#childsafety | Business Briefs: Ready4K; Berkshire Magazine joins Old Mill Road Media; August home sales numbers; Community Shred Day; Ventfort Hall annual meeting

Berkshire United Way and Northern Berkshire United Way have partnered with Ready4K to provide Berkshire families fun and educational facts and tips right to their cell phones. Image courtesy Berkshire United Way

Berkshire United Way, Northern Berkshire United Way partner with Ready4K

Berkshire County — Berkshire United Way and Northern Berkshire United Way have partnered with Ready4K to provide Berkshire families fun and educational facts and tips right to their cell phones. This innovative program supports parents and caregivers as their children’s first and most important teachers.

Based on research conducted in a 2019 Early Childhood Assessment and Sustainability report, Civitas Strategies found that bolstering the services available to directly serve parents and caregivers has the greatest potential to positively influence the overall well-being of the family unit in general, and ultimately increase third-grade reading proficiency.

“BUW learned about the Ready4K program right before COVID-19 struck our community. Based on the evaluation data about improved child outcomes and parent satisfaction, we were excited to bring this free texting service to the Berkshires and add it to our portfolio of investments in early childhood education,” said Candace Winkler, president and CEO of Berkshire United Way. “This simple but effective program seems even more relevant now as families struggle with social distancing and virtual education.”


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Berkshire Magazine joins Old Mill Road Media

East Arlington, Vt. — Old Mill Road Media has acquired Berkshire Magazine from TownVibe.

Anastasia Stanmeyer has been promoted to the position of editor-in-chief and continues as part of a team that includes operations and marketing director Cara Vermeulen and account executive Jennifer Hines.

“We are now in our ninth year, and joining Old Mill Road Media enables us to connect even more with our cultural organizations and the rest of the Berkshire community,” says Stanmeyer. “I’m thrilled to have Joshua and Old Mill Road behind us to complement and add to what is already an outstanding publication.”

Berkshire Magazine debuted in July 2012. Old Mill Road Media is also the publisher of Vermont Magazine, Vermont News Guide, Stratton Magazine and Manchester Life.


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Mass. Association of Realtors reports August home sale numbers

Waltham — The Massachusetts Association of Realtors has reported a small decrease in closed sales of single-family homes (-.8%) in August compared to the same time last year. Inventory remains limited, continuing the competitive bidding market with multiple offers for properties. Condominium sales decreased by -2.4% in August. The median price for single-family homes rose by 14.7% and condominium prices rose by 5.6%, when compared to August 2019.

New listings in August included 6,531 single-family homes and 2,685 condominiums, a slight decrease in homes listed in July. Inventory decreased 56.1% for single-family units and 22.5% for condominium units when compared to August 2019. For single-family homes, inventory was at the lowest it’s ever been since MAR began reporting the data in 2004 and median price was at an all-time high for the third month in a row.

“Historically, we see housing activity in Massachusetts begin to slow a bit as we head into early fall, though this year all signs point to a very busy fall housing market,” said Kurt Thompson, 2020 MAR president and broker at Keller Williams Realty North Central in Leominster. “We expect to continue to see healthy housing demand over the next several months, even with a possible seasonal resurgence of COVID-19 and the upcoming elections.”


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Salisbury Bank to hold Community Shred ‘Drive-Thru’ Day

Sharon, Conn. — Salisbury Bank will hold a free Community Shred “Drive-Thru” Day Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon at its Sharon location. For the safety of all participants and volunteers, the following guidelines have been established:

  • There is a limit of four bags/boxes per car;
  • Participants must wear masks;
  • Participants will be guided to drop off boxes at the designated area to be shredded by bank staff;
  • Participants must stay in their cars until they reach the drop-off point; and
  • Those who feel unwell are asked to stay home.

For more information, call Salisbury Bank at (860) 364-0500.


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Ventfort Hall announces new board members, board of directors changes

Ventfort Hall. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Lenox — At their annual meeting on Aug. 21, the board of directors of Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum elected two new officers: Susan Moyle Lynch of Troy, New York, as secretary/clerk; and Karen Spies of Lenox as treasurer. Officers re-elected were Kelly Blau of Pittsfield as president and Holly Dobbins of Lenox as vice president.

Joining the board are new members Kate Baisley of Lee, who is also a volunteer docent at Ventfort Hall; Geoffrey Brown of Lenox, son of the late Dr. Robert and Marcia Brown and whose family has been involved in the restoration of Ventfort Hall since the beginning; and Helen Charboneau of Pittsfield, formerly the information technology director at the Wellesley Free Library.


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