Spanish American Center, Inc.
112 Spruce Street, Leominster, MA 01453
Tel #: 978-534-3145 Fax #: 978-534-5146
Board Of Directors News
Richard Letarte, CPA, of Lunenburg, MA – President, SAC Board of Directors.
Angelita Santiago, (Fitchburg Public Schools), of Fitchburg, MA – Vice President, SAC Board of Directors.
Angelita Santiago in the news:
King celebrated by Leominster group
by Peter Jasinski, Sentinel and Enterprise, January, 2017
Angelita Santiago was honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service.
LEOMINSTER — In a week beginning with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and ending with the presidential inauguration, the legacy of the late civil rights leader, and how it might look during Donald Trump’s America, took center stage in Leominster Monday.
This was the 18th annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King held by the First Church Unitarian Universalist church, during which a handful of local politicians weighed in on the significance of the holiday.
“I don’t know about you, but I think in this year in particular, after everything we’ve been through, this day takes on special meaning and special importance,” U.S. Rep Jim McGovern told the roughly 100-person crowd gathered at the church.
“I’m not here to re-litigate elections, but too much has been said during this past year that it’s hard to get out of my mind and hard to move beyond.”
Though he said he plans to remain optimistic following Trump’s inauguration, McGovern said it will come down to the people to say no to things like bigotry and hatred, as well as Trump proposals like repealing the Affordable Care Act. Talk of the impending inauguration had been a running theme through the morning’s celebrations, the Rev. Dr. Susan Suchocki Brown said.
“I think the inauguration has made people a little more conscious of the holiday, a little more wanting to know their neighbor or be connected,” she said, explaining that this year’s celebration had attracted more than past years.
“It’s raised people’s awareness that we need to do things together.”
Also among the crowd was state Rep. Natalie Higgins, who referenced the Martin Luther King quote by saying, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase,” and how significant that sentiment has been to her during her first weeks in office.
“I’m really look forward to coming together as a community to make sure we can continue to move forward,” she said.
Mayor Dean Mazzarella also commented on the significance of the holiday to the diverse community of Leominster.
“We’ve always gotten along well and we’ve always lived the lessons of Dr. King,” he said.
Monday also saw musical performances by several groups, including students from the Leominster High School Hip Hop Culture class, as well as the recognition of local local civil rights activist and educator Angelita Santiago.
“I am among friends here today,” Santiago said. “I’m very humbled and honored for you to think about me the way you do.”
The speeches made Monday also saw McGovern making a call to action for residents to take on the same responsibilities of the activists of the civil rights movement.
“Don’t forget, there was no Voting Rights Act, no Civil Rights Act; there was none of that when people like Martin Luther King and John Lewis and millions of others who went to the streets and marched, and lobbied their representatives, and made a difference,” he said. “They make the impossible happen.”
Angelita Santiago Educator uses language skills to help children succeed
By Anna Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED: 07/30/2015 06:54:57 AM
FITCHBURG — Angelita Santiago has spent the past 30 years using her bilingual skills and her experience with children to help thousands of Fitchburg students succeed in school.
Santiago, a resident of North Central Massachusetts since 1975, came to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico when she was 17 years old. She studied nursing in New York before moving to Fitchburg and taking human services courses at Fitchburg State University. She began working in Fitchburg public schools in 1976, the year the Bilingual Education Act was passed, and used her fluency in multiple Spanish dialects to help local children learn better. She left Fitchburg for several years, returning in the 1980s to work with the high school’s bilingual program, and then with the special education program.
“I enjoy helping the kids and the community,” said Santiago, who still works for the school district part-time. “Most parents don’t understand their kids’ disabilities, so I guide them through that, and help connect them to different agencies and services in the city.”
She explained that she had an interest in helping others from a very young age. Not only did her own passion for education inspire Santiago to help others succeed, she said the desire to serve the community runs in her family.
“I think my mother invented the foster home,” she said. “She used to feed the neighborhood and take care of children that were orphaned and things like that. So I come from a family that has always helped others.
Beyond her work in the schools, Santiago said she has “worked in the community in many areas of civic duty.”
She registers people to vote and takes them to the polls on election days, serves as the vice president of the Spanish American Center Board of Directors, and is active in her church, the New Life Church in Leominster.
She also has a large family of her own, with four daughters, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren with one on the way.
Santiago considers herself experienced in dealing with children, and said she cares deeply about the students she works with in the special needs program.
“When I have a special needs student that graduates from Fitchburg High School and goes on to something else that can be of service not just to the community, but to themselves,” she said, “that is my proudest moment.” – Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise 7/30/15
Silvia Taurino, of Leominster, Secretary. SAC Volunteer.
Luz Torres, Leominster, SAC Clerical/Reception Volunteer
Mary Yanneth Bermudez-Camp, Esq., of Leominster
Lionel Reinford, of Leominster, Retired Leominster and Fitchburg Public School Systems.
Gallery openings a hit at Fitchburg Art Museum Sunday, March 12, 2017
Sentinel and Enterprise, Monday, March 13, 2017
FITCHBURG — Art is alive and well in Fitchburg.
For proof of its flourishing, look no further than the hundreds who attended a pair of exhibit openings at the Fitchburg Art Museum Sunday afternoon.
The museum was flooded with visitors to unveil “A Curious Nature: Paintings by Shelley Reed” and “Mr. Reinford’s World,” the latter of which features paintings by Fitchburg resident Lionel Reinford.
Reinford’s exhibit features dozens of oil paintings by the Harvard-educated native of Honduras, all full of bold and bright colors and depicting scenes from local landmarks and well-known vistas.
“These are places I’ve been and ideas I have. I’m inspired by stories and issues I’ve come across,” Reinford said during the opening reception. “I’ve put a lot of work into these paintings and seen many places that I’ve been lucky enough to paint.”
The paintings by Reinford span decades and include scenes of Leominster and Fitchburg’s city halls and other area landmarks, as well as landscape scenes from the likes of Russia and Mount Rushmore.
Both artists said they received plenty of positive feedback from those attending Sunday’s opening receptions. Among those applauding the work of the artists was Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale, who praised the city for “having a great museum, a great university and all the amenities of a great city.”
Migdalia Velez, BA, of Leominster. Program Director, The Family Resource Center at Fitchburg Community Connections Coalition, Fitchburg
Cheryl A. Boissy, LICSW, of Ayer, MA Retired Clinical Social Worker.
Ann J Bissonnette of Leominster, MA
Leona Shaw,Vice President of Community Impact Programs
Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc.
133 Prichard Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
978 345-7040 ext. 14
In Memorium – John I. Going
LEOMINSTER- John Isaac Going, 66, of Leominster, died Tuesday, January 6, in Sterling Village after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born May 18, 1948, in Leominster, son of Patricia M. (Supple) and the late Sidney Going, Sr. John graduated from Leominster High School in 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Secondary Education in 1975, and Master’s degree in Community Counseling in 1992, both from Fitchburg State College. John immersed himself in his community as a Community Service Coordinator for Catholic Charities of North Worcester County, Board of Directors for the Spanish American Center, religious educator and active member at Holy Family of Nazareth Church, and as an election worker for Ward 4. John enjoyed writing poetry. He was involved with several literary magazines and weekly newspapers, including the Tribune and Pioneer. He also enjoyed merengue dancing.
Besides his mother, he leaves his brother, Sidney “Tom” Going, Jr. and his wife Kathleen of Leominster; one sister, Sr. Mary Going, OSB, of Martin, KY; and a large community of colleagues and friends.
Besides his father, he was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, John and Mary Supple, his paternal grandparents, Isaac and Mary Alice Going, and one brother, Thomas Philip Going in 1950.
The funeral will be held Saturday, January 10, from Simard Funeral Home, 14 Walker St., Leominster, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 A.M. in Holy Family of Nazareth Church, 750 Union St., Leominster. Burial will follow in St. Leo’s Cemetery.
Calling hours are Friday, January 9, from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. in the funeral home.