Maine Children’s Home Newsletter

SEPTEMBER 2017

Fall Greetings,

Although it hasn’t felt much like our typical fall for the past few weeks, we are ready to shift the rhythm of our schedules. We are so pleased to have students back on campus, new activities are starting and David Hatt and his maintenance team are working hard to see projects are finished for the season. It has been a very busy summer for David’s team and there are great changes that have taken place. Most notably, significant improvements to the playgrounds and a new paved stroller path to make it easier to push carriages, ride bikes, run and make sidewalk chalk art. There have been other improvements to parking and paving while the Stanley’s team was on campus. These changes, and many others, have taken place while the maintenance team maintains six buildings on campus. 

We are excited at the growing support for the expansion of The Children’s Place with the new Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM) resources. This dynamic plan will help us to add three more classrooms this spring to serve 26 more young children. We continue to hear from our community what an urgent need this is.

As always, we can’t thank our supporters and friends enough for the partnership and commitment that makes our work possible. We invite you to call us to take a tour and see how your support is helping, or to find ways you can help us to meet needs today and invest for our future. 

In sincere gratitude,

Richard Dorian, Executive Director
Agency Report Card
Christmas Program Update
The Christmas Program at The Maine Children’s Home provides boxes of clothing, toys, books and more to income-eligible families for their children who are 12 and under, who live in the state of Maine, and who are willing to pick up a box at our office in Waterville. Plans are well under way to serve up to 1,700 children this coming Christmas season.
 
The application will be available beginning October 30 until December 6, or until we reach the maximum number of applicants. Only the parent or legal guardian of the children receiving gifts are allowed to apply. For full instructions and income guidelines or to apply, please visit our website.
 
If you would like to help make Christmas brighter for financially disadvantaged Maine children, please consider an early donation of toys, books or clothing to help us stock our shelves and keep a constant supply as we work daily beginning at the end of October to fill boxes. If you would like to help out, but don’t live in the Waterville area, check out our Amazon Wish List and have it shipped directly to our office!
The Children’s Place News
Did you guess what was happening in our front play yard? Remember in last month’s e-news we gave you the following picture and hints:
 
 
  • The children and teachers will LOVE it
 
  • The children can use it with their whole bodies, wheels and chalk     
 
Did you guess what it was? Here’s the big reveal! We now have a wonderful asphalt path from our parking lot, up through our large play space and connecting our two smaller play yards. We also have a small asphalt circle inside each of the small play yards for ride and push toys.
 
“There’s no way that we can help children to learn to love and preserve this planet, if we don’t give them direct experiences with the miracles and blessings of nature.” -Anita Olds
 
Not only will this enable easy access to play yards for our infants in strollers (especially in the winter months), but the children have another play surface to enjoy. Push toys, ride toys and children’s bodies can travel on this new surface, and temporary artistic masterpieces, using paint and chalk, can be created.
 
It is critical for early childhood programs to provide quality outdoor play experiences for young children. Many of the developmental tasks that young children must achieve – exploration, socialization, risk-taking, sensory experiences, fine & gross motor development, and vast amounts of knowledge related to math, science, ecology, construction, language and literacy – can be most effectively learned through outdoor play.
 
On a side note, we have bike helmets for our young toddlers, but are in need of 10-15 size x/s for our 3-6 year old preschoolers. For more information, contact The Children’s Place at mhoward@mainechildrenshome.org.
Turner Family Counseling Center News
The Harland A. Turner Family Counseling Center has been given a $5,000 grant from The Bingham Program to help provide the best-quality counseling for children who have had adverse childhood experiences (abuse, extreme neglect, significant loss, trauma). 
 
We will be using the funds to provide specific graduate level training in evidenced-based play therapy approaches, as well as trauma-focused therapy. We want to be sure that we are helping children and their families in the most effective possible ways, using approaches that are engaging and playful, yet highly therapeutic, to help children work through their adverse experiences and to help families understand how they can be most helpful to their child/children. 
 
This grant has allowed us to bring a highly skilled and experienced Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, who teaches graduate courses in play therapy at universities in our state, right to our campus to provide play therapy-specific training to all of our counselors who work with young children and their families. The other piece this grant supports is to ensure that all of our counselors have been trained in trauma-focused treatment, specifically Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents who have been impacted by trauma, as well as for their parents or caregivers, to understand the impact of trauma on behaviors and emotions so that with this understanding they can truly know how to be present for their child in whatever means is most supportive for that child. This is highly effective treatment and we are excited to now ensure all of our counselors are trained in this TF-CBT model. We are so grateful for the support we have received through this Bingham Program Grant!
Lindsay Bragdon, Adoption Program Director, and Deb Levenseller, Clinical Director, just got back from an incredible training in Texas on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) ®. To quote one of the presenters and co-author of the book The Connected Child, Dr. David Cross, “TBRI ® is attachment-based, trauma-informed, whole-child, multi-systemic, and evidence-based.” Lindsay and Deb are excited to bring this model of intervention to the state of Maine, particularly to support children who have experienced trauma, abuse, and extreme neglect, and often are in the foster care system, or have been adopted domestically or from orphanages internationally. Stay tuned for more about TBRI ® in the next e-newsletter!
UPCOMING EVENTS:
Craft Fair
11/4 at 9 a.m.
 
Don’t miss out on a Holiday Craft Fair to benefit the Christmas Program at Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers. T&B’s Celebration Center in Waterville is hosting this event that includes 40 local craft vendors and FREE admission. NEW toy and clothing donations will be accepted at the door!
Celebrating Resilience
11/9 at 6 p.m.
This will be a great night of good food and awesome entertainment from Maine humorist, Gary Crocker and The Sunday Project band. We will also hear from present and past teen parents of the impact of the Teen Parent School Program at MCHLW. Tickets are $35/person or $60/couple.
Meet Our New Team Members
 
The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers is pleased to announce two new members of our Development team, Kelly Couture and Samantha Sturtevant!
 
As Development Coordinator, Kelly is responsible for the development and oversight of The Maine Children’s Home’s donor relationship program and fundraising strategies. Her experienced background includes sales, marketing and business development roles, including involvement with several nonprofits, event planning and growth. Kelly can be reached at 872-0261 x217 or by email at kcouture@mainechildrenshome.org.
 
In her position as Media and Marketing Coordinator, Samantha, who also goes by Samy, will increase the organization’s positive recognition and reputation by implementing marketing, advertising and social media strategies. Marketing, promotions and social media are all areas in which she has had previous job experience, and her familiarity with current digital media tools will be a helpful skill at The Maine Children’s Home. Samy can be reached at 872-0261 x224 or by email at ssturtevant@mainechildrenshome.org.
Sukeforth Family Festival of Trees
Festival Dates:
11/17, 11/18, 11/19
11/24, 11/25, 11/26
The Sukeforth Family Festival of Trees is an annual celebration where you can walk through a winter wonderland, meet Santa, and enter for a chance to win a tree. This event benefits local charities and this year, The Maine Children’s Home is one of them! Make sure to come out and support us on the above dates.
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