Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center
30 Elizabeth Street - Derby, CT 06418 - (203) 954-0"KID"

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    Volume 2 No 1                                    Fall 2004


Outing Day for Kids
Kids Handprint Quilt
President's Message
CEO's Message
5th Annual Golf Tournament
New Facility for PCRC
Matthies Grant to PCRC
Staff Spotlight
Learning Center
DCF Site Visit

New Board Members


First Ever PCRC Outing Day For Kids          (top)

With the financial support of Valley United Way, PCRC is proud to announce our first ever Outing Day for kids in the community. On Friday, August 20, 2004, children from local agencies joined PCRC kids for a full day of activities, including a visit to High Hopes Therapeutic Horseback Riding, The Shoreline Trolley Museum, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History. The outing was made possible through a generous grant from Valley United Way.

Having Fun at the first ever Outing Day

The idea for Outing Day came as a result of the clinic's desire to introduce kids to unique experiences that help to build confidence and self-esteem. In addition to offering the opportunity to children from

PCRC, young people aged 6- 16 from The Boys & Girls Club, DCF, The Umbrella and Valley YMCA were invited as well, making it a true community activity. The local agencies extended the invitation to kids that they serve, identifying children that would not only enjoy the event, but who would benefit socially and emotionally from such an Outing Day. All participants were provided with transportation, admission, and lunch, making it a totally cost free day for all.

The first stop on Outing Day was High Hopes Therapeutic Horseback Riding in Old Lyme, CT, a facility established to offer the proven benefits of therapeutic riding to children and adults with   physical, developmental, or behavioral disabilities. Each developmentally appropriate group took part

in stable management, mounted activities, and classroom activities, in a program specially designed by PCRC and High Hopes to meet the specific needs and interests of the kids involved.

Through hands-on lessons about the horses and their maintenance, the kids were introduced to the animals and the responsibilities of caring for them. Mounted activities gave participants a chance to experience the balance, mobility, and strength it takes to ride a horse, an opportunity many had not had before. Beyond the merits of the experience itself, the activities were largely group orientated, encouraging kids to interact with their peers. As a whole, the challenges of therapeutic riding aim to enhance self-esteem, confidence, and coordination, all within a safe environment and social setting.

Following a brown bag picnic lunch at the High Hopes facility, Outing Day continued with visits to the two local museums, where participants continued their learning adventure. After their morning riding horses, the kids took a trip on the historic trolleys, then traveled through history to the time of the dinosaurs. PCRC staff accompanying the children throughout the day learned a thing or two as well!

This full day event was an exciting way to enhance the relationship between PCRC and other community agencies, and, especially, to introduce local kids and teens to unforgettable experiences. With additional funding from generous supporters in the future, PCRC hopes this year's Outing Day will be the first of many similar projects that continue to build the bond between the family of services offered in the Valley.


PCRC Kids Lend A Decorative Hand           (top)

Children's Handprint Quilt


Soon after moving into PCRC's spacious new office, the staff discovered something was missing from the state-of-the-art facility: a touch of kid art to make it home!

Over two weeks early in the spring, the clinic invited kids aged 12 years old and younger to design a handprint square. More than forty children participated, tracing their own prints and gluing the felt hand to a piece of fabric, which they decorated themselves. Each square is a unique part of the finished product and is as special as the child who created it.

Additional staff members joined the project during the construction phase, assisting with everything from cutting ribbons and making bows to ironing the long strips of fabric. Clinician Julie Cioffi spent hours arranging the dozens of squares into a colorful quilt, a finished project that measures more than seven feet wide and hangs just shy of five feet long.

PCRC's Handprint Quilt now serves as the centerpiece of the main entrance, hanging in the hallway to be shared with staff, families, and visitors alike. In the future, a similar project will be planned for the teens at the clinic, an opportunity for them to showcase both their talents and personalities.

President's Message           (top)

It is with great pleasure that I write this article from the new PCRC facility on Elizabeth Street in Derby. After the effort and hard work of so many individuals, we are now totally operating from this new state of the art facility. We who serve on the Board of Directors cannot thank you enough for your contribution to this effort that will so greatly benefit the children and families in our area who need behavioral assistance. We are all very fortunate to have not only a great new facility, but also a very dedicated and talented staff to provide so much professional assistance to our clients.

I would like to remind everyone, however, that the work is never done. As long as there is a need for behavioral health services for the children and families in our area, PCRC will be there to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. PCRC is an agency that continues to have positive vision for the future and is always assessing how to better serve our clients.

To assist in this process, there are still many ways for you to continue to help PCRC and our clients. We always need individuals to help us with our activities, such as fund raising, the Golf Tournament, the Annual Meeting Committee, and any other activity you would like to help with. If you have an interest in becoming more involved with our many efforts or would like to make a contribution, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The past year has been the most productive and exciting for PCRC ever, and we look forward to the future with great expectation for continued growth and accomplishment.

David J. Marchitto
President, Board of Directors.

Message from the Chief Executive Officer           (top)

Greetings from Elizabeth Street in Derby! Finally, after three and one-half years of planning and waiting, we are in our clean, spacious new offices. The views of the Valley, of the Housatonic River, and even Route 8, are spectacular.

I would like to thank the many Board members who worked diligently the past several years to make the new facility a reality. And, I would like to praise the staff, who despite packing up and moving everything from White Street in Shelton to Elizabeth Street in Derby, never missed a beat. Our offices were closed for only two days in January.

The true importance of the new facility is the opportunity it provides us to increase and improve our services to children and families in the Valley. Our staff and clients deserve the best of facilities, and the expanded space will allow us to develop additional programs. A few examples include:

  • Short-term groups for families awaiting service, that provide the families with quick access to information, support, assessment and referral.

  • A new group for parents called Surviving Your Adolescents.

  • A program addressing the  psychological, medical and life style issues related to a constellation of risk factors associated with obesity, prediabetes, Diabetes and heart disease.

The facility was a long time in coming, but it was truly worth the wait.

I would be remiss if I ended by message without mentioning the recent tragic death of Joseph A. Pagliaro, Sr. Joe was a former member of the PCRC Board of Directors. He was there for PCRC and for me personally on many occasions. He set an unparalleled example of service to community. He gave of his time and resources to help any agency, organization or individual that needed him. Thank you Joe. We miss you.

Michael J. Wynne
Chief Executive Officer

5th Annual PCRC Golf Tournament           (top)

Jim Guarrera, PCRC board member Pat Carey,
Steve Guarrera and Chris Carey

The Parent Child Resource Center Fifth Annual Golf Invitational sponsored by Hasler Mailing Systems and Solutions, Inc, was held on June 7, 2004. The weather was beautiful for the twelve teams of golfers at the newly refurbished Highland Golf Club in Shelton.

The tournament was won by the Hasler team of John Vavra, Glenn Reifinger, George Hess and Gary Holforty. Riverview Funeral Home placed second and Advanced Mailing Solutions third. Closest to the pin honors went to Vin Guarino of Amity Mortgage and the Longest Drive contest was won by Gary Holforty of Hasler.


New Facility For PCRC           (top)

On January 13, 2004, a new era in PCRC history began when the agency opened the doors of its new facility at 30 Elizabeth Street in Derby. In October 2000, PCRC purchased the 7,000 square feet of unfinished condominium office space. Asuccessful Capital Campaign followed, with major support from the Connecticut State Bond Commission, grants from the Katharine Matthies Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and the generous support of numerous individuals and businesses throughout the Valley.

Architectural plans were developed by H & R Design of Danbury, and construction began in December 2002. The facility, designed with the needs of clients and staff in mind, features large business office and waiting areas, seventeen private offices, an observation room, staff break room, records room and a large conference room. The facility also features state-of-the-art telephone and computer systems, which have greatly improved service delivery as well as client and staff satisfaction. Please call the office if you would like a tour of the new facility.

Photos of our new facility.

Katharine Matthies Foundation Awards Grant to PCRC           (top)

In late July, the Center received notification that the Katharine Matthies Foundation decided to award a grant in the amount of $30,000 to "help pilot a program for the growing population of children who are at risk both medically and behaviorally" from a constellation of risk factors related to obesity, prediabetes, Diabetes and heart disease. According to Laura Mutrie, Director of Clinical Services, the idea for the grant proposal was "based on our own first-hand experience and a preponderance of emerging research that documents the harmful emotional and physical effects of these risk factors for children and adolescents now and in their futures." The agency is looking forward to working in conjunction with experts from the fields of Family Nursing, Psychiatry, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology to develop a curriculum for two separate groups; one for school-aged children and the other for adolescents. Shanna Alexander, a student intern, will devote more than half her hours to the development and implementation of the program. The hope is that after a successful pilot program is instituted, this project will be able to be funded and repeated regularly throughout the community in an effort to prevent negative outcomes such as anger, bullying and stress, and to educate children, teens and their families about the risks related to this constellation of symptoms. The agency is grateful to the Matthies Foundation for their generous support.


Fast Facts

Type 2 Diabetes

Before 1992, Type 2 accounted for 2 to 4 percent of all childhood diabetes - by 1994, the number was up to 16 percent. As obesity in young people has increased, so has the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in the same population. The dramatic rise is not coincidental - obesity is reported to be a significant factor in developing the disease.

High Cholesterol

Researchers have discovered that children and adolescents should have minimally 20-30 minutes of physical cardiovascular activity three times a week, as well as knowledge about healthy eating habits, to reduce cholesterol.

Heart Disease

Studies have shown that prevention of heart disease starts with good eating habits at a young age. Experts state that the most effective measures of intervention can happen at as young as 3 and 4 years old.

Websites to Explore


Quick Tips

Not all overweight children need to lose weight - growing adolescents can also make a plan to reduce their weight gain, so that they can grow into their current weight.

Encourage children to drink a lot of water and to limit intake of beverages with added sugar, including soft drinks, fruit juice drinks, and sports drinks. Not only is this a good way to cut down on excessive empty calories, but drinking a lot of water can also reduce hunger between meals.

Food should not be used as a reward or punishment. Meals should provide some choices, rather than being dictated, and children should be urged to eat slowly.

Sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games, should be limited to less than two hours per day. Kids should be encouraged to participate in sports, biking, swimming and other activities with their friends, and families should find physical pastimes to enjoy together. Remember - adults need exercise too!

Be sensitive and supportive of your child by focusing on his or her positive attributes as you make changes as a family. Confident kids with good self-esteem will feel good about making healthy decisions!

Make healthy changes as a family to encourage your child's choices. Allow him or her to help plan meals or activities, and adopt the new lifestyle for yourself as well.


Staff Spotlight           (top)

Kathryn Adams LCSW

Clinician Earns License

The Child Guidance Clinic is proud to announce that Kathryn Adams is now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Kathryn, a clinician at PCRC for close to three years, passed the Connecticut state licensure test in June. "Becoming an LCSW has been a personal goal of mine, and PCRC really encouraged me to pursue professional development," she says. Congratulations, Kathryn!

Connecticut Society for
Clinical Social Work Awards Scholarship

Rachel Alpert, a former PCRC intern and current member of the per diem staff, was recently awarded with the Elizabeth Capron Scholarship by the Connecticut Society for Clinical Social Work. "This award is a special honor because it represents the support of people already working in the field," Rachel says. Rachel recently accepted a position as a School Social Worker in Milford that allows her to continue her clinical work as a per diem employee at PCRC. The agency congratulates her on this award and wishes her luck for a successful career!

Rachael Alpert

Bob Jacobs

Best Wishes for Bob

At the end of the summer, PCRC staff said goodbye to Bob Jacobs, a Child Guidance Clinician at the agency for nearly two years. Bob will be leaving Connecticut for his new home in Atlanta, Georgia, where his fianc‚ now resides. While at PCRC Bob committed himself not only to his clients, but to improving his skills as a clinician as well. PCRC wishes Bob the best of luck in Atlanta and congratulates him on his engagement. Thanks for the memories, Bob!
New SOC Coordinator
Joins Full-time Staff

Lori Tatro, a 2004 graduate of the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services with a concentration in Social Work and the Law, joined the staff of PCRC in June as the Systems of Care Coordinator. Lori has quickly become a valued and respected member of the staff. She says, "So far I have learned a tremendous amount about Valley resources and the families we seek to serve." Lori adds that, "I am looking forward to strengthening relationships in order to provide a more comprehensive team approach to the provision of services for SOC clients."

Lori Tatro

Linda Flach

Early Childhood Consultant
Shares Her Skills

For many local early childhood educators, Linda Flach, PCRC's Early Childhood Consultant, has become a valuable resource for information. As the coordinator of the Early Childhood Consultation Program in the Valley, Linda has also developed an impressive collection of presentations and trainings which have been shared with daycare centers and
pre-school staffs. Recent discussions have centered around picky eaters, sleep concerns, and ways to incorporate social skills training into the class curriculum.

To prepare for the new school year, Linda will be presenting on the topic of "Transitions Within the Classroom" to help children cope with change. "It's important for teachers to develop ways to make change more palatable to children by setting routines," she says. "By making them conscious of schedules and time, they are better able to handle shifts from one activity to another."

Linda is also waiting to hear from the Graustein Foundation regarding a proposal to develop and present additional trainings with a focus on infant and toddlers.

Reputation Grows as a Center for Learning           (top)

For many years, The Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center has provided students of social work with the opportunity to experience the demands and merits of working in a clinical setting. The interns joining the staff in the Fall of 2004, however, will be the inaugural class to enjoy a brand-new learning environment. Beginning in late September, PCRC will be hosting five student interns, the largest class ever to join the staff.

Because the new Derby facility was designed specifically with students in mind, the Clinic can comfortably accommodate a growing number of interns. With the advantages of the state-of-the-art clinic facility and a committed, knowledgeable staff, PCRC is quickly becoming a sought-after placement for interns at several esteemed universities. Former intern Rachel Alpert notes, "Interns?can look forward to an incredible year of challenges, rewards and professional growth."

Columbia University, Fordham University, and Southern Connecticut State University have referred students to PCRC for the 2004-2005 school year. The number of candidates who applied for the few intern spots available is a sign of the excellent educational reputation that PCRC has earned as a center for quality training of Master's of Social Work students.

Meet the Interns

This year's class - Shanna Alexander, Sarah Manheim, Kelly Dana, Meghan Geary, and Jodi Serra - will experience, among other things, hands-on clinical treatment, team meetings, and the development of several exciting groups. Each brings an impressive background of experience and skills, and they will learn not only from PCRC, but from each other as well.

Shanna Alexander is a student from Columbia University with a background in mentoring and tutoring young students. She has also been active in the Native American Cultural Society. Shanna will be working closely with CEO, Michael Wynne, as well as helping to implement a new program funded by the Katharine Matthies Foundation.

Also a student of Columbia University, Sarah Manheim is a first-year MSW intern. Her background includes extensive volunteer activities as a child care provider and youth group advisor.

As an intern from Southern Connecticut State University, Kelly Dana is studying for her MSW with concentration in Children and Families. She currently works as an Outreach Substance Abuse Counselor at Child Guidance Center in Bridgeport.

Meghan Geary is a student from Fordham University with experience working with a variety of populations. Her background includes facilitating pre-natal and first time parenting groups, providing services for developmentally disabled and handicapped adults.

Another Fordham student, Jodi Serra is working towards earning her MSW degree in May of 2005. She has previously spent time as an intern in the Wallingford School District, and coordinating after-school activities and tutoring with teens and children. She is currently a Family Support Social Worker with the Middlesex Hospital Family Advocacy Program.

The entire staff of PCRC welcomes the new interns and wishes them luck for a successful year and enriching experience.
DCF Site Visit Scheduled           (top)

On September 15th and 16th, the Child Guidance Clinic will be reviewed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to ensure that state regulations are being met in the delivery of service to our clients. Following a successful visit, the Clinic should receive a two-year renewal of its outpatient psychiatric clinic for children license. The Clinic was originally licensed in 2000, and that license was renewed in 2002. An ad hoc committee of clinicians was tasked with updating and revising the clinic's policies and procedures following the move to Derby and in anticipation of the upcoming relicensure. The committee has completed its work and the new and revised policies and procedures were implemented in mid-August.
New PCRC Board Members           (top)

Jim Geissler
Jim Geissler has been an Outreach Worker for the Shelton Board of Education for ten years. He participates in the Valley Youth Council, the Shelton Youth Services Board, the Allocation Committee of Valley United Way, and is President of the Boards of Directors of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers and Partners in Care. He is Vice Chairman of St. Joseph's Pastoral Council and on the Board of Directors of Highland Golf Club. In October 2003, Jim received the PCRC Service to Children and Families Award.

David J. Grant
David J. Grant received his Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Vermont. Recently, he completed the Valley Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Greater Valley Program. David is the son of David M. Grant of David M. Grant Caterers and Gail Grant, a teacher in the Shelton school system.

Anthony Piccolo
Anthony Piccolo retired from the Shelton School system after 35 years, most recently serving as HouseMaster at Shelton High School from 1991 through 2003. He coached football, softball and baseball, and was inducted into the Softball Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was awarded the Pop Shortell Sportsman of the Year Award by the Valley Boys and Girls Club.

Lower Naugatuck Valley
Parent Child Resource Center
Board of Directors

David Marchitto ...................................................President
Anne Cribbins .......................................First Vice President
Louis Dagostine ................................Second Vice President
Wendy Gaynor .....................................................Secretary
Bob Lisi ...............................................................Treasurer

Raymond Bozzuto, Jr
Patrick Carey
Maureen McGowan-Schwartz
Susan Nofi-Bendici, Esq.
Joseph Pagliaro, Jr.
James Geissler
Anthony Piccolo
William Sarris, Esq.
Cynthia Tonucci
Ben Trabka
John Vavra
Jack Worgan
David J. Grant

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