umass amherst alumni association honors suzin bartley
“parents panel” a highlight of annual meeting
The Children’s Trust recently held its Annual Meeting to review activities that occurred during fiscal year 2014, present awards, and hear from parents who participate in its funded programs.
The two fathers and two mothers told guests that the Children’s Trust’s funded programs provide them with parenting knowledge, resources, and hope: vital tools to help them become better parents.
Wale Awogboro of Dorchester, a participant in the Nurturing Fathers Program, explained how the support group helps him build parenting skills, self-esteem, and a support system of other dads. He was so inspired that he trained to become a group facilitator and enrolled in the program for a second time.
In addition to skills, knowledge, and resources, Sharon Bostock said the Greenfield Family Center provides her with hope while she faces difficult times. She is unemployed and lives in a homeless shelter with her 13-month-old daughter. The Family Center, where families gather and gain skills, is a cornerstone of her life, she said.
Regina Serverius and Tony Lebrasseur said Healthy Families Haverhill, an in-home parenting support and coaching program for young parents, has delivered a wide range of support: information about their son’s development, parenting tips, personal goal setting, and opportunities to connect with other parents, as well as concrete necessities, such as diapers.
The four parents thanked the Children’s Trust Board of Directors and said more programs such as these should be made available.
Also during the meeting, Sandy Bastone, Director of Family Support Programs at Community Action in Greenfield, received The Stephen Cahn Award in recognition of her excellence and leadership in supporting families. The award is named for the late Stephen Cahn who served on the Board of Directors at the Children’s Trust and was a tireless advocate for children through the Worcester Juvenile Court. Dr. Marjorie Cahn presented the award, saying that Ms. Bastone reflects her late husband’s devotion to improving the lives of children. Ms. Bastone oversees three programs funded by the Children’s Trust in the Greenfield area. These include Healthy Families Franklin County, Healthy Families Hampshire County, and Greenfield Family Center.
The Children’s Trust’s Executive Director Suzin Bartley reported on the organization’s many activities to build awareness, advocacy, and access to family support programs. James Rooney, Chairman of the Board of Directors, delivered remarks and Treasurer Samuel Mullen reported on finances.
Additional information is included in the Children’s Trust fiscal year 2014 annual report.