Every week we put the spotlight on someone awesome in the Watertown community who is doing amazing things. We love that our community is filled with stars! If you would like to be featured or know someone who should be, please complete this form. Check out this week’s Watertown Wednesday star: The Unsworth Family!
We checked in with one of our past Dancing with the Watertown Stars participants to see how she and her family have been coping with COVID-19. Read on to hear how Lauren Unsworth and her family are adjusting to their new normal.
These days, a day in the life begins with Lauren’s husband, Lt. Dan Unsworth, heading out to the police station to continue his work as the Lieutenant in charge of the Community & Staff Development Division. Right now, his work is focused on developing new protocols to keep everyone safe as more information is discovered on how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. When he’s not at the Police Station, Dan serves on the boards of the Marshall Home Fund and the Watertown Boys and Girls Club. Both organizations are working to continue to provide aid to their constituent groups.
Lauren’s day is spent juggling her work as the Office Manager for Bessemer Venture Partners, helping her kids participate in their school activities, and communicating with her Lowell School PTO co-President.
Now that the Watertown school district has entered ‘Phase 2’ of virtual education, Lauren’s kids have structured school activities and projects each day. Despite the fact that her kids are too young to do most of the activities on their own, Lauren is grateful for the guidance and structure the school is providing so that her kids can continue to learn through the pandemic. The regular school programming for the kids includes morning announcements, several zoom classes a week and even some yoga! Thankfully for the Unsworth family, everyone has been able to stay positive throughout the quarantine order and keep their spirits up.
Lauren is also on the board of the Community Foundation. While she isn’t directly involved in the committee managing the Resilience Fund, she is so glad that it is being so well received and able to help the Watertown community quickly.
As the Lowell School PTO co-president, Lauren also spends time thinking about how the PTO can best serve the school, teachers, kids and families while everyone is at home. In the past year, the PTO started several new programs with a focus on creating free activities that encourage greater participation in school. Some of those programs include:
- Open Gym: This program encourages kids to come to school early, at 7:30am, to get moving and play games before the school day begins. This program offers several benefits including giving kids more buffer time to get to school so they aren’t late and getting kids moving so they are alert and ready to learn once the school day starts.
- After School Clubs: These clubs, run by teachers at the school, range from cooking, to knitting, to gardening, to board game and more.
- Classroom Enrichment Programs: Every grade is able to enrich the classroom experience twice a year with special outside programming. Some past enrichment programs have included having the Museum of Science come to the school, a field trip to the Boston Tea Party Museum, a visit with the Waltham Community Farm and more.
The PTO does fundraising throughout the year to cover the costs of these programs. Earlier this year, the PTO raised over $18,000 with their Walk-A-Thon. The next fundraiser is the annual Art Fundraiser and it has moved digital this year! The upside of going digital is that everyone can participate and 100% of the profits go to the Watertown Community Foundation Resilience Fund. If you would like to help raise funds, you can upload your kiddos COVID-19 art and order your very own notecards, jewelry, mugs and more! Ordering is easy:
- Go to: https://www.silvergraphics.com/shop/ and enter your School Access Code: 2020artJRL
- Search for your art by class, teacher and student name. If your child does not have art on our gallery, choose the NewArt class and follow the directions to upload art created at home!
- If you have any questions, please feel free to contact SilverGraphics directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The schools are currently set to reopen on May 4th, which is teacher appreciation week. If school resumes as is currently planned, the PTO has already begun planning a luncheon, breakfast and a few other surprises! Lauren told me “We want our teachers to know how much we appreciate them, now more than ever!”
Despite the stay at home order, many families have a lot going on! We love the behind the scenes peek at a day in the life of the Unsworth family!
If you would like to be featured or know someone who should be, please complete this form.