News & Notes 22/10/06

Grants for new charter schools

The New Hampshire Department of Education recently released data revealing that $10.2 million has been distributed over the past two years to fund the formation of five new Board of Education-approved public charter schools in the state. According to NHPR, the funds come from a $46 million federal grant allocated for charter school startup costs, such as renovating buildings and recruiting staff and students, as part of an initiative to double the number of New Hampshire charter schools over five years. The newly approved schools include Heartwood Chartered Public School in Jefferson, Gathering Waters Charter School in Keene, Northeast Woodlands Charter School in Conway, Spark Academy of Advanced Technologies in Manchester and Lionheart Classical Academy, which opened in Peterborough this fall. Since 2020, four existing charter schools in New Hampshire closed their doors, the article said. The New Hampshire Department of Education expects to award another round of grants this month.

Lottery sales record

The New Hampshire Lottery broke its all-time sales record in the fiscal year 2022, generating more than $536.5 million in total sales, an increase of 3.3 percent, or $17.6 million, from the previous year, when it set a record high of $519 million. According to a press release, the New Hampshire Lottery also delivered a record high amount of $146.3 million to support education in the state in the last fiscal year. “We are pleased to break our sales and revenue records this year, as our success directly benefits schools statewide,” Charlie McIntyre, executive director of New Hampshire Lottery, said in the release. “Over the past year, as we worked to continuously engage current players and new audiences, we have launched countless new games, expanded and enhanced current offerings, introduced the state-of-the-art NH Lottery app, and have continued to build strong momentum with sports betting, all of which supports our ongoing efforts to maximize revenue for education.” New Hampshire Lottery sales have increased by nearly 60 percent, or nearly $200 million, over the past five years.

Underground Railroad site

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire announced in a press release that the National Park Service has accepted Ona Judge Staines’ burial site in New Hampshire as part of its National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The site is one of 17 sites added to the Network from its 44th round of applications and joins more than 700 sites, facilities and programs across 13 states that represent that diverse experiences of freedom seekers who escaped slavery and the allies who helped them. Ona “Oney” Judge Staines was enslaved at the plantation of first U.S. president George Washington in Mount Vernon, Virginia and escaped to Philadelphia, where the free Black community assisted her in relocating to and starting a new life in New Hampshire as a free woman. Information on the location of the site is restricted from the public to protect its historical integrity. Visit

Pop-up pantries

United Way of Greater Nashua’s Pop-Up Pantries will transition from 13 outdoor locations to five indoor locations during the colder months, starting on Oct. 31, according to a press release. The weekly pantries distribute food, provided by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, around downtown Nashua to families experiencing food insecurity. The indoor pantries will be located at Arlington Street Community Center at 36 Arlington St. on Mondays; at Girls Inc. at 21 Burke St. on Tuesdays; at Harbor Care at 45 High St. on Wednesdays; at Nashua Community Music School at 2 Lock St. on Thursdays; and at Crossway Christian Church at 33 Pine St. on Fridays. All pantries distribute food on a first come, first served basis starting at 11 a.m. and ending when all food has been distributed, except for Wednesday, when the pantry starts at 2 p.m. Visit

Skydiving educators

A group of New Hampshire educators joined Commissioner Frank Edelblut of the New Hampshire Department of Education for a skydiving excursion at the Lawrence Municipal Airport in North Andover, Mass., on Sept. 28. Each participant was paired with a soldier from the U.S. Army’s Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, for a tandem jump at 12,500 feet. The jumps serve as an exercise in teamwork, courage, discipline and training for the soldiers, according to a press release. “The U.S. Army provides students with a number of life-building opportunities, including numerous educational benefits like tuition assistance for postsecondary education, and leadership and career development opportunities, to name a few,” Edelblut said in the release. “It was an honor to be here today and skydive with some of our great soldiers who are committed to bettering their academic and career paths while serving as role models for our youth.”

CPR kits donated

The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon recently received a donation of 500 infant CPR home training kits from the American Heart Association, funded by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, and is distributing the kits to families of babies treated in the hospital’s intensive care nursery upon discharge. According to a press release, the kit contains tools to help new parents learn lifesaving infant CPR and infant choking relief skills in as little as 20 minutes, including a self-directed learning program that allows the user to practice the skills on a manikin while observing a video demonstration. “Learning CPR is one of the most important things all of us can do. You never know when a hero may be needed,” Lauren G. Gilstrap, MD, MPH, a cardiologist at the Heart & Vascular Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, said in the release. “These training kits will allow parents to feel confident and empowered to perform CPR successfully should an emergency occur with their child.”

The New Hampshire Transportation Council will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m. at NHDOT, 7 Hazen Drive, Room 114, in Concord, to discuss the New Hampshire Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan recently approved by the Federal Highway Administration. The purpose of the meeting, according to a press release, is to explain the plan to the public, discuss public comments received during the plan’s development and answer questions from the public. The meeting will also be attendable via Zoom. Visit

The Upper Room, a family resource center located at 36 Tsienneto Road in Derry, will host a three-part “Active Parenting for 0- to 5-year-olds” educational series for parents of young children. The series will run weekly on Wednesdays for three consecutive weeks, starting on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and sessions will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Participants will learn skills such as how to identify what a baby’s cry might mean, how to manage the “terrible twos” and more. Visit or call 427-8477, ext. 124.

UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Goffstown is looking for volunteers to assist in mounted programming, including Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy and Carriage Driving; unmounted (no riding) programs, which involve working with horses from the ground; and barn chores, such as mucking stalls, turnout, cleaning buckets, hay distribution, sweeping and more. Volunteer training sessions are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon, and Tuesday, Nov. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m., with an additional training required for those working directly with horses offered on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age, and horse experience is helpful, but not required. Visit

Child care struggles in NH

We were thrilled to learn last year that our daughter and her family living in Florida were relocating to New Hampshire. Our grandson would be nearby, and his parents too. Plans were made, houses were sold and bought, and the relocation process began. Imagine everyone’s shock when it was quickly discovered that there was no daycare available for our grandson in New Hampshire. No center within a reasonable geographical distance had availability, and in fact most had lengthy waitlists. The pause button was hit, and a Plan B evolved.

A recent article in NH Business Review, “In search of childcare solutions,” addresses the child care shortage. The article notes, “The reasons behind the waitlists are part of a vicious cycle. Workers are leaving childcare centers due to low pay. In turn, the centers are not able to take in as many children, because they lack staff and can’t meet the required teacher-child ratios. In an attempt to solve this, childcare centers raise their rates, so they can pay workers a higher wage and retain them. However, this results in some families having trouble affording childcare.” Lather, rinse, repeat.

In 2014, as part of my Leadership NH program, Steven Rowe, who at the time was President of Endowment for Health, gave a compelling presentation. He noted that the developing brain is like a sponge, and by age 3, 80 percent of the neural construction is complete. What happens in those first three years is critical in terms of early childhood development. He noted that investments in early childhood development yield, by far, the greatest returns. Yet as a society we invest the least at the time of greatest impact. NH Business Review confirms this in its recent article. It notes according to, the average annual pay of the state’s child care workers is $24,490 compared to the average annual income in New Hampshire of $59,270 (not even half).

This year the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services created the Child Care Strengthening Plan, funded through American Rescue Plan funds (see Its goals include building a better child care system, helping more families afford quality child care over the next three years, and ensuring equal access to child care programs, services and activities. It’s a start in addressing a glaring problem for New Hampshire families. In addition to delivering on the details of this plan, we should also be planning for what’s beyond it. As we prepare to vote in November, this is a great topic to discuss with the candidates when they ask for your vote.

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!