The MLC families came together on June 8th to celebrate Fluffy and wish her well wishes on her last parent meeting before her retirement later in June. Please enjoy the pictures of the families and statements they had about Fluffy,
Through the Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program, the Mystic Learning Center, Inc. receives a $100,000 grant!
You know you have good news to share when you are almost 65 years old and your daily walk turns into a daily skip.
You know you have good news to share when you must contain yourself from telling total strangers on your skip, “Guess what? I just secured a $100,000 grant for the Mystic Learning Center!”
This news is especially joyful today. While we all have missed gathering for celebrations we all have learned new ways to share our joy.
We have all seen the little signs, and even the big signs of gratitude. We know in our hearts that with generosity, and an abundance of kindness, we will get us through these difficult times.
The Mystic Learning Center is one of 130 local non-profits whose futures are more secured thanks to the success of Bill Cummings & the Cummings Foundation.
Growing up poor didn’t stop Bill Cummings from becoming an entrepreneur. He started selling soda pop at the age of 6, talked his way into Tufts University, worked, saved, and invested well. His investment in property through Cummings Properties has made him quite wealthy. Bill, his wife Joyce, their family and friends share this abundance locally through the Cummings Foundation. They also share their abundance internationally through the Giving Pledge. You can read more about Bill’s entrepreneurship and philanthropy in “Starting It Small and Making It Big…” his self-written business book that is now required reading for most business majors. His life is a life we should all aspire to be. Bill shows by example how business can play a role in building community and society. He is someone who “puts his money where his mouth is” and has awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston non-profits.
Like Bill Cummings, The Mystic Learning Center (MLC) is good at building community. Founded in 1971 by a group of nuns, the MLC will soon celebrate 50 years of service to the Mystic Public Housing Community. Mystic is the Somerville Housing Authority’s largest family development, home to 450 low income families.
In a nutshell, MLC’s mission is to provide childcare for school age children, youth development and parental involvement activities. The MLC is licensed by the Department of Early Educational and Care to provide out of school time activities. The MLC has a long history of employing community teens and has given hundreds of youth their first jobs. The MLC mandates that parents serve on its Board of Directors and involves the adults in the life of the community. The neighborhood surrounding the MLC, and Somerville is a better city, due to the Mystic Learning Center.
Receiving the Cummings Grant is coming at a crucial time in the organizational development of the MLC. Its longtime Executive Director, Florence “Fluffy” Bergmann is set to retire on June 30, 2020. Fluffy is a bit like Bill Cummings. She grew up poor and started working at the age of 14. She graduated from Somerville High School and went on to Boston State College. She became a social entrepreneur. While she hasn’t amassed great wealth, her riches are of a different kind. She was always happy to have enough to get by and has spent her entire career giving back to the Mystic community in which she was raised.
For 47 years Fluffy has believed that if you take care of yourself, and take care of your education, then you can take care of each other and your community. It’s all about having positive attitudes towards self, education, others and community. Being rich doesn’t necessarily mean having lots of money. Being rich is being a part of a caring community, having a sense of belonging and smiling at others when you walk down the street. The founding Director of the Center, Sister Elinor, would be quite proud to see how Fluffy has grown the Center. Fluffy, is likewise proud to be passing this torch of community building onto to Tracey Stearns, who will become the next leader of this valuable community resource on July 1st. While Tracey has her own dreams for the Center, Fluffy trusts that Tracey will keep the MLC true to its mission and grounded in the community.
The Cummings Grant of $100,000 ($25,000/year for four years) is for general operating support. This infusion of cash will help to sustain, maintain and even grow the Center by building its capacity to reach its mission. The next Executive Director is taking over at a very fragile moment. All the succession and transition planning in the world could never have prepared Tracey for this moment. But, Tracey has heart, a supportive staff, parent Board and group of advisors that will guide her. She now has the support of the Cummings Foundation and hopefully, all of you, who now know a little more about this community gem, the Mystic Learning Center, and its newest supporter, Bill Cummings and the Cummings Foundation.
Check out this video! The families at the Mystic Learning Center, Inc and all the staff joined to create this lovely video were we thank the Cummings Foundation!
In August 2018, a group of young people from the Mystic Housing Development in Somerville, MA came together to hike, canoe, and adventure out in the woods of the White Mountains thanks to a generous opportunity from the Youth Opportunities Program. This is a documentary about their experience.
Youth and adult mentor/mentee pairs from the Mystic Learning Center share memories and messages of what mentoring has meant to them.