Thursday, October 15, 2015

PLTI grad wins funds for her school

PLTI graduate Regan Allan recently entered her children's school, the Julia A. Stark Elementary School in Stamford, in the Build a Bright Future promotion run by Saputo Cheese USA. She just received word that Stark is one of seven schools receiving a $1,000 prize, making it automatically eligible for a top prize of $10,000.

To participate, Regan had to submit an essay describing how Stark Elementary would use the $10,000 prize to "build a bright future." Regan’s idea is to enlist parents, teachers, student council members, and the schools' Girl Scout troops in preparing backpacks full of food that needy students can bring home to their families for the weekend. She noted that 62 percent of Stark students receive free or reduced-price meals at school. You can read Regan’s essay here. Since the $10,000 is awarded to the top online vote-getter, you may also cast a vote there. You may vote once a day until October 31.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bloomfield PLTI grad's op-ed article published

Monica Stellmacher, a 2015 graduate of  Bloomfield PLTI, has written an op-ed article for CT News Junkie that takes note of recent layoff notices in state government and offers some advice for everyone on how to conduct a job hunt. Monica has some expertise on this subject, since her community project for PLTI was the creation of the a support group called K.U.D.O.S. Cafe, short for Keeping the Unemployed Determined Optimistic and Sane.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PLTI and Parent SEE statewide graduation ceremonies

Go to the Commission on Children website for multi-media coverage of the 2015 statewide PLTI and Parent SEE graduation ceremonies, held June 17 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. You'll find:
  • complete video of the event, courtesy of the Connecticut Network (CT-N);
  • more than 50 photos;
  • the graduation program;
  • a press release;
  • news media coverage;
  • and more.
See other posts in this blog for photos from the local graduation ceremonies.

Congrats to all the new parent leaders!

Isabella Pinto sang the National Anthem at the start of the evening.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A rockin' tribute to West Hartford PLTI

West Hartford's PLTI Class of 2015 got a wonderful gift from classmate Aariyan Googe in the form of a photo montage set to the Simple Minds song "Don't You (Forget About Me.)" Now you can enjoy it too:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Celebration time for Bridgeport PLTI, TLI classes

The parent leaders of the Bridgeport PLTI Class of 2015 received their diplomas Tuesday night, as did the young leaders in this year's class of the Teen Leadership Institute.

With People's United Bank graciously providing the setting, the newly minted graduates celebrated with their families, facilitators, and classmates. Mayor Bill Finch marked the occasion by proclaiming Tuesday "Bridgeport Parent and Teen Leadership Day."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Feds want your input on child support services

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has asked a few groups with strong connection to parents--including PLTI--to seek feedback on its current child support program. The Office is very interested to learn how well the program performs and where it can be improved.

You're invited to take five minutes to fill out the survey, in English or in Spanish. Your comments and ideas will be summarized and offered to the federal government for improvements in law. The survey is anonymous but still ensures that your opinions are heard.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Congratulations, Milford PLTI Class of 2015!

The Parent Leadership Training Institute of Milford held graduation ceremonies for its Class of 2015 at Milford City Hall on Wednesday. The graduates heard remarks from Milford Mayor Benjamin G. Blake, Milford Public Health Director Deepa Joseph, and Commission on Children Director off Development and Special Initiatives Mary Kate Lowndes.  
Congratulations to Holly Allen, Anna Cass, Melvin Cass II, Agne Covill, Patricia Esianor, Kara Flannery, Aurora Moral, Kimberly Neff, Jezzabel Noel, Carla Parker, Christina Pritchard, Jaime Swett, and Melissa Vera.

The graduates at Milford City Hall. At far left is Mayor Benjamin Blake. At far right is United Way of Milford President and CEO Gary Johnson. Next to him is city Health Director Deepa Joseph.

The graduates--with kids!

From left: Sal Hanaif, PLTI facilitator; Lesley Darling, PLTI coordinator; Peggy Kelly of Kids Count of Milford; and Mary Kate Lowndes of the Commission on Children.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spotlight on Gina Levon Simpson

Gina Levon Simpson, lead teacher of the Bridgeport Children's Leadership Training Institute (CLTI), was the focus of a nice feature article recently by the Bridgeport Daily Voice.

“It’s all about helping the children become the best leaders they can be, both for themselves and for others,” Gina said of CLTI.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

West Hartford PLTI mom featured in Courant

As part of her PLTI community project, Brooke Daly of West Hartford encouraged several local elementary schools to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day by promoting the Changing the Face of Beauty campaign on social media. When she tweeted a photo of her 2-year-old son Finn, who has Down syndrome, with the #ChangingTheFaceOfBeauty hashtag, it got noticed by a flower boutique, which is using photos of the family for an advertising campaign that benefits HARC of Hartford.

You can read about Brooke in this Hartford Courant article, which may require registration:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Danbury parent leader defends Parent Trust Fund

Danbury parent leader Maria Prosecuter has written a strong defense of the Parent Trust Fund in a letter to the editor of the Danbury Daily Voice. The Fund, which supports PLTI and other parent leadership initiatives, is in danger of losing its funding under the proposed budget that Governor Malloy has submitted the state legislature. Maria argues that programs like PLTI should be recognized as "the gateway to progress."

Bridgeport CLTI making an impact

That's Bridgeport Children's Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) graduate Leah Attai on the right, with Lead Teacher Gina LeVon Simpson. They're holding some of the stuffed toys that Leah made for the emergency shelter which the Center for Family Justice operates for adults and children fleeing abusive situations. Leah and the current CLTI class are also helping CFJ and the Daniel Trust Foundation by collecting "gently used" toys, redeeming bottles, and seeking contributions. In addition, the students are collecting toiletries for homeless veterans. Way to go, kids!

Monday, March 2, 2015

What you didn't know about the Parent Trust Fund

The Parent Trust Fund, created by the General Assembly in 2001, is the first family civics initiative focused on training parents in the leadership skills needed to improve the health, safety, and learning outcomes of children. PLTI is one of the initiatives it supports. You can learn more about how the Fund works, what it has accomplished, and in which towns and cities it currently operates by downloading this primer.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Plymouth PLTI celebrates its fifth

Plymouth PLTI marked its fifth anniversary by holding an alumni reunion last night at the Lyceum in the Terryville section of town. The event was also held in recognition of National Parent Leadership Month.

On hand to congratulate the alumni were state Senator Henri Martin and state Representative Whit Betts, both of whom serve Plymouth. In keynote remarks, they talked about the developing state budget debate and encouraged parent leaders to stay involved in community and state issues.

Senator Martin brought with him a Connecticut General Assembly proclamation recognizing Plymouth PLTI for "five years of outstanding work for the parents and children of West-Central Connecticut."

Click to enlarge any of the photos:

From left: Senator Henri Martin; Parents SEE graduate Donna O’Such, who is also the chief professional officer of the United Way of West Central Connecticut; PLTI graduate and Plymouth Site Coordinator Linda Schnaars; PLTI graduate and Plymouth Training Coordinator Donna Koser; and state Representative Whit Betts.

Senator Henri Martin reads the General Assembly proclamation. Looking on are, from left, Plymouth PLTI coordinators Linda Schnaars and Donna Koser.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bloomfield PLTI class gets under way

Some photos from the class retreat, held at the First United Church of Christ in Bloomfield Center. Click on any of them to enlarge.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Milford retreat visited by state representative

When the Milford PLTI Class of 2015 held a retreat to kick off its sessions last Saturday, the parents got a visit and some words of encouragement from state Representative Pam Staneski. Here's an article that appeared in the Milford Patch and a news release from the representative, who said:
"I was honored to welcome the members of the 6th class of the PLTI to their first class. Their commitment to this eighteen week course is a testament to their desire to positively impact our community. As those who have attended the program before them, these ladies and gentlemen will be the future advocates and leaders of our community."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A formidable mother-daughter team

That's 2014 Danbury PLTI graduate Sandra Prendergast with her daughter, Lexie, at a recent farewell reception in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senate pages. Lexie spent the previous four months as a page for Senator Chris Murphy. And last spring, while her mother attended PLTI, she volunteered in the CLTI program, helping to teach children about government and democracy.

Sandra says she's "very proud of Lexie's commitment and resilience to complete such a rigorous program. At this age, her interest in government and public policy will help shape her future plans in any career she chooses."

Thanks to Katherine Tucker for the photo and information.

A new year, and a new PLTI class begins in Bridgeport

Some photos from the class retreat:

Friday, January 16, 2015

PLTI grads lead in the health care discussion

PLTI graduates were among those who came to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford last week to participate in "This is What Health Care Should Be," a forum on how to continue making Connecticut’s health-care system more responsive, more accessible, and less expensive now that the federal Affordable Care Act has been enacted. The event was sponsored by Christian Community Action (CCA) Inc. and the Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut (LARCC).

In the photo above, clockwise from top left: Dawn Herring, Jonathan Stewart, Marilyn M. Carson, and Claudette Deer. In the photos below: Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman shares a few remarks with the gathering, and Mr. Stewart poses with state Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby. Photos by Kelly Martin.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

West Hartford class gets under way

The West Hartford Class of 2015--the fourth PLTI class in that town--began meeting on January 10 with 21 parents attending the retreat. In the bottom photo, Mayor Scott Slifka welcomes them.