The Community School was hosting a yard sale Saturday, and I had a lengthy conversation with Director Lianne Prentice about the future of the school. She shared that The Community School as we know it is closing and being reinvented as a semester boarding school for students in grades 11-12 or for those exploring a gap year. The new name will be The Community School Center for Climate Resilience, partnered with the Jackman Pond Co-Housing Collective and Zero Mile Farm.

I asked Prentice to outline her vision for the new school. She responded by email: “The concept for the new program is based on the trajectory the school has been on for the past five years, honing our curriculum to teach essential core literacies, skills and dispositions through focused learned and projects around critical subject areas like climate change.”

“What we’re doing with the semester program is honing that curriculum to be very intensive so that juniors, seniors and gap year students from around the country (or world) will come to us for just one four-month semester to study. The schoolhouse will look almost exactly the same as it does now. We will be renovating what we call the nurse’s office into a shower room and transforming my old office, lobby bathrooms and a section of the lobby to make public bathrooms and a dining area.”

“The rest of the school will look and function the same. We will be building two bunkhouses at the rear of the school, as well as a tiny house for dorm parent(s). We need to start grant writing and fundraising for these renovations this fall. The curriculum tweaking, fundraising and program planning, as well as renovations, will happen in the next year. We hope to reopen September 2021 with our first semester school class.”

“We have two young women who have been with us since grade six who will be our only two students this year, and will graduate, giving us a total of 147 over 30 years. These two young women will help us develop our new program as part of their school work — it will look great, this work, on their college applications.”

Another component of the plan is to incorporate senior co-housing. You can find out more about the project, and how to get involved on the Community School’s Facebook page and website.

The Community School’s food stand continues to provide food by donation to all who need it. The Prill Family of Zero Mile Farm have been stocking the freezer with grass-fed beef, and homemade gelato. Lianne cooks meals and freezes them. Thanks so much for helping our local families at this stressful time.

Lianne says: “Our community, as so often it does, continued to come together to care for its own, no questions asked. Please come and feed your family, body and soul.”

Everyone interested is invited to an organizational Zoom meeting for the Tamworth Democrats on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 6:30 p.m. Learn about local candidates running for state office. Share your ideas, learn about absentee voting and discuss how to register new voters. Respond to ellenlynnfarnum@gmail.com or call (603) 986-6620 for more information and the meeting link.

The NH Food Bank will bring truckloads of food to distribute to families and individuals in Carroll County on Friday, Aug. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. at St Joseph’s Catholic Church at 23 Moultonview Road in Center Ossipee (while supplies last). Food will be distributed to you in your vehicles. Please pass along to all who might be interested.

The Tamworth Farmers Market now takes place outside K.A. Brett School, with ample parking and space between the vendors. CDC guidelines regarding masks and distancing are enforced. Did you know that the Tamworth Farmers’ Market accepts SNAP benefits? When you spend your SNAP dollars at the markets, the value of your purchase is doubled.

Thanks to Granite State Market Match, there is an additional $10 for fruits and veggies. Go on The Tamworth Market’s Facebook Page for more information.

Ossipee Concerned Citizens continues to provide freshly cooked meals for seniors by donation (suggested $3) from Monday to Friday for pickup between noon and 1 p.m. Call (603) 539 3851. Meals are brought over by volunteers to the townhouse on Mondays for pickup at noon by kind volunteers. Ossipee Concerned Citizens also provides meals for the Meals on Wheels program organized by the Tamworth Community Nurses Association.

As a former Meals on Wheels volunteer driver, and occasional recipient, I can affirm that being a volunteer and delivering meals to the elderly is a very satisfying way of making a huge impact in a short time. Tamworth Community Nurses Association is seeking drivers to pick up food at Ossipee Concerned Citizens in Ossipee and deliver to designated routes in Tamworth. It’s also a fulfilling volunteer opportunity for families and teams of friends or employees as well. Call Tamworth Community Nurses Association at (603) 323-8511 and find out how easy and rewarding it is to bring nutrition and independence to your neighbors.

For 90 years, The Barnstormers has been the centerpiece of blissful Tamworth summers. Usually, the town is thronged daily with charismatic actors and dancers and, in the evenings, exuberant theatergoers fill the auditorium and mingle outside at intermission talking and laughing; actors rehearse on the village green at The History Center, wander around The Farmers Market, and chat with customers at The Other Store. All that has changed this year. The village is eerily empty.

The Barnstormers’ stage, venue of comedy, thrillers, drama, music, joy, and so much exquisite talent, is silenced.  All who are passionate about our dearly beloved theater are saddened, in disbelief. Many of us worry about “our” beloved actors and production staff, many of whom live and work in New York City, and pray for their safety. We all look forward with hope and anticipation to next summer.

To help fill the void, The Barnstormers Theatre Virtual Playhouse Productions remotely presents “The Best of the Barnstormers: A Musical Revue,” the ultimate love letter for The Barnstormers.” Go to barnstormerstheatre.org to donate if you can.

Last Friday, the Friday Painters of the Mt. Washington Valley Arts Association met at White Gates Farm for a morning of plein air painting. The farm features one of the most spectacular mountain vistas in our area, complemented by a herd of honey-colored cattle in the mid-distance. We were all inspired. Thanks to Heather and Hank Le Tarte for the use of their property. Other recent venues have included Chocorua Dam Park and Tamworth Village.

On Monday, I attended a Zoom meeting of the Chocorua Community Association, led by chairman John Gotjen. Discussion centered around plans for candidates night in October. A decision was made to explore an alternative venue to the school, owing to COVID concerns. Plans will be announced as soon as they are confirmed. During conversation, I learned that volunteers are largely responsible for the upkeep of the stunningly beautiful Chocorua Dam Park. Only the mowing is contracted out. The town does not pay for any of this. Thanks so much to all who give so generously to maintain this sequestered paradise of rushing water and leafy shade.

On Saturday, there was plenty of activity in Tamworth. I first went over to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Eastern Slopes to investigate weekly thrift shop offerings. Great bargains, especially for those looking for apparel, sheets, curtains, paintings and china. The shop is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please send items for this column to annimac@gmail.com.

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