Northborough/Southborough school communities to participate in a Community Read project

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Librarian Kimberly Honey and Northborough/Southborough Regional Schools Superintendent Gregory Martineau
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Northborough/Southborough – Gregory Martineau, school superintendent of the Northborough and Southborough Regional Schools, recently announced that the combined school districts will embark on a Community Read project. The book selected is “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed” by Jessica Lahey.

The book includes topics such as handling homework, report cards, social dynamics and sports. Lahey provides advice for parents on how to step back and let their children experience failure.

“It’s a school community read, but anyone can join in,” said Martineau. “I think a lot of colleges and universities and communities have done a community read so that’s how we started with the idea.”

The components of the project include two opportunities to gather as one community. The first will take place Monday, Oct. 28, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Algonquin Regional High School’s Library, 79 Bartlett St. Northborough, in a large book club setting only with a facilitator.

Attendees will have the opportunity to break out into smaller discussion groups to talk about smaller topics and then come back together to talk about larger themes.

Lahey will be the guest speaker at the second gathering March 25, 2020, from 6:30-8 p.m. at ARHS.

“Lahey will come and share her insights on writing this book and what she’s learned and engage us in a deeper conversation about the gift of failure,” Martineau shared.

“Our motto is ‘10 schools, three districts and one community of readers.’ We turned that into 10 schools, three districts and one community of readers,” Martineau explained. “We are all learners whether you’re a parent, a student, a citizen – and we are all readers.”

When asked how this year’s book was selected, Martineau replied, “One way to bring people together is through a common understanding and a common text. We did some research around what could that text be and through some great work we landed on ‘The Gift of Failure…’

“We think of failure as a negative connotation, but it’s so important in terms of how we learn and it’s what you do with failure. It’s part of the learning process,” Martineau added.

Parenthood can be a lonely journey and, as members of the school communities, most of whom are parents, having conversations around parenting helps to feel connected.

Martineau encouraged anyone interested to come join the discussion. There is no need to pre-register.

Copies of the book will be available for loan in each of the ten school libraries as well as the Northborough Free Library and the Southborough Public Library.