The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of January 14 to January 21, 2021

Turtles and Gnomes: Virtual Children’s Activities

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is offering two free online events for children in January. The first is on January 23rd at 11 a.m. and will feature children’s author Sara Videtto reading from her book, Turtle’s First Winter. "This delightfully sweet, beautifully illustrated children's book follows Turtle as he learns to cope with change by leaning on his friends and making himself a place to call home," published by Hill House Press.

The second is on January 30th at 2 p.m. and will feature an interactive read aloud of Steve Shanley’s new book, The Disappearing Forest, a "choose your own adventure" type of story where you will get to decide what happens! "Immerse yourself in the lovable world of gnomes as they struggle to preserve their secret way of life and help Gary Gnomelley make wise decisions," said author Steve Shanley.

"Mount Grace is very excited to offer a different kind of virtual event for children, so we hope you and your child can join us online," says Marielena Lima, Mount Grace Communications and Engagement Coordinator. These events are open to the public and free to all. Please visit for more information.

Campus Assault Bill Signed Into Law

BOSTON- Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, announced Tuesday that legislation aimed at holding higher education institutions accountable to a new set of standards and requirements intended to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses had been signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker.

Gobi had this to say on the bill, "This was a priority for me especially after visiting all 28 Community, State College and Universities and meeting with students and staff. This bill is an important step in protecting victims and helping students feel secure on campus."

Under the bill, S.2979, An Act Relative to Sexual Violence on Higher Education Campuses, college students will be anonymously surveyed about their experiences with sexual misconduct on campus, and will have access to new, confidential resources in the event of sexual assault. The legislation requires that each campus appoint a confidential resource advisor to help students access support after a sexual misconduct incident, and institutions that do not have their own sexual assault crisis centers will need to enter into an agreement with a local center to provide services to students.

A task force will be created to develop questions for a sexual misconduct climate survey, which after review by state higher education officials, will be distributed to colleges and universities. Schools can also write their own surveys, and both public and independent higher education institutions will be required to survey their students at least once every four years, and post a summary of the anonymous responses online.

Additionally, the bill requires colleges and universities to adopt sexual misconduct polices and post them online. The policies need to include procedures for reporting misconduct, information on receiving emergency assistance, the rights of students and employees, and a summary of procedures for resolving complaints. The bill is aimed at ensuring that students are trained on sexual violence prevention and bystander strategies, and that they are made aware of the rights of the reporting party and the accused during the disciplinary process, as well as any sanctions that may be imposed by the school.

For more information on the bill and its application on college campuses, please email Senator Gobi’s office at