Oak Bluffs

Christmas music, decorations and lights are abundant throughout the town and Island, but our hearts are heavy. An Island we may be, but that does not mean our world ends at the shoreline. As news of the tragic shooting at the school in Connecticut reached us, we reacted with stunned silence and tears in our hearts. We send our prayers and love to the victims, their families and classmates, and all those affected by this unbelievable tragedy, including families, children and teachers throughout the world, holding them all close to our hearts.

The Oak Bluffs School “report card” has been sent home to parents and it contains information about student enrollment and teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, how our school is performing relative to other schools, and the progress our school is making toward narrowing proficiency gaps for different groups of students.

Important dates to remember are the noon dismissal on December 21. The December break is from December 24 through January 1, 2013. School reopens on January 2.

Susan Habekost is very proud of her 13-year-old daughter, Alex, who is in the 8th grade at the Oak Bluffs School. For the past three years Alex has made Christmas cards for people who may need a bit of cheer. This year she made over 60 cards for patients at Boston Children’s Hospital. She worked for weeks making each card unique with festive drawings and stamps, and each has a friendly message inside. Other recipients of her cards, the past couple years, have been Windemere and The Barnstable County Correctional Facility for women. Susan wanted to share this story in the hope that it will inspire others of all ages to spread kindness and joy.

You won’t be bored this winter if you partake of the programs offered at the town library. On Thursday December 20, from 2 to 4 pm, there will be “Knitting for Others.” Contact: Muriel O’Rourke or Phyllis Jampol at 508-397-3316. This is an informal knitting group for primarily making hats, mittens, and scarves for the Food Pantry. All are welcome! Basic knitting skills are desirable. Patterns and yarn will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Location: Conference Room.

Every Saturday from 10 am to 12 noon the chess group meets. Contact: 508-693-9433 or info@oakbluffslibrary.org. All levels are welcome to attend. Please bring a chess board with you if you own one.

The Scrabble Group also meets every Saturday, 10 am to 12 noon, and all levels are welcome to attend. Please bring a scrabble board with you if you own one.Discussion Group Book club meets on the third Wednesday each month from September to May from 10 am to 12 noon. Check at the Circulation Desk for the current selection.

From 10:30 am to 11:15 am is children’s story time. Contact the children’s department at 508-693-9433: the theme changes weekly. Come have fun and develop early literacy skills with Sondra. We read, sing, dance, and play instruments. Designed for ages 1 ½; to 5. The two storytimes have now been combined into one.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury is welcoming everyone to their Christmas Eve services which will be at 5 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury, with music beginning at 4:30 pm. What better place to celebrate Christmas and the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, than in the barn. There will also be a solemn candlelight service at the West Tisbury Church at 10 pm. Please feel free to join them on Christmas Eve.

We send birthday smiles to Bill Jones on the 21st, Rae Carter, Sandra deBettencourt, Bertie Madeiras, and Marie Fisher on December 22. And special smiles to Caitlyn Francis who turns 21 on Christmas day. Caitlyn’s parents have a double reason to celebrate: their son Kyle Francis will be home for two weeks. Kyle is in the Marine Corp, currently stationed in Augusta, Georgia. Roger Schilling Jr.’s 6th birthday will be on December 26 (almost a Christmas baby). His sister, Bella, also recently celebrated a birthday on November 25th, her 2nd. She was born on Thanksgiving Day two years ago. Parents Roger and Jennifer Schilling own C’est la Vie on Curcuit Ave.

Happy Birthday to those I might have missed and get well wishes to those who need a healing smile.Merry Christmas, happy holidays and keep focused on peace everywhere.