---- — The Merrimack Valley Branch of the NAACP will mark the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. next Monday with its traditional breakfast and a program honoring the memory of the slain civil rights leader.
The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., downtown Lowell. Dr. King would have turned 84 on Jan. 15 of this year.
Reservations may be made by calling 978-452-8577. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for students.
Bishop Stanley O. Choate, pastor of New England Pentecostal Ministries, will be the keynote speaker.
The holiday this year falls on the same say as the second inauguration of the first African American president, but Dr. King was not a politician and should not be seen as a political figure, said Aston G. Moore, newly elected president of the NAACP branch.
“Dr. King never held public office, but worked for the good of all people outside of the political system,” Moore said. “In these difficult times, when politics is often divisive, his message of working together for the benefit of all is more important than ever.”
Along with a hearty, Southern-style breakfast and gospel music, the Merrimack Valley Branch will honor one of its longtime members, Enid Rocha of Chelmsford. She will receive the Samuel S. Crayton Sr. Award for Community Service. Among her many good works, she was a social studies teacher for 20 years at the Bartlett School and established the Joseph Rocha NAACP Scholarship in memory of her late husband.
Bishop Choate is the dean of pastors in the Merrimack Valley. In 1969 he was called to be the pastor with his wife, the Rev. Ruth Choate, of a small house church in Lowell. Soon the New England Pentecostal Church moved to a church building on Blossom Street. In 1987 , God led the now Bishop Choate to move the church to its current location, 327 Gage Hill Road, Pelham, N.H., where Bishop Choate and his wife continue their charismatic ministry to the Merrimack Valley. For more information, go to mvb-naacp.org.
METHUEN — Parents and students can keep with their local schools on Twitter, as each school and the district launch its own Twitter handle.
The schools and the district can communicate bits of information immediately. Follow them at these handles: @MPS_Tenney, @MPS_Timony, @MPS_CGH, @MPS_Marsh, @MPS_MethuenHigh, @MPS
LGH launches Weight Management & Bariatric Center
LAWRENCE — Lawrence General Hospital has launched a Weight Management and Bariatric Center, which will offer treatment options, education and support to assist people struggling with obesity.
The center offers a comprehensive weight loss program that offers patients solutions to help reduce the risks of health and achieve weight loss success.
The program offers patients a multidisciplinary team of experts who work with patients to identify treatment options, including medication, surgery, nutrition education and lifestyle management, so that patients can maintain long-term weight loss and health.
Bariatric surgery has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a successful treatment for obesity in patients unresponsive to other methods of weight loss.
The new center will be led by Dr. Abraham Frech. To learn more visit www.lawrencegeneral.org.
Direct care worker training program offered at NECC
LAWRENCE — A free, 50-hour program to train personal and home care aides will be offered at Northern Essex Community College through its Workforce Development and Community Education program at the Riverwalk thanks to a federal grant.
Classes will be held Monday through Friday, Feb. 25 through March 8 from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Students must attend all training days to successfully complete the program. It is designed to teach students the skills that will support them in their role as a personal care attendant or homemaker.
In Massachusetts personal care aides earn a set rate of $12.68 an hour while working for an independent consumer employer. On average, homecare aides earn between $10 and $11 an hour working for a home care agency.
Fifteen students can be accommodated in this first session.
There is currently a great demand for direct care employees to provide personal care services such as bathing, dressing, foot care, denture care, and walking as a personal assistant to shopping, meal planning and preparation, laundry, and light housekeeping as a homemaker.
For additional information or to register, contact Dianne Lahaye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-659-1222 or Diane Zold-Gross at email@example.com or 978-659-1221.
Help filling out FAFSA forms offered
LAWRENCE — Does the thought of filing an application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) overwhelm you? Take control of your or your child’s student federal aid potential by attending FAFSA Day Massachusetts on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Northern Essex Community College’s Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center, 78 Amesbury St., at 1 p.m.
The FAFSA is the federally required form for all students seeking federal financial aid for higher education. Counselors will guide participants through the process of completing and filing a FAFSA application form online. Spanish translators will be available.
NECC is just one of more than two dozen locations throughout the state that will host FAFSA filing events Sunday as part of FAFSA Day Massachusetts.
To register for this event, visit www.fafsaday.org.
Students attending college during the 2013-2014 academic year, must complete the 2013-2014 FAFSA, available after Jan. at www.fafsa.gov if they are interested in receiving federal and state financial aid.
For more information contact NECC site coordinators Adam Edgerton at 978-738-7680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.