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Somerville students take strides for health

FRENCH DRESSING — About 100 students from Thorpe Elementary School in Danvers modeled fashions to raise more than $6,000 to expand and renovate the school library and create a common learning and research area. Third-graders (from left) Emma Wilichoski, Maxine Lapine, and Lilly Walfield dressed with a Paris theme.

FRENCH DRESSING — About 100 students from Thorpe Elementary School in Danvers modeled fashions to raise more than $6,000 to expand and renovate the school library and create a common learning and research area. Third-graders (from left) Emma Wilichoski, Maxine Lapine, and Lilly Walfield dressed with a Paris theme.

STEP BY STEP: Students at the Brown School in Somerville are putting one foot in front of the other to get an active start to the school day, part of a Walk to School pilot program that began March 3.

Students and their parents or guardians now have the option of being dropped off in a special zone near Morrison and Willow avenues, then walking three blocks to the elementary school.

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The Brown School is partnering with Shape Up Somerville, the Somerville Police Department, and Somerville Traffic and Parking to promote the program.

The initiative is designed to provide students with a safer route to school while promoting exercise to start the day.

The alternate drop-off zone is also aimed at alleviating morning traffic congestion and pollution around the school.

“We continue our work to make Somerville a safe and healthy community by educating our young residents on the benefits of starting early with simple steps like walking to school,” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “We hope all families will take advantage of this exciting program. and help us teach our children about the benefits of being active.”

“Teaching our children the habit of daily walking will keep them active and healthy for life,” said David Hudson, director of Shape Up Somerville. “We know that students who are physically active during the school day do better in the classroom, which is why this new pilot program at the Brown School is so important for students and staff.”

“We are committed to supporting the whole child and promoting healthy lifestyle habits,” said Tony Pierantozzi, school superintendent. “This pilot program at the Brown School is the latest example of how much our community values health and wellness and how strongly we believe that focusing on the whole child leads to academic success.”

The program is the latest in a series of Safe Routes to School programs in Somerville.

Visit somerville.k12.ma.us for information.

WEARING THE GREEN AGAIN: After an absence of three years, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is returning to Lawrence on Saturday at 1 p.m.

More than 100 organizations from throughout New England are expected to march. There will be some 20 floats, up to 15 bands, and numerous Massachusetts legislators participating.

The 2-mile route begins at Essex and Amesbury streets and ends on Market Street.

“The return of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a big deal for the city of Lawrence,” said Mayor Daniel Rivera. “This is a tradition that generations of children have had the pleasure to enjoy, and we could not be more proud to bring the tradition back home. This parade is the epitome of making Lawrence better. I invite all residents and friends of the city to come to Lawrence on March 15 and celebrate the biggest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade north of Boston.”

A ‘TRI’ FOR ALL: The theme for the fourth annual triathlon at the YWCA Greater Newburyport on March 23 is “every(body) can do it!”

The race consists of a 10-minute lap swim in the Y’s indoor pool, a 25-minute spin cycle ride poolside, and a 1.5-mile run on Newburyport’s rail trail.

This year, the Y is hosting the event in partnership with Tough Warrior Princesses, which provides services to local patients and families recovering from cancer.

Tough Warrior Princesses regularly collaborates with the Y’s Encore Program, which offers free aquatic and strength classes to women recovering from breast cancer.

Ilene Harnch-Grady, the Y’s wellness director, said the event is “ideal for the first-time athlete or the seasoned competitor looking to break a personal record.”

“This triathlon is unlike any other in the region, in that it welcomes participants of all abilities and conditions to take part,” Harnch-Grady said. “Whether you’re trying to rebuild your body and strength in the wake of an illness or surgery, or have an interest in challenging yourself to complete your first-ever triathlon, it’s the perfect event.”

Registration is now open and is $45. Call 978-465-9922, ext. 13, or visit ywcanewburyport.org for more information.

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Thomas L. Mortimer, president and chief executive of Haverhill Bank, and Naomi M. Predergast, president and chief executive of the D’Youville Life and Wellness Community in Lowell, are being honored by the agencies of the Home Health Foundation with the 2014 Legacy of Leading awards. They are being recognized for their support of the health and well being of communities in the Merrimack Valley. Mortimer and Predergast will receive the awards April 10 at a dinner ceremony at Andover Country Club. . . . The Lynn Museum and Historical Society has received the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s annual Gold Star Award in recognition of its exhibit “The Way We Worked.” The exhibit traced the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments during a span of 150 years. It drew from both the National Archives’ photographic collections and the Lynn Museum’s images and artifacts.

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