Articles by Reena Karasin

Learning Math Through Maple Syrup

“Everyone say xylem,” Groundwork Somerville Youth Education Coordinator Josia Gertz DeChiara tells a room full of second grade students, holding up a drawing depicting the layers of a maple tree. The students at the Albert F. Argenziano school were initially stumped by the “z” sound at the beginning of xylem, but quickly remembered that DeChiara […]


More to Love Challenges Definition of Wellness

Rachel Estapa spent her teenage years at odds with her body. She was active and played sports, but her body resisted her dieting and attempts to lose weight. She felt society’s insistence that a healthy person was a slim one. Her life took a turn in 2008 when the Great Recession hit and she lost […]


City Wellbeing Report Dives into Web of Health Factors

The concept of “health” is no longer constrained to a medical silo—it’s present in every facet of people’s lives, from the stability of their housing to the ways they use social media to the air they breathe. The Department of Health and Human Services and Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) spent over a year putting together […]


Parenting Journey Supports Families Fearing Deportation

Parenting Journey aims to guide parents through the many challenges that raising a family involves. And between DACA uncertainty, ICE raids, and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind temporary protected status for almost 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States, deportation is becoming an increasing reality for Somerville’s families.   The Somerville-based nonprofit, which has […]


First Church to Confront Racism and White Privilege

First Church Somerville’s guiding principle is the “radical welcome”—the idea that the church will meet people of all identities and backgrounds where they are and accept them into the community. The church tries to live up to its promise of a radical welcome both inside and outside the building, from raising a pride flag to […]


Drag Storytime is Coming to the Library

Three drag performers will host storytime this weekend at the Somerville Public Library to deliver the message that it’s OK to be different. Alli Thresher formed Storytime with Drag Kings, Queens, and Friends when they heard about storytimes elsewhere in the country that featured drag performers. They thought about their friends and local performers—”magical, sparkly, […]


Tackling Opioid Addiction Early

Governor Baker’s New Plan to Enhance Substance Abuse Education and Prevention Governor Charlie Baker has released his second major package to tackle the opioid crisis that has swept the country and ravaged Massachusetts in recent years. The package includes a piece of proposed legislation called the CARE Act—Combating addiction, Accessing treatment, Reducing prescriptions, and Enhancing […]


Passim Awards Grants to Local Musicians

Passim doled out $42,000 this winter to musicians with ties to New England as part of its annual effort to help artists advance their careers. The Harvard Square-based nonprofit’s Iguana Music Fund is designed to enrich local communities by supporting musicians and making it easier to be a full-time artist. “It’s really to help the […]


Our Best Stories of 2017

From mass protests that kicked off the beginning of the year to the bitter cold ushering December to a close, 2017 has been a wild ride. As we look back on the year, we want to highlight some of our favorite stories about the people, places, and movements that make Somerville, Somerville. So we hope […]


New Year’s Eve in Somerville

Still working on your New Year’s Eve plans and looking for something close to home? Luckily, Somerville is up to the challenge. Check out these local New Year’s events at some of the city’s best spots. Aeronaut NYE 2018 + Bottle Club Launch Aeronaut is using New Year’s as a chance to launch its new […]


Revolutionary Clinics Offers Marijuana-Themed Comedy

Medical marijuana dispensaries are still new to Somerville, and Revolutionary Clinics—recently opened in East Somerville—is aiming to make getting educated fun. The dispensary hosts patient education nights every Thursday, and this week is hosting a free, marijuana-themed comedy show featuring comedians from Greater Boston. Patient Advocate Matthew Fear is behind the “Cannabis Comedy” night. He’s […]


Behind Somerville’s Painted Windows

Mandee Martin has loved letters ever since she was a kid. She dreamed of perfect cursive and worked at her bubble letters. She took to graffiti in her 20s, enjoying how the medium let her designs stretch. She painted her first window about 10 years ago while working at Beth Israel Deaconess — “I felt […]