Tag Archives: Staples Service League of Boys

Roundup: Depression, Dumb Driving, Club 203 …

“Is My Teen Just Moody? An Overview on Adolescent Depression” is the depressing — but very important — title of a Westport Public Schools’ workshop.

Set for November 3 (7 p.m., Bedford Middle School auditorium), it offers parents ideas for distinguishing “normal” teenage mood swings from symptoms of something more serious.

The event explores signs and symptoms of clinical depression, and offers treatment options.

Presenter Elizabeth Cotter of Effective School Solutions ha over 20 years’ experience as a therapist, program director and in clinical leadership roles.


Traffic was normal — that is to say, busy — yesterday at noon.

Pat Prenderville was 5th in line on Imperial Avenue, waiting for the Post Road/Myrtle Avenue light.

Suddenly, the driver of a white Audi pulled in front of all the cars waiting in Pat’s line, and zoomed to the front.

In the left lane.

And proceeded to wait there — now first in line — until the light changed.

The very entitled white Audi. (Photo/Pat Prenderville)

The Very Very Very Important Driver then headed straight across, onto Myrtle.

“It’s amazing they weren’t hit by cars turning onto Imperial,” Pat says.

It’s also amazing that I’m not amazed anymore to hear — and see — stunts like this one.

PS: It was lunchtime, so this was not a teenage driver.

And you wonder why kids drive like they do.


Club 203 — Westport’s new social group for adults with disabilities — had its second event this week.

Once again, it was a smashing success.

Attendees, their guests and volunteers came dressed for Halloween. Trunks were decorated, and filled with treats, Scary movie clips played on the Remarkable Theater screen, and there was dancing and games for all.

As they did at their first outing, Club 203 members greeted old friends, met new ones, and had a blast..

Next up: Gaming and Pizza Night (November 19, Toquet Hall). For more information, click here.

Club 203 members Jamie Taylor and Andreas Wagner enjoy the Halloween party.


With nearly 300 members, Staples’ Service League of Boys is the high school’s largest club.

They spend most meetings planning events. But this week they Jay Paretzky of Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services led hands-on CPR and AED instruction for the teenagers — and their parents.

Other meetings are “working” sessions. For example, SLOBs will pack and deliver hundreds of snack bags for Bridgeport schoolchildren.

SLOBs has a great reputation, at Staples and throughout the community. It’s not hard to see why.

SLOBs’ CPR training.


Speaking of Staples: Jo Shields was impressed to find this message chalked on the high school sidewalk the other day, next to the main entrance:

(Photo/Jo Shields)

It says “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of bravery.”

Similar messages could be seen on sidewalks all around the school. They’re part of the Guidance Department’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of mental health.


MoCA Westport’s first-ever Open Mic last night sounds great!

Sixteen performers — as young as 14, and as old as 87 — shared poems and music with the community. Westport poet laureate Jessica McEntee also participated. Performers ranged in age from young as 14 to as old as 87.

Click here for the full program.

Vivian Shamie performs at last night’s “MoCA Some Noise” open mic event. (Photo/Cynthia Dempster)


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes courtesy of Susan Leone. It was taken from the Riverwalk, behind the Library.

Once again, she — and her friend — remind us how fortunate we are to live here.

(Photo/Susan Leone)


And finally … on this day in 1879,  Thomas Edison applied for a patent for his incandescent light bulb.

Staples Boys Are SLOBs

If you drove around Westport last weekend, you may have noticed an unusual number of high school boys weeding, planting, mulching, painting, cleaning and picking up garbage.

What a bunch of SLOBs.

That’s the great acronym for Staples’ Service League Of Boys. One of the most popular clubs at the high school, it’s a way for boys — and their parents — to join together in community service.

From Friday to Sunday — during the group’s annual Service Weekend — SLOBs and their parents (with a few grandparents) contributed 425 hours of work to our town. It was a welcome return to in-person service, after 2 years of COVID-curtailed inaction.

Yard work at A Better Chance of Westport’s Glendarcy House …

Projects included:

  • Cleanup of the Staples High School campus
  • Cleanup of the Leonard Schine Natural Playground
  • Participation in the USPS Food Drive (helping at Person to Person in Norwalk and the Westport Women’s Club, which received pantry goods)
  • Cleanup at Smith Richardson Preserve
  • Planting and mulching at A Better Chance of Westport’s Glendarcy House
  • Cleanup and planting at Open Doors Shelter in Norwalk
  • Packing 300 snack bags for students at Curiale School in Bridgeport
  • Volunteering at the Westport Tree Board, Wakeman Town Farm, Green Village Initiative and Westport Dog Festival
  • Volunteering at Experience Camps’ Day of Champions and AWARE fundraisers.

… and working on the USPS food drive in Norwalk …

With 275 members, SLOBs is the largest student club at Staples. It’s run by an executive board of 11 boys, and their mothers.

Throughout the year, the group partners with over 50 local non-profits and organizations. Whatever they need, SLOBs provides.

A few examples: Monthly collections of canned goods for food pantries, supplies for animal shelters, and sports equipment for underfunded programs. Since September they’ve volunteered at over 70 community events, in Westport and neighboring towns. That’s over 3,800 hours of service.

… and packing snack bags for food-insecure children …

Money from an annual fundraiser — a 3-v-3 basketball tournament for students — helps pay for things like snack bags for kids facing food insecurity, and the Service Weekend projects.

But their year isn’t over. SLOBs will be out in the community throughout the spring, helping at the Levitt Pavilion, Remarkable Theater, the Fine Arts Festival and Wakeman Town Farm, and providing lunches for clients at the Gillespie Center.

,,, and cleaning up all over town …

Congratulations and thanks to all who participated — and executive board members Jason Bass and Jaden Mueller and their moms, Pam and Merri. Presidents this year are Ben Berkley and his mother Andrea.

Our SLOBs are pretty neat!

… and taking a break at the Leonard Schine Natural Playground.

Staples Students Are SLOBs

Brian Fullenbaum is a Staples High School junior — and a SLOB. He writes:

The Staples Service League of Boys (aka SLOBs) is a philanthropic organization that develops leadership in students through community service. It is the largest club at Staples.

Throughout the year, members perform multiple service activities, such as collecting donations, performing yard cleanups, and assisting at charitable events.

Every event is a great opportunity to help out. Each one builds up to SLOBs’ biggest day of the year: Service Sunday.

This year’s event takes place tomorrow (Sunday, May 2). All club members participate in multiple service projects, with their parents.

Weeding, mulching and planting at A Better Chance of Westport’s Glendarcy House, in 2018.

Service Sunday was canceled last year due to COVID, but this year we are back in
action. All events will be held outside, so SLOBs can safely help the community.

When I participated in Service Sunday 2 years ago as a freshman, I joined a group that packed pencil cases for a school in need. We set up efficient assembly lines around long tables, so everyone could participate. It felt great to help, and do so alongside friends.

On May 2, SLOBs will participate at Wakeman Town Farm, the Gillespie Center, ABC House, Quest for Peace, Earthplace, The Wilbur Cross School, Sherwood Island State Park, Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve, and the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum.

So this Sunday, if you see a bunch of teenagers and adults planting, pruning, moving rocks and doing other work around Westport, just remember: We’re SLOBs.

SLOBs in action, at Wakeman Town Farm.

SLOBs Set A New Standard Of Service

For over a decade, SLOBs shined on the last Sunday in April.

The acronym stands for the Service League Of Boys. With over 300 students — plus hundreds of parents — it’s one of Staples High School’s largest, most active clubs.

SLOBs commit to a minimum of 10 hours of service a year (many do much more). And Service Sunday is their Super Bowl.

One scene from a previous SLOBs Service Sunday …

This year, they’d lined up volunteer efforts — landscaping, outdoor projects and the like — at sites all around Westport, Norwalk and Bridgeport. Work sites included A Better Chance’s Glendarcy House, the Audubon Society’s Smith Richardson Tree Farms, Homes with Hopes’ multiple locations, Aspetuck Land Trust, Green Village Initiative, Earthplace, Sherwood Island State Park, Wakeman Town Farm, Evergreen and Open Door.

There were school-related projects for Staples, the Maker Faire and the Read and Curiale Schools in Bridgeport, plus food and donation drives for Person to Person and Quest for Peace.

Yet with current COVID-19 restrictions in place, none of those places will benefit from SLOBs’ generosity.

… and another.

So the group figured out Plan B. They’ll take funds that would have gone to purchase materials for the Day of Service, and redirect them to charities with immediate needs.

None are strangers to SLOBs. They’ve already worked with all.

These organizations will receive $1,100 each: A Better Chance of Westport, Homes with Hope’s food pantry; the Open Door Shelter, Westport’s Department of Human Services COVID-19 Fund, and Person to Person.

SLOBs is keeping a bit of money in reserve, in case some of the planned events can be rescheduled for fall.

In addition, snack bags the students had expected to fill at their March meeting were instead filled by 2 executive board members, and dropped off at the Curiale School for its food pick-up program.

SLOBs’ 2019-20 executive board.

And the SLOBs Blast — a monthly email sent to all 300 members and parents — was reworked into a list of new coronavirus-related service opportunities, for the boys to work on on their own.

There’s no Service Sunday this year. It’s been weeks since the club has met. But — with the need greater than ever — they’ve found new ways to help.

SLOBs is pretty neat! (Hat tip: Beth Massoud)

Staples’ SLOBs Are Spectacular

Yesterday’s wet, chilly weather forced a week’s postponement of the Main Street Outdoor Market, and Saugatuck Church’s Blessing of the Animals. It kept many Westporters indoors.

But it did not stop — or even bother — over 300 SLOBs.

Staples’ Service League of Boys’ 10th annual Service Sunday drew all those volunteers — high school boys, and their parents — to 18 work sites, in Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk and Bridgeport.

Westport venues included Earthplace, Wadsworth Arboretum, Homes with Hope’s Bachrach and Linxweiler houses, Sherwood Island State Park and Wakeman Town Farm.

Staples’ SLOBs cleaned pathways at the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum in Westport …

The groups whacked weeds, mulched, sorted charitable donations, power-washed, prepared food drive collection bags, cleaned playgrounds and paths,  painted mailboxes, removed invasive plants, hauled and spread compost, and assembled toiletry kits.

They also donated over $5,000 worth of school supplies, snack bags and used Legos to Bridgeport schools

That was SLOBs’ Sunday. How did you spend yours?

… and helped out at the Green Village Initiative cooperative garden in Bridgeport.

Staples Students Are Complete SLOBs

Today was as sweet as it gets.

Staples students could have celebrated the spectacular weather by going to the beach. Playing tennis, golf, frisbee or with each other. Studying for AP tests that start tomorrow, even.

Instead, over 100 boys — and 80 or so parents — spent the day on community service projects all around Westport.

The Staples Service League of Boys — SLOBs for, lovingly, short — headed out to the Bacharach Houses, Gillespie Center, Compo and Burying Hill Beaches, Wakeman Town Farm, Linxweiler House, Powell House, Project Return, ABC House and Earthplace.

They wielded tools...

They wielded tools…

They weeded, planted, mulched, picked up garbage, painted and cleaned.

...got dirty...

…got dirty…

They worked long and hard. They did manual labor, and learned some skills. They worked side by side with their parents, and a few siblings.

...picked up garbage...

…picked up garbage…

It’s all part of SLOBs’ ongoing commitment to their town. So far this year, they’ve contributed more than 2,300 hours of service.

And how did you spend your day?

...filled and hauled wheelbarrows...

…filled and hauled wheelbarrows…

...learned new skills...

…learned new skills…

...took down branches...

…took down branches…

...bonded with their parents...

…bonded with their parents…

...and siblings...

…and siblings…

...and left the town far better than it had been just a few hours earlier.

…and left the town far better than it had been just a few hours earlier. (Photos/Emily Prince)

Staples Students Are Incredible SLOBS…

…and Westport is a far better place for them.

Yesterday — a fantastically beautiful Sunday, perfect for the beach, chillaxing, unwinding after Saturday’s SATs, or perhaps studying for this week’s AP tests — nearly 150 Staples boys (and their parents) participated in SLOBs Service Sunday.

A small cross-section of the very large SLOBs group.

A small cross-section of the very large SLOBs group.

That’s a major project of Staples SLOBs. The acronym stands for Service League of Boys, and it’s one of the most popular organizations at the high school.

Yesterday’s event — the club’s 5th annual — saw all those 9th, 10th, 11th and even senioritis-stricken 12th graders join with their parents at 9 locations around town.

The Brill family at work.

The Brill family at work.

With a budget of $3,500 (raised from membership and other fundraising activities), SLOBs purchased (and used) supplies for cleaning, greening, building, and repairing. That included 7 tons of gravel, mulch, flowering trees, plants and flowers.

Among the projects:

  • At Linxweiler House — Homes With Hope’s Post Road East residence — SLOBs painted rooms; did a thorough spring cleaning of the grounds, and constructed a new gravel pathway to Crescent Road. Children living at the house now have access to a much safer school bus stop, rather than using the Post Road.
  • At Homes with Hope’s Powell Place, SLOBs created a new patio area, built a new picnic table, and cleaned and planted for spring.
  • At Compo Beach, volunteers cleaned out and painted beach lockers. They definitely needed it.
The Compo lockers get a bit of TLC.

The Compo lockers get a bit of TLC.

  • At ABC House, SLOBs raked and removed weeds, branches and twigs; edged all the flower beds, mowed the lawn, and planted flowering trees.
Getting to work at the ABC House.

Getting to work at the ABC House…

  • SLOBs also cleaned, planted, painted and repaired at Earthplace, Wakeman Town Farm, Project Return and the Westport Historical Society.
...and Wakeman Town Farm.

…and Wakeman Town Farm.

  • In addition, a SLOBs Road Crew with a dozen volunteers and 2 trucks collected over 25 bags of litter along the Sherwood Island Connector, Greens Farms Road, and Long Lots Road.

Hearty congratulations to the 150 SLOBs and their parents yesterday. THANKS for working your butts off to improve the town.

While the rest of us just sat around on butts of our own.

SLOBS at work


Staples Students: A Bunch of SLOBS

Today was Service Sunday for SLOBS — or, to spell it out, Staples Service League of Boys.

Over 150 club members and their parents worked on community service projects at 8 locations around Westport (and 1 yesterday). They:

  • Painted equipment at  Compo  Beach Skate Park
  • Moved and spread 22 tons of sand and 15 tons of gravel at Earthplace
  • Performed a variety of tasks at Wakeman Town Farm
  • Did spring cleaning at the Westport Historical Society barn and grounds
  • Painted, landscaped, planted and did heavy-duty cleaning at the ABC House, Project Return, Gillespie Center, Bacharach Houses and Saugatuck Apartments.

Kids these days…

Some of the many SLOBS in action.

Some of the many SLOBS in action.

PS: Big props to Westport Pizzeria, Elvira’s, Angelina’s and Planet Pizza for keeping everyone hydrated and well fed.

Staples SLOBs


Staples is filled with SLOBs.

And Westport is a far better place for them.

The yuk-yuk anagram stands for Service League of Boys.  The parent-son community service club is one of the most popular organizations at school.

It’s only 3 years old, but already the SLOBs have established a great tradition:  Service Sunday.  Fathers, mothers and teenage sons work together doing construction, landscaping and painting for social service groups in town.

Last year they gave the Gillespie Center a new courtyard, finished the food pantry and painted their office.  SLOBs painted the bathrooms at Bacharach Emergency Housing, and mulched their beds.  They did a lot of landscaping for Saugatuck Apartments and Linxweiler, and also worked for seniors through the Department of Human Services.

This year they’ve added Project Return and the ABC House.

Staples SLOBs work in the Gillespie Shelter food pantry.

They pay for supplies with unique fundraisers.  For 2011 a committee of boys devised an arm wrestling event.  After school on March 11, SLOBs and friends will try to break the Guinness world record for simultaneous arm wrestlers (it’s 200).  Then SLOBs will host an arm wrestling tournament, with teams of 6 (3 males, 3 females — teachers are welcome).  By charging an entry fee, SLOBs hopes to raise up to $10,000.

Tom and David Kalb help landscape Linxweiler House.

But they still need help for Service Day (this year, May 1).  SLOBs provides the grunt work, but they need professionals to help — for example, doing bathroom renovatiions (including new vinyl flooring), and installing paving stones and removing damaged asphalt at the Gillespie Center.

Pros are also needed for power washing at 2 houses; porch renovation and replacement of rotted shingles; replacing a rotted stockade fence, and sheetrocking a small area of the food pantry.

Sure, Staples students sometimes leave the cafeteria a mess.  But this group of SLOBs is doing some pretty neat things.

(Interested in helping with Service Sunday, either by donating professional expertise or money?  Able to donate a storage shed, new grill, and/or new tools like rakes and shovels?  Contact Suzanne Kalb:  skalb@optonline.net; 203-226-4803.)

Shovel Brigade

Parks and Rec and Public Works’ heavy equipment can move much of the debris that now covers all the wrong areas of Compo Beach.

But big machines can’t get into the pavilion or showers, where Saturday’s storm deposited tons of sand.

This morning, Parks and Rec director Stuart McCarthy put out a call for high school helpers.

Over 3 dozen responded.  Some were Staples football players.  Others came from the boys soccer team, and the SLOBS (Service League of Boys) club.

The sand was heavy, the day long — but the mood was upbeat.

What did they get out of it?  Free food and drink from Joey’s and the Gridiron Club — and the grateful thanks of an entire town.

Football player Michael Johnson (foreground) and fellow Stapleites help remove sand covering the Compo Beach pavilion.