1. Judges needed. No experience necessary!
From Kathy Edelblut:

The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) is hosting a speech and debate tournament with over 150 students competing on March 6-7 at CenterPoint Community Church, 101 School St., in Salem, New Hampshire. Would you consider volunteering a few hours to judge? No experience in either speech or debate is necessary. You are already qualified!

You may judge as little as one round on the day of your choice or several rounds over multiple days. Judging each round is only a two to three-hour commitment which includes a brief training video. Refreshments will be provided to express our gratitude. If needed, validation of your community service hours is available upon request.

Please visit  https://www.ncfca.org/2020-salem-nh and select “Click to volunteer!” Then provide your contact information, and indicate the round(s) that you plan to judge. Please note: Judges for the tournament must be at least 18 years old and no longer enrolled in high school.

Whether you have judged at one of our events in the past or this will be your first time, we are confident that you will be blessed by what you experience!  If you have any questions, please contact Denise Coombes  at salemjudges@ncfca.org or by phone (call or text) at (603)943-2025.

Everything about this competition was done professionally. I appreciated the fact that time was given to explain how the judging was to be done. I was totally blown away by the level of kids I was judging. The participants presented their speeches and debates with passion and knowledge. All the presentations took on a level that I have never seen while judging other contests. – Community Judge

This will give you an idea of what judging at one of our events looks like. If you have children or know of parents who wish their children to learn public speaking skills, forward this email, or better yet, bring them along with you! This competition comes but once a year to our area, so it’s a great opportunity to see what “Speech & Debate” is all about.

2.  Attend TeenPact in New England or New York this spring
From Elizabeth Mallicoat at TeenPact:

Dear MassHOPE families,

My name is Elizabeth Mallicoat. My mom chose to homeschool me from a young age, and through the years she did everything she could to provide me with different opportunities and ensure I was well-rounded in my education. I will never forget the time when I was thirteen years old, and she signed me up for what I thought was a “government camp.”

My first week at TeenPact pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and challenged me to think critically about different issues. I came away recognizing my need for a personal relationship with the Lord, and with a desire to step up as a leader. Fast forward ten years, and even after graduating from college and experiencing countless opportunities, I can genuinely say nothing has shaped me as much as my time in TeenPact.

TeenPact Leadership Schools believes that the answer to the world’s problems is not through statesmanship or politics but through the transformation of lives. We exist to train up youth to think Biblically, understand government, and recognize their influential capacity. It is our goal to come alongside families in New England as they seek to educate their students. We will provide students with a first-hand perspective of how government works, premier leadership training, and a week to be encouraged by spending time with like-minded Christian peers.

I love this story a student from Connecticut shared with me:

“When I was thirteen, I wasn’t going down a great road because I didn’t have peers around me who influenced me positively. But after attending TeenPact, I realized how young people could be both a mentor and a peer. I suddenly found a community where I was being mentored but also related to. This showed me how to be a Christian in this culture. In three years, I went from being an insecure and arrogant kid to being someone who is confident and loves chasing after Jesus. The main thing TeenPact taught me is how to pursue God.” – Tyler Gebhart, Connecticut 

At TeenPact Leadership Schools, we believe that students learn best by doing. Our Four Day Class (13-19-year-olds) is fast-paced and designed to give students the ultimate hands-on crash course in state government. Having students learn to find their way around the capitol, know where to find bills and how to read them, study and enjoy parliamentary debate, run for a mock office during the week, and meet public officials all adds up to an incredible experience.

TeenPact is in every state in New England, and in New York – find a class to attend today! To learn more, visit teenpact.com/new-england/ or send me an email at elizabeth.mallicoat@teenpact.com. I would love to answer any questions you may have and talk to you about this incredible ministry.

TeenPact Massachusetts will take place at the State House in Boston from May 4-8. For more information, see https://teenpact.com/states/ma/ or contact Christine Bourque at  massachusetts@teenpact.com  or Ken Tangel at  ken.tangel@teenpact.com.

3. TeenPact coming to Vermont in April
Last year was the very first time we held TeenPact (https://teenpact.com/) in Vermont, so we are excited about now offering a class for the second year in a row! Join our class in Montpelier on April 13-17, 2020. Go to teenpact.com/vermont.for more information. If you have further questions, contact Madeline Kerstetter, the TeenPact Vermont state coordinator, at vermont@teenpact.com.

4. Community Evaluators needed for March 14th ICCFS Tournament
Join us as a Community Evaluator in Hope Valley, Rhode Island! We are looking for community volunteers to watch presentations and give written feedback to our students as they hone their leadership and communication skills. In just two hours during a tournament, you can evaluate Speeches and the Round Table event for students ages 11-18. Your help enables students to cultivate critical thinking, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

No previous experience is necessary! Your life experience and unique perspective are all you need. We do provide a brief orientation during each scheduled time block to show you how to complete your ballot.

Would you invest in these leaders of tomorrow with the gift of your time by providing helpful comments? All you have to do is go to the ICCFS Community Evaluator Sign-Up 2020 LINK and select “Hope Valley, RI – March 14, 2020”. Or contact Cindy Clarkin,  RI HOPE Chapter Sponsor – Cindy.Clarkin@ICCinc.org or (401)392-3612.

Cindy Clarkin
RI HOPE Chapter Sponsor
(Click HERE to visit the newly updated RI HOPE website featuring photos, calendar, videos and over 40 Blog Posts written by studentsparentsalumni, and Teresa Moon, the CEO and President of ICC)The Institute for Cultural Communicators has been training communicators for Christ since 1997.

5. Support RI HOPE student leaders at Wright’s Farm networking event February 20

From Cindy Clarkin:

I have been teaching communication and leadership skills to 100’s of young people in RI HOPE for 6 years and with ICCinc.org for over 20 years.

It has been my privilege to mentor and empower them to be the next-generation Christians who will influence their culture, not someday, but TODAY!

The RI HOPE Student Leader Team would like to meet you and tell you their transformation stories of how they went from ordinary students to extraordinary leaders for Christ.

The Networking Event is *free and open to parents, students, school administrators, church and civic leaders…anyone interested in learning how they can become a communicator for Christ. Lots of folks have expressed an interest in supporting young Christian leaders.

It’s time to turn your interest into action.
Come on February 20th!
For more information and to RSVP visit the EVITE LINK: http://evite.me/4W4Ep491KE or the Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/219044082595817/

You will hear their Ordinary to Extraordinary Stories:

“I used to think that my plan was sufficient, but now I know that God will guide me in ways that I can’t possibly imagine.” – David

“I used to think that I didn’t have anything worth writing about, but now I know that I already have a story worth telling – my own.” – Olivia

“I used to think that I would never be good enough, but now I know that I have my own part to play in God’s plan.” – Rachel
“I used to think I had to bottle up my feelings, but now I know that it’s ok to be real with the people you love and be free.” – Christy

*Networking Event is free and will be held in the Coffee Lounge (next to the Gift Shop) from 6:00-7:00 PM with time for Q & A, networking, and strengthening existing connections.
Dinner is courtesy of Wright’s Farm Restaurant. Seating is at 7:15. Cost $20.00 per person.
RSVP to Cindy.Clarkin@iICCinc.org (401)392-3612 by February 15th to let us know you are coming and to reserve a dinner ticket.

Cindy Clarkin

RI HOPE Chapter Sponsor

(Click HERE to visit the newly updated RI HOPE website featuring photos, calendar, videos and over 50 Blog Posts written by studentsparentsalumni, and Teresa Moon the CEO and President of ICC)

The Institute for Cultural Communicators has been mentoring communicators for Christ since 1997.

6. Winter/spring session for Christian ballet school
New registrations are still being accepted for the winter/spring session at Beautiful Feet Ballet School, a Christian ballet program for girls in Marlborough. For more information, visit www.beautifulfeetballet.com.

7. Wednesdays at Thayer Conservatory are for homeschoolers
Thayer Conservatory in Lancaster is accepting students for second semester. Lessons are available in voice and all instruments, for all ages. Homeschool Chorus is accepting new members. Also available are group piano and violin classes, youth orchestra, flute ensemble, and many other groups, including Children’s Music for ages two and up. There are many offerings on Wednesdays especially for homeschoolers. Please see our website for more information.

8. The MassHOPE Educator ID Card
Educator IDs are now available for benefits such as potential discounts at retailers. Order them from our website HERE.

9. Attention, graduating seniors
For many years MassHOPE sponsored two events for graduating seniors: a graduate recognition ceremony at the annual Worcester convention in April, and a formal cap-and-gown ceremony at Holden Chapel in June. This year, however, is bringing changes. We are moving the convention to a new venue in Sturbridge, and we are dropping the recognition ceremony.

The formal graduation is still on! See https://masshope.org/graduation/for details. If you are interested in learning more about this event, please send an email to graduation@masshope.org. Deadline to sign up is Saturday, April 25, 2020.

10. Are you on our mailing lists?
To those who have been recently added to our email list through our website: if you would also like to be added to our “snail mail” list to receive information (such as our print newsletter) via the U.S. Postal Service, please send your full name and complete mailing address to newsletter@masshope.org.

 11. Your news items wanted
Do you know of an event or activity in or near Massachusetts that would edify or interest the homeschool community? Email Anne Smith at
ewsjfamily@startmail.comand we will review it for possible inclusion in the MassHOPE Messenger.

12.  For-fee advertising
The MassHOPE Messenger is a biweekly e-newsletter that is sent free to approximately 2500 mailboxes. Unfortunately, it is not free to distribute. This cost increases each year, and MassHOPE has limited funds. Therefore we charge a nominal fee of $20 for unsolicited submissions from individuals, and from most organizations or groups unaffiliated with MassHOPE, who wish to advertise their for-fee services. Items will ordinarily run in two consecutive issues. For more information, contact Anne Smith at ewsjfamily@startmail.com.

13.  Remember to “Like” MassHOPE on Facebook
“Like” MassHOPE’s Facebook page: facebook.com/MassHOPE?fref=ts.You’ll be encouraged in your homeschooling journey and will receive all updates for upcoming events.

14. Do you receive The Voice of HOPE?
MassHOPE publishes a quarterly print newsletter, The Voice of HOPE. In addition to announcements you might also find in the Messenger, we provide three or four full-length articles on a variety of homeschooling topics. If you would like to add your name, please send your name and “snail mail” address to newsletter@masshope.org.

15. Support MassHOPE through AmazonSmile
Do you shop at Amazon? If you shop through AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to MassHOPE! If you’re not already signed up, you can do so more easily than ever. To start supporting our organization, simply click this link, which is unique to MassHOPE:  http://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-HYPERLINK “http://smile.amazon.com/ch/04-3220412”3220412. That’s all!  From then on, when – and only when – you enter the Amazon website through amazonsmile.com, Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to MassHOPE. Thank you for supporting the work of your Christian state homeschool organization!

16. How to submit Box Tops for convention savings
You can earn free or reduced admission to the MassHOPE conventions AND support MassHOPE at the same time! Submissions for the 2020 convention are now closed, but you can start getting credit toward the 2021 convention. Want to submit Box Tops for convention credit but aren’t sure how to proceed? There are now two distinct processes for submission. You may use either or both. See item A, below, to learn about the “new” process. To learn about the “old” process, including the new (and more user-friendly) expiration date policy, see the detailed instructions in item B.

17. “New” method for submitting Box Tops
Box Tops for Education is in the process of changing over to a totally new system: from low-tech (scissors) to high-tech (phone app). In a nutshell, this is what you’ll do: 1. Download the Box Tops app to a smartphone, designating MassHOPE as the school to be credited. 2. Purchase products with the new Box Tops logo. 3. Within 14 days of purchase, using the app and your phone’s camera, scan the receipt. MassHOPE will automatically be credited with ten cents per Box Top. You can read the details HERE.

The changeover is taking place over a period of a few years and has already started. For the present, both the old (clipping Box Tops) and new (scanning receipts) systems are in place. As paper Box Tops are phased out, fewer and fewer products will have them, and more and more products will be switched over to the new system.

Will I still be able to earn convention credit? YES. When you sign up on the app and designate MassHOPE, you will see a “get credit” option where you can register for credit under your name. Box Tops automatically keeps track of credits, and MassHOPE is able to access this information. [Since MassHOPE will receive only a name without any contact information, we will be asking you to let us how you want your submissions to be credited. That system is not yet in place. Stay tuned for updates!]

Will I still be able to send in my paper Box Tops? YES. All present and future clipped Box Tops will be valid until their expiration dates. Keep sending them in.

Will there be any problems with this system? Unfortunately, YES. There already are. The technology is not yet working perfectly, and we doubt anyone can guarantee that it ever will work perfectly. We don’t know whether the problem is in individual phones, or the overall computer program, but there have been complaints about organizations and schools not being properly credited.

What should I do if I’m not getting as much credit as I should? Unfortunately, we don’t think there is anything we can do from our end. It may be frustrating, but probably most of your purchases will be properly credited. Try comforting yourself with the advantages of the new system: no clipping, no storage, and no mailing costs.

You can start using the new system immediately. And you can continue to use the old system until it’s completely phased out. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Smith at (978)372-1339 or volunteer@masshope.org.

  1. “Old” method for submitting Box Tops *SEE CHANGE*

Clip the Box Tops for Education tabs that are still found on many, though increasingly fewer, products. Bag them securely, and bring them to any MassHOPE function, or mail them to us c/o Anne Smith, 85 Liberty Street, Haverhill, MA 01832. They should be postmarked by December 31, 2029, for 2021 convention credit. You may choose either of the following options, but please note with your submission which you have chosen:

  1. Donate all of them.  The proceeds will be used for MassHOPE scholarships.
  2. Receive credit for 50% of the value of your Box Tops toward registration for next year’s convention. The remainder will be used for MassHOPE scholarships. In either case, if you designate a MassHOPE affiliated support group,one half of the MassHOPE portionwill be donated to that group.

    Box Tops should be enclosed in a sealed envelope. Submissions must include all of the following information: name, address, phone number, email address, number of Box Tops enclosed, option chosen, and (if applicable) name of support group that will benefit.

NOTE: If you have any electronic Box Tops that need to be submitted online, send them to us along with your cardboard Box Tops, and we will submit them online for you.

Please keep track of expiration dates. *CHANGE* We will honor those that expire no less than a month from when we receive them. If we receive Box Tops expiring in under a month, we may be able to submit them in time for you to get credit, but we cannot guarantee anything. Contact Anne Smith at (978)372-1339 or volunteer@masshope.org with any questions