Martin County voters reauthorize Children's Services CouncilSTUART - Overcoming the greatest challenge to the dedicated funding source for children and family programming in its 26 years, the Children's Services Council of Martin County has been reauthorized Tuesday by voters.Nearly 77% of registered voters in Martin County agreed to continue the existence of the Council, which was created by voter referendum in 1988 and returned to the ballot for the first time this year."This work has always been about the well-being and health of children andfamilies in Martin County, and we are honored to continue serving our community in this way," said David Heaton, the executive director of the Council. "We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from our neighbors and have appreciated the opportunity to talk with so many caring Martin County residents about the work we do on their behalf."After state legislators decided to bring the local funding agency back to the ballot in 2010, the Council shifted from the behind-the-scene support and oversight of 20 local not-for-profit agencies to working collectively with agency representatives, small business owners and community leaders to educate homeowners about the work done on their behalf over the years.On voting day, it was clear that Martin County voters understood the importance of having a local, independent agency designed to keep children out of politics and supported on a path to success. The Stuart News editorial board, Martin County Taxpayers Association, Florida Tax Watch, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Stuart Commission all also formally supported the Children's Services Council.With the reauthorization approved, the Council will continue to prioritize programs that focus on healthy children, strong families, safe communities and success in school and life. To see a list of all programs funded by the Council, log on to www.cscmc.org/funded-programs/.###
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Representatives with the Children's Services Council of Martin County had a fantastic time surprising the award recipients during Kids Week! We are so happy to honor those in the community making a difference in the lives of our community's children. It takes a village to support families and help children reach their full potential. The 35 programs funded by the Children's Services Council make a measurable difference, and so do the people honored this week. Congratulations!
Are you a healthy adult who works out at Planet Fitness, Gold's Gym, LA Fitness or one of the Martin Health System's Wellness Centers? Then changes are you saw one of our volunteers educating you and your neighbors about the work funded by the Children's Services Council to help keep our youngest residents healthy, safe and on a path to success! We hope you scored one of the cool foldable water bottles, too!
Wow! More than 30 local businesses with changable marquees have agreed to participate in Kids Week 2014 by changing their sign to read "Martin County Loves Our Kids"! Check out some here:
Happy Kids Week 2014! The Children's Services Council of Martin County wants to kick off this fun-filled week with a new informational video! Enjoy!
Learn some healthy summer habits encouraged by the Children's Services Council of Martin County in this month's From the Heart newsletter here!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is proud to announce our first-ever Champion for Children Award! Do you know someone who makes children a priority here in Martin County? We want to honor them! Please fill out the form and return it to us by July 21st! Good luck!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 Annual Report is released! To read how YOU are providing a foundation of support to Martin County's Face of the Future, log on to: http://www.cscmc.org/annual-reports/ today!
Read more about how the programs funded by the Children's Services Council of Martin County complement a national campaign to encourage adults to read aloud to children for at least 15 minutes every day! For the entire newsletter, click here!
Honor the young artists in Martin County at the Children's Services Council of Martin County's quarterly student art exhibit opening on Tuesday, April 15.
By contributing to the Children's Services Council through ad valorem taxes, Martin County homeowners are supporting 34 programs run by 20 not-for-profit agencies. But residents may not realize their reach expands to academic help, arts enrichment, alternative therapies and physical fitness that improves health and increases success in school and life for our youngest residents. Read the complete issue of From the Heart here: www.cscmc.org/newsletters/
To read the entire From the Heart on Priority Area: Success in School and Life, click here!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is continuing its outreach efforts regarding the new strategic plan for 2014-2019, which was approved by the Council at the end of last year. This important document helps to document a two-year effort by Council staff to gather data and analyze research to identify what has worked in Martin County, what needs work and what the emerging issues are in our dynamic community. To read more, click here: http://www.cscmc.org/strategic-plan/
This month, From the Heart is focused on the third of the four funding priority areas, which arose from the strategic plan. This month, we look at Safe Communities, a focus that speaks to the ever-reaching benefit for residents of all ages of creating a foundation of support for children and families in our community. Learn about what Council-funded programs are doing to support this effort toward safety and what we will be tracking on behalf of all Martin County homeowners for the next five years by clicking here: http://www.cscmc.org/images/contentfiles/Newsletter2.14.pdf. Below is a teaser!
To continue explaining the Children's Services Council of Martin County's new strategic plan for 2014-2019 -- and its complementary, undated funding priorities -- From the Heart will continue to focus the next few issues on specific topics the Council-funded agencies hope to impact in the next five years. To read our strategic plan and learn more about the methodology, click here: http://www.cscmc.org/strategic-plan/Last month, we looked at the Healthy Children funding priority.
Last month, we looked at Healthy Children, the first funding priority. This month, From the Heart looks at how Council-funded programs support Strong Families and why that's so important in creating a foundation of success for our youngest residents. To read the latest issue, click here:http://www.cscmc.org/images/contentfiles/Newsletter1.14.pdf
Have more questions? Feel free to call us at (772) 288-5758 ext. 102 and our public education coordinator is happy to help.
The Children's Services Council of Martin County has recently approved the strategic plan for 2014-2019, which includes new funding priorities based on data and research that demonstrates the ever-changing dynamic of need and success in our community. To read our strategic plan and learn more about the methodology, click here: http://www.cscmc.org/strategic-plan/
To explain our four new funding priorities, we are dedicating the next few issues of From the Heart to a specific topic. This month, it's a look at Healthy Children, and what the Children's Services Council of Martin County is doing to make a difference. To read the latest issue, click here: http://www.cscmc.org/images/contentfiles/Newsletter12.13.pdf
Have more questions? Feel free to call us at (772) 288-5758 ext. 102 and our public education coordinator is happy to help.
The From the Heart newsletter is now available on our Web site, and November's issue features the programs that area funded by the Children's Services Council of Martin County that help our special needs children. Read more here: http://www.cscmc.org/images/contentfiles/Newsletter11.13.pdf
The October issue of From the Heart is now available! Learn what the Children's Services Council of Martin County is doing to help provide a foundation of good health for our youngest residents. You can read the entire newsletter here: http://www.cscmc.org/newsletters/
School has been back in session for just a few weeks, but some children have already fallen behind. That's because of a phenomenon known as the "Summer Slide," where kids from lower socio-economic households lose academic ground over the summer. The Children's Services Council of Martin County is committed to helping all children learn throughout the year so they can graduate on time and reach their full potential. Read how in our latest issue of From the Heart!
Our latest From the Heart newsletter is out! Learn about how the Children's Services Council of Martin County is encouraging strong, supported families through fatherhood involvement! Click here to read our July/August issue today!
Click on the cover below to view our 2012-2013 Annual Report!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is proud to celebrate 25 years of service to our community!
In collaboration with The Whole Child Connection and other funders, the Children’s Services Council of Martin County is proud to announce the findings of a comprehensive community-wide strategic assessment. Entitled The Childhood Connection, this document is designed to be a catalyst for funding agencies and decision-makers in Martin County to determine what is working and what needs work, as well as identify emerging issues. It’s clear from the research that the work we are doing collectively is making a dramatic difference in the health and well-being of our community – but more work is needed.
This year-long project included intensive data collection from focus groups, a telephone survey, questionaires, interviews with community leaders and in-depth analysis of current research and quantitative data. Together, this methodology presented a clear picture of the emerging issues facing the residents of Martin County today. It also offered opportunities for further research, funding priorities and targeted focus to create a unified approach to reaching the goals we all seek for a healthy, safe and vibrant community.
The Childhood Connection is available in full online here, but this month’s From the Heart focuses on the newly determined Priority Areas that can provide a foundation of support for children and families in Martin County.
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is excited to announce the return of our popular SPLASH water safety program!
Check out all the newsletters in the Council archive!
April's From the Heart newsletter is out! To read the full issue, click here: http://www.cscmc.org/images/contentfiles/Newsletter4.13.pdf
To read the other newsletters from our archives, click here: http://www.cscmc.org/newsletters/
Please Join Us
for our Quarterly Student Art Exhibit
at the Children's Services Council of Martin County!
Wednesday, April 10th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
This quarter, we will display the works of artists from Crystal Lakes Elementary and Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School!
While the art will be on display through July, please join us at the Exhibit Opening, where you can meet the artists, enjoy refreshments and listen to live classical guitar by Taafkab Etalia and Joette Giorgis!
This is a free event, and all are welcome!
For more information, please call (772) 288-5758 ext. 102.
Wow! It's been 25 years since voters in Martin County approved the referendum to create the Children's Services Council of Martin County -- and we are proud to share the impact of your decision! With a dedicated funding source for children's programs, our community has made dramatic improvements in prenatal care, teenage drug and alcohol use and juvenile justice referrals, as well as many other indicators that are tracked and analyzed by the Council. Learn more by reading this month's From the Heart newsletter!
Want to know what funding from the Children's Services Council of Martin County is doing to positively impact kindergarten readiness? Helping children be prepared for the first day of school provides a foundation on which they grow -- and makes them more likely to graduate high school and become productive, tax-paying citizens! Read the current issue of From the Heart to learn more about the programs making a measurable difference every day!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County, in collaboration with the agencies we fund, is proud to announce that we WON Best Themed Float under 30 Feet at Friday's Stuart Christmas Parade! We had a blast, with about 200 people walking in support of the Children's Services Council! Did you miss the fun? Check out a short video on the evening by clicking here!
Want to learn what the Children's Services Council of Martin County is doing to end the childhood obesity epidemic in Martin County? Click here to read the latest From the Heart newsletter!
Click here to see our latest From the Heart newsletter, this one on how programs funded by the Children's Services Council of Martin County are positively impacting the local infant death rate!
Want to hear from your neighbors about the impact the Children's Services Council of Martin County is making on our community? Check out our new Testimonials page!
We had a great time at Lights On! Afterschool on Saturday, October 6th -- if you missed it, check out this quick video!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County, in partnership with Well-Med, is proud to announce the winners of our first-ever Grandparents Day Essay Contest! The winning essay for grandparents and the winning essay for grandchildren were published in Saturday's Stuart News! You can view the links here and here!
Congratulations to Rosalind Neilen and Katie Moyer! You and your families will receive Children's Services Council T-shirts as well as a gift pack from WellMed for a "Grand Afternoon" of fun and food in Martin County! The winners will be honored at the Council's public hearing on Monday, Sept. 10th at 5 p.m. Please join us!
are pleased to announce the ENTRANTS for our first-ever Grandparents Day Essay Contest!
Please enjoy the wisdom from grandparents and the life lessons from grandchildren in Martin County who submitted essays!
Winners will receive a prize pack for a GRAND afternoon with their loved ones at fun spots throughout town! We will announce the winning essays on Facebook and via email on Sunday, Grandparents Day!
Untill then, please click here to read all the entries. Thank you to all who participated!
Not a fan on Facebook yet? Click here to "like" us!
Due to anticipated absences, the August Council meeting has been cancelled. The next meeting will be the first Public Hearing on September 10th at 5:01 p.m. at our office, 101 S.E. Central Parkway in Stuart. If you have any questions, please call (772) 288-5758 ext. 102. Thank you!
You can download and print the GRANDPARENT DAY ESSAY CONTEST ENTRY FORM here!
Good luck and thanks for entering!
Community Foundation challenge grant helps more Martin County children learn to swim this summer
STUART – With the response of the SPLASH program so great, officials with the Children’s Services Council of Martin County have teamed with the Martin County Community Foundation to raise money to help more children learn to swim this summer.
For a $50 tax-deductible donation, residents can help reduce the risk of a child drowning by providing swimming lessons. Plus, that donation will be doubled by the Martin County Community Foundation–so $50 will pay for swimming lessons for two Martin County children.
"MCCF is grateful to be able to leverage our donors' philanthropic assets with the great swim instruction programming provided by the YMCA and the Red Cross," said Bridget Baratta, the executive director of the Martin County Community Foundation. "We want to help insure that our County continues to have very few childhood water safety-related issues."
SPLASH, which stands for Swimming Providers Learners with Aquatics Safety & Health, kicked off in the beginning of June and reached its capacity before the month’s end.
With a vote on Tuesday to provide $4,000 in additional funding for the program, the Council has helped 315 children in Martin County learn to swim. Those children are in families who otherwise would not be able to afford lessons.
“There is clearly a great need for swimming lessons for those who cannot afford them,” said David Heaton, the executive director of the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. “That’s why we’re so excited to expand this program even further.”
Last year, the program provided 165 lessons to children in Martin County. So far this summer, nearly double the number have learned to swim, thanks to donations from the Big Heart Brigade of the Treasure Coast and the Kiwanis Club of Stuart, as well as the support by Martin County homeowners through the Council.
The SPLASH program was created last year to reduce the child death rate in Martin County. Swimming lessons are available for free for children ages 0-17 who also qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch at school or Medicaid.
SPLASH is administered by the American Red Cross, and participating pools include the YMCA in Stuart and Indiantown, the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and the Martin County High School pool.
To donate, residents can send a check to the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, 101 S.E. Central Parkway, Stuart FL 34994.
The Children’s Services Council of Martin County is an independent special district that provides a dedicated funding source for children’s programs in Martin County that are proven to make a measurable impact on the lives of residents of all ages.
To learn more, log on to www.cscmc.org or call (772) 288-5758 ext. 102.
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is pleased to announce the release of our 2011-2012 Annual Report! Please click on the picture below to view the entire document, designed to demonstrate the impact these funded programs are making on your quality of life! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (772) 288-5758 ext. 102.
The July issue of From the Heart is out! Learn about how Martin County homeowners are working to reduce the teenage birthrate here in Martin County by clicking here!
Local agencies receive millions for children’s programs
STUART – The Children’s Services Council of Martin County has approved funding for 16 Martin County non-profit and governmental agencies for the benefit of local children and families.
Maternal and child health programs, after-school care, child abuse prevention, mental health programs and critical resources for families will receive more than $4.6 million and be able to leverage an additional $3.5 million in federal and state grants for Martin County residents during a budget year that runs from October 2012 to September 2013.
“We are excited to be able to support these vital agencies, which work together for a stronger Martin County community,” said Judy Weber, the chair of the Children’s Services Council. “Homeowners here can be proud to fund programs that improve our local economy, strengthen families and positively impact our quality of life.”
Additional agencies will be funded through smaller partnership grants awarded later this year.
“The decision to fund an agency is just the beginning of our relationship with the organization,” said David Heaton, the Council executive director. “With the contracts that begin July 1, our small staff works to provide substantial oversight to ensure the efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars.”
Through ad valorem taxes that are about $18 a year for Homesteaded homes assessed at $100,000, Martin County residents provide a dedicated funding source that helps to create a safe, healthy and successful foundation for children prenatally to 18 years old. These programs result in long-term tax savings, safer neighborhoods and improved home values.
The Children’s Services Council’s contractual funding year begins July 1st, with decisions made by the 10-member Council at public meetings held on the fourth Monday of the month at the Council offices, 101 S.E. Central Parkway in Stuart. The Council is an independent special district created by voter referendum in 1988.
Funding amounts and program descriptions are available under the "Funded Programs" tab at www.cscmc.org.
To learn more about the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, log on to www.cscmc.org or call (772) 288-5758.
Want to learn how you're making a positive impact in keeping kids safe this summer? Check out the latest issue of From the Heart!
Now available: 2012 Senior Guides!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County has partnered with 2-1-1 (an agency we fund) to create and distribute useful resource guides for the older population in Martin County. You can download your copy by clicking here, or email us at email@example.com to find out where locally you can pick up a hard copy!
Wondering why the Children's Services Council is reaching out to our senior population? Well, the funding that we receive from homeowners in Martin County is making a measurable impact that improves the quality of life in Martin County for ALL residents! This dedicated funding source for children's programs actually improves our economy, makes our neighborhoods safer, improves housing values, provides long-term tax savings, makes for a healthier community and overall improves the quality of life! There is value for ALL residents!
It's important to remember that we are all working together to make Martin County a special place to live–and helping one group of people helps us all!
Guardians for New Futures is sponsoring a FREE Conference:
Recognizing and Reporting Abuse and Neglect
Friday, May 11, 2012 ~ 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
This conference educates the community on issues of child abuse. This program is designed to help anyone who works closely with children to recognize abuse and neglect and report it effectively. As community members, we all have a powerful role as mandated reporters and can be a lifeline for children who are victims.
Every child deserves to be heard.
Please RSVP by MAY 4, 2012 to: Stephanie Macera
of Children’s Services Council of Martin County
via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHILDREN’S SERVICES COUNCIL OF MARTIN COUNTY
101 S.E. CENTRAL PARKWAY
STUART, FLORIDA 34994
(Look for a green building with a silver metal roof. Enter using the shared driveway with Unity Church.
Please park only in the Children’s Services Council’s parking lot and grass overflow lot behind parking lot.
Do NOT park in the Unity Church parking lot).
PLEASE SIGN IN AT THE FRONT RECEPTION DESK.
WATER, COFFEE AND AFTERNOON SNACKS WILL BE SERVED. LUNCH IS ON YOUR OWN.
The Children's Services Council of Martin County has moved in our new offices, located at 101 SE Central Parkway in Stuart, and we couldn't be more excited!
This move has been more than 20 years in the making. Because the Council cannot by statute incure debt, they started saving a small portion of the interest from their accounts not long after they were formed by voter referendum in 1988. Through the years, the Council has rented office space for its 10 employees as well as sub-leased space for other agencies, such as the Whole Child Connection, Martin County Healthy Start Coalition and the Father & Child Resource Center.
The Council underwent a significant planning process before construction of our current offices. First, they commissioned a study to determine whether it was more economically prudent to build a new structure, renovate an existing building on the market or stay in our former offices on Ocean Boulevard. Based on the maintenance work and renovations that must take place over time and increases in rent over the years, it was clear from the study that building a new office building would actually save the taxpayers money in just a few years.
To add to this savings, the Council agreed to build the facility to strong green standards. The numerous energy-efficient features, including motion-detecting lights and extremely efficient air-conditioning, will continue to save taxpayer dollars. Plus, the community room is available to the public free of charge. This is a benefit to our community and a testiment to our long-term investment in the future of Martin County!
We are planning numerous activities for the public to visit our new offices, including student art exhibits and more. To learn more, sign up for our e-newsletters on our home page or friend us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cscmc!
Learn about the impact Martin County residents are making here!
The Children's Services Council of Martin County is proud to announce that our Family Fun Corner-- an outreach collaboration with 7 of our 19 funded agencies--has been a great success! Check out WPTV's coverage of our booths, which featured free games, giveaways, raffles, popcorn ... and of course an education about the resources available to children and families in Martin County!
At the end of this month, the Martin County School District will begin administering the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, or the FCATs, which are used to determine a student’s comprehension of the state’s new Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Our county’s students far exceeded state score averages last year—and it’s no accident.
School readiness preparation begins when children enter child care as toddlers and continues beyond the regular school day with after-school programs that provide tutoring and preparation classes. FCAT scores do more than ensure students are performing at grade level. Research shows that children who are not reading on grade level in the 3rd grade are less likely to graduate from high school—and in turn more likely to be making significantly less money while working in the local economy. Strong FCAT scores are good for students AND our community.
Read more about how we’re helping in the February issue of From the Heart: www.cscmc.org/newsletters/
The Children's Services Council is proud to present the first-ever Family Fun Corner at the Martin County Fair, Feb. 10-18th! See our flyer for all the exciting FREE events for children and families!
Our new e-newsletter, From the Heart: Jan. 12 Juvenile Justice, is out! This month, we focus on the need in Martin County of reducing the number of children and teens who are referred to the juvenile justice system. The Children's Services Council of Martin County funds a number of mental health, after-school and mentoring programs that have been shown to reduce the rate of our community's children being "in the system."
Click here: http://www.cscmc.org/newsletters/ to read this month and all issues of From the Heart!
I am happy to announce that more taxpayers will learn about the programs for children funded through the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, thanks to the addition of a new public education coordinator to our staff. Suzanne Wentley, a former journalist, grant writer and communications specialist who has lived in Martin County for more than a decade, will start in the new position on November 1.
Many Martin County homeowners don’t realize all the valuable programs they fund through the Children’s Services Council and we are looking forward to highlighting the impact of both the Council funding and the 34 non-profit agencies we support.
As you know the Children’s Services Council of Martin County is an independent taxing district approved by local voters in 1988 through referendum. Governed by a Council board of local elected officials, governor appointees and designees, the small Council staff is dedicated to planning, coordinating, funding and evaluating programs that serve children and families in Martin County. With the fiscal oversight and analysis of public policy needs by Council staff, children in Martin County are more likely to attain their full potential.
Martin County is home to more than 25,000 children, and the programs funded through the Children’s Services Council touch more than 40 percent of them. As a community, we invest $5.3 million into our children – and an additional $3.3 million is leveraged to improve these programs. With Suzanne joining the Children's Services Council team more of our neighbors will learn of the good they do every day.
Suzanne previously worked as Communications Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, which has an after-school educational program funded by the Children’s Services Council. Before that, she worked as a regional environmental reporter for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and politics from New York University and also holds a state real estate sales license through the work of her most recent position as marketing & advertising coordinator with Elliot Paul & Company Auctions.
Please join me in welcoming Suzanne as the newest member of the Children's Services Council family. She joins Sarah Gosney who also starts on November 1st as Director of Policy and Operations. With the addition of Sarah and Suzanne our team is now complete.
If you would like more information about the Children's Services Council of Martin County please visit our web site,www.cscmc.org or call me at (772) 288-5758 extension 103.
Yours in Service,
David L. Heaton, Executive Director
It gives me great pleasure to announce that effective November 1st Sarah Gosney will join the Children’s Services Council of Martin County as Director of Policy and Operations.
Prior to joining the Martin County team, Sarah worked for the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach serving as the Director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Palm Beach County for 5 years. Sarah served as Director of the Healthy Start Coalition in Martin County for 13 years and has resided in Martin County since 1992. Her diverse background includes serving as the administrator of an alternative high school for pregnant and parenting teens in Los Angeles County and as an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has a strong background in planning, advocacy, and community engagement.
In her role, Sarah will direct, administer and manage the Council's operations and planning components. This includes oversight of the annual funding cycle, contract management, program monitoring and evaluation, needs assessment and policy direction. This position also directs the Children's Service's Council strategic plan.
Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in Home Economics Education and followed with a Master’s degree from Utah State University in Child Development.
Please join me in welcoming Sarah as the newest member of the Children's Services Council family.
Yours in Service,
David L. Heaton
Thanks to an amazing partnership between the Children's Services Council of Martin County, the American Red Cross, and the Big Heart Brigade of the Treasure Coast, some very startling child drowning statistics might be about to change for local children. Partnering with other agencies in Martin County, the Swimming Provides Learners Aquatic Safety and Heath (SPLASH) Program was born. This program was developed as an affordable way to help local families pay for swim lessons for their children this spring and summer. The Children's Services Council has provided financial support to distribute 235 vouchers for families in need to secure swimming lessons for their children, so that no other child in Martin County is added to the statistics shown below. Each voucher is good for 6-8 swimming lessons for beginner swimmers and teaches basic safety skills to the children who participate.
The Florida Department of Health (http://www.doh.state.fl.us) posts the following startling child drowning statistics:
- In 2007, the Center for Disease Control reported that 30% of accidental deaths in children ages one to four were a result of drowning. The second leading cause of accidental deaths in children under 14 is drowning.
- Also in 2007, (most current national injury data), Florida's age-adjusted injury death rates were higher than the national average by 13% for all unintentional injuries—a staggering 186% for unintentional drowning among children ages 1-4.
- Florida's age-adjusted death rate for drowning was the highest among the nation's five most populous states: CA, TX, NY, FL, and IL.
- In 2009, 90% of drowning deaths were unintentional and preventable.
- According to the 2010 Florida Child Abuse Death Review Report, the leading cause of verified child abuse/neglect deaths in Florida was drowning.
Another disturbing statistic to add to the list above is that many young adults do not know how to swim and, therefore, are unable to help a child who might be struggling in the water. Because of this issue, the swim voucher is available to children ages 6 months to 18 years of age in qualifying families.
The Children's Services Council of Martin County and the American Red Cross, in partnership with the Big Heart Brigade, are working with other community agencies like the Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Helping People Succeed, The Whole Child Connection, Early Learning Coalition, and Boys and Girls Club of Martin County to establish family eligibility and distribute swim lesson vouchers to qualified families. Other partners included the YMCA of the Treasure Coast and Martin Memorial Health Systems who provided the pools for the lessons.
Jim Simoneau, former chair of the Big Heart Brigade of the Treasure Coast said, "I am proud to have the opportunity to work with the Big Heart Brigade, as we strive to help serve local families in need. Now, because of the collaboration of the Children's Services Council of Martin County and the American Red Cross, we can also ensure safety and fun for children in and around the water, preventing injury, and possibly even death of our children."
According to David Heaton, Executive Director of the Children's Services Council of Martin County, "This is a true community collaborative. We knew that the 235 vouchers would be snapped up quickly, and we also know that there is a greater need than we might be able to satisfy with this first effort." To that end, anyone interested in sponsoring one child's swim lessons can do so by providing a $50 donation. The Children’s Services Council has partnered with the Big Heart Brigade of the Treasure Coast in hopes of developing other revenue streams to make the SPLASH Program an annual event. This year's support by the Children's Services Council is considered to be seed funding that will grow into additional resources to continue the swim program in future years.
To sum it all up, Jim Hagen, Director of Health, Safety and Community Services of the American Red Cross said, “Of all things we hold precious, nothing compares to our children. The water safety staff of the local Red Cross is so pleased to have a partner in the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. Together, we are helping deserving families access basic swimming lessons in Martin County through Red Cross classes, as well as those from the YMCA and Martin Memorial’s Treasure Coast Health & Fitness Center. Our Martin County SPLASH Program is a great collaborative effort–fully funded by CSCMC this spring, designed and administered by the Red Cross, and supported by the training agencies who provide discounted programming. This is a broad-based, local solution to a serious and longstanding need–protecting our children when they are in and around the water through practical education. Together we are saving lives.”
Living in Florida makes is almost impossible to avoid being around water. According the Florida Department of Health, most child drowning takes place in swimming pools, open/natural water, and even in a family's own bathtub. Thanks to the Children's Services Council of Martin County and many other local agencies, a plan is in place to assist families to keep their children safe in and around water. Anyone interested in learning more about the SPLASH Program or interested in sponsoring a child's swim lessons can call Laura Haase of the Children’s Services Council of Martin County at 772-288-5758, Ext. 119, for further details.
Due to the treat of tropical storm-force winds and rain associated with Hurricane Irene, the Children’s Services Council of Martin County has site scheduled decided to postpone the re-dedication event at the Council building for Thursday, August 25, 2011, 11:00 a.m.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however, please expect to hear from us in the near future when we are able to reschedule this milestone event for the Children’s Services Council of Martin County.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 772‑288-5758.
I am pleased to send you a link to the Children's Services Council Annual Report: 2010-2011 http://tinyurl.com/3fhkh32. This annual report is an important way that the Children's Services Council keeps its promise to the citizens of Martin County. Keeping our community informed about the Council and their effort to implement effective systems of care for our children and their families is a responsibility that is taken very seriously.
I am hopeful that you will take a few moments to peruse this report and learn how the Children’s Services Council funds are invested and put to use to provide high-quality early childhood education, exceptional after-school care, and a system of care that ensures all children are born healthy in families prepared for parenthood.
If you have any questions about the work of the Children's Services Council please do not hesitate to call me (772) 288-5758 or explore our website, which provides a wealth of information to visitors.
A special thank you to all organizations that are funded by the Children's Services Council for a job well done!
In Your Service,
David L. Heaton, Executive Director
Children's Services Council of Martin County Receives $6,000 Donation from Crisis Line of the Treasure Coast
The Children's Services Council of Martin County recently received of a donation of $6,000 from Crisis Line of the Treasure Coast. It was the wish of Luella Miner, the long-time Executive Director of Crisis Line, who passed away in the spring of 2010 that the Children's Services Council be supported with this donation for their efforts on behalf of the children and families of Martin County. The donation was presented to David L. Heaton, Executive Director of the Children's Services Council by Jim Butler, a founding board member and long time volunteer supporter of Crisis Line of the Treasure Coast..
The Crisis Line of the Treasure Coast was founded in 1977. Luella Miner was one of the original founders of Crisis Line and continued her volunteer duties up until she became ill and subsequently passed away. She started as a volunteer operator and also served for 5 years as Secretary for the Board of Directors and subsequently Board President. In 1982, Luella was certified by Indian River State College to teach accredited classes in Crisis Intervention.
David Heaton said, " Luella Miner was someone who understood the plight of many who were invisible in our community, homeless families, children in state care, pregnant teenagers, and minority women. She felt their challenges deeply and worked tirelessly on their behalf, not only to develop resources but also to provide them with immediate help and comfort when they needed it most. Crisis Line was an institution in Martin County. Luella did not seek public accolades; she only tried to make a better society for us all."
The Crisis Line organization has dissolved, and it was the wish of Ms. Miner that, after they discontinued services, their remaining resources be donated to the Children's Services Council of Martin County. David Heaton indicated that the donation will be used to continue the promise that the Children's Services Council made to the people of Martin County 23 years ago—to care for the children and families of Martin County.
Jim Butler, founding board member and long time volunteer supporter of Crisis Line of the Treasure Coast presents a check for $6,000 to David L. Heaton, Executive Director of the Children's Services Council of Martin County.
On behalf of the Children's Services Council, its members, staff and myself I wish to extend thanks to Elizabeth Barbella, Director of Policy and Operations for her 14 years of dedicated service to our agency. Elizabeth has been selected as Executive Director of the House of Hope and will take the reins there later in August. Elizabeth has been an asset to our organization and although we are sorry to lose her we are excited that in her new role she will continue to use her excellent advocating skills to continue to serve the families of Martin County. We expect that in her new position, Elizabeth will continue to bring to the forefront issues of concerns that effect local children and families that are served by programs funded by the Children's Services Council. We plan to work collaboratively with Elizabeth and the Board of the House of Hope and look forward to strengthening this relationship. Elizabeth is truly a steward of the families in Martin County and will continue to change people's lives in her new endeavor.
Again, we congratulate Elizabeth and wish her great success as she leads the House of Hope to new heights.
David Heaton, Executive Director
Children's Services Council of Martin County
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
College Football, that is!
The Kiwanis Club of Stuart’s 5th Annual College Football Preview is charging onto the stage at the Historic Lyric Theatre, as FAU Owls, FSU Seminoles, UCF Knights, Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes, and USF Bulls lay out their plays for the upcoming university football season.
The preview is Friday, July 29th at the Historic Lyric Theatre in Downtown Stuart. The doors open at 6:15 pm and Kick Off is at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available for $30 and $25 at the Lyric Theatre Box Office and online at www.lyrictheatre.com.
The College Football Preview includes six speakers from the state’s main football rivalries, with Referee Rich Campbell, a columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and former pro football player, calling the plays. Speakers from each of the major Florida universities will discuss what’s happening and how their football teams look for the fall season.
Speakers include: Florida Atlantic University Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger, Former FSU Assistant Head Coach Billy Sexton, University of Florida Sports Announcer Larry Vettel, University of Miami Sports Announcer Joe Zagacki, University of Central Florida Stadium Voice Erik Kohler and University of South Florida Executive Associate Athletic Director Bill McGillis.
Cheerleaders will lead the crowd for Florida’s favorite teams. A live auction with vacation opportunities and more, as well as a Chinese auction, will be available to get everyone reved up!
Kiwanis Club of Stuart College Football Preview committee members include: Chairperson Bob Burson, Ivan Brower, Dave Derrenbacker, Jacob Ensor, Barbara Essenwine, Pat Grassick, Gary Hawken, Virginia Hill, Suzy Hutcheson, Nancy Johnson, Keith Muniz, Drew Pittman, Jamie Redditt, Kit Tang-Wilcox, and Jim Bowdish.
The Kiwanis Club of Stuart’s mission is “Serving the Children of the World.” The proceeds from the College Football Preview will contribute to the organization’s fund for children’s projects — served by the ARC of Martin County, Helping People Succeed, Inc., Boy Scouts of America local organizations and many more. Kiwanis also helps children become better citizens through its high school Key Clubs, middle school Builder’s Clubs and elementary school K-Kids Clubs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For additional information, contact:
Kiwanis Club of Stuart
Jacob Ensor at (772) 287-1745
Bob Burson at (772) 286-1616
Beginning September 2012 cigarette packages will show new warning labels. These warnings mark the first change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years and are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking. Please share with all the teens you know to discourage them from ever starting to smoke. The Children's Services Council in collaboration with Shared Services Network and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Martin County applaud the new warnings that will be required in 2012. Keep a child healthy, discourage them from smoking.
Congratulations to everyone in Florida (especially Shared Services Network of Martin County) who helped to get HB 105 passed. The bill increases penalties for a person in control of a home who knowingly allows a minor to possess or consume alcohol or drugs at an open house party. It has been signed by the Governor and takes effect 7/1/201. Parents should be warned of the increased penalties they may face for hosting underage drinking parties. Shared Services Network is funded in part by the Children's Services Council of Martin County. Two initiatives of the Shared Services Network of Martin County are Parents Who Host Lose the Most and Be the Influence. To read the entire press release please follow the link: http://tinyurl.com/44ypsam
Whole Child Connection Martin Presents
Human Trafficking in Florida:
Recognizing the Problem, Collaborating on a
Response and Learning Ways you can help
Michelle S. Akins
Treasure Coast Human Trafficking Coalition
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Children's Services Council
2030 SE Ocean Blvd
Stuart, Fl 34997
Tues., July 19th
Space is limited, please RSVP by emailing
Alicia Hohsfield: email@example.com
If interested in training hours, indicate your name, last name and organization.
Registration now open for day camp
Rachel M. Selph, Director of Communications, YMCA of the Treasure Coast
TREASURE COAST, MAY 24, 2011 – Instead of spending the summer at home and in doors, the YMCA of the Treasure Coast is encouraging parents to give their kids a chance to explore their potential at the Y’s day camp. YMCA campers gain new experiences, develop essential social skills and create lifelong friendships, while enjoying camp adventures along the way.
“Children and teens have attended camp at our Y locations for many years” says Audra Mariz, Association Camp Director and Executive Director for YMCA Sportsworld. “When at camp, kids are given new responsibilities and they learn independence. As a result, they become more confident, open to trying new things and grow as individuals and as part of a group.”
As a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y works to help children and teens discover their full potential by providing opportunities to learn, grow and thrive amidst caring, supportive adults. According to camp experts at the YMCA of the Treasure Coast, there are five reasons why children and teens should experience summer camp:
1. FOR ADVENTURE: Summer camp is all about fun adventures. YMCA camps have a new adventure for every child and teen. Visit www.ymcatreasurecoast.org for a full list of camps and locations.
2. FOR NEW EXPERIENCES: Summer camps are about exploring and appreciating the outdoors, developing new skills, making friends and showing leadership.
3. FOR PERSONAL GROWTH: While being out of the school year routine, youth have a chance to develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges.
4. FOR NEW FRIENDSHIPS: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming, field trips and talent shows, campers meet new friends.
5. FOR MEMORIES: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that will give each camper memories that will last a lifetime.
YMCA of the Treasure Coast provides exciting and educational camp programming for children and teens, and their parents, including: day camp starting at 3 years to middle school age, gymnastics camp, surf camp, fishing camp, volleyball camp, babysitting camp, and cooking camp. Day camps are offered in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties.
To ensure that every child and teen has the chance to go to camp, the YMCA of the Treasure Coast offers financial assistance to those in need in partnership with Children Services Councils’ of Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties and from the generous support of YMCA donors.
For more information about Y camps, visit www.ymcatreasurecoast.org
The Martin County School District will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program beginning Mon, June 13 through Fri, August 5, 2011. Children 18 years of age and younger are eligible for meals at no charge. The programs is approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced price meals. For more information, please contact Nancy White in the Martin County School District Food & Nutrition Services Department at 772-223-2655 Ext. 103. http://tinyurl.com/5wacfo4
Parents in need of health insurance for their children are encouraged by Nicole King of Whole Child Connection to look at Florida KidCare as a viable, affordable option. For more information on Florida Kidcare, contact 888-540-5437 or visit floridakidcare.org. Follow the link to read Nicole's letter to the editor. The Whole Child Connection is proudly sponsored in part by the Children's Services Council of Martin County. http://tinyurl.com/4yharay
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is helping tornado victims in Alabama by collecting items for the storm’s survivors. The Club is accepting items at any of the five local Clubs through Friday, May 20. The Keystone Club, a chartered leadership and service club for Club members age 14 to 18, is spearheading the collection. The Boys & Girls Clubs are proudly sponsored in part by the Children's Services Council of Martin County. http://tinyurl.com/64sklup
The GRAMMY Foundation announces Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest. The contest asks young musicians, ages 14-18, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that explores, encourages, and celebrates a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicts a story about drug abuse. Winners will be revealed during NIDA’s second annual National Drug Facts Week, which begins Oct. 31, 2011. Share this information. http://tinyurl.com/3deeyn2
Recently the Children's Services Council purchased two pieces of art from students participating in the High School Juried Art Show sponsored by the Arts Council at the Court House Cultural Center. In this photo Dave Heaton, executive director of the Children's Services Council recognizes the students who created the art purchased by the Council, a mixed media piece entitled "Fountain of Youth" by Caitlin Justice and a Photograph entitled "If the Shoe Fits" by Marissa Weisse. Congratulations to all the talented students who participated!
Thank you to the Whole Child Connection and all the local community agencies that participated in the Children's Services Council of Martin County/Whole Child Connection Family FunFest on Saturday, May 7th. The day dawned with lots of blue sky and sunshine and over 200 parents and their children attended the FREE event in Flagler Park. Not only did the kids have a blast with the bounce house and face painting but the parents learned valuable information about local agencies that provide services to children and families. Thanks to all the agency staff who worked on Saturday to spread the word about all the wonderful programs available to children and families. Also, thanks to the Children's Services Council staff who participated in the event.
Get ready for some wholesome family fun at Whole Child Connection’s second annual Family FunFest Day, presented in partnership by Whole Child Connection and Children’s Services Council of Martin County. The event will be held on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Flagler Park in downtown Stuart. There will be lots of fun activities for the entire family as well as local agencies providing valuable information for parents. http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/apr/12/whole-child-connection-plans-family-funfest-day-12/
Hosting get-togethers that serve underage could soon carry a heftier criminal charge, after a state bill passed the House unopposed on 4/29. The bill spells out tougher penalties for adults who break open house party laws multiple times, or for hosts of parties that result in someone getting injured or killed. Convicted party hosts would be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor instead of a second-degree offense. Penalties would include up to a year in county jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Currently, violators only serve a maximum of 60 days in jail and pay up to $500 in penalties. If this bill becomes law, parents who host really do lose the most. The Children's Services Council funds and sponsors programs and partnerships that work to stop underage drinking. http://tinyurl.com/62q9fjd
The Children’s Services Council provides funds that support services that target the reduction of youth substance use to a variety of programs including: Project Northland, Boys & Girls Clubs, County and City after school programs and the Shared Services Network of Martin County, a substance use reduction coalition and numerous after school programs.
By Darcy Flierl, Director of Prevention Services at Tykes & Teens and Elizabeth Barbella, Director of Policy and Operations at the Children's Services Council of Martin County
In Martin County nearly 8,000 students have received lessons on how to resist peer pressure and find positive alternatives to using alcohol by participating in Project Northland, a research-science based curriculum, being implemented across the country. No wonder Martin County youth are getting smarter and staying sober longer.
How many times have you heard a student say, “But, everyone is doing it!”? Help us dispel this myth. Everyone is not doing it.
It may be hard to believe in light of many alcohol related youth tragedies in recent years that the majority of Martin youth are choosing not to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana, but according to the 2010 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS), 69% of youth chose not drink alcohol, 82% did not participate in binge drinking and 83% chose not to smoke marijuana in the past 30 days.
The improvements we are witnessing in Martin County aren’t an accident. Partnerships like the one between the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, The Martin County School District and local mental health agency, Tykes and Teens have been a huge contributor to our community’s recent success. The Martin County School District recognized back in 2000, after alarming FYSAS statistics were released putting Martin County at the top of the list for underage age drinking and marijuana use, that research proven programming was needed to tackle this public health issue. Hence, Project Northland was introduced to Martin Middle Schools in 2002. The Children’s Services Council of Martin County joined forces to assist in funding the community component of the project and Tykes and Teens, whose mission is to enrich the lives of children and their families through mental health counseling and substance prevention and treatment, became the managing partner.
Project Northland is a research proven science based alcohol prevention program aimed to reduce substance abuse among youth and is currently taught in Stuart, Hidden Oaks, Murray and David Anderson Middle Schools across 6th, 7th and 8th grades. The program’s main focus is to ultimately lower the age of first use among adolescents. Getting kids to wait longer before experimenting with alcohol and drugs is a key component as to whether an individual will have long term problems or addictions to substances. As a matter a fact; youth who use before the age of 15 are 5 times more likely to have problems later.
The program also engages parents through activities that are designed to assist having discussions at home about underage drinking and assist with discussing expectations and setting rules about drinking. Parents also receive 3 sets of Prevention Notes throughout the school year providing them with pertinent information on local drug trends and prevention tips. Because students receive the curriculum each year of their middle school career, it provides a continuum of intervention reinforcing the skills learned during each session and grade.
To ensure that the community at large receives a consistent message about the dangers of youth substance use from elementary, through middle and high school Project Northland and its partners work collaboratively with other local programs and agencies to provide the facts about the dangers of underage drinking. Tykes & Teens staff are active on the Interagency Coalition of Martin County, the local Department of Juvenile Justice Committee and Shared Services Network of Martin County, a substance reduction coalition.
For more information how you can assist with keeping Martin youth healthy, please contact Tykes and Teen’s Prevention Services Division at 772-220-3439.
Darcy Flierl, LCSW, CAP is the Director of Prevention Services for Tykes & Teens and has 10 years experience working in treatment and prevention with adolescents and their families. Elizabeth Barbella is the Director of Policy and Operations for the Children's Services Council of Martin County. Ms. Barbella has been with the Children's Services Council of Martin County since 1998 and directs, administers, and manages the Children's Services Council’s Operations and Planning components and program staff.
INDIANTOWN — More than 300 box lunches and 100 free t-shirts were given out at the Earth Day ” Get Outdoors Just for the Health of It” event, April 16 at Dupuis Nature Reserve, thanks to sponsors Subway of Indiantown and The Children’s Services Council of Martin County.
Event organizers from Tykes & Teens and Florida Atlantic University’s Environmental Studies Center provided another free family fun day for residents of western Martin County. Participants had the rare opportunity to view the release of a rehabilitated Bald Eagle and health vendors were on site offering free STD, HIV and blood pressure checks as well as disseminating prevention literature in areas of substance abuse, child abuse prevention and other pertinent areas affecting the community. BicyleXchange, a community volunteer -run nonprofit in Indiantown offered guided bike trails and raffled a free child’s bike.
“We are very grateful to our many sponsors that made this day possible to families in Indiantown.” “Indiantown is often overlooked as an area rich in nature and recreational opportunities. Holding an event at Dupuis is a magical experience!” said Darcy Flierl- Director of Prevention at Tykes & Teens.
Additional Sponsors included: Medical Transportation Management, Florida Power & Light, Indiantown Community Outreach, The Tobacco Free Partnership, Learning Express of Stuart, Holly MacPherson, LMT, and the Seminal Inn.
For more additional information contact Tykes & Teens at 772-220-3439 or http://www.tykesandteens.org
Stuart News April 27, 2011
By Lisa Bolivar
Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers
STUART — Martin County children do not have to go far to get into drugs — they’re in the family medicine cabinet.
The illegal use of drugs such as Xanax and Oxycodone by children is on the rise today, thanks to prescriptions for adults and the curiosity of youth, said Karen Perry, executive director of the Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education task force in Palm Beach County.
NOPE, the Shared Services Network of Martin County and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office will offer parents advice on how to combat the problem during a free presentation for parents in Martin County High School’s auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office also will be on hand to collect and dispose of unwanted prescriptions.
“It’s a dramatic presentation where there will be parents who have lost children to overdoses that give pretty dramatic presentations about the deadly consequences of drug use,” Perry said, adding that studies have shown that “kids who drink with their parents are more likely to drink without their parents.
“We have seen parents with good intentions say, ‘My kids are going to go out and drink anyway, I would want them to drink at home and be safe,’ so we are going to explain why that’s not a good idea.”
Parents also will hear about today’s issues surrounding children’s alcohol use and their kid’s willingness to combine deadly prescription narcotics with their alcohol consumption from experts such as Palm Beach County Detective Gary Martin, an expert in drug overdose cases who also serves as associate dean of student life at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
“Our parent presentation really focuses on raising parents awareness for the overdose death epidemic,” Martin said. “I use that word intentionally in the presentation because it is an unrecognized statistic that we lose one person to a drug overdose every 27 hours in Palm Beach County alone. It’s more than the number of people who die from homicide, more than those who lose their life to suicide and motor fatalities.”
Perry said the presentation also will cover parenting strategies, what signs to look for in their child to indicate they might be using drugs and how parents can avoid a drug problem with their children all together.
Martin has a very simple message to parents of teens: “Hey, you need to know about this,” he said.
PREVENTING DRUG ABUSE
Learn more about preventing childhood drug abuse during a presentation for parents presented by NOPE For Parents, the Shared Services Network of Martin County and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office also will be collecting expired, unused or unwanted pharmaceutical controlled substances for safe disposal.
Where: Martin County High School auditorium, 2801 S.
Kanner Hwy, Stuart
Time: 6:30 p.m.
More information: Jill Sheppell at 772-219-1200, Ext. 30476.
The Shared Services Network of Martin County is proudly sponsored in part by the Children's Services Council of Martin County.
Date Improving Effectiveness of Safety Net for Martin County Families
By Jan Lindsey, Stuart News, posted April 26, 2011
Whole Child Connection, a safety network for Martin County families, has begun to release figures it is compiling from the last budget year to get an overview of county needs and resources.
The agency has collected data for more than four years as families have completed online needs assessments at www.connectingmartinkids.com.
"It's matured now. It's grounded. We're really getting good, rich data out of it and we're pointing people toward it," said Elizabeth Barbella, director of policy and operations for the Children's Services Council of Martin County, which largely funds Whole Child. "We hope this data will be used by funders, decision makers and policy makers."
By releasing the numbers publicly, they hope to draw attention to the program. To that same end, a free Family-Fun Fest is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 7 at Flagler Center and Park in downtown Stuart. Some of the networks more than 400 service providers will be on hand.
"It's just a critical time right now, when a lot of families are having to connect to services they never thought they would need before," said Nicole King, executive director of Whole Child. Based on their needs, families are given a list of providers from which they may choose to seek help.
A majority of the assessments in the database were completed by Hispanic families, King said. "In certain populations we are known, and we are spreading like wildfire."
There were surprises, King said: Many children never hear a book read or a story told. But, many more of the results were expected. People need help with health insurance, mental health care, substance- and domestic-abuse prevention, food and transportation, King and Barbella said.
Also on the list was difficulty in filling out paperwork for things like insurance and Medicaid, Barbella said. The agency responded by assembling a group to assist with forms.
"This is a passionate group of people," Barbella said of Whole Child. "They genuinely want to see families succeed."
29 programs to receive funding from the Children's Services Council of Martin County
Jim Mayfield, April 25, 2011 Stuart News
STUART — The Children's Services Council of Martin County on Monday voted to approve $4.8 million in funding for 29 programs for its next fiscal year beginning July 1.
With limited funding this year, the council allocated all available program funding and was unable to expand its program offerings and invite new agencies to apply, said Elizabeth Barbella, council director of policy and operations.
Though 16 organizations ranging from Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County to Easter Seals Florida, Inc. will receive revenues from the council this year, some eight programs were not invited back, Barbella said. Among those that will have to seek funds from other sources include Pace Center for Girls Inc., Treasure Coast Hospice and Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.
Last September, the council voted to maintain its tax rate of 35.23 cents per $1,000 of taxable value for Martin County property owners, and the recent decline in property values has challenged the council's ability to fund all that might apply, Barbella said.
The upcoming year's funding levels were determined with a "more methodical approach" than simply cutting across the board, she said.
Disbursements for the next year were determined based upon the lesser of either a program's 2009-2010 funds actually spent or that amount allocated in 2010-2011 for a program by the council.
Overall, the council's $4.8 million allocation is down some $462,000 from last year's approved funding allocations and almost $600,000 less than that actually spent for 2009-2010, council records show.
The bulk of upcoming allocations will continue to go to after-school care, with 10 programs from seven organizations receiving $1.9 million.
Four providers offering nine maternal and child health programs will receive just over $1 million, with the remainder of the available funding going to the council's mental health, child abuse prevention, critical source and targeting funding efforts.
Martin County voters initially approved creation of the council in 1988 to focus on and fund children's health, after-school and child-care programs.
FUNDING RECIPIENTSPROVIDER NAME PROGRAM NAME AMOUNT ALLOCATED
Dunbar Center, Inc. Early Head Start Match $40,253
Easter Seals Florida, Inc. Treasure Coast Early Steps Program $67,193
HPS, Helping People Succeed, Inc. Building Readiness Among Infants Now $294,385
HPS, Helping People Succeed, Inc. Children's Behavioral Support Program $136,768
HPS, Helping People Succeed, Inc. Developmental Intervention Program $127,699
HPS, Helping People Succeed, Inc. Healthy Families Martin Match $146,421
Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc. Community Health Education $97,310
Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc. Health Mothers/Healthy Babies Matching Funds $37,799
Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc. Prenatal Care Program for the Uninsured $83,539
The ARC of Martin County, Inc. Alternative Behavioral Learning Environment Program $189,967
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Inc. Little Moments Big Magic $153,522
Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, Inc. High Yield Learning Program $489,182
City of Stuart Community Services Dept. East Stuart Youth Initiative $504,710
Martin County Board of County Commissioners After School/Out of School $233,226
Martin County Board of County Commissioners Banner Lake After School Time $87,942
Martin County Board of County Commissioners Parks, Leisure, Arts, Culture & Education $80,423
New Monrovia Community Development Corp, Inc. REACH (Residents Empowering All Children's Hope $93,140
Young Men's Christian Association of the Treasure Coast, FL, Inc. Strong Families Program $47,730
Young Men's Christian Association of the Treasure Coast, FL, Inc. YREADS! Wrap Around After School Program $25,336
Tykes & Teens, Inc. Adolescent Substance Abuse Program $73,547
Tykes & Teens, Inc. General Mental Health $354,053
Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of the Treasure Coast, Inc. Safe Families $178,156
Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of the Treasure Coast, Inc. Valued Visits $30,783
Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties, Inc. Child Care Executive Partnership $466,901
Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties, Inc. Local Match for Working Poor $86,520
Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc. The Bellybutton Project $80,263
Tykes & Teens, Inc. Project Northland $148,643
The Whole Child Connection, Inc. Whole Child Connection $322,981
Martin County Health Dept. School Health Program $118,105
TOTAL $4,796,497 http://tinyurl.com/6anztg4
Martin County Parks & Recreation Department is proud to announce the return of Summer Slam Jam; a free teen and family event. The 6th Annual Summer Slam Jam will be held on June 4th at Stuart Beach from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The goal of Summer Slam, funded by the Children’s Services Council, is to provide a healthy recreational event for teenagers in the summer months. The event includes live musical entertainment by local bands, a DJ, food and craft vendors, interactive games with prizes, and much more. In past years, the parks department has hosted close to 3,000 people for Summer Slam Jam and expects a large turnout this year. http://tinyurl.com/6jefzq8
Thanks to Commissioner Edward V. Ciampi, chairman of the Martin County Commission for writing this column for the county's Shared Services Network Executive Roundtable as Part of Alcohol Awareness Month. The Martin County Commission is supporting the "Parents Who Host, Lose The Most: Don't be a party to teenage drinking" campaign. In April The Shared Services Network will be providing Martin County parents with accurate information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of adults providing alcohol to youth. The Shared Services Network is sponsored in part by the Children's Services Council of Martin County. The network is asking parents to act responsibly by not hosting a teen party that features alcohol. http://tinyurl.com/6bbq9xb
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County has announced its 2011 Summer and Fall Program dates for all clubs locations. There will be non-stop games, arts & crafts, tournaments, field trips and more. Older members have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and responsibility by being a part of our Junior Staff program. Follow the link to read all the details. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is another quality agency receiving funding from the Children's Services Council of Martin County for after-school programs. Follow the link to read all the details. http://tinyurl.com/3tp3z8s
Plan on taking your family to the second annual Family FunFest sponsored by the Children's Services Council of Martin County and Whole Child Connection. Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Flagler Park. Free admission for all. Follow the link to view the flyer and all the details. http://tinyurl.com/3r6gkvb
Workforce Solutions, the Region 20 Workforce Development Board is seeking proposals for tuition-based, off-the-shelf summer activities for low income or at-risk youth ages 10 – 15. $300,000.00 is available for the anticipated summer program that will last between 6-8 weeks. Requests for proposals are being solicited. To learn more follow the link. http://tinyurl.com/4yxgqap
Helping People Succeed’s Healthy Families Program Manager Carolyn Moses shows off Pinwheels for Prevention in recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The pinwheels, in front of Helping People Succeed’s offices at 1100 SE Federal Hwy., in Stuart, are part of more than 900,000 pinwheels on display during April since 2008. The focus of Child Abuse Prevention Month is on family strengthening and preventing abuse before it occurs. Healthy Families Martin-Okeechobee Program is an evidence-based child abuse and neglect prevention program serving about 400 families in the two counties and provided through Helping People Succeed services.
Get ready for some wholesome family fun at Whole Child Connection’s second annual Family FunFest Day, presented in partnership by Whole Child Connection and Children’s Services Council of Martin County. The event will be held on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Flagler Park in downtown Stuart.
Whole Child Connection (WCC) and their nonprofit partners will be conducting demonstrations for parents throughout the event. WCC manages an online portal that connects families with organizations that can meet their needs. During the event, kids will enjoy activities that include games, face painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts projects for Mother’s Day, karate demonstrations, Boys and Girls Club performances, Treasure Coast wildlife demonstrations, video games and sign-ups for Jensen Beach Pop Warner football and cheerleading. There also will be entertainment, exhibits and prize drawings throughout the day. Goody bags will be given to the first 100 mothers who attend. The Breeze 93.7 will broadcast live from the event site.
In addition, families can pick up useful information on beneficial programs, including Florida KidCare, a health insurance program offered by the state of Florida for children from birth through age 18, even if one or both parents are working.
Besides offering families a day of fun, WCC wants families to know it’s there to support them year-round.
“We want families to walk away from this event with an understanding that with one click of the mouse, they can access all of our providers and get the help they need,” said WCC Executive Director Nicole King. “As a charitable, nonprofit organization, we are here to help connect families’ social, spiritual and cultural needs with community providers.” http://tinyurl.com/3oftpvj
For more information, call (772) 220-0043.
ABOUT WHOLE CHILD CONNECTION: WCC developed from the Lawton Chiles Foundation, which was created by former First Lady Rhea Chiles to continue the governor’s commitment to children by assisting communities to become “whole child communities.” Today, Whole Child Connection operates independently with its own staff and advisors and is funded primarily by Children's Services Council of Martin County. The “whole child” concept provides a preventative, holistic approach — one that considers the history of the parents, the physical home environment and the social, spiritual and cultural connections that help sustain and support the family. Since May 2006, in Martin County, WCC has provided access to more than 350 social service programs, including child abuse prevention, healthcare, therapy, substance abuse, family planning, financial counseling, nutritional guidance and much more. To date, families have accessed more than 27,000 resources through the Whole Child system. For more information, call (772) 220-0043 or visit http://www.connectingmartinkids.com.
Treasure Coast Hospice recently honored the Children's Services Council of Martin County and St. Lucie County as principal donors to Hospice. Funds from the Children's Services Councils provide a lasting impact on the lives of children coping with personal grief and death. Pictured are Sean Boyle (left), Executive Director of the Children's Services Council of St. Lucie County, Elizabeth Barbella, Director of Policy and Operations of the Children's Services Council of Martin County and David Heaton (right), Executive Director of the Children's Services Council of Martin County.
For the second year in a row, MARTIN COUNTY remains one of the healthiest places to live in Florida according to a study by the University of Wisconsin. The study ranked Martin County in the top five when it comes to the health of its residents. Collier, Seminole, St. Johns and Sarasota ranked highest on the list.To read the entire press release from the Martin County Health Department please follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/4yefy6p. The press release includes a link to the entire report.
The YMCA of the Treasure Coast is encouraging all kids and parents to commit to being active every day, with a free "Play Date" event 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 16 at its Stuart facility. The YMCA of the Treasure Coast is another quality agency receiving funds from the Children's Services Council of Martin County to provide quality after school care. To read more about this event please follow the link: http://tinyurl.com/3mrr289
Seven years ago, the “Operation: Kids in Camp” program was launched to raise funds for families that could not afford to send their kids to summer camp. Since the inception of the program, 738 Martin County children have been able to experience summer camp, and many for the first time! This was possible due to the support of our Martin County businesses and private citizens. Learn how you can help send kids to camp this year! http://tinyurl.com/4w5omzj
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jennifer Fennell
March 30, 2011 (850) 222-3767
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Children’s Services Council (FCSC) Board of Directors today announced Brittany Birken, Ph.D., as the organization’s new chief executive officer. Dr. Birken is currently the Director of the Office of Early Learning at the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). She will assume her new post with the FCSC on July 1, 2011.
“Brittany is a proven leader who helped pioneer Florida’s early learning system, including school readiness and VPK programs. She is well-respected by her peers and within the state’s provider community. Brittany has been an incredible ambassador for children’s issues and the FCSC is pleased to welcome her on board. She will be a wonderful asset and addition to our team,” said FCSC Chair Linda Lanier.
Before she was named as the office’s director in 2007, Dr. Birken held several positions within AWI’s Office of Early Learning. Previously, she was the Director of Research and Development for The Florida Children’s Forum. Dr. Birken has served on the Florida’s State Advisory Council for Early Education, Florida Interagency Council for Infant and Toddlers, and Florida’s Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Council. She earned her doctorate in Child Development from Florida State University.
“I have been fortunate that my career has afforded me opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of children – both in the public sector and in the non-profit arena. Joining the Florida Children’s Services Council will give me a chance to return to my non-profit roots while continuing to work with many of the state’s wonderful child advocates with whom I’ve had the pleasure of serving in my current role,” said Dr. Birken. “The state’s Children’s Services Councils have been integral in developing a strong statewide system of care for Florida’s children and families. Ensuring that our children have the foundation they need to have healthy, happy and successful futures is my passion and I’m looking forward to putting that passion to work for the Florida Children’s Services Council.”
The FCSC is a non-profit organization comprised of children’s services councils (CSC) established in counties throughout the state. CSCs provide funding for primary prevention and early intervention programs that benefit children and families in their communities.
Through collaborative efforts with agencies, officials and service providers, CSCs work to improve young lives by making strategic investments in the well-being of Florida’s children. They are also recognized for providing innovative leadership and vision to community, state and national initiatives.
On Tuesday, March 29, the Children's Services Council of Martin County hosted a meeting for funded agencies and other community members to discuss the 2011-12 Youth Health and Well Being Report Card, provider end-of-year performance reports and updating of the strategic plan. Over 30 people participated and were available to hear about changes in local statistics related to children and families and were asked to assist in the development of the Children's Services Council's strategic plan.
Facilitated by Elizabeth Barbella, director of policy and operations, supported by Contract Specialists and Sandi Shepherd, newly appointed Research Analyst, attendees received information about upcoming events and a planned data assessment project as well as newly analyzed local data.
Participants had the opportunity to break into small discussion groups to give input about updating the current strategic plan and about indicators in the community that they believe are negatively impacting the families that they serve.
The meeting concluded with remarks by David Heaton, executive director of the agency, who thanked those who attended for their input and continuing efforts on behalf of the children and families of the county. Mr. Heaton assured those present that their comments and suggestions would be seriously considered as the strategic plan is modified.
Thanks to a new partnership between Helping People Succeed and the Supervisor of Elections Office, local families that participate in Healthy Families and the Building Readiness Among Infants Now (BRAIN) programs will now be receiving voter registration information during regular program services.
Supervisor of Elections Vicki Davis is pleased to provide voter registration information to new families in both programs. “As the Supervisor of Elections, I encourage you to take pride in the community you have chosen to live in, and make sure your voice is heard through the voting process,” she said.
Helping People Succeed now distributes information from the Elections office related to voter registration, a resource pamphlet containing local, state and national legislator contact information, along with a letter from the Supervisor of Elections encouraging families with young children to remember that democracy is a family affair.
“If you take your children to the polls, they will remember the experience,” said Davis in a letter to families. She pointed out that children follow in their parents’s footsteps, having the same voting patterns and voting regularly when they see their parents participating in voting frequently.
The B.R.A.I.N. program is an educational outreach program available to all families with newborns in Martin and St. Lucie counties, and Healthy Families Martin - Okeechobee is an intensive parent education program for families facing complexities. The goal of both programs is to help parents give their child the best start possible so they are prepared for success in school and life.
Martin County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Davis, center, shows off registration materials now distributed to families participating in Helping People Succeed's Healthy Families and the Building Readiness Among Infants Now (B.R.A.I.N.) programs. At left is Helping People Succeed's Vice President Kathy Derringer and Healthy Families Program Manager Carolyn Moses.
The Hobe Sound Community Chest is generously providing scholarships for Martin County Parks & Recreation Summer Camp that is held at the Hobe Sound Community Center . The Center is located at 8980 Olympus Ave, Hobe Sound. Summer Camp starts on Monday, June 13th and will run until Friday, August 12th. Campers will go on field trips to the Jupiter Pool, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Chuck E Cheese, bowling, movies and more. Parents will need to provide lunch, snacks and water daily. A schedule is posted weekly with the field trips for the following week so that parents can anticipate what they will need to pack for their children. http://tinyurl.com/45qbd2v
The 11th Annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Awards were held on Monday, March 14, in Orlando. Law Enforcement Officers from across the State of Florida were recognized for their dedication in removing impaired drivers from our roadways. Six members of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit were among those recognized. Sergeant Richard Parks was honored with the Millennium Award and Deputy Sheriff Christopher Thomas, Deputy Sheriff Jon Hanton, Deputy Sheriff Bradford Baker and Deputy Sheriff Robert Barlow received the Century Award. In addition, Deputy Sheriff George Primm was recognized for his outstanding dedication to DUI enforcement thru his volunteer efforts. http://tinyurl.com/4qaqqhf
Elizabeth Barbella, director of policy and operations of the Children's Services Council of Martin Countywas recently honoredfor receiving the Kathryn Basile Stop the Tears Award from United for Families. The award was presented at United for Families Le Ball Masque event on Saturday March 5th. The award – named after the late Kathryn Basile, who served many years as executive director of the St. Lucie County Children’s Services Council – recognizes superior community service in child welfare. United for Families is the non-profit organization that coordinates and oversees child-welfare services in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
Ms. Barbella, a long time child advocate in Martin County said, "It was an honor to be recognized as a true advocate for children and to be forever associated with this award. Social service work is likened to that of Cathedral building, we are often laying the foundation for something great to come in the future knowing that we may not be witness to it unfolding. We keep doing this work because we are committed to being part of something greater. To me that is the soul of child advocacy".
Elizabeth Barbella joined the Children’s Services Council of Martin County in 1998. She brings over 25 years of work experience in both the public and private sector. Throughout her career at the Children's Services Council, Elizabeth has served on numerous boards, councils, and committees, as an advocate for children and health and human service providers in Martin County and throughout the state.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during Martin County’s Spring Break, beginning Friday, March 25, 2011. The fee is just $25 for the entire week and children ages six to 18 are welcome to attend. Children and teens who have never joined the Club or were past members may attend. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is another quality agency receiving funds from the Children's Services Council of Martin County. http://tinyurl.com/4pu8qzt
Boys & Girls Club Members Win County, National Awards and also compete at NBA All-Star Weekend! Congratulations to all the kids and staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children's Services Council of Martin County. Follow the like to read the newsletter. http://tinyurl.com/67qunks
Congratulations to the Martin County School District’s Elementary and Middle School Academic Games Teams for winning top honors in the State Academic Games Competition! The tournament was held Saturday, March 5th , at Palm Springs Middle School in Palm Beach County. Thirty-eight Martin County School District students competed. For all the results follow the link. http://tinyurl.com/4dpplz2
The Honorable Judge Sherwood Bauer and Mr. Michael Busha are the two newest members of the Children's Services Council. Council members welcome the two gentlemen and are happy to have them participating.
A new group formed recently to network to improve adult literacy in Martin County, including The Children's Services Council staff the Martin County Community Foundation staff and about two dozen other agencies. The group met to pool their knowledge about literacy in Martin County. Improved literacy could lessen crime and improve employment opportunities for local residents. Follow the link to read all about it. http://tinyurl.com/4a3y7d6
Taryn Kryzda, Guest Columnist
Martin County Administrator and Member of the Shared Services Network Executive Roundtable
Applying core business values pays off at home, too
(Stuart News, March 15, 2011)
We know the influences on our children help mold their character. As members of the public sector, that means we have a responsibility to establish policies that promote positive influences. How we conduct ourselves in the workplace carries out to the community and eventually to our youth.
I don’t need to spout statistics and numbers. We just need to read the newspaper or watch the news or go online to discover another tragedy, another child injured or killed because of underage drinking.
Whether a parent, a neighbor or a teacher, we all have a responsibility to the generations that follow. A good place to start is the workplace.
At the Martin County Commission, we have an important document that guides employees on best practices in working with each other and the people we serve. It’s our human resources manual. It is a document we live by every day. We should take those policies and model them beyond the workplace: at home, on the soccer field, at the mall, any place where we can be the influence.
Within the manual we have our vision statement. A vision statement is sometimes called a picture of your company in the future, but it’s more than that. Your vision statement is your inspiration, the framework for all your strategic planning. Apply a family version of those ideas to your own children and the youth you interact with on a regular basis.
What practices or influences can you demonstrate to bring about a positive result?
Just as we have a vision statement, we have a set of values that constitute our organizational culture. These shared beliefs, attitudes and norms determine our work behavior “ethic” in relation to customers, service, and other people within our organization. For Martin County workers, our core values are citizenship, diversity, integrity, professionalism, responsibility and teamwork. By practicing these values consistently, you can’t help but be the influence.
The values of our organization are reflected in the quality of the decisions we make every day. The same holds true for the family.
By turning to the manual and its standards of conduct, the family, too, can benefit from these best practices. Whether it’s a policy against harassment, regarding disciplinary action, focusing on problemsolving procedures that encourage an open-door policy (talking to our children and their friends), or encouraging professional help with personal or family problems, additional tools are available to help model personal behavior and be a positive influence on those around us outside the workplace.
Having participated in molding our policies over the years, we in county government looked for the practices and policies that would result in our workplace experience reflecting a positive and caring community. Practicing those behaviors outside the workplace and in our families can have the same result.
Take the best practices from your workplace home and watch what happens.
You are the influence.
Taryn Kryzda is the Martin County administrator and a member of the Shared Services Network executive roundtable.
Congratulations to all 29 students honored with the CHARACTER COUNTS! Joe Kordick character awards last night at IRSC. It is an inspiration to see so many students of good character being recognized for their exceptional achievements. Thanks to the local sponsors of this awards evening and to the Untied Way CHARACTER COUNTS! program. To read the entired story and see the pictures of the 29 winners please follow the link. Also, congratulations again to CHARACTER COUNTS! in Martin County for fifteen years of promoting good character to the students and citizens of the county. http://tinyurl.com/4vvbp33
And the Winners Are…
Over 500 community members joined Tykes & Teens, The Children’s Services Council of Martin County and Attorney Lauri J. Goldstein in keeping youth alcohol and drug free by casting votes for their favorite Project Northland Poster at the Martin County Fair. “We are proud to see that the top four winners had representation from each of the Project Northland middle schools”, said Dot Brooking, Prevention Specialist for Project Northland at Tykes & Teens. Winners will receive prizes from Sports Authority, Walmart, Play N Trade of Stuart, and Regency 8 Cinema.
The first place poster, created by 6th graders at Hidden Oaks Middle School, demonstrated how Alcohol and Driving Do Not Mix with the intent to educate citizens about how alcohol affects our ability to drive safely. Second place was taken by Murray Middle School 6th students with a poster that displayed healthy ways for young people to have fun without alcohol, titled Teens Just Wanna Have Fun. David Anderson Middle School students, taking third place, took a more scientific approach with a poster titled: Alcohol- the Teenage Brain Drain, which effectively showed the impact of alcohol on the brain. The fourth runner up poster from Stuart Middle displayed the negative effects beer or an alcoholic beverage can have with a poster titled, It’s Only a Beer.
Please visit the Tykes & Teens booth at Arts Fest in Stuart on March 19th and 20th to see these winning posters on display.
Congratulations to the following students for their hard work on the Project Northland Poster Contest. Hidden Oaks Middle School: Isobel Harrison, Eleni Chesnos, Ally Beert; Murray Middle School: Mackenzie Comp, Julia Corliss; David Anderson Middle: Katie Johnson, Jessica Wise, Danielle Brouillette, Brooke Taylor, Hope Mack; and Stuart Middle: Gabrielle French, Chase Cohn, Julia Wolf, Corrina Stotz.
For more information, or to find out how you can help support drug and alcohol free activities for Martin County youth, please call Darcy Flierl at 772-220-3439.
The Martin County United Way CHARACTGER COUNTS! program recognizes those who make character count locally! CHARACTER COUNTS! in Martin County celebrates turning 15 years old and hosts the annual Joe Kordick Youth Character Awards on March 10th. Check out the Community Calendar for details of the event or follow the link to read more. http://tinyurl.com/456w7eg
Congratulations to Bria Anderson who was recently chosen the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year. Bria is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for her sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community. Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. http://tinyurl.com/4o6ud7w
Congratulations to two dozen South Fork High School students going to Tallahassee today to participate in the Florida Youth in Government State Assembly. The annual event provides high school students from across the state the unique opportunity to experience the legislative process first hand. SFHS’s Youth in Government chapter are the first delegation from Martin County. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/4lxa3q4
Congratulation to Tykes and Teens who recently won a Blue Cross Blue Shield Sapphire Honoree award and $75,000! The Sapphire Award is Florida’s only statewide honor that recognizes and promotes organizations that have demonstrated excellence in addressing community health care needs. Tykes & Teens is another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. http://tinyurl.com/6bedr5o
The New Children’s Home Society Transition Center provides a home, and hope for teens who age out of foster care. This innovative program helps prepare teens for the "real world" by providing a home and life skills assistance. Read all about this innovative program by following the link. http://tinyurl.com/6y87kga
Congratulations to the Boys & Girls Club of Martin County for being chosen as one of two grant recipients from USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association. Read more about this grant award by following the link. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. http://tinyurl.com/66unma3
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties has been listed in the Business Leader Media's Top 100 South Florida Small Businesses again this year. Congratulations to BBBS for this business achievement and for all the good work that the agency does. Big Brothers Big Sisters, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County! http://tinyurl.com/6kb7myy
The Martin County School District is proud to announce that 6 students among the District’s three high schools are being honored as Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The recognition is based on the students’ outstanding academic performance, as well as meeting all the program’s rigorous criteria. Each of the Finalists is now in the competition to receive National Merit Scholarships. To read the press release that identifies the students please follow this link. http://tinyurl.com/4pxfep5
Congratulations to Thelma Washington, Gertrude Walden Child Care Center’s Executive Director, for winning the 2011 Un-Sung Hero Award from Keep Martin Beautiful’s Environmental Stewardship Awards. Mrs. Washington’s tireless efforts with Gertrude Walden Childcare Center, Extreme Martin Makeover, and her commitment to improving the East Stuart community were recognized on February 2nd, 2011 at Piper’s Landing Golf and Country Club. The Gertrude Walden Child Care Center is another quality program funded by the Children's Services Council of Martin County through the Early Learning Coalition. http://tinyurl.com/47epx9t
Shared Services Network announces a developmental asset training on April 5, 2011. This is a great opportunity to learn about the impact you have on the children and teens in your life. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. Please register by emailing Jill Sheppell, Shared Services Network Facilitator: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the link to learn more about the time. The Children's Services Council of Martin County will host this training. Shared Services Network is another quality program receiving funds from the Children's Services Council of Martin County. http://tinyurl.com/4m46659 To learn more about building developmental assets in youth visit the Search Institute website: www.search-institute.org
United Way/AARP tax assistance programs are recognized: United Way of MC, AARP and the IRS recently received a proclamation from the Martin County Board of County Commissioners designating Jan. 25 as Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day in Martin County. Follow the link to read more in the United Way February 2011 e-newsletter. http://tinyurl.com/6l76jrz
The Gertrude Walden center is teaching parents to be their child’s first teacher. Read Eve Samples column about this exceptional facility. The Gertrude Walden center, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County through the Early Learning Coalition. http://tinyurl.com/48fqwzy
Thanks to the commitment of the Children’s Services Council and its many community partners a statewide survey shows drinking and drug use among Martin County teens is down. Read Kelly Tyko’s column in today’s Stuart News to learn more. Thanks to the local teens that choose not to use alcohol, tobacco and/or other drugs. Congratulations to all concerned including the Shared Services Network of Martin County Executive Roundtable members. http://tinyurl.com/4a3b5sb
Parents can keep their kids safe by partnering with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Operation Medicine Cabinet! Local citizens can rid their medicine cabinets of unused, unnecessary or expired prescription medication. This can be done by participating in a prescription drug “take back" programs. This service is especially useful for parents who want to dispose of outdated prescription drugs. Follow the link to see all the information. http://tinyurl.com/4v5qgsq
For more information contact:
The Special Investigations Unit at
The Community Programs Unit at:
The Children’s Services Council of Martin County will host a press conference to discuss the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey Results on Wed., February 9, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Please follow the link to read about this press opportunity. http://tinyurl.com/4qtpr2n
Declines in usage amongst Martin County youth have been reported for alcohol, binge drinking, marijuana and cigarettes. The 2010 results of the Martin County Youth Substance Abuse Survey are showing positive downward trending. These results and the factors that have contributed to the County’s improved outcomes will be the focus of a news media opportunity at the Shared Services Network Executive Roundtable Meeting on Wednesday February 9th 2011 at 2:00 P.M. The Shared Services Network facilitates substance abuse prevention initiatives in Martin County.
Participating in the media event will be:
Sheriff Robert Crowder, Chair of the Martin County Shared Services Network Executive Roundtable
Robyn Vanover, Martin County School District
Elizabeth Barbella, Children’s Services Council of Martin County
Jill Sheppell, Facilitator, Martin County Shared Services Network
Kudos to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County for receiving an Environmental Stewardship Award for their Students Working Against Tobacco Team's work removing tobacco-related litter in Martin County! The award is funded by and run in collaboration with the Tobacco-Free Partnership and the QuitDoc Research/Education Foundation! Boys and Girls Clubs of MC, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County! Click on the link to see the pictures of happy Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County participants! http://tinyurl.com/4au4789
Surviving the Teen Age Years: a five week parent course offered by CHARACTER COUNTS, LifeWorks and Lively Orthodontics. Parents and teens welcome. Cost $50 (a $395 Value). Follow the link for registration information. http://tinyurl.com/4vzemno
The Martin County Health Department in partnership with Children's Services Council of MC, Tykes & Teens, Life Works, Healthy Start and the is proud to present "The Birds and the Bees: A Parent's Guide to Talking with your Teen". This free program is especially for parents of middle and high school students. Monday, February 7, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Martin County High School Auditorium. http://tinyurl.com/486ghxl
On Thursday, February 3rd, a special anti-bullying program will be presented to students at Jensen Beach High School. Entertainer Chris Hollyfield, who is four feet four inches tall, has performed for World Wrestling Entertainment, MTV, as well as various talk shows and television shows. He will be visiting Jensen Beach High this Thursday to share his life story and deliver a positive message to students about the need for tolerance and respect for one another. The program begins at 9:45 A.M. The media is invited to attend. http://tinyurl.com/652kdfb
To learn more about Chris Hollyfield, visit www.chrishollyfield.com. For more information on this program, contact Principal Ginger Featherstone at 772-232-3500.
“The Great PING PONG Challenge” sponsored by The Children’s Services Council kicked off the competition on Friday January 14th, 2011 at the 10th Street Recreation Center. Jerre Bolnick captured the first ever Children’s Services Council CUP for Table Tennis with children cheering all the way. Read more by following the link. http://tinyurl.com/4etszqh
Youth Substance Use Statistics Improve Thanks in Part to the Children's Services Council of Martin County!
Thanks to the commitment of the Children’s Services Council of Martin County in partnership with numerous other local community agencies statistics on “past 30 day alcohol use” by middle and high school students have improved since the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey of 2008. To compare 2008 stats to 2010 stats follow the link. http://tinyurl.com/4ouqhcn Google Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey for the entire report.
If you make under $49,000 per year you might qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit . To find out if you are eligible call The United Way of Martin County (772-283-4800) or check out the flyer by following the link. http://tinyurl.com/4mtgzmp
The United Way of Martin County and the Martin County Interagency Coalition are sponsoring a workshop on February 22, 2011, 8:30 – 10:30 am at the Martin County Supervisor of Elections Office. The purpose of the workshop is to help non-profit organizations cope with economic challenges and budget cuts. The workshop will feature an economic forecast presentation by Tim Kinane with VISTAGE FL. For all the info follow the link. http://tinyurl.com/6872es7
Schools Take Part in Literacy Week: Schools across Martin County have been taking part in a variety of activities aimed at encouraging students to read for fun! Read all about it by following the link. http://tinyurl.com/4ans7kk
“Cupid’s Garden” is the theme for the 12th Annual Hearts for Hope Fashion Show, Luncheon and Auction to benefit House of Hope. The event will be held 11:30 a.m. 2 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. Proceeds from the event support House of Hope programs that provide food, clothing, case management and emergency financial assistance to Martin County residents in need. http://tinyurl.com/45fnlwc
Catch Dave Heaton and Elizabeth Barbella on the public affairs radio show on WPSL and WSTU radio this coming Saturday and Sunday mornings. This program gives listeners a great overview of how the Children’s Services Council of Martin County has made a difference in the lives of children and families for over 22 years. For exact broadcast days and times and topics to be discussed follow this link. http://tinyurl.com/4o6nuwp
Having trouble talking to your teen about tough topics? The National Fatherhood Initiative has some tips that might be of help. Follow the link. http://tinyurl.com/4s7dejr
Tykes and Teens Prevention Services, in partnership with attorney Lauri J. Goldstein and the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, will host the third annual communitywide Project Northland poster contest at the Martin County Fairgrounds Feb. 11 to 19. For details follow the link: http://tinyurl.com/4m45zed
Everyday parenting ideas and tips for parents are available from Parent Further, a Search Institute Resource. Click on the link to read all about it. http://tinyurl.com/4vjldtr
Jensen Beach High School announces Falcon University for Student Success on February 3, 2011. This is a FREE event for all Parents of Middle/High School Students in the Martin County School District! Keynote Speaker: Mr. Bob Stutman, one of the world’s foremost experts in substance abuse and how it affects our society. Follow the link for the flyer. http://tinyurl.com/4r8kcbu
Beginning January 31, 2011 the United Way of Martin County and AARP are offering free tax assistance for qualified residents. Follow the link to read more.
Congratulations to Nicole King, executive director of the Whole Child Connection for being named to the statewide Whole Child leadership team. This nonprofit organization connects families with community agencies in Martin County. The Whole Child Connection, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. Follow the link to read more. http://tinyurl.com/6km653z
Kids at the Palm City Boys & Girls Clubs are developing a teaching garden with the help of local businesses and organizations. Still to come a butterfly garden, fruit trees, bird feeders & benches. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. Read more by following the link: http://tinyurl.com/4po3s8k
Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Russell Holloway Track and Fried Day on Saturday. Kudos to all the kids who got up and got moving! To see the picture follow the link. http://tinyurl.com/47wrv56
Any person currently parenting a child or teen can glean valuable information on raising resilient children by visiting the Search Institute website and signing up for their newsletters: www.search-institute.org. This free information is extremely valuable and we encourage you to check out the site.
UNITED FOR FAMILIES SEEKS AWARD NOMINATIONS for the Kathryn A. Basile Community Service Award named after the late Kathy Basile, who served as executive director of the St. Lucie County Children’s Services Council. This award recognizes superior community service in child welfare in 4 counties, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee & Indian River. For more information follow the link. http://uff.us/events.php?blurb_id=2011011814194287
Martin County’s Project SEARCH is off to a successful start! Read about this great collaborative between the Martin County School District and Martin Memorial Health Systems providing job opportunities for students with disabilities. http://tinyurl.com/4hlsewc
Hidden Oaks Middle School Invites Families to Read Together for a Special Event! This is sure to be a real page turner! This is a first ever school-wide book reading on Monday, January 24th, and the public is invited to participate. Open the links to see the press release and flyer. http://tinyurl.com/4fokpy7 http://tinyurl.com/6jlwxqo
Boys & Girls Club members showed off their talent recently at the third annual Homecoming celebration. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, another quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. Read all about it: http://tinyurl.com/4kfyw4k
Kids keeping fit will participate in the Russell Holloway track meet on January 22. Six hundred students from twelve elementary schools will participate. The public is invited. Read more by following the link. http://tinyurl.com/4nl8dxr
Music in the Park, an evening of free family fun, is scheduled for Saturday, January 22, 2011 at Jock Leighton Park. For more information and to view the flyer follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/45npq58
CHARACTER COUNTS! rewards unsung heroes of the workplace: Read about the winners of this year’s CHARACTER COUNTS! Employee Pillar of Character Awards and perhaps think about nominating a worthy coworker or employee next year: http://tinyurl.com/34or9p3
The National Fatherhood Initiative offers suggested New Year’s resolutions to make with your kids. Thanks to the Father & Child Resource Center, another quality program receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County, for sharing this information. http://www.fatherhood.org/Page.aspx?pid=1179
Dunbar Child Care Center builds new playground! Thanks to the generosity of the Loblollypop Foundation the children at the Dunbar Child Care Center have updated playground equipment to use. The center is another quality program receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/39gsn7p
Board the Children’s Movement bus bound for Tallahassee! Michael Goforth comments on the Children’s Movement of Florida legislative goals. To read the entire article please follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/39hjmw9
The work of the Children’s Services Council of Martin County is paying off according to David Heaton, Executive Director of the agency. Read Dave’s letter to the editor published on January 2, 2011 in the Stuart News by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/2964ckq
Congratulations to Children’s Emergency Resources, a nonprofit providing funds for children in need of emergency health care, for receiving a $10,000 grant from the Hobe Sound Community Chest. To read the entire story please follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/243nxtz
The Children's Movement of Florida's first full year agenda is affordable, realistic and achievable. To learn more about the five 2011 legislative agenda items (health care, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of children with special needs, voluntary pre-k, parent building skills and mentoring) please follow this link: http://childrensmovementflorida.org/about/legislative_agenda
The Martin County Parks & Recreation Department is proud to announce the 5th Annual “Fire in the Bowl” Chili Cook-Off and Concert Benefiting Special Olympics of Martin County. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, January 15th at Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach. See the attached flyer and packet for participation information. http://tinyurl.com/2abyu5k http://tinyurl.com/2df8pqm
David Heaton, Executive Director of the Children’s Services Council, expands on the support given to fund prenatal care in Martin County and other critical programs that enhance the lives of children and their families. Read his letter to the editor by following this link. http://tinyurl.com/25o7qnx
Eve Samples comments on prenatal care improving in Martin County thanks to the Healthy Start Coalition and the Children’s Services Council of Martin County . It costs about $225,000 a year to run Healthy Start's outreach center, the bulk of which is covered by grants from the Children's Services Council of Martin County and Allegany Franciscan Ministries. Read the entire article: http://tinyurl.com/2dpys6s
The House of Hope is moving its Jensen Beach branch to a new larger location in the ACE Hardware plaza in order to provide better access for clients seeking food and financial help. This move includes the resale bargain store. The purpose of the move is to secure larger quarters with better visibility and parking. For the exact address and to read more follow the link: http://tinyurl.com/2cat2ez
Healthy Families Florida teaches skills parents need to overcome obstacles to better parenting. Read Ted Granger’s guest column in the Stuart News. Helping People Succeed (HPS) is the local provider of the Healthy Families program. Funds from the Children’s Services Council of MC allow HPS to draw down state dollars for this important initiative. To read more follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/25kwzxa
The Sunshine Express carries children in foster care home for the holidays! The Florida Department of Children & Families makes it a priority to send children in foster care home for holiday celebrations. This ongoing initiative is a partnership between DCF, judges & the court system, attorneys and community based care agencies across the state. Since 2007 the department has prioritized getting kids with families to celebrate the holidays. To read more follow the link: http://tinyurl.com/237dexg
Congratulations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County for securing a $40,000 grant from the William & Helen Thomas Charitable Trust. The funds will be used to support the club’s Project Learn afterschool suite of programs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is a quality agency receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. To read more follow the link: http://tinyurl.com/26n5lq4
The Florida Governor’s Office of Drug Control is closing. This could cause significant problems for the state’s Substance Abuse Coalitions, including the Shared Services Network of Martin County. Although youth substance use in Martin County has declined there continues to be a need to assist the community with substance use reduction programs and practices. To read the article follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/2dbxgyc
TD Bank and The Father & Child Resource Center proudly recognize Jordan Schwartz as Father of the Month. Congratulations to Mr. Schwartz for being recognized as Father of the Month. The Father & Child Resource Center is a quality program receiving funds from the Children’s Services Council of Martin County. http:/T/tinyurl.com/2d64j78
The Martin County Legislative Delegation will meet on Friday, December 17th at 9:00 a.m.. Follow the link to view the agenda of this annual meeting. http://tinyurl.com/2blwq5q
Helping People Succeed is lighting up the season during their office tours this week. If you are interested in seeing this fabulous display follow the link for more information. http://tinyurl.com/2eatu42