a few years ago, and I recently heard that they were already planning the next one. It is always interesting to hear what people say about attending their high school reunion. When asked if they are planning to go to their reunion, some say, "No way. I hated high school. I will never go to a reunion." Then there are those who are interested in going, but they are so nervous about facing their high school peers, they decline. Others report that they just needed a little push to go and ended up having a good time. And finally, some explain that they seriously thought about going, but decided it was too much for them, expressing regret that they didn't attend.


I have attended all of my high school reunions, except for my 20th, because I was away. I must say, I have enjoyed every one. For our 30th, many classmates flew in from as far as California to attend. It was interesting to talk with people that I never hung out with in high school. I connected with friends and some of us realized that we lived right next to each other, in neighboring towns. Following the reunion, many of us even got together with our families to catch up, and ended up staying in touch.


What is the appeal of reunions that keeps us interested? What explains their longevity of 50 or 60 or more years? What is so important that some people gear up for their reunion by getting in shape to look their best and fly many miles to attend? Reunions speak to our most critical human need - our need to connect, to be part of a community, and develop relationships. Once you are part of a community, like high school, there is something that draws you back to it even after 50 years.


LABBB has held its reunion for the past 21 years and last year 85 LABBB graduates attended. Some graduates arrived in limos, dressed in tuxes and elegant dresses ready to see and talk with old friends. It is a special occasion and many of the graduates attend every year. In our 41st year as a collaborative, it is great to see so many graduates excited about attending this event. Many of our graduates and their families have kept in touch and see each other at social activities. We get many calls from graduates and their parents asking when the LABBB reunion will be held each year. They are connected to the LABBB community.


I am sure there are many other LABBB graduates who would attend; but, like many, they may be nervous or reluctant to come because they do not know what to expect or feel like they will not know anyone.


What does it mean when we speak of the LABBB community? It is not just sharing resources for events and activities in a community; it is the actual development, identity, and participation within a community. For example, the annual BBQ Festival draws thousands of people who recognize that they are participating in a LABBB community event. When I attend this event, I certainly see all the people who are part of LABBB, but I also connect with non-affiliated community members who ask how LABBB is doing. This brings awareness that our community is alive and thriving. The craft fair and Special Olympics cultivate this same spirit.


We need to think about how our students will socialize and connect when they graduate. We place great emphasis on transition skills, and this has to include relationship and community building. The time to start developing these relationships is during the high school years. It doesn't just happen on its own when our students graduate. In most cases, strong social connections are the difference between a student holding a job or losing it. Relationships are the glue we rely on to support us, give us purpose, and help make us successful and happy.


We need to be mindful that the LABBB community can be a long-term resource for graduates and their families. Natural supports are built within our schools and local businesses because the citizens in our community learn from and connect with our students. Even families that do not have a connection to LABBB, but know about what we do, support us because they are knowledgeable about what our students can offer.

Our work is to build a culture, a community, and a resource that has longevity and lifelong meaning for our students. Each event we create and sustain brings us closer to this ideal.
Parent Resources and Events
School Cancellation: 
All LABBB programs follow the school cancellations in their respective towns.

Recreation links:
Coming Events:
  • 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 [email protected]

LABBB Parent Advisory Council (PAC)


Click here to visit our Yahoo discussion group


Click here to visit our website and resource page


Unified Theater coming to LABBB!
By: Meaghan Henneberry


Get your creative caps on and have fun with your peers creating a play


Who: Calling LABBB Students to participate


What:  Unified Theater is a nation wide non-profit 501(c) 3 that works with thousands of students across the nation.  Each UT Production is unique to the abilities and interests of the participants. UT is about students writing their own scenes about their own characters to tell a story. UT centers on Spotlight on Ability, which welcomes students of all interests, backgrounds, and abilities to join.


Visit their website at:


When: Rehearsals start Wednesday March 25th 


Where: Bedford High School


The live Production will be June 2nd


*Stay tuned, Paula Rizzo will be sending out more information soon.

Please contact her at [email protected] with any questions.


Staff Advisors: Trish Costa and Meaghan Henneberry


Fun with Snow at Ottoson Middle School
By: Peggy Sheehan

Since there's no escaping it, the students at Ottoson have been embracing the snow in lots of activities this month. We painted some snowy trees that look like the ones out of our window. We did a project where we answered some questions about ourselves, and used that information to follow a key to decorate snowmen. Some of the students also made a graph for all of the information. Later that week, we brought some fresh snow inside and built some real snowmen! We followed directions to bake snowflake cookies during a cooking group, and, finally, for a special activity before vacation, we set up a ramp in the classroom and had lots of fun sledding (on shaving cream!) indoors.



Pirates Day at Francis Wyman 
and More Math at Fox Hill Elementary Schools
By: Patti Eleftheriou



YO-HO-HO! Our LABBB classes were overrun with pirates! Ms. Pappin and Ms. Cormier's classes joined in on the fun! 


On February 27, 2015, Francis Wyman was taken over by PIRATES! Everywhere you looked, there were three cornered hats, eye patches, and the occasional parrot on the shoulder! Luckily, no one had to walk the plank!


The Pirate Crews (students at Francis Wyman) were working to earn Doubloons (treasure coins) by being caught demonstrating how they show they CARE: Compassion, Accomplishment, Respect, Enthusiasm, and Self-reliance! 


The students were trying to earn enough Doubloons (treasure coins) so that Captain McDonald...I mean, PRINCIPAL Nicole McDonald, will dye her hair PURPLE! Can't wait to see those pictures! 


Teachers' Go Back To School



On February 12, 2015, the teachers and assistants at LABBB's Fox Hill program all went back to school! Ms. Gayle Lewis, Department Head Lower, Middle School Math at Carroll School in Lincoln, MA, came to show the teachers and assistants how to use the new and revised My symphony site. It is a math site that is used throughout our Burlington LABBB classes. 


Everyone had to create their own log-ins and learn the program so they would be better able to help their students access the new site! Ms. Lewis will be coming back to finish training our teachers and assistants at Fox Hill later in the spring! School daze! School daze! Never end for our Fox Hill teachers!

Recreation News & Events
By: Paula Rizzo

We  made it through a rough snow time at LABBB after school recreation. Unfortunately, we have to cancel the trip to Motown.This trip actually got cancelled on the first night we were supposed to go, and then cancelled again on the rescheduled date.  


We also had to miss two meetings of the Trans. Rec. Program, but we were able to make those two dates up at the end of February.  This program is now over for this school year, but like last year, it was a huge success and we will have another session Jan.-Feb. 2016. 


LABBB moves on to new programs starting in the spring and we are really looking forward to getting outside for some of our activities.


Bowling is starting up the first week of March. Wedesday Recreation will start mid-March and we are adding some new activities; Fashion Time and Art class. 


Saturday Recreation Opportunities


LABBB Recreation is aware that Saturdays can be a long day at home with nothing to do for our students.  LABBB is trying to recognize this need and is bringing back our Biking Club and a new Golf Group on Saturdays. Flyers and more information will be coming in the mail to students mid March.  We can not enroll all students, but if biking or golfing are a favorite activity to do, then we hope that LABBB high school students will come join their friends and do it together with LABBB.


LABBB has joined with the Lexington Recreational Department for a drop in recreation group on Saturday mornings in March.  To find out more information and register please visit: or call 781-698-4800 to check on openings for the Open Gym at Estabrook School in Lexington.


LABBB will be joining the Cotting Challenger Baseball League.  LABBB will have a team of 15 players that will go to Cotting School in Lexington to play on Saturday mornings.  This is open to middle and high school LABBB students.  The registration form will be sent out at the beginning of April. This activity will start the first Saturday of May.


Staff vs. Students Basketball Game!


March 12th is the LABBB staff vs students basketball game.  We have our players for each team, now we need the fans.  Please join us at the Lexington High School Gym from 6:30-8:30PM to cheer on your peers or favorite teacher.  There will be a $5.00 entrance fee at the door.  Hope to see you there. 


March/April Recreation Activities

March 11:      LABBB Trip to Flower Show in Boston

March 12:      LABBB Staff VS Students Basketball Game

March 14:      Polar Plunge, Nantasket Beach, 10 AM Registration

March 16,17  GBBL Basketball Tournament in Lowell

March 18:      Wednesday Recreation Programs Start

March 19:      LABBB St. Patrick's Day Dance at John Glenn Middle School, Bedford

March 20:      LABBB Monthly Mini Golf

March 23:      LABBB Monthly Around Town Dining to Chilies in Burlington

March 25:      Chenery Best Buddies Event

March 26:      LABBB Basketball Banquet at Chateau in Burlington

March 26:      Monthly Movie Night

March 27:      Hike

March 29:      LABBB trip to Harlem Globetrotters

April 2:          Disney On Ice at DCU Center in Worchester

April 6:          Monthly Around Town Dining 

April 8:          2015 Disney Trip Parent Meeting 7:00 PM Lexington High

April 9:          Lexington Best Buddies Event

April 9:          LABBB Monthly Movie Night  


All About Animals! - Chenery Students' Animal Project Presentations

By: Linda Bartlett


On Friday February 27th LABBB Chenery students brought in their animal Science projects and reports and shared with their classmates about the animal they chose to research. The students picked an animal, learned about its habitat, eating habits, as well as interesting facts relating to their chosen animal. The students loved sharing the projects they worked so hard on, and we all loved learning more about different animals! Great job to our amazing learners at Chenery!!


Polar Plunge 2015: Raising Funds for Special Olympics - New Date & Location



Join LABBB Legends in the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Massachusetts!


NEW Date: Saturday March 14th

Time: Registration 10am, Plunge 12pm

 NEW Location: Nantasket Beach


Be a plunger (go into the water) or a chicken (watch from the beach) to help us raise money for the Special Olympics! The minimum fundraising amount is $100. 70% of our team's fundraising supports LABBB Special Olympics. The day of the plunge, there will be food and other activities at the beach.

Use this website to sign up for the LABBB Legends team:


Questions? Email Rob: [email protected]



About Us
For more information please visit us at:


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