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A long-running tutoring program involving community-minded public-school teachers, several low-income families and locally based housing officials has won a statewide award. At the Annual Conference for Massachusetts NAHRO (National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials), the Arlington Housing Authority (AHA) got the Outstanding Agency Award for its Operation Success center and program.

The Outstanding Agency Award recognizes achievement and innovation of MassNAHRO agencyAHA awardAHA Executive Director Jack Nagle, holding the plaque, with MassNAHRO President Michael Lara. / photo courtesy AHA members in the commonwealth. It was presented at the MassNAHRO Annual Awards Dinner at the Seacrest Hotel in Falmouth on Sept. 18.

According to AHA Executive Director Jack Nagle in a recent email, the Operation Success Learning Center offers free academic assistance to middle and high school students living in the Menotomy Manor housing complex, overseen by the AHA.

The program was created by Arlington Public School (APS) teachers Peg Regan and Janet Maguire through the support of then-AHA Executive Director Frank Hurd in 1999 and now is run by Maguire and Kim Serra.

APS teachers including Maguire, Regan and Serra volunteer. Help is generally available from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays during the academic year. Operation Success, based at the manor's Life & Skills Center, has computers, study space and supplies needed to complete academic assignments. 

"Each year, we have over 25 eligible students who choose to come for homework help. These students continue to return year after year, demonstrating an increased ability to prioritize their work, edit their assignments, advocate for help and problem-solve more efficiently," Nagle said in a recent email to YourArlington. "They also report feeling more connected to their peers, school and community as a result of Operation Success. Students have been able to secure jobs and/or college acceptance through help with applications and academics from Operation Success volunteers."

Nagle continued, "Operation Success helps students achieve a higher level of academic success by providing a safe and nurturing environment for students to develop their study habits, improve their grades, build self-esteem and foster a sense of community. We aim to eliminate barriers of access to school supplies by providing students with all the tools they need to complete their homework and go to school prepared to learn.

 "While Operation Success has benefited from CDBG funding on an annual basis, costs have increased, while available funding has decreased. We hope that the Arlington community will consider attending or supporting Operation Success fundraisers or writing letters of support for future grant applications. Those interested in finding out ways to donate or assist can contact operationsuccess@arlingtonhousing.org "

Menotomy Manor in East Arlington.is the largest affordable family housing development in town, with approximately 500 residents. It includes 179 two- and three-bedroom apartments located in 46 low-rise, two-story buildings and a Life & Skills Center on Fremont Court, Nagle said. He added that the average household income for Menotomy Manor residents is $33,123.

At the same awards event last month, longtime AHA board member Nicholas Mitropoulos received a Massachusetts NAHRO Distinguished Service Award for his 22 years of service, Nagle said.

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This announcement, based on information provided by AHA Executive Director Jack Nagle was published Oct. 2, 2023.

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