Below is a summary of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association’s most recent programs and partnerships that fall under our Settlement programming banner:
Caribbean Connections: The Gables offers a five-week summer enrichment program that aims to help Salem students and their families discover untold stories and hidden connections between Salem and the Caribbean. Caribbean Connections was created in 2012 in collaboration with the Essex National Heritage Commission, who partnered with The Gables after winning an America’s Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation. The grant promoted Ken Burns’ challenge to excite urban youth about history. Caribbean Connections offers students a chance to learn in English and Spanish about their heritage and the historical connections between Salem and the Caribbean. The program invites students as well as parents to think critically about their role in this evolving history as new residents of the United States.
ESL and Citizenship: The Gables offers English-as-a-Second Language and citizenship classes from October – June to adults eager to learn English and those aspiring to become American citizens. The classes are held at Salem Academy Charter School in Salem, MA. In recent years, The Gables has also hosted naturalization ceremonies on its lawn for local residents who have completed the program as well as new citizens from the Boston area. This is done in collaboration with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Community Conversations on Immigration and Immigration Reform: In keeping with our Settlement mission, The Gables hosts a series of community dialogues to address topics in immigration and immigration reform. Unlike a traditional lecture, the Community Conversations encourage discussion between the speaker and audience members during the course of the presentation. Five conversations are scheduled for this year.
Settlement Partnerships: The Gables partners with other organizations to provide educational and enrichment programs to youth in the immigrant community. The Gables provides financial and/or program development support to these organizations:
- Express Yourself – a multidisciplinary theater arts organization that introduces at-risk youth to the worlds of music, dance, and visual arts. EXYO’s activities in 2017 will include performance pieces based on ideas that align with the Gables’ theme, Life & Labor. A culminating performance, entitled SOUL, will take place at the Boch Center (formerly Citi-Wang Theatre) in Boston on May 25th, 2017. Participants in the Gables/EXYO partnership will acknowledge the contributions of diverse people throughout Salem’s history, including the labor of enslaved people who built Salem’s great wealth during the colonial and maritime eras, as well as the labor of immigrants toiling in the factories of the Industrial Era.
- LEAP for Education provides academic support and enrichment, career and college readiness skills and career and college advising to low-income and first generation youth. In 2017, our partnership with LEAP will combine staff and students from Salem Public High School and the Salem-at-Sea program at Salem State University. Their program, entitled, “HELP WANTED”: Celebrating the Ingenuity, Multi-Culturalism and Enterprising Nature of the Citizens of Salem,” will engage 10 high school students over the summer months. Students will focus on the theme of civic engagement and the labor histories of immigrants, from the 1900s to the present, in imaginative alignment with the “Life & Labor” theme of Gables programming.
- Parent-Child Home Connection program – The Gables provides funding to this early childhood literacy program and currently supports bilingual (English/Spanish) home visitors who teach young mothers how to develop basic literacy skills in their children before kindergarten. We are currently supporting three families in our immediate area.