Self-defense training coming up

On August 7, FAST Defense is coming to the Island on August 7. FAST stands for Fear Adrenal Stress Training.

Bob Daigle will lead two personal safety seminars on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Rise Studios at the Woodland Center in Vineyard Haven.

The first seminar, from 12 noon to 2 pm, is aimed at children between 6 and 12 years of age. The course addresses dealing with bullies; how to handle name-calling and teasing; protecting one’s space and possessions; assessing appropriate defense; and how not to start a fight.

The second seminar, from 2:30 to 5 pm, is for those aged 13 and over. Skills that are taught include how to detect a potential threat; how to avoid being picked out as an easy victim; how to avoid being picked on by others; how to act assertively; how to ask for what you want in a straightforward manner; how to transform your fear into a source of power and strength, and how to avoid assault, rape, and other violent encounters.

For more information, or to register for either seminar, contact Scott Smith at

Poetry contest at Chilmark library

The deadline for submissions to the Chilmark library’s annual Elisa Brickner Poetry Contest is 5:30 pm on Monday, Aug. 9.

Open to young adults entering grades 6 to 12, the contest was created to foster a love of poetry. Started in 1994, the contest is sponsored by the Elisa Brickner Fund of the Chilmark Free Public Library. The fund was established by Rabbi Balfour Brickner in memory of his daughter who died in an accident at age 17 in 1973.

Winners of $100 and $200 cash prizes will read their poems at 5:30 pm on Monday, Aug. 16. To obtain contest guidelines, stop by the library or call 508-645-3360.

Race and class in independent schools

Beacon Academy, which provides an accelerated year of education for Boston youth between 8th and 9th grades, is hosting “An Honest Conversation about the Role of Race and Class in Independent Schools” at 11:30 am on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. All are welcome.

For more information, contact Mervan Osborne at 617-653-7569 or