the MORE… Online Updates Volume 4.1.6 – February 6, 2019

NEWS FROM CASSERLY HOUSE | Literacy on Four Legs

by Emma Marshall

At Casserly House we have friends and neighbors of all ages, nationalities, and even species! Our After-School Program is blessed with regular visits from a very special furry friend – Holly, the literacy dog. Holly and her handler, Mary Cody, work with Dog B.O.N.E.S. Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts to encourage Boston students in their reading goals.

Students experience lots of pressure in schools to read at a high level. The frequency of reading tests and the emphasis placed on achieving ever-higher reading levels can cause students to feel anxiety about reading, especially about reading out loud to teachers or tutors. Reading to a dog, who will not judge students for a mispronunciation or stumble, can alleviate much of this stress and anxiety.

The excitement is palpable when Mary and Holly come to visit our students at Casserly House. Students eagerly pick their favorite books and wait their turn to share a story with their four-legged friend. Kids
who often find reading aloud to be overwhelming settle right in and read with confidence. They get to pet and play with Holly, who often returns the favor of being read to by showing off a trick.

We are so grateful for Mary and Holly and all the fun they provide our students. They help our students discover one of the greatest gifts a child can receive – the joy of learning.

Pictured: Mary Cody and Holly [center] with students in the Casserly House After-School Program. To learn more about Casserly House visit

Growth Continues at The Literacy Connection through Generous Grant

by Jill Uchiyama

Pictured: Roberta Sousa, District Manager, Rockland Trust [left] and Kathy Pryor, Vice President/Branch Manager, Rockland Trust [right] present a Rockland Trust Grant to Jill Uchiyama, Director of The Literacy Connection, and Pat Andrews, CSJ, Assistant Director of The Literacy Connection. To learn more visit

The Literacy Connection, in its 31st year, is proud to continue its one-on-one ESOL and literacy tutoring sessions along with citizenship services and classes in 2019. We are grateful to Rockland Trust and the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund for their recent grant awards. This generosity helps to grow our tutoring services for immigrants living in the North Allston-Brighton area. With these grants, we are able to offer more referrals, pre and post-testing in ESOL and pre-GED/Hi-SET. We are looking to expand the number of tutors we can offer the community. In addition, we believe in being advocates for immigrant rights and protections and we continue to aid in all areas of the citizenship process. If you are interested learning more about The Literacy Connection, please contact Director Jill Uchiyama at

Sister to Sister at Fontbonne

On Monday, January 28, 2019, Fontbonne, the Early College of Boston, a Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston launched the Sister to Sister Program. This program is intended to build relationships with the Sisters of St. Joseph and the young women of Fontbonne. The theme for the day was Unity and Inclusion. Betsy Conway, CSJ, began the day with a keynote address focusing on Unifying Love. After this, Dr. Michelle Cromwell facilitated an informative discussion on diversity, which encouraged student participation. Students met in small groups before and after to discuss their understanding of unity and inclusion. At the conclusion of the day, Fr. Oscar Pratt presided at a Liturgy to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.


View a video clip a portion of Sister Betsy’s presentation to students at This was also posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Pictured: Betsy Conway, CSJ, speaks to Fontbonne students; Sisters Roberta Ristuccia, Kathy Short, and Brenda Forry; Sister Anne D’Arcy with students and faculty; Dr. Michelle Cromwell during the panel discussion; Sister Marian Batho [third from left] during a small group discussion with students; Sisters Lorraine Quinn [near left] and Kathy Short [right] during a student discussion; Sister Joanne Gallagher with faculty member, Anke Hebert; Sister Patricia Cushing [third from left] works with students to complete an evaluation of the day. Learn more about Fontbonne, The Early College of Boston at

Volume 4.1.6 – February 6, 2019

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