The Meaning of the MAC
Dana and Chrissy drop off collected donations to the Wellspring House!

Dana and Chrissy drop off collected donations to the Wellspring House!

It’s been over a year now and I can truly say that the MAC has changed my life in so many positive ways. From the very first day, every member and employee has welcomed me and made me feel like part of the team. There’s something unique about the MAC and the community we’ve created here, and I feel very honored to be a part of it all.

As the Membership Director, I have the opportunity everyday to meet new members and to hear about the journey that led them to the MAC. Although every story is different, the common theme is that everyone is searching for a strong community, that will not only inspire and support them throughout their daily lives, but will also guide them in the right direction to a healthier lifestyle.

The MAC strives to create a safe environment that welcomes everyone. I recently met a family who just moved to the area - new friends referred them to the MAC and encouraged them to join. After meeting them, I learned that they had a child with learning disabilities and they were searching for a safe environment where they would be accepted, and their child would feel comfortable. They have now made many friends here, their child enjoys Gymazing on a regular basis, and they feel welcomed into their newly discovered MAC family.

MAC also gives back to our community, to help those in need. Recently, with the help of our new members, we have donated to multiple charities throughout the North Shore. Food banks, Horizons for Homeless Children, Wellspring House and the Boys & Girls Club in Salem have benefited from the donations we have been able to collect for them. We look forward to continuing to partner with more charities throughout the year.

The summer season is now upon us and we are excited to welcome families throughout the world that are visiting the area. This is always one of my favorite times of the year because families return year after year, making the MAC experience a family tradition - one that is passed on to many more generations to come. Whether for one week or the entire summer, they are all excited to get back to MAC!

We have lots of new and exciting things happening throughout the year, and I look forward to sharing them with all of you. Thank you for contributing and creating the culture here. You and your families are what make the MAC such a special place.

WRITTEN BY: Dana Leavitt
Membership Director
978-526-8900 x202

katelyn cross
The Truth About Sunscreen

With summer approaching, many of my clients are asking me if sunscreen is beneficial or harmful. I wanted to give you an overview so that you can decide for yourself which product to use.

There are two types of sunscreen, mineral sunscreens which include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which actually create a physical barrier to the sun. There are also chemical sunscreens, which use a variety of chemicals that include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homoslate and octinoxate.

New research by the Environmental Working Group has found that the chemicals used in sunscreens are endocrine disruptors, and may interfere with thyroid and hormonal processes within the body. One of those chemicals, Obybenzone, is linked to reduced sperm count in men and endometriosis in women. The Center for Disease Control found Oxybenzone in 96% of the population.

The Environmental Working Group tested over 1400 sunscreens and discovered that 40% were listed as potentially contributing to skin cancer and only 5% met their safety standards.

Most sunscreens block the body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D, statistically 75% of the population is deficient in vitamin D, and this deficiency is linked to a higher risk of cancer and heart disease.

The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics reports that “sunscreens protect against sunburn but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. Skin cancer rates are rising 4.2 % annually. Despite the push for more awareness about sun exposure, the incidence of skin cancer, especially melanoma, is rising dramatically.

Mineral sunscreens are considered a safer option. Look for non-nano zinc oxide. Below is a list of the sunscreens that are considered safe by the Environmental Working Group.

  • Alba Botanical Mineral Sunscreen

  • Badger Mineral Sunscreen

  • Babyganics Sunscreen

  • Jason Mineral Sunscreen

  • Burt’s Bee’s Sunscreenhere is a safer option

  • Bullfrog Sunscreen

  • For the full list go to

Written By: Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness/Holistic Wellness Coach

katelyn cross
Manchester Prep: Why We Focus on More than the Grades

When I reminisce back to my best memories from Elementary, Middle and High school, most of them are experiences shared with friends. Of course, I remember the academics and learning different skills but for most of us we think back to social interactions and friendships we made.

Over the past three years at Manchester Prep we have focused on developing strong relationships among our students in hopes that many wonderful memories will be created. Our formula for making Manchester Prep a successful and exciting place to be begins with the bonds that students form with their peers.

One of our strengths as a program is the importance we place on collaborative work. The best type of learning occurs when classmates work together and master concepts as a team. It is an invaluable component of our program.

When I was in Kindergarten our school had a program where each Kindergartener was “buddied” up with a 5th grader in the school. We had the chance to eat lunch with our buddy, do a monthly learning activity and enjoy a recess together. Those memories are highlights of my elementary school years.

As our program has grown we have stressed the importance of peer mentoring. Just recently one of our High School students was helping our middle school students with their social studies project. These types of interactions are equally as meaningful as any social studies unit being learned. Very frequently we have our Columbian or Argentinian students tutor and teach other students who are just learning Spanish. How awesome it is to have them as resources in our classroom each day? And to reciprocate, our English speaking students help them to speak English more fluently. This type of collaborative learning is what makes our classroom so special.

Our goal at Manchester Prep is to help each student reach their goals academically and socially. Our students’ academics are easily measured and assessed. We can look at grades and read papers to evaluate a student’s understanding of a subject. We can also look around the classroom and see our students working together in multi age groups and feel confident that they are growing socially as well as academically here at Manchester Prep.

So come take a walk over and visit us at Manchester Prep! There is never a dull moment, and it’s always a good day!

Written By: Claudine Prokopis
Director of Manchester Prep

katelyn cross