By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The Broad View Fund presented a grant check for $13,525 to support Bristol=Resilient Children, an initiative being launched between Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center, and the Talcott Center for Child Development.
Broad View Fund is a donor advised fund through the Main Street Community Foundation. It was established in 2016 by Bristol residents, Bob Alim, Bob Boudreau, and Kevin Prior, to support charitable organizations at the recommendation of the donors, collectively known as BBK.
Coral Richardson, Director of Imagine Nation, said this collaborative effort has been in the works for about two years, and that it’s set to be rolled out in Jan. 2019.
“We all were kind of struggling with providing enough services for families and children that were struggling with their social-emotional well being, and as we know, there’s a lot of challenges for families in today’s world,” said Richardson. “We noticed a trend of children struggling, and families struggling, behavior issues, and just not enough resources and services to really meet the needs.”
The Talcott Center for Child Development, based out of Farmington, is a pediatric therapy clinic, explained Alyssa Greig, Clinical Director at the Talcott Center. The Talcott Center will be providing training courses for the staff of Imagine Nation and Bristol Preschool, as well as the parents of the students that attend each facility.
“The program is going to consist of series of parent training workshops that’s facilitated by our team occupational therapists, speech therapists, our behavioral team,” said Courtney Welch, Operations Director at the Talcott Center for Child Development. “And then, a series of workshops for teachers that will provide them with training on different topics from sensory sensitivity training to functions of behavior, to how to illicit functional communication.”
There will also be “hours of consult,” explained Welch, in which members of the Talcott team will be in the classrooms “providing in the moment guidance and advice.”
“We can give the knowledge base, but then we can give the hands-on application,” said Greig. “We can fill their brains with all of that wonderful knowledge, but then we can help them make it part of their repertoire.”
Marilyn Lobaczewski, Grant Manager at Bristol Preschool Child Care Center, said the goal of Bristol=Resilient Children is to support the family as a unit, but offering strategies to parents as well as to teachers. And there are already four parent workshops being planned, said Shirley Anderson, Executive Director of the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center.
“That’s what this is about; we all service the same children, most of them are from Bristol, either they’re at our program or they’re at Imagine Nation,” said Anderson. “Between both of our programs we probably service close to 300 children, that’s a lot of preschoolers, and if we can do an early intervention, if there’s a way in which we can help to support their growth and development, then that’s why we’re here, to support them.”
“This year the recipient of the grant was chosen through a competitive application process,” said Boudreau, in a press release. “We looked for programs or initiatives that create game changing opportunities to support emerging issues and the social needs of the diverse cultures of Bristol residents. Bristol=Resilient Children is not only an innovative program, but vital.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.