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Hello! We have been busy!
New Zealand Conference- The very first international conference about children who have an incarcerated parent was held in New Zealand last month. Shari Ostrow Scher, our founder and president, made her way there to do a workshop about our COIPP journey. In addition, there were presenters and keynote speakers from 19 countries and 5 continents. The information gathered will be shared with our COIPP Board. It was amazing to see how many of the issues children face here are also faced across the world.
Our new Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day Sharing Fairs at FCDC were huge successes. We are now busy getting ready for our Spring Sharing Fairs, to be held at the FCDC. We are grateful to all who have contributed hygiene supplies, underwear and gently used toys and books. This time the two fairs, one during men’s visitation and one during women’s, will be enhanced by ten boxes of school supplies, donated, to give out. We now do a minimum of five Sharing ‘Fairs a year. What growth we have experienced!
Ready Rosie is now a part of COIPP. This wonderful program for kids, filled with vignettes by parents and children, as well as articles and discussions by a wide variety of early childhood experts, is being accessed by COIPP families. The founder of the program is allowing us to share the AP with our caregivers for no cost to us. The work is geared to help children cognitively, socially and emotionally, by offering their caregivers all kinds of great, easy to use, ideas for working with their children.
Thanks to the Zavos family, we how have fabulous new furniture in our lending/giving library at the Detention Center. Their donation includes three small benches, beautifully made in red and natural wood, with compartments below for books. It is perfect. We see this as really making a difference for children when they are waiting to visit a loved one.
Our ‘I Made This’ weekend activity for children was so successful we are planning many more. There will be a Bouncy House party, as well as an obstacle course day and other fun activities for thekids. As always, it is always free of charge. The kids and the caregivers just love these events.
Scholarships have once again been successful this year. As of this writing, four have been awarded for Frederick Community College students who are caregivers to a child with an incarcerated loved one, or who have incarceration in their own family. Probably one of the best things we do, this activity allows folks to gain their own financial independence and subsequently pave a way for a better life.
December, 5, 2017- Our Annual Silent Auction is already being planned. It will once again be in December at the Delaplaine Arts and Education Center. Put it on your calendar now—but it is coming!
Silent Auction- This event was a tremendous success. It sold out, was filled with great items, and raised over $13,000. Given that and the money raised from the Unity Campaign, a high of $12,670, as well as other fundraisers had this year, we will be able to buy many resources for children and their families.
Every Wednesday evening female inmates receive parenting classes at the Detention center. There are eight sessions, and if they are successfully completed, the attendee receives a certificate of graduation from the program and ten days off their sentence. This popular class is always well attended and is a favorite for inmates, as well as the COIPP volunteers
Workshops have been held at the Housing Authority and Head Start for parents who wish to talk about children's feelings, especially coping with anger. Many caregivers turned out for the events, for there were two sessions to each workshop. Everyone who attended both sessions received not only blankets, stress balls, bubble turners, handmade lap quilts and pillow cases, but also received a library of 8-10 quality books on feelings for their children. In other words, everyone left with the beginning of a quality early childhood library.
The Fall Resource Fair was held in October during men's visitation at the Frederick Adult Detention Center. In the first hour of the fair, over 120 pairs of shoes were given out to children who have an incarcerated loved one, as were blankets, resource bags, hygiene supplies, information for caregivers, and much more. Face painting was done, and books were given out. A great success.
Two Frederick Community College students received scholarships of $1,000 each for their education. Each scholarship winner has an incarcerated loved one and is raising a child. We are working with FCC to choose four more scholarship winners for the Spring.
How do we fund our work that continues to grow and grow? We do it through donations, grants and fundraisers. Here are some important collaborations that are going on. This is a partial list for they go on and on.
Collaboration with the Frederick Unity Campaign- From September 14 through September 25 we are working with the Unity Campaign and nineteen other non profits to raise money for each organization. Each amount raised will be partially matched.
Collaboration with The Muse- Join us on Saturday, October 1, for an art auction at this great North Market Street Store. Children, local artists, friends of COIPP, as well as female inmates, have come together to produce creative art canvases motivated by the book The Dot. All proceeds go to COIPP.
Collaboration with the HJSerini Foundation and Curious Iguana Book Store- Join us at a Read-A-Thon that will take place in the window of the book store from 8 AM until midnight on October 22. Every page read will earn $2.00. There will even be something for the kids!
Collaboration with Frederick Community College and Frederick Women's Circle- Two needy students who are caregivers for children with incarceration in their families have received scholarships for the Fall semester. In the Spring more scholarships will be given out. Collaboration with The Delaplaine Center For The Arts- This offers free first Saturday art classes for any COIPP child.
Collaborations with Dancing Bear Toy Store and Curious Iguana Book Store- New books will be given to all families who attend COIPP workshops at Head Start and Lucas Village, and new toys that encourage language and positive emotional development will be placed in the play room at Lucas Village.
Silent Auction- This annual event will be on Wednesday, December 7, at the Delaplaine Art Center. We accept original art, services, jewelry, gift cards and more. This is our collaboration with you!
We remain busy this Summer. On June 12 we had a bowling/pizza party with over 40 children and caregivers attending. What a great time it was. Just read the testimonials that were shared. (Aleta-see that attached!)
What have we been up to this Summer? We have had a weekend caregiver/child bowling party, we have been continuing our inmate, weekly parenting classes, we have been meeting with female inmates recently released, we have been giving out and mailing books and resources to caregivers and children, we have been giving out start up libraries of books for children, and more and more and more. Contact us for additional information.
How do we fund our endeavors? In all ways possible! We are a member of this year's Unity Campaign, we have a fund raiser currently with The Muse, a fabulous Frederick downtown store, and we have grants with United Way, Frederick Women's Giving Circle, Maryland State Current and Retired Workers. We are planning for our next Silent Auction on December 7th at the Delaplaine Arts Center, and we accept donations from individuals, groups, businesses and religious institutions. Today we had a great surprise. A former Montgomery County teacher, Michelle Newton, who we did not know, passed away today, and her obituary listed us as the one to receive all contributions in her name. It is taking a village!
It is never too late to order a necklace. InBloom jewelry, under owner and artist Stacey Krantz, has designed a beautiful silver Gingko necklace. All money received when one is sold, minus the cost of materials, goes to our work. In only a year Stacey has donated almost $4,000. Think about giving this great gift to someone you care about. Website is http://www.inbloomjewelry.com. This particular necklace can be found in InBloom Heroes Fundraisers, and the necklace is called Resilience.
July, 2016- September, 2016- We are looking for businesses and individuals who would like to sponsor us for the annual Unity Campaign, a fund raiser and mission sharing project for 19 Frederick non-profits. We will accept any size donation and make sure you are thanked on social media-not to mention that we will share some gifts for sponsorships of $500 and more.
Saturday, July 9- Be a guest at the Muse, 19 North Market Street, a downtown store filled with original merchandise. Shari Scher, founder and president of Children Of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (COIPP), will be at the store talking about our work. Canvases are for sale for $20 each. You are invited to 'make your mark' with an original piece of art-and all money from the sale of the canvases goes directly to COIPP.
Sunday, July 24- Children and caregivers are invited to a special afternoon of art and ice cream at the downtown C Burr Arts library at 1:30. Local artist Courtney Prahl will be on hand to share some interesting ways to use common household items to create original works of art.This is a free afternoon for all children who have an incarcerated loved one.
Saturday, September 10- Bring your original art to The Muse and get ready for it to be displayed as they get ready for their annual auction of art. Once again, all proceeds will benefit COIPP.
End of September- Get ready to donate to the Unity Campaign. From approximately Wednesday, September 14, through Saturday, September 24, donations will be accepted for each of the 19 participating non-profits. On Sunday, September 25, there will be an afternoon Olympiad at the Frederick Indoor Sports Center. Here each non-profit will compete with one another in a number of athletic and fun events. Think about joining in on the fun.
Saturday, October 1- Get ready for the art auction. All original pieces of work created by children, grandchildren, parents, artists and inmates alike, will be auctioned off the afternoon of this date at the Muse, 19 North Market Street.
Wednesday, December 7- Join us for our third annual Silent Auction. We will be collecting items for the auction up until December 1. Please think about what you would like to donate, and plan to buy your ticket. More information will be forthcoming!
Ever wonder what our actual day to day work is about? Since the beginning of June, we have:
- Given out gift cards to caregivers who needed basic supplies;
- Sent resources to women who contacted us from across the nation who needed to know more about child development and the effect of parent incarceration;
- Met with a woman who was just released from the Detention Center, attended our parenting classes while an inmate, and wants to now volunteer with us;
- Held a resource fair, one of three for the year, at the Frederick County Detention Center;
- Completed an old group and started a new one on Parenting for female inmates at the jail;
- Began to plan for the purchases of books for children with an incarcerated parent who have caregivers attending our workshops, thanks in part to the receipt of a grant from the United Way;
- Accepted a check from the Frederick Women's Giving Circle and met with FCC scholarship and community service division who put together the scholarship applications we offer to caregivers;
- Had female inmates create water color paintings for the Lend A Hand fundraiser we are having at The Muse in downtown Frederick;
- Began looking for and speaking with sponsors for the Unity Campaign fundraiser that is just beginning and will take off in mid September;
- Asked for and received stuffed animals and handmade blankets for children;
- Held a Bowling/Pizza party for children and caregivers.
This is only a partial list and the month is barely half over. The work never stops, we are a completely volunteer organization--but we are empowered by our mission and our passion.
At a recent child/caregiver bowling and pizza event the following testimonials were shared with us:
The reason why we're bowling is to let loose of sadness. - Cait, age 8
I like how this was neat and organized and you provided us with food. It was a very fun day.-Samara, age 13
The environment for the children was great. The had a blast. The children could let loose.-Shantelle, Mom
All I ever wanted was to be a better Mother than the one I got. Briefly I am the product of a ‘make love, not war’ party on November 1969 at Frostburg. She was on the pill and an unwanted child in 1970 was the last thing wanted by anyone but my grandfather (God bless his sweet heart). I waited till I was 28 to have children so that I was more mature. Having taken absolutely every parenting class I could (about 5) and regardless of my drug addiction/mental illness I believe myself to be a loving, caring, honest, realistic, protective Momma. Unfortunately, my coping skills have been limited and mostly illegal, but never abusive. Although not being there is certainly neglect, I loved, planned, and wanted all three of my precious children. Without these parenting classes, I would have not one clue what I was or am doing. I will take any and all classes in this jail or any other facility has to offer so as to guide my children and any other people God blesses me with. This couldn’t be more important. How many of us have been misguided and/or abused before we put some real effort into parenting classes and mental health?
-Anonymous (Requested to keep name private).
Here are two testimonials received about the scholarships for FCC that were offered to two caregivers in year 2015. We are very proud of them and what they have accomplished!
The purpose of this letter is to express my gratitude for your generous financial assistance during my Fall semester at Frederick Community college. The Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership scholarship will benefit me greatly by helping me hire a tutor for my math class, and takes some of the burden off my shoulders financially. I will be able to focus more on school and work less hours this semester because of this contribution. I appreciate the needs of parents with children who have incarcerated parents, being recognized by your foundation, as young women like myself are often forgotten about and left to struggle without our children's father doing their part. I hope to complete my education and show my child that adversity does not create failure, and that she can look at me as an inspiration.
Thank you for your time, consideration and charity.
I was very pleased and appreciative to learn that I was a recipient of your scholarship. I am writing you to deeply thank you for your generous gift.
I am currently a nursing student at Frederick Community College. My career plans are to obtain my associates degree from FCC and eventually my Bachelors in Nursing. I currently dedicate some time at Frederick Memorial Hospital as a patient care companion. I plan on seeking a nursing job upon graduation.
Also, I believe the COIPP scholarship has impacted my life tremendously and is changing my world by lightening my financial burden which allows me to focus on achieving my educational goals. Your immense generosity has inspired me especially on the importance of giving back. I hope to one day help other students achieve their educational and career goals just as you have helped me.
Our first Resource Fair held during Women's Visitation at the Frederick County Detention Center took place on Saturday, May 7, and it was a great success. The visitors were so grateful for everything we shared- Resource Bags and handmade blankets for children, hygiene supplies for families, stuffed animals for little ones, and books, books, books. Many recipients wanted to talk, share their stories, and tell us how they hoped to pay forward our kindness. We were touched- and now know we are going to add a yearly resource fair during women visitations to our present list of fairs.
When we started over 14 years ago, we never thought we would grow as we have. Recently we decided to rent a storage unit to hold all of the resources we have for families. Interestingly, we have almost outgrown our new large space. We now have enough books, blankets, stuffed animals and resource bags to serve many children and caregivers.
We get more and more interest in our work. Recently, Shari Scher was asked by two Boston College Professors to write an essay for their book, Parental Incarceration: Personal Accounts and Developmental Impact. Hot off the press, it has 30 essays and will be used in classrooms across the nation that are dealing with issues of justice. Who ever thought COIPP would be part of a publication!
This year's Cupcake Run was a huge success. Held in April, we had donors and supporters from all over. We raised $1250 front he run- and a great time was had by all. Sadly, this was the last year the Cupcake Run will take place, but we are forever grateful for the money raised. We received a check for $1250 and we had $1600 in sponsorships. We exist thanks to grants, donations and the kindness of others; thank you to everyone who helped make this a beneficial fundraiser
It's time for our Resource Fairs at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center! This is the time when we give out bags filled with resources for children. We also give awayhandmade blankets, books, have face painting, do nails and more surprises! Please note the following dates if you would like to participate and be apart of COIPP! We would love to have your help!
Saturday, May 7- This is our first Mothers Day weekend fair. We will be at female visitation from 10-3:30.
Sunday, May 22- This is the time for our yearly Spring Resource Fair during Men's visitation. We will be there for all visitors from 10-3:30.
Sunday, June 12- We will be having a Bowling and Pizza party at Terrace Lanes, across from Frederick High School. This free event will take place between 11-1:00. To reserve a spot call 240 578 5662.
Last week I spoke at the Lions Clubs of Thurmont and Emmitsburg. There were about 80 people there learning about COIPP. Thanks Lions for hosting us.
The Cupcake Run was a huge success. Thank you to all our volunteers who came out to help. It did take a village.
COIPP is proud to be a part of a new program at the Adult Detention Center. We have long been offering Parenting Classes every Wednesday evening. Now we are limiting our sessions to 8-10 women for an eight week period. If they successfully complete the sessions, they will get 5 days off their time. These interactive sessions discuss topics such as discipline, autonomy, street and more. The women are so motivated. It's an honor to work together every Wednesday night.
We have had a great start to the year here at COIPP, but we could use more volunteers! Volunteers are needed! We need people to assist on for the Cupcake Run on August 17 in the morning at Monocacy Village Park near East Street . We need help with registration, cheering on the course, welcoming runners back and more. Please let us know immediately if you can help. Remember, it is the sweetest race in town!!!
The 8th Annual Cupcake Run is almost here. Make sure to register early. All proceeds will go to COIPP and our dear friends at Blessings In a Backpack. This is a wonderful opportunity to support us, support them-and support your own physical fitness. Remember, this is the sweetest race in town!!!
We challenge all schools to put together a team of walkers and runners for the 8th annual Cupcake Run. This year it will be held onSunday, April 17th, in the morning at Monocacy Village Park near East Street. Registration on site will begin at 6:30; the race begins at8:30. It could not be better-you get to exercise, raise money for us, and enjoy a cupcake when done. What a way to begin the day. This is the sweetest race in town!!!
Do we have a deal for you. Join us on Sunday, April 17, in the morning at Monocacy Village Park. You can participate as a walker or a runner in the 8th annual Cupcake Run. This year City Loaf Baked Goods will be selling egg and biscuit or egg, bacon and biscuit breakfast sandwiches-with all proceeds benefitting COIPP and Blessings In A Backpack. What a way to start the day- a walk/run, a cupcake and a homemade biscuit sandwich. That is what I call a great morning!!!
Thank you guidance counselor Deena Michael and students in the Deer Crossing Elementary School Kindness Club. They invited us to speak about COIPP after school today and now they have adopted us for the rest of the year. They are a great group of students. We are honored to know you Kindness Club.
We are thrilled to introduce our intern, Kim Aviles, who comes to us from Family Partnership. We are so happy to have her on board. We hope she has a meaningful experience as she helps us with our mission of serving the children. Welcome Kim. The Cupcake Run is coming back and we need volunteers!
On Sunday, April 17th, we will have the Cupcake 5K Run at Monocacy Village Park off East Street in Frederick. We need all kinds of help for the morning. Please let us know if you are available. We can promise you a great time for two great causes-us and Blessings In A Backpack!
Thank goodness for the blizzard It allowed COIPP the time necessary to review and order 500 books from 'Reading is Fundamental'. In the Fall we were the local Macy' and RIF's chosen non-profit; their support led to today's order. Thank you everyone who participated; our looking/taking library at the Detention center is soon to be filled with terrific new books for the boys and girls.
Save the date! This year's Cupcake Run will be on Sunday April, 17th, in the morning at Monocacy Village Park in Frederick. Once again, we will be sharing the money raised with our friends at Blessings in A Backpack. We are going to need volunteers, volunteers, and more volunteers on the day of the race. If you can help out, please let us know!
Great news keeps coming our way! Just got an email from Love and Company Marketing Agency. Each year at their anniversary they choose a non-profit for their 'Love Fest'. Two years ago they chose Heartley House, last year they chose Blessings In A Backpack, and this year US! They are going to be collecting items for the kids and filling bags so that they will be ready well before our next Resource Fair. We will be presenting a COIPP overview to the employees late next week. What a great community service they are offering.
So many wonderful things keep happening and we can't thank our supporters enough! Thank you!
So many things have happened for COIPP during the holiday season! This year's Silent Auction was a great success. We made over $8,250, and donations continue to come in. This is even more than last year. We thank everyone who donated items, attended the event, or sent us donations. We are already planning for next year and will publicize a "save the Date" as soon as we know when it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It truly did 'take the village.'
Thanks to a Middletown, Md. man who made a generous donation to honor Laura Duncan, a Defense Attorney, and a donation from an wonderful, old friend, COIPP has $600 more in the bank. We cannot wait to increase our offerings to families.
Thank you Doug Zaruba, of Doug Zaruba's Jewelry. The beautiful feather necklace he designed for COIPP has brought in $1200 to our non-profit, for he donates half of the cost for each one sold right back to us. Amazing! If you have not been by his store at 35 North Market Street you are missing an opportunity to see exquisite, artistic, one of a kind jewelry. We just love to stop by!
Looking forward to next week when we will meet with a Mom who is struggling with the incarceration of a husband. The good news is that we will be able to meet with her and chat, give her books that hopefully will help her children through this time, and recommend resources that may help her and the kids out. We are hoping that her kids will join us in some weekend fun activities during the new school year. It is great to have some ways to help this Mom out.
We are always looking for new ideas. If you have some thoughts on things we can do for the children, or how we can best reach out to this population, we would love to hear your thoughts. Just message us and let us know your thinking. We are looking forward to growing in the new year.
Want to volunteer? As we grow in what we do we need all hands on deck. Let us know if you would like to be a part of COIPP!
What a day we had at the library! Thanks to Sprouting Melodies, we had a wonderful time making music and creating ice cream sundaes. Here is to more weekend activities. Thank you to Darcy for leading us in exploring the musical instruments.
Thank you Delaplaine Visual Arts Center for partnering with us and offering a free printmaking class for children and caregivers. Cannot wait until January 25 from 6-7:30 to join in the fun. Hope interested caregivers and children will get in touch and join in.
We were honored to present before the Frederick County Commission For Women. This is a great group that showed lots of interest in COIPP. Proud to be in a county that has such leadership!
We presented at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Encourage anyone you know who is a present state worker or a retiree to donate to COIPP.
Two amazing COIPP days. Saturday was the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society Zumbathon and Sunday was our Resource Fair at the Detention Center. Each event was a tremendous success. The Zumbathon raised almost $800 and the many, many, many Resource Fair items were gone within hours. This is what we're all about.
Thanks to Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society at Hood, under the guidance of advisor Marisel Torres Crespo, and the Zumba instructors Katie, Melissa, Amie, Megan, Sara, Tessa, Nicola, and Rachel, who all volunteered their time, we had a fabulous, successful Zumbathon. What a partnership.
Great things are happening with COIPP! Here are some of our events coming up:
Great Stuff for a Great Cause! Join our special event on Tuesday, December 8. Our Second Annual Silent Auction will be at the Delaplaine Arts and Education Center from 5-8:00 PM. Tickets are $10 and include appetizers, a drink, and the opportunity to bid on fantastic items such as gift cards, jewelry, craft items, and much, much more! To get a ticket, message us at our Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership Facebook page, call us at 240 578 5662 or send us an email by contacting COIPPFrederick@yahoo.com.
Our second annual Resource Fair is Sunday, October 25, from 10-3:00, at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. We will be giving away COIPP handmade blankets, children's resource bags, hygiene supplies, books and more. Rain or shine, we are ready for a great day!
Music, goodies and more! Children and caregivers are invited to join us on Saturday, November 7, at the C Burr Arts Library, for an afternoon of musical instruments, ice cream sundaes- and simply a great day. We are hoping that children of all ages will join us for a fantastic fun afternoon.
Early childhood matters. We will be inaugurating the new resource room at Lucas Village on Wednesday, October 21, at 2:00. There will be puppets, reading books to preschoolers, and great introduction to COIPP.
Great News! We just learned that for the second year we have been chosen for the Maryland Charity Campaign. Encourage all present and retired state employees to donate in our name.
Please contact us if you would like to get involved with COIPP! We are making a difference here in Frederick County!
So many wonderful things are happening with COIPP. If you have noticed, we have a new website! We are excited with how it turned out! We have so many weekly activities that keep us busy.
Wednesday nights at the Detention Center:
Nothing is more humbling that teaching Parenting Class at the Detention Center to women inmates. Though all who voluntarily attend have different backgrounds, experiences and stories, they attend to be the best parent they can be, even if it means parenting from afar. This has been an ongoing project of our group and continues every week. Thanks to the women who join in with meaningful comments and great insights.
We are so very excited to share that Stacey Krantz, the wonderful owner and assigned of In Bloom jewelry, has so very generously chosen our founder, Shari Ostrow Scher, as her hero for the year and designed a beautiful necklace in honor of this award. It is a Gingko Leaf, a piece of nature that, in part, stands for resilience. Stacey is donating all proceeds from necklace sales, minus the cost of materials, to COIPP. These necklaces are simply exquisite! If you know of someone who has been resilient, even if it is you, get in touch with Stacey at inbloomjewelry.com and read about the Heroes fundraiser that she has a started. Stacey is our hero!
We have been very busy ordering Bundles of Books to go to caregivers who complete our workshops that are coming up in the Fall at Head Start and the Housing Authority at Lucas Village. Thanks to a grant from the United way, and the help of The Curious Iguana Bookstore in downtown Frederick, the books are in and ready to be distributed. They will give each participant a beginning young children's library for the home. We have carefully chosen the titles and think they will be a gift to last a very long time.
Walmart Gift Cards:
We have finally distributed all of our Walmart gift cards to families that need our assistance- and it is time for us to get some more. These are cards we give when a family with an incarcerated loved one needs school clothing, food, or basic essentials. So glad we could help out many with acute needs. No child should have to go without.
United Way of Frederick has accepted our application for ‘Baskets of Children’s Books’, to be distributed to caregivers who participate in our ongoing parenting sessions.
The Frederick County Women’s Giving Circle has accepted our application for two scholarships for women who are caregivers and attending Frederick County Community College.