This summer, Howard Center’s Baird School will be one of more than 230 sites in Vermont and 9 in Burlington to provide free summer meals for children and youth 18 years old and younger. The program is made possible through a collaboration with the Burlington Parks and Recreation, the Burlington School Food Project, Burlington Housing Authority, and Hunger Free VT.
Howard Center staff, clients, and community members recently gathered at City Hall to mark the 26th annual Evening of the Arts celebration of the musical, literary, visual, and performing talents of Westview House members.
Register now for the annual Zoe's Race. Now in its sixth year, this fun, family-friendly event raises money for home accessibility accommodations for young Howard Center clients with mobility issues.
This month, nearly 60 students from our four alternative educational programs will be honored during end-of-school-year ceremonies which celebrate and applaud each individual’s unique accomplishments, talents, and skills. As one student says, the celebrations are a time “Be proud of who you are. You are you for a reason.”
Last month, Howard Center Safe Recovery staff distributed 69 overdose rescue kits with Naloxone (Narcan) to Addison County residents. The distribution in Middlebury was made possible with assistance from the Turning Point and the Counseling Services of Addison County.
School’s Out, Camp’s In
For Howard Center clients ages 6 to 21, there are endless possibilities for fun during the summer. Our day camps offer programs for children, youth, and young adults. Here’s a sampling of what some of our campers will be doing this summer.
As a student at Champlain Valley Union High School, 17-year-old Amy Conn dreamed of going to college. Thanks to the encouragement from her Community Friends Mentor, Danielle O’Brien, and a four-year scholarship from the Stiller Family Foundation, Amy will head to college this fall.
Becky remembers she was apprehensive when she arrived at Northern Lights, a residential program that provides supervised housing and structured support (including employment training) to help women successfully transition from prison back to the community. Eight months later, the 37-year-old who had spent two stints at the Chittenden County Correctional Center will be one of three women honored at a graduation ceremony later this month.
Last month, 20-year-old Brandon joined five other SUCCEED students who were honored in a graduation ceremony. SUCCEED, a collaboration with area colleges, provides comprehensive education, campus life, career development and student housing services to students with intellectual disabilities. For the past two years, Brandon has been sharing a house with other SUCCEED students, attending classes at Community College of Vermont, working two part-time jobs, and volunteering at the Chittenden County Humane Society. Read more . . .
A new school year can be a stressful time of year for both parents and children. Staff from our Child, Youth and Family Services programs have compiled some tips that will help parents and children get ready for success in the coming school year. Read more . . .
Most of us have experienced depression at some point in our lives. It's also likely that we have watched as a family member, friend, or colleague has struggled with depression. Our professional staff have compiled a list of tips to keep in mind the next time you or a loved one is feeling depressed.
Amy LaClair says her life used to be boring. Now, through employment support from Howard Center’s Project Hire program, Amy has a job at Walmart and she says she’s one busy lady. She adds, “I’ve been there for nine years, and it feels like I have two homes: my real home and my Walmart home.”
In July 2012, Kindra and Mike Johnson became parents for the first time. Their new child was an eight-year-old boy who had been living at Jarrett House, one of Howard Center’s residential homes for youths. Katie Nee, Resource Coordinator for Howard Center’s Enhanced Family Treatment Program, says, “You don't have to be perfect, married, rich or own a home to be a foster parent. You will be supported every step of the way by our team.”
Rebecca and Sally Ann Majoya of Majoya Writing will present a workshop on November 20 and 21 to benefit Howard Center’s SUCCEED Program. Rebecca says, “We chose to benefit Howard Center because we witnessed firsthand the incredible assistance that they have offered to our younger son, who is on the autism spectrum.”
Julie Smith, Director of Howard Center's Autism Spectrum Program (ASP) says, “We keep getting bigger, and as the needs in the community continue to increase, we are working to grow with them.” The program currently serves 35 clients from 18 months to 22 years old. When it began in 2000, the program served six children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum—a ten-fold increase in in 40 years. Read more . . .
"You don't have to be perfect, married, rich, or own a home to be a foster parent," says Katie Nee, Resource Coordinator for Howard Center's Enhanced Family Treatment Program. "You will be supported every step of the way by our team."
The need for foster parents is great adds Nee. According to the Vermont Department of Children and Families, on any given day there are 60 children in foster care waiting for families to adopt them.
Earlier this year, Howard Center staff, Gail Rafferty and Tracey Girdich, joined other community professionals to discuss "Growing Up," the theme of the February 6 TEDx Talk in Burlington, sponsored by Let's Grow Kids and Building Bright Futures.
"Parenting: A Completely Natural and Improbable Undertaking," presented by Gail Rafferty
"The Beggar at the Door: An Invitation to Enchantment," presented by Tracey Girdich