Square One


A leading child welfare organization in Massachusetts is opening a new family support center in Springfield, a city plagued by high rates of poverty and child abuse and neglect.

 The Children’s Trust is partnering with the pre-school provider Square One to open the organization’s eighth family center in the state.  The centers are described as community hubs where people go to get support navigating the joys and challenges of parenting.


The second largest public school system in Massachusetts is expanding early childhood education through what officials say is a unique partnership with the private sector.

A new free preschool in Springfield is currently enrolling eligible 4-year-old children for classes that will start next month.  There are approximately 300 openings in the Springfield Cooperative Preschool, which is being run collaboratively by the public schools, Head Start, the Square One organization, and the YMCA of Greater Springfield.  


Massachusetts has awarded the first grant from a new state program to put more hybrid or electric vehicles on the state’s roads.  A Springfield-based child care agency is leading the way, converting its fleet of vans to hybrid technology.

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett announced that a fleet of vans owned by Square One will be retrofitted to run on  hybrid gasoline-electric technology with the help of a $50,000 grant from the state.


Money seized from drug dealers in western Massachusetts is being used to do good things. The funds are helping keep at-risk youths off the streets and reuniting families torn apart by drug abuse.

   Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni has awarded $30,000 to two Springfield-based nonprofit agencies from the Drug Forfeiture Grant Program.  The fund consists of money and property forfeited by court order following a criminal conviction for a drug dealing offense.

   Mastroianni has given out $100,000 since starting the program two years ago.


For the second time in 18 months the city of Springfield Massachusetts was hit by a major disaster in 2012.  A natural gas explosion rocked downtown on the Friday after Thanksgiving. As with the June 2011 tornado, the city went through a recovery period and is now looking to rebuild.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.