May Memories and Highlights

We have been very busy over the last month. There are so many great memories, but we will share just a few highlights.

Our biggest new project has been our Coffee With COIPP sessions held every Friday afternoon for those recently released form jail. We have now been offering them for a number of Fridays and they have become very popular. Thanks to Federated Charities, we have a lovely Conference Room to use. Based on the interests of the participants, we have offered many kind of sessions including improving communication with oner’s kids, understanding the effect of trauma on children, helping with discipline and more. One of our best sessions just happened due to a collaboration with the Delaplaine Arts Center. This two week workshop introduced participants to the making of visual journals. It was a learning experience for all of us- and it was fabulous!!! We could not have done this without the financial help of the Frederick County Rotary!

Our curriculum work, thanks to the grant we share with the Frederick County Mental Health Association, and facilitated by the Local Management Board, is going extremely well. We received it through the Governors Committee. We have now completed our third revision of our Parenting From Afar curriculum, the one we created for and use in our weekly Parenting Classes at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. The women really look forward to each session- and according to our evaluations and testimonials, everyone seems to feel that they are highly beneficial. Our work also includes the creation of workshops for caregivers and we are just hoping that the grant will be renewed. If you happen to be at pan eras on Monday night, you will find four of us working to ensure that all of our work is top notch!

Our children’s activities are going very well indeed. We had our monthly bowling event on a very rainy day. Even though it was wet and cold outside, we had a great time inside at Terrace Lanes. We will continue to have these monthly activities as we serve the children and their caregivers. They are always fun and always free, It has become our reoccurring, signature event. We are also going to be adding more and more activities, so stay tuned for new surprises.

Our Crisis Committee has been very busy at work. It is amazing how some seasons are busier than others, and early Spring often keeps us hopping. People have needed help with food, children’s clothing, and more- and we have been happy to be there. We are using not only stores, but community resources, and have found that we can really help families meet their needs.

We have been busy adding new scholarships as we continue to collaborate with Frederick Community College. We offer financial assistance to those full time caregivers for a child with an incarcerated parent, and we have added scholarships for those recently released parents who want to attend FCC, even if it is part time. We are very excited about this, and cannot wait to meet our new scholarship recipients. Many thanks to the Frederick Women’s Giving Circle for the help they have given us through our past and future scholarship grants.

Workshops for caregivers come in many forms. This month we were able to work with staff from Lucas Village and share information on ‘Helping Children Deal with Their Feelings’, Adverse Children’s Experiences, and helping children and families deal with trauma. The staff was terrific- and kept the sharing and discussion alive with insights and personal reflections. Now they are ready to share with the parents they work with and to perhaps offer formal workshops, assisted by COIPP. Partnerships are always the way to go!

We like working in the community and this month has not been an exception. Shari talked to Community Liaisons, Dana Wile’s fourth grade class at Tuscorora E.S., church groups and others. We always try to educate the community about this issue and love to share all we have learned, as well as our work. Just get in contact with us if interested.

Save Tuesday, December 4. Plans are well underway for our 5th Annual Silent Auction. This year we will be at McClintock’s Distillery in downtown Frederick and we already know it will be better than ever before. Be sure to plan to come!