NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and North Adams Public Schools’ 21st Century After School Program, in collaboration with the Help Yourself Foundation, announce a “Help Yourself Kids 2 College Family Night,” on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 5-6:30 p.m., in Venable Lab #1, which will showcase the work of area fourth- and fifth grade students who participated in the Building Bridges After School Program.

The public is encouraged to attend this open house event to discover what these young “engineers” learned about bridges and design. All are invited to drop in to meet the students and their families – as well as the program’s staff – to take a look at the students’ work, and enjoy some refreshments.

Throughout this after school program, the students tackled a variety of bridge-building challenges, including “The Pasta Challenge,” “The Paper Bridge” and “Toothpicks and Glue.” These activities helped the children to develop 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, teamwork and effective communication, which will support them throughout their academic careers and beyond, according to Sue Doucette, program coordinator for the Berkshire Compact and Help Yourself/Kids 2 College.

Venable Hall may be found behind Murdock Hall on the MCLA campus. To RSVP, contact Doucette,  or (413) 662-5537, or Denise Morin, at

A not-for-profit 501(c) (3) public charitable organization, the Help Yourself Foundation was established in 2005 by Roger H. Hull, Ph.D., president emeritus of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., who developed after school programs for elementary school-aged children, which allowed them to come onto college campuses a few times a week after school to participate in STEM-focused afterschool curriculum enhancement activities.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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