In the News

Early Learning Program Scheduled in Eldred

April 5, 2017 – CARE for Children and McKean County Early Intervention providers are hosting an Early Learning program on Thursday, April 6th at 4:30 p.m. at the Eldred Area Free Library.  The program, “Early Learning Fun and Sign Language for Kids,” is geared for children, birth to 5 years of age.

Parents and children will learn simple signs that follow along with the book From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle.  Children will also participate in gross motor and fine motor activities.  Each family attending will receive a copy of the book and other helpful materials.

The program is free and open to parents and children.

 

CARE for Children Holds Basketball Mini Camp

March 25, 2017 – Thirty-five children attended CARE for Children’s 16th annual basketball mini-camp on Saturday at the Bradford Family YMCA. The camp provides the opportunity for both boys and girls of all abilities to work on gross and fine motor skills, socialization, and physical fitness.

Pictured with CARE therapist, Melanie Rendos, B.S., COTA/L, is Noah Lynch, age 7, a first grader at Port Allegany Elementary School.

“Each year the CARE Basketball Mini Camp is one of the most highly anticipated therapeutic recreation programs on our schedule.  Campers are able to learn about the game in an inclusive environment and have fun with the CARE staff and their friends,” said Ashley Carlson, MOT-OTR/L, CARE for Children’s Pediatric Therapy Services Director.

In addition to CARE’s therapists, teachers, and staff; volunteer coaches from the community were each paired with a team and the coaches worked with their team throughout camp.  Campers visited skill stations which focused on different activities including passing, dribbling, shooting, layups, ball handling and defense; and children also participated in calisthenics and relays.

“CARE for Children and the Bradford Family YMCA are both organizations that strive for the betterment of the community,” said Brent Raabe, Bradford YMCA Branch Manager.  “With these two groups working together, services for children of all abilities have never been stronger and we will continue to focus on building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.”

Each child in attendance received a t-shirt and a basketball. T-shirts were sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bradford.  After camp, lunch was hosted for campers and their family members at Hill United Methodist Church.

 

Rainbow Corner Preschool and Toddler Playgroup Accepting Registrations

March 20, 2017 – CARE for Children’s Rainbow Corner Preschool and Toddler Developmental Playgroup, both located at the Ashley Booth Griffin Center, East Main Street, Bradford, are accepting registrations for the 2017-2018 school year.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is currently registering children who are or will turn 3, 4, and 5.

There is a 3 day program which is offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. and a 5 day program which is offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.  An extended care program is offered daily after preschool from 11:10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., as needed and for an additional daily charge.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the daily schedule is aligned with Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards.  Tuition assistance and scholarships are available for qualified families.

The playgroup is available for children 24-42 months of age.  The playgroups, which are held Monday and Friday from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., focus on social interaction, language development, and age-appropriate structured play.  Children may attend one or both playgroups.

For more information, please call CARE for Children or visit www.careforchildren.info.

 

CARE and the YMCA to Offer Aquabilities for Young Children

February 28, 2017 – CARE for Children, in partnership with the YMCA of the Twin Tiers, is offering a free therapeutic aquatic program beginning Monday, March 6th at the Bradford Family YMCA pool from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Aquabilities is an adaptive therapy-based program for children, ages 6 months through preschool age, and geared for those who receive therapy services through Early Intervention and/or require professional therapeutic programming to develop physical, social and emotional skills.  This is not a swim program or swimming lessons.

The sessions will be led by CARE therapists; and members of the CARE staff and YMCA Aquatic Staff will also be on hand.  Parents will learn therapeutic techniques and exercises in the pool to help their child have fun and reach developmental goals.

Since this is a family-centered activity: a parent, guardian or a responsible, designated adult is required to participate and assist his or her child in the locker room and in the pool.

Sessions will be held on Mondays; March 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th.  Space is limited. Advance registration is required by Friday, March, 3rd, by contacting CARE for Children at 814-362-4621.

 

Zoo Friends Visit Rainbow Corner Preschool

February 22, 2017 – The Erie Traveling Zoo visited Rainbow Corner Preschool on Wednesday.  The program, led by Amy Heisler, the zoo’s offgrounds coordinator, and Donna Christensen, volunteer educator, revolved around animal movement.

Rainbow Corner preschoolers visited with four animal visitors including a box turtle, collared dove, chinchilla, and ferret.  The students learned facts about each animal and talked about their unique movements.  Following the program, preschoolers moved along to music to mimic animal movements.

The Erie Traveling Zoo enables students to go beyond the limits of a book and allows them to see, hear, and touch animals and artifacts while learning at the same time.  The zoo visit is incorporated into the curriculum at Rainbow Corner with animal activities, stories and games.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is operated by CARE for Children and provides early childhood education for children ages 3-5.  It is located at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in Bradford.
CARE Adaptive Ski Outing

February 20, 2017 – CARE for Children held its annual Adaptive Ski Outing at Holiday Valley Ski Resort on Monday, with nine children in attendance.  Each child was paired with one or more volunteer instructors and given expert instruction as part of the Holiday Valley Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program, which is a chapter of Disabled Sports/USA.

Pictured is Nick Barker, age 10, along with volunteer Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program instructors Bob Bredenberg and Kris Segeti.  Barker is the son of Shery Barker of Bradford.  The ski outing was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Port Allegany.  Lunch and skiing were provided by the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program and Todd Busses donated transportation to and from Ellicottville, N.Y.

The Adaptive Ski Outing is just one of many therapeutic recreation and respite programs that CARE provides for children of all abilities. CARE is a non-profit organization providing pediatric services for children in McKean County, Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.

 

Hnath Joins Staff at CARE

January 15, 2017 – Lindsey Hnath, M.S., CCC-SLP, has joined the CARE for Children staff as a full-time Speech-Language Pathologist.

Hnath will provide speech and language therapy for the early intervention program (birth to three) and home-schooled students

“I am excited to work for an organization whose mission of improving the lives of children of all abilities matches so closely to my personal work philosophy,” noted Hnath.  “I am proud to be part of the CARE team of therapists who are truly making a difference in the lives of children in our community.”

Hnath previously worked for the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 as an Early Intervention speech therapist, providing therapy to children ages 3 to 5

Hnath graduated with a Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from California University of Pennsylvania in 2009.  She resides in Wilcox with her husband and daughter.

 

CARE for Children Awards Community CARE Award at Annual Meetingbooth-award-2016

The annual meeting of the CARE for Children Board of Directors was held Thursday evening at the Bradford Club.

The CARE Board of Directors honored Greg and Cherie Booth with the organization’s Community CARE Award.  Tina Martin, executive director, and Mick Marshall, past president of the CARE Board of Directors, presented Mr. and Mrs. Booth with the award.

“The board chose to honor Greg and Cherie Booth as CARE’s capital campaign nears its five year conclusion,” said Marshall.  “It is fitting to honor Greg and Cherie as two true leaders of the campaign, and extend our appreciation for all they do to strengthen CARE for Children as an organization.”

“More than their dedication to the building project and the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center, Greg and Cherie have become true and vocal advocates for CARE’s mission and continue to be avid supporters of our programs and services,” added Martin.

“We are truly honored and humbled that the CARE board selected Cherie and I as this year’s Community CARE Award recipients.  Being involved with this wonderful organization and being able to help so many very deserving children has been a fabulous experience,” said Greg Booth.  “We feel blessed that we have been given the opportunity to help so many families in our community.”

In addition to the Community CARE Award, the board of directors and the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Booth have designated a room in the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in their honor and a tile plaque will be placed in the building as a constant reminder of their outstanding support of the organization.

During the meeting, CARE Board President Karen Gelston, provided a review of CARE’s 2015-2016 fiscal year.  “During the fiscal year, CARE has worked to stabilize funding streams and for the first time in 92 years exceeded $1 million dollars in operating revenues which was independent of capital campaign funds,” noted Gelston.

CARE Board Development Chair, Deborah Price recognized fellow board member Scott Bayline for his longstanding and dedicated service to the organization.  Bayline has served three consecutive terms on the CARE board of directors and will be completing a nine year tenure in December.  New board member, Fred Graham, will begin a three-year term in January 2017.

The CARE Board also honored employees who have reached milestone years of service at the organization.  Tom Ball, board secretary, recognized Tina M. Martin, executive director, for her 15 years of service, including 10 years as executive director.  Other staff reaching milestones included Ashley Carlson, MOT, OTR/L, pediatric therapy services director, 10 years; Ann Kane, PT, physical therapist, 5 years; and Melanie Rendos, B.S., COTA/L, occupational therapy assistant and special instructor, 5 years.

The Community CARE Awards were established by the Board of Directors in 2003 to recognize outstanding contributions to the agency and to the children and families to whom CARE provides service.

Pictured honoring Greg and Cherie Booth, middle, with the Community CARE Award are Executive Director Tina Martin, far left, CARE Board President Karen Gelston, second from left, and Past President of the CARE Board of Directors Mick Marshall, far right.

 

Lena’s Garden Dedicated at CARE for Childrenlenas-garden-ribbon-cutting

September 22, 2016 – Lena’s Garden, in memory of Lena Graham Griffin, was dedicated during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday evening at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center.  The new memorial garden features a walkway, plantings, and seating.  The garden is located on the Russell Boulevard level of the building near the preschool entrance.

Mrs. Griffin began her tenure at CARE (formerly the McKean County Society for Crippled Children) in 1949 as an orthopedic nurse and in 1950 was named executive secretary/director.  During her leadership at the Society, Mrs. Griffin witnessed many changes in the treatment of children with disabilities; as the era of polio, heavy braces, iron lungs, segregation and hopelessness, gave way to new preventives, new treatments, new attitudes, and new hope for children with disabilities.

Mrs. Griffin retired January 1st 1970, with over twenty years of service to the Society.  After her retirement, she continued to volunteer her nursing skills on clinic days working with children of the community.

“Tonight we had a wonderful opportunity to further recognize Lena Graham Griffin and her incredible commitment to children in need,” said Greg Booth, vice president of the CARE board of directors.

“As a result of the continued support of the Graham family and their generosity we dedicated ‘Lena’s Garden’, giving us a permanent memorial to Lena’s leadership, professionalism and compassion.  Her love for ‘our kids’ ultimately led to CARE for Children and the amazing work we do here in Bradford at the Ashley Booth Griffin Care for Children Center,” said Booth.

Mrs. Griffin’s family, friends, and supporters were instrumental in planning, funding, and installation of the memorial garden.  “On behalf of the CARE board of directors, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Graham family and friends for taking the lead on funding this project,” said Karen Gelston, CARE board president, “and also to Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping for the beautiful garden they created at CARE.”

Lena’s Garden is the final project of CARE’s “Building Campaign for the Future of Children of All Abilities.”

 

Car Seat Safety Check Scheduled at CARE for Children Office

September 18, 2016 – Safe Kids Pennsylvania-McKean County Partner and CARE for Children are providing car seat safety checks, by a certified technician, on Tuesday, September 20th from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center at 723 East Main Street in Bradford.

The safety checks are part of Child Passenger Safety Week which is held annually in September. Appointments are requested but not necessary.  To schedule a time call CARE at 362-4621.

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States.  When installed and used correctly, child safety seats can prevent injuries and save lives; child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent (Safe Kids Worldwide).

For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should refer to the following reference for proper child restraint use (Safe Kids Pennsylvania).  These guidelines help determine which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:

  1. For the best possible protection a child must be rear-facing until age 2 in a rear-facing infant or convertible seat.  Children who ride in rear-facing seats have the best protection for the head, neck and spine.  Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an active air bag.
  2. A child in a forward-facing seat must be at least 2 years old and meet the manufacturer’s minimum height and weight.  Children should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, as long as possible.
  3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, they should ride in belt positioning booster seats, in the back seat.  Children from about age 4 to at least age 8 must be placed in a booster seat unless 4’9” tall.  The booster seat can only be used with the vehicle lap and shoulder belt.   Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt must be adjusted so it crosses the center of the shoulder and chest.  If possible, children should continue to use a booster seat if their knees do not bend over the front edge of the vehicle seat when the child is sitting properly with back touching the seat cushion.
  4. When children outgrow their booster seats, (at least eight years of age or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the safety belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the center of the shoulder and chest).

Remember: All children younger than age 13 should ride in the back seat.

 

Twenty-Third CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf TournamentCARE Golf

August 7, 2016 – Tournament Sponsor, Zippo/Case Museum, presented the twenty-third annual CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf Tournament on Sunday.  The event raised over $19,000 and all proceeds benefit CARE’s free community outreach services for children with disabilities; pediatric developmental and preventative screenings; therapeutic recreation programs; child safety initiatives that prevent disabilities and fatalities from accidental injuries; and inclusive early learning programs.

Lead Sponsorship was provided by The Philo & Sarah Blaisdell Foundation, Allegheny Bradford Family of Companies, and Highmark.  CNB Bank was a Flight Sponsor and 8 other business sponsored Half-Flights, including Bob Cummins Construction Company, Carlson Dental Associates, Kessel Construction, Inc., Marshall Insurance Services Inc., Northwest Savings Bank, Santo Vida- Natural Wellness Center, Sundahl & Company Insurance and Shults Toyota.  In addition over 136 donors, businesses and organizations provided Par 3, Tee, Patron, and Friend Sponsorships and in-kind donations of prizes and other services to support the tournament.  Thirty teams comprised of 120 golfers made up the field.

Each year CARE provides distinct services to improve the lives of children of all abilities in McKean County and the surrounding region.  Events like the annual golf tournament make these services and programs possible.

CARE for Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children of all abilities.

Photo Caption:  The team of Keith Stauffer, Jeff Burgess, Josh Stauffer, and Mike Cercone shot a score of 56 to win the CNB Bank Flight at the 23rd annual CARE ‘fore’ Children golf tournament Sunday at Pine Acres Country Club.  Pictured, from left, are Kirk Stauffer, Pine Acres PGA Pro; Mick Marshall, CARE board member and tournament co-chair; Jeff Burgess; Josh Stauffer; Keith Stauffer; Mike Cercone; and Norm Strotman, CARE board member and tournament co-chair.

 

Gold Medal for CARE Kids at Summer CampCARE UWBA Rec Camp 7-28-16

July 28, 2016 – CARE for Children’s Therapeutic Recreation Day Camp for children who receive school-based therapy services is funded in part this summer through community impact funding through the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.  The camp is being held over eight days in June, July, and August with many activities featuring an Olympics theme.

“CARE’s Summer Day Camp gives our therapists and staff the opportunity to interact with our students in an informal setting and to work on gross and fine motor skills while having fun,” said Ashley Carlson, MOT, OTR/L, CARE for Children’s pediatric therapy services director.  “We are grateful to our partners at the United Way, Pitt-Bradford, Todd Busses of Eldred, Good Times of Olean and Pine Acres who help us make an array of exciting activities possible.”

During the day camp, CARE kids take part in inclusive activities such as arts and crafts, swimming, story sessions, music, and gym sessions. The camp is hosted each year at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Sports and Fitness Center with some days featuring field trips to Good Times of Olean and Pine Acres to golf.

Summer day camp is one of the many therapeutic recreation programs that CARE offers each year, which serves as an extension of traditional therapy services and provides children with disabilities the opportunity to socialize, try new things, and the program hopes to promote life-long health and well-being.

 

CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf Tournament

July 24, 2016 – Pine Acres Country Club will host the 23rd annual CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf Tournament, Sunday, August 7, 2016.  Tournament sponsor is the Zippo/Case Museum.

The tournament is a four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.  Flighting is based on the team member with the lowest handicap.

The entry fee is $45 for Pine Acres members and $55 for non-members, which includes green fees, food, and refreshments on the course.  The tournament has a total purse of $3,500 based on 35 teams; there are also prizes on par 3 holes and door prizes sponsored by local businesses.

Over 100 local businesses, organizations, and donors support this annual event.

All proceeds from the tournament benefit free outreach services for children with disabilities; pediatric developmental and preventative screenings; therapeutic recreation programs; child safety initiatives that prevent disabilities and fatalities from accidental injuries; and inclusive early learning programs which give young children a bright start to lifelong learning.

To field a team, please contact Kirk Stauffer, PGA Pro, at 814-362-2005.  Carts are an additional fee and can be reserved when registering a team.

To find out about tournament sponsorship opportunities, please contact Leslie Kallenborn at CARE for Children at 814-362-4621.

 

CARE Holds Adaptive Golf Outing at Pine AcresCARE Adapt Golf Dana

July 13, 2016 – Pine Acres Country Club sponsored CARE for Children’s Adaptive Golf Outing for children of all abilities on Wednesday afternoon.  Pictured is CARE physical therapist Dana Pence, who is helping Brady Haney,8, on the driving range.  Brady is the son of Josh and Joy Haney of Bradford.

An additional 13 children ages 6 to 16 hit on the driving range, practiced on the putting green and hit balls on the course under the volunteer instruction of PGA pro Kirk Stauffer.

The CARE Adaptive Golf Outing is part of CARE’s therapeutic recreation program for children who receive school-based therapy services.

The program is funded in part by the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.  Transportation was donated by Todd Busses of Eldred.

 

 

Local Organizations Partner to Provide Bicycle Helmetshelmet fitting

May 26, 2016 – CARE for Children, the lead agency for McKean County Partner- Safe Kids Pennsylvania, has partnered with the Bradford Area School District and the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. to promote bicycle safety and helmet use through a school-based program for Kindergarten students in the Bradford Area School District.

Staff members from CARE for Children and volunteers from the United Way and the Kiwanis Club of Bradford are providing a brief bike safety program to each Kindergarten class at George G. Blaisdell Elementary School throughout the week of May 23rd.

“The school-based program’s goal is to support parents’ efforts to keep their children safe and injury free while on their bikes, scooters and skateboards,” according to Kimberly Engstrom, M.Ed., CARE Preschool Director and bike safety educator.

“Bicycle helmets are the best protection against head and brain injury, and a helmet is most effective when fit properly.  When parents reinforce helmet use; children are more likely to use this injury preventing safety item,” Engstrom added.

Through Community Impact funding from the United Way, each Kindergarten student received a free bicycle helmet which was properly fitted by a trained helmet fitter.  This program will provide helmets for over 180 students.   Students also received an identification sticker for parents to complete and place inside the helmet for emergency contact information.

“When reviewing the request for funding for this program, the UWBA Board of Directors was not only impressed with, but in agreement with, the notion of targeting the younger age group for bicycle safety and promoting helmet use.  Oftentimes, it may be more difficult to change the habits of older kids, whereas a five or six year-old may be just learning to ride a bike so wearing a helmet becomes part of the routine from the beginning,” said Mandi Wilton Davis, Executive Director of the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.

Davis also noted, “The amount of children and families being impacted by this allocation is great.  This was a wonderful project, and speaking on behalf of myself and the Board, we’re very proud to have been part of it.  And, we can’t wait to see those helmets being put to use!”

“Many parents don’t realize that bicycles helmets are mandatory in Pennsylvania for any child under age 12,” said Engstrom.

Helmets are also required for children who are riding in a bicycle restraining seat or in a trailer being towed by a bicycle. Children’s toys known as “big wheels” are excluded.  The bike helmet law is intended to encourage children to wear helmets. People cited for violating the law will have their citation dismissed if they buy a helmet.

CARE for Children will fit children with bike helmets by appointment.  Parents can call the agency at 814-362-4621 or by email at reception@careforchildren.info.

According to the National Safe Kids campaign, bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by almost 90 percent. The group’s research also shows that every dollar spent on bicycle helmets saves three dollars in medical costs. The maximum fine for people who don’t buy a helmet is $25.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport.  Properly fitted bike helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent; however, only 45 percent of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet.

McKean County Partner- Safe Kids Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort of local organizations, businesses, and individuals who support child safety and injury prevention efforts targeted to local needs.  CARE for Children provides the leadership and fiscal oversight and support of the program.  For more information go to www.careforchildren.info.

 

CARE for Children to Hold Early Learning Summer Enrichment ProgramsCARE Summer EL programs2

May 25, 2016 – Rainbow Corner Preschool, part of CARE for Children, will be hosting a series of Early Learning Summer Programs in June, July, and early August, for both preschool age children and toddlers, at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in Bradford.

The Preschool Day Camp, for children aged three to five years, will focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities and promote Early Literacy.  Two four-week sessions will focus on key early learning areas, fun activities, special guests, and outdoor play on CARE’s playground which will be used as an outdoor classroom.

A Toddler Playgroup is available for toddlers who are 24 to 42 months of age.  The summer playgroups will encourage children to explore the world around them by using their senses, creativity, and imagination.  The playgroup will promote language skills through music, story-telling, pre-literacy activities, and creative play in a language rich environment.

Children do not need to be enrolled at Rainbow Corner Preschool or Toddler Playgroup to attend the summer programs.  Parents may register their child for one or both sessions.

There is a fee to attend the summer programs.  For more information, contact CARE for Children.  Registration forms are also available on the CARE website at www.careforchildren.info/summerearlylearning.

 

Rainbow Corner Preschool Celebrates Week of the Young ChildCARE STEM Program 4-14-16

April 15, 2016 – The week of April 10th through April 16th is the national celebration of the “Week of the Young Child”.  CARE for Children’s Early Learning program hosted several activities to mark the occasion, promote early learning in the community and promote family engagement.

The highlight of the week, Rainbow Corner Preschool hosted a “Make It and Take It” STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program, on Thursday evening, for preschoolers and their families.  Students participated in hands-on activities, including planting seeds and other activities focused on the environment.  Activity packets with materials for various STEM projects were prepared for students and their families to complete at home.  A pizza party finished the evening. The program was made possible through CARE’s partnership with the Bradford Area School District and Race to the Top grant funding.

Students participated in several other fun and educational activities during the week including:

Musical guest and guitarist Jim Ronan visited Rainbow Corner to play beach songs. Randy Durner, Reverend Stacey Fussell and Bob Jarrett, members of the Bradford Kiwanis Club, helped preschoolers prepare English muffin pizzas for a snack.  Preschoolers participated in the tenth annual Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child program, which focuses on the importance of early literacy development in preschoolers.  CARE board members Mick Marshall and Anne Hardy visited Rainbow Corner to read Kite Day: A Bear and Mole Story, by Will Hillenbrand, the 2016 PA One Book selection.  Each child received a copy of the book to take home and share with their family.

Other highpoints from the week included specially designed lessons centered on the week’s beach theme and included a beach day, silly sock day, favorite t-shirt day, and pajama day.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is an inclusive developmental program for children ages 3 to 5 years old and also hosts a toddler developmental playgroup for children ages 24 to 42 months of age.  For more information visit www.careforchildren.info.

Pictured:  Claire Henretta, age 3, and her father Matt Henretta, work together to prepare a container for planting flower seeds.  This was one of the hand-on projects featured as part of Rainbow Corner Preschool’s “Make It and Take It” STEM night for preschoolers and their families. 

 

CARE for Children Announces Program on Seizures

April 15, 2016 – CARE for Children, a non-profit organization that provides services to children of all abilities, will be sponsoring a free program to address “Children and Seizures” with Andrea Zonneveld, Community Education and Events Coordinator from the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania (EFWCP).

The special program for parents and/or caregivers of children with a medical condition will be held the evening of Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in the Mukaiyama University Room.  The program will include dinner, giveaways and materials.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes an individual to have recurring seizures.  “Children and Seizures” will address how to recognize seizures, how to respond with the appropriate first aid, how epilepsy is treated and how those treatments could affect learning.  The program will also introduce some of the many programs and services offered by the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania. The foundation is a private, non-profit service organization providing public education and supportive services to individuals and families affected by epilepsy/seizure disorders.

Andrea Zonneveld has worked for the EFWCP for over 5 years, providing seizure recognition and first aid training to schools and other community organizations throughout the western Pennsylvania, organizing the foundation’s involvement in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community in Erie, and helping to plan social events for families.  Prior to joining the EFWCP, she earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University.

The program is free and open to parents/caregivers (2 per family).  Advance registration is required by calling CARE for Children at (814) 362-4621 or email reception@careforchildren.info.  Health professionals, educators, therapists, and community members may also register for the evening program.  There is a $12.00 fee per person.  The registration deadline is Wednesday, April 27th.

There will be a separate program Wednesday, May 4th at 2:00 p.m. at CARE for Children that is open to Early Learning and Early Intervention professionals.

 

Rainbow Corner Preschool and Toddler Playgroup Accepting Registrations

March 29, 2016 – CARE for Children’s Early Learning Programs are accepting registrations for the upcoming school year.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is currently registering children who will be 3, 4, and 5 by October 1st for the 2016-2017 school year.

Two schedules are available for the 2016-2017 school year.  A 3 day program will be offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. and a 5 day program will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.  An extended care program will be offered daily from 11:10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., as needed and for an additional daily charge.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the daily schedule is aligned with Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards.  Tuition assistance and scholarships are available for qualified families.

A toddler developmental playgroup is also available for children 24-42 months of age.  The playgroups will be held Monday and Friday from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and focus on social interaction, language development, and age-appropriate structured play.  Children may attend one or both playgroups.

Rainbow Corner Preschool and the Toddler Developmental Playgroup are located at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center on East Main Street in Bradford.  For more information, please call CARE for Children or visit www.careforchildren.info.

 

CARE for Children Holds Basketball Mini Camp

March 18, 2016 – CARE for Children’s held its 15th annual basketball mini-camp on Saturday at the Bradford Family YMCA with over 50 children in attendance.  Sponsored by the Bradford Rotary Club, the camp is one of CARE’s most anticipated therapeutic recreation programs each year.

Pictured is CARE Occupational Therapy Assistant, DeAnn Persichini and Braelyn Taylor, age 7, a first grader at Port Allegany Elementary School. Braelyn is the daughter of Mark and Corrie Taylor of Port Allegany.

The camp provides the opportunity for both boys and girls of all abilities to work on gross and fine motor skills, socialization, and physical fitness.

The basketball camp aims for participants to learn about the game in an inclusive environment and have fun with their peers.   CARE for Children’s therapy staff, teachers, and community volunteers were on hand to help adapt components of the game.  Volunteers manned skills stations which focused on different activities including passing, dribbling, shooting, layups, ball handling and defense.

Each child in attendance received a t-shirt and a basketball.  Lunch for all participants was donated by Togi’s Restaurant.

 

PNC Bank EITC ContributionCARE-PNC EITC March2016

March 8, 2016 – PNC Bank recently made a $10,000 contribution to Rainbow Corner Preschool, an approved Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization, through the State of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC).  Contributions made through the EITC program help CARE provide scholarships to eligible Pre-K students to attend preschool, making early learning more accessible and affordable for working families.

Ainsley Haffner, assistant branch manager at PNC Bank in Bradford, recently visited Rainbow Corner Preschool at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center.  She spent time in the early learning classroom and read students the book 10 Little Rubber Ducks.

Preschoolers (l-r) Aaron Forstner and Carly Haney are shown with (l-r) Jan Stiles, preschool aide; Haffner; and Kimberly Engstrom, preschool director.  Forstner, 4, is the son of Travis and Julie Walter and Haney, 3, is the daughter of Joshua and Jennifer Haney.

 

 

 

 

Northwest Savings Bank EITC ContributionCARE EITC Northwest photo2016

February 26, 2016 – Northwest Savings Bank recently made a $3,000.00 contribution to Rainbow Corner Preschool, an approved Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization, through the State of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC).  Contributions made through the EITC program help CARE provide tuition to eligible Pre-K students to attend preschool, making early learning more accessible and affordable for working families.  Northwest Savings Bank’s contribution will be for the 2016-2017 school year.

Norm Strotman, senior vice president, regional commercial lender at Northwest Savings Bank, visited with Rainbow Corner Preschoolers at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center on Friday.  Preschoolers Maddelina Romero and Carmen Comes are shown with Kimberly Engstrom, preschool director and Strotman.  Romero, 4, is the daughter of Santana Romero and Jesse Poe of Bradford and Comes, 3, is the son of Blair and Andrew Comes of Bradford.

 

Zoo Day at Rainbow Corner PreschoolIMG_4199

February 25, 2016 – The Erie Traveling Zoo visited CARE for Children on Thursday.  The program, led by Amy Heisler, the zoo’s offgrounds coordinator, and Donna Christensen, volunteer educator, revolved around the rhyming alphabet book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault.

Preschoolers from Rainbow Corner Preschool listened to the story and watched the alphabet come to life with four animal visitors including an alligator, bunny, chinchilla, and dove.  The students practiced letter identification and sounds while learning about each animal.

The Erie Traveling Zoo enables students to go beyond the limits of a book and allows them to see, hear, and touch animals and artifacts while learning at the same time.  The zoo visit is incorporated into the curriculum at Rainbow Corner with animal activities, stories and games.

 

CARE Holds Adaptive Ski OutingCARE Skiing Landan

February 15, 2016 – CARE for Children held its annual Adaptive Ski Outing at Holiday Valley Ski Resort on Monday, with eight children in attendance.  Each child was paired with one or more volunteer instructors and given expert instruction as part of the Holiday Valley Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program, which is a chapter of Disabled Sports/USA.

Pictured is Landan Pierotti, age 9, along with long-time Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program volunteer, Mary Ellen Racich.  Pierotti, is the son of Holly Reed of Bradford.  The outing was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Port Allegany and Todd Busses donated transportation to and from Ellicottville, N.Y.

The Adaptive Ski Outing is just one of many therapeutic recreation and respite programs that CARE provides for children of all abilities.

 

 

CARE for Children Holds Annual Meeting

December 4, 2015 – The Annual Meeting of the CARE for Children Board of Directors was held Thursday evening at the Bradford Club.

Karen Gelston, board president, provided a review of CARE’s 2014-2015 fiscal year.

“Last year was a busy and rewarding year for CARE for Children which included the completion of a three year strategic plan, an increase in the overall number of therapy services provided, and the addition of Social Work to the roster of services,” Gelston said.

She also noted, “The board is pleased to recognize the contributions of staff members who have reached organizational milestones and the work of the entire staff.  They work hard to ensure we meet the mandate of our mission – to improve the lives of children of all abilities.”

The CARE Board of Directors, for the first time, honored all employees who have reached milestone years of service at the organization.

Greg Booth, board vice president, recognized employees, including Kimberly Engstrom, M.Ed., preschool director, for her 15 years of service. During her tenure at CARE, Engstrom has worked to build the early learning program into a high quality, progressive program that meets the needs of typical children and children with delays and disabilities.

Other staff reaching milestones included: 10 plus years – DeAnn Persichini, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy Assistant; Janice Stiles, Preschool Aide; Valorie Coast, Finance and Office Manager; Tina M. Martin, Executive Director; and 5 plus years – Kimberly Miller, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist; Dana Pence, PT, Physical Therapist; Barbara McGarry, Preschool Aide; and Ashley Carlson, MOT, OTR/L, Pediatric Therapy Services Director.

 

 

CARE for Children Accepting Reservations for Annual Meeting

The CARE for Children Board of Directors will host a reception as a part of their annual meeting on Thursday, December 3 at 6:00 pm at the Bradford Club.

During the event, the Board will honor CARE staff who have reached the 5, 10 and 15 year milestones for years of service to the organization.  The cocktail reception will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.  Following the program, guitarist Jim Ronan will perform.

Reservations for the annual meeting will be accepted through Monday, November 30th, and can be made by calling the CARE office or by emailing reception@careforchildren.info.  The cost is $20.00 per person.

Click here for the invitation.

 

CARE to Offer Family Support Program on Nutrition

November 16, 2015 – CARE for Children, a non-profit organization that provides services to children of all abilities, will be sponsoring a free, family support program to address “Is Your Child a Picky Eater?” with Mariann Kahle, RD, LDN as presenter.

The program will be held Thursday, November 19, 2015 at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center at 6:00pm. Kahle, a Wellness Coordinator at Medicor Associates, will offer strategies on how to combat picky eating and how to introduce a balanced diet into a picky eater’s life.

Topics covered will include common causes of picky eating and feeding issues; and the the impact of child’s diet and nutrition on a child’s growth.

CARE Occupational Therapist, Ashley Carlson, MOT, OTR/L will be on hand to discuss food-related sensory issues and ways to overcome these issues.

To register for the program, contact CARE for Children by phone at (814) 362-4621 or email reception@careforchildren.info. The program is free and open to parents and caregivers of children of any age. Childcare is available during the program for children age two and up but advance registration is required.

This Family Support Program is funded by a United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. Community Impact Grant.

 

CARE to Offer Monthly Best Baby Playgroup for Infants and Toddlers
October 19, 2015 – CARE for Children is offering a monthly Best Baby Playgroup, to be held the third Wednesday of the month, October through May. The playgroup begins Wednesday, October 21st, and will be held at the Bradford Area Public Library, Early Learning Center at 6:00 p.m.

The free, informal playgroups are geared for babies, toddlers, and parents and will include a short activity, a chance for children to play, and an opportunity for families to network. The playgroups will be led by CARE teachers and therapists.

CARE for Children’s Best Baby Series of playgroups and workshops promote parents as their children’s first and best teachers and focuses on supporting the unique developmental needs of children birth to 24 months. The program is funded in part by a Community Impact grant from the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.

 

 

Seneca Resources Donates $2,000 to CARE for ChildrenCARE CO Detector Program photo
October 13, 2015 —Seneca Resources, the exploration and production segment of National Fuel Gas Company, has donated $2,000 to CARE for Children in support of the nonprofit organization’s Child Safety and Injury Prevention program.

CARE for Children, the lead agency for Safe Kids Pennsylvania – McKean County Partner, aims to promote the prevention of childhood injuries in McKean County through education, collaboration and advocacy.

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from Seneca Resources which will help us launch a carbon monoxide detector program for families in need,” said Tina Martin, executive director at CARE. “This gift will enable us to purchase carbon monoxide detectors, which are an expensive safety item, and help educate families about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that you cannot see, taste or smell. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, clothes dryers, water heaters, or cars left running in garages. Each year, 184 children in the United States die due to carbon monoxide poisoning and more than 20,000 children visit the emergency room (Safe Kids Worldwide).

CARE’s carbon monoxide detector program aims to provide a free detector and safety information to families who meet the following guidelines: McKean County residents with one or more children in the home; financial need; and must participate in a short survey at least thirty days after receipt of the carbon monoxide detector. To be eligible for the program, a short application must be filled out by the requesting family and all guidelines must be met.

For more information on the carbon monoxide detector program, please contact CARE for Children at 814-362-4621 or visit www.careforchildren.info.

CARE for Children is a non-profit organization which provides child safety and injury prevention initiatives, pediatric therapy services, early learning programs, and community outreach services for children of all abilities in McKean County, Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.

Seneca Resources Corporation, the exploration and production segment of National Fuel Gas Company, explores for, develops, and purchases national gas and oil reserves in California and Appalachia. Additional information about Seneca and National Fuel Gas Company is available at http://nationalfuelgas.com

Photo Caption: Chris Spaich, firefighter/paramedic (left), and Chris Salerno, firefighter/EMT (right), from the City of Bradford Fire Department visited the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center on Tuesday and reviewed carbon monoxide safety tips. Spaich and Salerno are shown demonstrating how to properly install a carbon monoxide detector with (from left) Chris Gibble, CARE Social Worker/Outreach Coordinator; Kylie Atteberry, CARE Speech-Language Pathologist; and Atteberry’s son, Griffin. Carbon monoxide detectors are best installed in a central location near sleeping areas and at least fifteen feet away from heating or cooking appliances. A carbon monoxide detector should never be blocked by furniture, curtains or other objects, as restricted airflow can affect its function. CARE for Children is launching a carbon monoxide detector program for families in need through a contribution from Seneca Resources.

 

 

Early Childhood Professional Training Opportunity AnnouncedHendrickson OT
September 29, 2015 – CARE for Children and the McKean County Department of Human Services will be sponsoring an early learning professional training, presented by Rene Hendrickson, OTR/L, Behavior Concerns: Are They Sensory Related?

The training will be held Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Bradford Area Public Library from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Topics will include information and strategies for distinguishing between sensory-based and non-sensory based behaviors; intervention strategies and techniques; and an overview of sensory processing disorder. Hands-on sensory activities will be included in the training.

The training will be geared for early intervention providers and service coordinators; educators; early childhood professionals; therapeutic support staff; school counselors; and para-professionals. Parents of children who may have sensory concerns are welcome to attend and full scholarships are available for parents or caregivers.
Rene Hendrickson, OTR/L received her occupational therapy degree from the University of Florida. She began her career in adult rehabilitation and long term care; and for the last twenty years has worked predominantly in the school setting.

Hendrickson has provided staff development training to school districts and private preschools addressing handwriting and handwriting readiness, sensory disorders and school based interventions, providing environmental modifications to enhance sensory functioning, and evaluating and providing compensation strategies for visual perception deficits related to school function.

Hendrickson maintains her occupational therapy licensure in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. She resides in Hockessin, Delaware.
The professional training is 5 early intervention infant/toddler hours or Act 48 hours. To register for the training, contact CARE for Children by phone at (814) 362-4621 or email at reception@careforchildren.info. Registration fee for the professional training is $40.00 and includes workshop materials and light refreshments. The registration deadline is Wednesday, October 7th.

Rene Hendrickson, shown above, introduces a client to the therapy ball to improve body awareness during an occupational therapy session.

 

Car Seat Safety Check at CARECARE Car Seat Check3

September 18, 2015 – A car seat safety check was held Friday at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in Bradford during Child Passenger Safety Week.  Corporal Lance Schimp, PA State Police Kane Barracks, at left, and Dan Woods, Deputy, McKean County Sheriff’s Office, are shown checking the fit of a car seat for Jordan Mawn, age 2.  Jordan is the son of Marcy and Shawn Mawn of Eldred.   Schimp and Woods, both certified child passenger safety technicians, helped educate families about choosing the right car seat for their child and checked to ensure car sears were installed properly.  Twelve car seats were checked at the event which was sponsored by Safe Kids Pennsylvania – McKean County Partner, The Pennsylvania State Police, and CARE for Children.

National statistics show that three out of four children are not as secure in the car as they could be because their car seats are not being used correctly (NHTSA).  Child Passenger Safety Week aims to generate awareness about child car safety and highlights the importance of selecting and correctly using the proper child restraints (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seat, seat belt).

 

Car Seat Safety Check Scheduled for Friday at CARE for Children Offices

September 16, 2015 – The Pennsylvania State Police, Safe Kids Pennsylvania-McKean County Partner and CARE for Children are collaborating to provide car seat safety checks as part of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 13-19, 2015) during an event on Friday, September 18th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center at 723 East Main Street in Bradford.

The State Police will have certified technicians available to provide on-site safety seat inspections, and CARE staff will be on hand to pass out child passenger safety information. No appointment is necessary but if you wish to schedule a time call CARE at 362-4621.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children ages 1 to 19 in the United States. When installed and used correctly, child safety seats can prevent injuries and save lives; child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4 (Safe Kids Worldwide).

For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should refer to the following 4 Steps for Kids (Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Safety Violations/Child Passenger Safety Laws) guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:

  1. For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum of age one and at least 20 pounds.
  2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum age one and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age four and 40 pounds).
  3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age eight or when they are 4’9” tall).
  4. When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age eight or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).

Remember: All children younger than age 13 should ride in the back seat.

Safe Kids Pennsylvania- McKean County Partner is a collaboration of community organizations, business and individuals dedicated to promoting child safety and injury prevention through education, collaboration and advocacy. CARE for Children is the lead agency for Safe Kids Pennsylvania- McKean County Partner.

 

Twenty-Second CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf TournamentCARE Golf Winners and Sponsors website
August 2, 2015 – Pine Acres Country Club hosted the twenty-second annual CARE ‘fore’ Children Golf Tournament on Sunday.  Approximately $18,000 was raised and all proceeds from the event benefit CARE’s free community outreach services for children with disabilities; pediatric developmental and preventative screenings; therapeutic recreation programs; child safety initiatives that prevent disabilities and fatalities from accidental injuries; and inclusive early learning programs.

Zippo Manufacturing Company and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company were the overall tournament sponsors. Lead sponsorship was provided by Richard S. Johnson and Marlene Ericson. CNB Bank, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Northwest Savings Bank were flight sponsors.

Seventy-five businesses and organizations provided flight, half-flight, par 3, tee, patron, and friend sponsorships for the tournament and over 65 businesses and individuals provided in-kind donations of prizes for the golfers and other services to support the tournament. Thirty-two teams comprised of 128 golfers made up the field.

Each year CARE provides distinct services to improve the lives of children of all abilities in McKean County and the surrounding region. Events like the annual golf tournament make these services and programs possible.

Pictured left are Richard Johnson, CARE board member and lead sponsor; Gary Winner, Keith Stauffer, Josh Stauffer, and Eric Hoops, winners of the CNB Bank flight; Kirk Stauffer, Pine Acres PGA Pro; and Bunny Comilla, CARE board member and Zippo tournament sponsor representative.

 

 

CARE Adaptive Golf OutingNewsAdaptive Golf Dana and Logan

July 15, 2015 – Pine Acres Country Club sponsored CARE for Children’s Adaptive Golf Outing for children of all abilities on Wednesday afternoon. Pictured is CARE Physical Therapist, Dana Pence, helping Logan Wyant, age 6, with his form.  Logan is the son of Laci and Gavin Wyant of Bradford.

An additional ten children aged 6 to 14 hit on the driving range, practiced on the putting green and then hit balls on the course under the volunteer instruction of PGA Pro Kirk Stauffer. The CARE Adaptive Golf Outing is part of CARE for Children’s therapeutic recreation program for children who receive school based therapy services and/or have permanent disabilities. The program is funded in part by the Rotary Club of Bradford and therapeutic staff time is supported by funding from the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.  Transportation was donated by Todd Busses of Eldred, PA.

 

 

 

Orak Grotto Sponsors Summer Day Camp for CARE KidsCARE Summer Camp

June 25, 2015– The Orak Grotto’s annual Tag Days recently raised close to $700 to support scholarships for CARE for Children’s summer day camp for children with developmental and physical disabilities. The camp is being held over nine days in June, July, and August at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in Bradford.

During the day camp, CARE kids have an opportunity to take part in inclusive activities such as open gym, crafts, adaptive swimming, gross motor sessions and field trips; including a day at Pine Acres Country Club for adaptive golf with PGA Pro Kirk Stauffer.

Summer day camp is one of the many therapeutic recreation programs that CARE offers each year, which serves as an extension of traditional therapy services and provides children with disabilities the opportunity to socialize, try new things, and promotes health and well-being.

The Orak Grotto has generously supported summer camp for CARE kids and their families for over 45 years, allowing hundreds of children with disabilities to experience summer camp. Since 2002, CARE for Children has received more than $27,000 from the Tag Days fundraiser.

Pictured, from left: Melanie Rendos, B.S., COTA, CARE occupational therapy assistant and Katlyn Hillard, M.Ed., CARE summer recreation teacher, give CARE kid Carmine Calderone, age 14, son of Jennifer Alcock, a helping hand on the balance beam during an open gym session at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. CARE’s summer day camp is made possible by the Orak Grotto’s annual Tag Days.

 

McKean Partner of Safe Kids PA RECEIVES CRIBS FOR KIDS® MINI-GRANT

June 17, 2015 – Safe Kids Pennsylvania-McKean County partner recently received a grant from Cribs for Kids® National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative that will enable the organization to provide safe sleep education to parents and caregivers along with a Safe Sleep Survival Kit; comprised of a Graco® Pack ‘n Plays®, Halo® SleepSack, Crib Sheet with Safe Sleep Message, Charlie’s Kids Sleep Baby Safe and Snug book, ABC Magnet, Soothie Pacifier, and Safe Sleep Educational Material and DVD-to families who could not, otherwise, afford safe sleeping environments for their infants.

The local Department of Health Office will house the cribs and provide parent education to families who receive the free cribs.

“This grant will allow us to help parents who do not have the means to purchase a crib or are using an outdated crib to ensure a safe sleep environment for their baby”, said Deb Olson, RN, PA Department of Health.

The local partnership is made up of organizations and individuals who promote child safety and injury prevention targeted to local needs and is one of 24 recipients of the 2015 Cribs for Kids® Mini-Grant Program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. CARE for Children is the lead agency for the partnership.

Cribs for Kids®, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is an infant safe-sleep education program that helps to reduce the risk of injury and death of infants due to unsafe sleep environments.  In addition to safety approved cribs, Cribs for Kids®partners throughout the country provide educational materials regarding ‘safe sleeping’ for infants as well as other safety tips to protect babies from sleep-related deaths, including asphyxia, suffocation and SIDS. For more information visit www.cribsforkids.org.

 

Local Rotary Donates Therapy Equipment to CARE for ChildrenCARE Rotary Donation June 2015

June 3, 2015 – The Rotary Club of Bradford, along with matching grant funds from Rotary District #7280, recently donated $2,980 to CARE for Children for the purchase of a vestibulator.

A vestibulator is a swing system which helps provide neuro-developmental and sensory integration therapy for children on the Autism spectrum and children with other developmental disabilities.  When used with various swings, the vestibulator provides a means to stimulate areas of the brain and it enables therapists to work on range exercises to help children achieve normal developmental milestones, while having fun.  It features a 360-degree vertical rotation system for a smooth, unrestricted range of movement.

The swing pictured was purchased with an indoor stationary system and additional swings. The swings can be used either indoors or outdoors on the playground.   The vestibulator will be used for therapy in the sensory room at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center.   CARE also uses a vestibulator with children who receive school-based services, and that vestibulator is housed at various schools in the district. The swings purchased can be used at both sites.

The Bradford and Kane Rotary Clubs, along with the school districts organized the first orthopedic clinics for children with disabilities in 1924. This led to the formation of the McKean County Society for Crippled Children which later evolved into the McKean County Easter Seals Society and since 2002 has been known as CARE for Children.

Each year the Bradford Rotary Club donates a portion of club member’s dues to support the Rotary Kids Special Assistance Fund at CARE. The fund provides families with children with disabilities help with expenses related to therapy or medical expenses/visits, emergency assistance, and help with the purchase of adaptive equipment not covered by insurance. Rotary, through a generous annual allocation, has supported therapeutic recreation programs like the CARE Basketball Mini Camp, providing unique and therapeutic activities for children with disabilities and their families.

Pictured on the playground of the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center, Malek Slater, age 3, a preschooler at Rainbow Corner, along with (front left to right) Kimberly Engstrom, M. Ed., Preschool Director/Developmentalist and Ashley Carlson, MOT, OTR/L, Pediatric Therapy Services Director, who are demonstrating a vestibular swing which can also be used with an indoor system purchased with a gift from the Bradford Rotary Club and matched by the District Rotary. Looking on are Robin Borland, Bradford Rotary Club President and George Evans, Assistant Governor, Rotary District #7280 and Secretary of the Bradford Rotary Club. The swingset and an adaptive swing were donated by the District Rotary in 2013. Malek is the son of Tawnya and Daniel Slater of Bradford.

 

VFW Makes Contribution to CARECARE VFW donation 2

May 29, 2015 – Lt. John C. Roche Post 212 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently made a $1,000 contribution to CARE for Children’s Annual Fund, which supports pediatric therapy, therapeutic recreation, early childhood education, and child safety initiatives that enrich the lives of children in McKean County and the surrounding region.

Pictured at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center playground are Ron Peters, Bradford VFW incoming post commander; Kylie Atteberry, CARE speech/language pathologist; Karissa Chamberlain, Rainbow Corner Preschool student, and Ashley Carlson, CARE pediatric therapy services director. Chamberlain, age 3, is the daughter of Shane Chamberlain and Angela Stidd.

 

CARE for Children Dedicates New Adaptive PlaygroundCARE Playground Ribbon Cutting

May 27, 2015 – CARE for Children dedicated its new adaptive playground during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in Bradford. The playground is geared for children 2 to 7 years of age and the playground was a major initiative as the organization completes the final stages of its building project.

The playground is designed to be accessible by children of all abilities and will also be used as an outdoor classroom for CARE’s Rainbow Corner Preschool and Toddler Developmental Playgroup.

A prominent feature of the new playground is Ryan’s Rainbow Lodge Play House. The play house was made possible largely by a senior project coordinated by former Bradford Area High School students Rachel Anderson and Marissa Cobb. The money raised for the benefit was given to CARE’s building campaign, in memory of Rachel’s cousin Ryan Moonan, and designated to the playground.

Ryan’s mother Martha Morris and Ryan’s family and friends were instrumental in planning and funding the play house for the site. Martha wanted the playhouse to mirror Ryan’s love of the outdoors and nature and have it be functional as a spot for outdoor instruction as well as play.

“We are so happy that Ryan’s family has provided this special spot for the children who attend CARE’s early learning programs and who participate in CARE’s summer therapeutic recreation programs,” said Tina Martin, executive director. “Martha and her family not only raised the funds for the lodge but also made curtains, decorated the space, purchased easels, bought and stained child-size Adirondack furniture, and overall made a special place that children will enjoy for years to come.”

In addition to the play house, the playground features a large play structure, playhouses, picnic tables constructed by the Carpentry Class at FCI McKean, and a raised bed garden.

Other lead gifts included the swing set and adaptive swing from Rotary District #7280. An additional sixty individual donors and organizations have contributed to CARE’s playground project including in-kind gifts of services which were instrumental in site preparation and provided by American Refining Group, Cline Oil Company, Lang Surveying, CMB Landscaping and CJ Wallace Engineering.

CARE is still accepting donations to the building campaign. The campaign is at 85% of its 2.1 million dollar goal. Gifts can be designated to the playground as well.

 

Bradford Area School District Autism Awareness Art Auction Supports CARE2015 BASD Art Auction

The Bradford Area School District raised $2,539.86 at the second annual Autism Awareness Art Auction which was held recently at Fretz Middle School. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to CARE for Children to support services for children with Autism. Organized by Maria Whiteway, an autism and learning support teacher at School Street Elementary School, the auction featured canvas artwork created by students in the Life Skills class at the high school along with student with special needs at the elementary and middle schools.

Pictured with samples of artwork from the auction are students, front from left, Jonah Schmidt, Mari Bittner, and Jerry Areizaga. In the back, from the left, are Whiteway, Gavin Daugherty, and DeAnn Persichini, CARE certified occupational therapy assistant.

 

CARE for Children to Hold Early Learning Summer Enrichment Programs

May 14, 2015 – Rainbow Corner Preschool, part of CARE for Children, will be hosting a series of Early Learning Summer Programs in June, July, and August, for both preschool age children and toddlers, at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center in Bradford.

The Preschool Day Camp, for children aged three to five years, will focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities and promote Early Literacy. Two four-week sessions will focus on key early learning areas, fun activities, special guests, and outdoor play on CARE’s new playground which will be used as an outdoor classroom.

A Toddler Playgroup is available for toddlers who are 24 to 42 months of age. The summer playgroups will encourage children to explore the world around them by using their senses, creativity, and imagination. The playgroup will promote language skills through music, story-telling, pre-literacy activities, and creative play in a language rich environment.

Children do not need to be enrolled at Rainbow Corner Preschool or Toddler Playgroup to attend the summer programs. Parents may register their child for one or both sessions.

There is a fee to attend the summer programs. For more information, contact CARE for Children. Registration forms are also available on the CARE website at www.careforchildren.info/summerearlylearning.

 

Rainbow Corner Preschool and Toddler Playgroup Accepting Registrations

April 8, 2015– CARE for Children’s Early Learning Programs in Bradford are accepting registrations for the upcoming school year and for Summer 2015 Enrichment Programs.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is currently registering children who will be 3, 4, and 5 by October 1st for the 2015-2016 school year.

Two schedules are available for the 2015-2016 school year. A 3 day program will be offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. and a 5 day program will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. An extended care program will be offered daily from 11:10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., as needed and for an additional daily charge.

Rainbow Corner Preschool is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the daily schedule is aligned with Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards. Tuition assistance and scholarships are available for qualified families.

A toddler developmental playgroup is also available for children 24-42 months of age. The playgroups will be held Monday and Friday from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and focus on social interaction, language development, and age-appropriate structured play. Children may attend one or both playgroups.

A series of Early Learning Summer Programs will be offered weekly in June, July, and August, for both preschool age children and toddlers. Two four-week sessions will focus on key early learning areas and incorporate hands-on learning experiences. Preschool Summer Day Camp will be held on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and Summer Playgroup will be held on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Children do not need to be enrolled at Rainbow Corner Preschool or Toddler Playgroup to attend the summer programs. Parents may register their child for one or both sessions. There is a fee to attend the summer programs.

Rainbow Corner Preschool and the Toddler Developmental Playgroup are located at the Ashley Booth Griffin CARE for Children Center on East Main Street in Bradford. For more information, please call CARE for Children or visit www.careforchildren.info.

 

Social Work Added to CARE Roster of Servicessocial work photo

March 9, 2015– CARE has hired Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Chris Gibble, LCSW, to lead family support efforts and to add social work to CARE’s roster of services for children with delays, disabilities, and special health care needs.

“A Family Support Program was started at CARE in 2005; the program aimed to identify needed services and gaps in services and provide families access to additional supports,” said Tina Martin, executive director. “With the recent addition of an experienced social worker, CARE will be able to expand and improve the quality of those efforts.”

Gibble earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh Bradford and was licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in 2012. She most recently worked at Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems and has 13 years experience working with children.

“Meeting the needs of a young child who has special health care needs often places hardships on a family’s emotional, physical and financial resources,” said Martin.   “No child lives in a vacuum and if we are going to help children reach their full potential, we need to focus on what we can do to bolster family stability.”

Gibble’s role at CARE will include: completing pediatric social/emotional assessments, developing interventions to support the positive social and emotional growth of children who receive service, and promoting positive parent-child interactions.

Gibble is also able to provide individual, family, or group counseling to the parent and other family members of a child, as well as appropriate social skill-building activities to the child and parents. She is able to work with families to address problems in the living situation that impede the maximum use of Early Intervention and therapeutic services and provide emotional support to the child and family in times of crisis.

Gibble will also work to identify family needs, and community services and resources which will help meet those needs; make referrals and help connect the family to those resources; help coordinate services; and advocate on behalf of the child and family.

“CARE has a longstanding and well known positive impact in the community, due to the numerous therapeutic services it provides to children, which are aimed at helping them succeed though the challenges they face,” said Gibble.

“I am anticipating that my role as part of the CARE team will help pull together and enhance those supportive and intervention services, and build a more comprehensive, effective, and cohesive delivery of services to the children and families with whom we work.”

 

Atteberry Joins Staff at CAREKylieAtteberry

February 20, 2015 – Kylie M. Atteberry, M.S. CCC-SLP, has joined the CARE for Children staff as a full-time Speech/Language Pathologist.

“Working with children of all abilities allows me to build upon the strengths and overcome weaknesses of each individual child. Witnessing a child accomplish something for the first time and seeing how their families react to their success is the most rewarding feeling,” stated Atteberry.

Atteberry provides speech and language therapy for the early intervention program and students receiving school-based services.

Atteberry is excited to be a part of the CARE family and to make an impact in the lives of children of all abilities. She noted, “CARE’s dedication to children, families, and the community is why working here is such a blessing.”

Atteberry previously worked for Spotsylvania County Public Schools in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She provided therapeutic intervention to students aged 4 through 22 with a wide range of speech and language abilities and worked with a heavy caseload of students profoundly impacted by autism.

Atteberry graduated with a Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2009.

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