November 5, 2014

UMCC Awards Funding to Broadreach

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(Photo by Marti Stone Photography from left to right:  Helen Kosmo, CCC-Sp – Board Member of Broadreach, Deb Schilder, Broadreach Director of Development, and Marty Martens representing UMCC

Camden – On October 9th, Broadreach Family & Community Services Board member Helen Kosmo, CCC-Sp and Deb Schilder, Director of Development met with United Mid-Coast Charities (UMCC).  For many years UMCC has generously supported Broadreach.  This year UMCC awarded a grant of $30,000 for Broadreach’s Early Childhood Education Program which is offered throughout Waldo and Knox counties and the Youthlinks Program offered in Knox County.  Broadreach offers preschool programs including PreKindergarten at school and community locations in the region using evidence-based curricula and certified staff.  Broadreach also connects children and their families to a wide variety of programs and services.  Youthlinks offers middle and high school students a place to belong to a program that teaches them new skills, connects them to the community, and provides camaraderie.  Students participate free of charge in programs such as Student Garden Army and Student Garden Army Junior, learning to plan, plant, tend, harvest, sell and donate to local food cupboards the garden produce they raise.  Working with local chefs, they learn to cook delicious and healthy meals with the vegetables they have grown.  They also run a weekly farm stand selling the produce and donate a portion of the produce when they prepare meals at the local Saturday meals program at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.  The students also have opportunities to work with animals at local rescue and shelter organizations and at the renowned Aldermere Farm with the Belted Galloway cattle.


Broadreach Family & Community Services has been serving the needs of the people of the midcoast region for more than three decades. The non-profit 501c3 agency offers Early Childhood Education, Behavioral Health and Case Management Services, Youthlinks after school and summer programs for middle and high school students, and  Prevention Program focusing on parenting programs and the deterrence of child abuse and neglect and substance abuse.  For more information about Broadreach Family & Community Services and its programs, contact the organization at 338-2200 or visit at www.broadreachmaine.org.


Youthlinks Embraces Fall

Youthlinks began the school year with a schedule of exciting after school programs and a great set of new students. On Mondays, middle schoolers prepared tasty and healthy meals and learn about nutrition through the Cooking Matters program. On Wednesdays, one group of middle school youth prepared the garden for winter and had fun with hands on science experiments. Another group of learned how to halter train calves through the Farmhands program, with our Aldemere Farms partners. The High School Student Garden Army met on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to continue the garden harvest and run the fall farm stand.  A highlight of the session was the Halloween haunted greenhouse.

Registration for Youthlinks late fall programs is open. Middle and high school youth may register online at www.youthlinksonline.org. Youthlinks amazing after school activities are offered to youth free of charge.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family and Community Services. For more information about Youthlinks, please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks or call us at 594-2221. For more information about Broadreach visit www.brmaine.org or call 338-2200.Youthlinks at Aldermere Farm

October 28, 2014

Click for Babies Campaign

Click for Babies Campaign photo 2014

The parents of newborns at Waldo County General Hospital and Penobscot Bay Medical Center will be receiving hand knit purple hats for their babies during the month of November and December as part of the Click For Babies campaign. This effort was organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome who connected with states that had infant abuse prevention programs and had the capacity to implement local campaigns.  Currently Maine is one of 14 states and two Canadian provinces participating in this effort.

Patrick Walsh, Child Abuse and Neglect Council coordinator at Broadreach Family & Community services says that for the fourth year of this project he is once again “overwhelmed” with the response and marvels at the variety of hats that have been donated, more than 112 for Waldo and Knox counties at this point.  Eighteen knitters from Waldoboro, to Pittsfield, to Bucksport have generously donated their time and materials to ensure that each precious baby born at our hospitals in November and December will receive a beautiful, lovingly crafted hat.  The “click” in the “Click for Babies” title refers to the clicking sound of the knitting needles as the hats are created.

Along with the hats, parents will receive an information package titled The Period of PURPLE Crying that provides those parents with important information about their newborn.   PURPLE is an acronym that helps to inform parents that: P is for Peak of Crying – “your baby may cry more each week with the most at 2 months then less at 3 to 5 months. U is for Unexpected – “crying can come and go and you don’t know why”. R is for Resists Soothing – “your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try”. P is for Pain-like face – “a crying baby may look like they are in pain even when they are not”.  L is for Long Lasting – “crying can last as much as 5 hours a day or more”.  E is for Evening – “your baby may cry more in the late afternoon or evening.”

Research tells us that children are vulnerable during this period to being shaken by a stressed out caregiver who feels frustrated that they cannot understand their child’s apparent discomfort and can do nothing to soothe them. In the past we may have attributed this crying and apparent pain to “colic”, and equated that with a medical condition. Research shows that this type of crying is “normal” and reduces over time.

Walsh says that “this is one small but significant effort that communities can take to ensure the well-being of its young children.”

For more information or to find out how you can be involved in Click For Babies, contact Walsh at Broadreach Family & Community Services at 338-2200 ext 109 or pwalsh@brmaine.org.



August 21, 2014

Stashbuster Fundraiser for Early Childhood Education Seeking Donations

Stashbuster Photo

Broadreach Family & Community Services is preparing for its next event to raise funds for its Early Childhood Education Program – a Stashbuster Fiber and Fabric Fair on Saturday, September 27th from 9 am – noon in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library.  Each day calls are being fielded and deliveries are being arranged for skeins of yarn, yards of fabric, smaller bundles for quilting and other projects, and fiber arts equipment and supplies – from knitting needles to patterns to bias tape.


“We have been receiving some beautiful and high quality items that we expect will sell out quickly at the fair.  All items will certainly be a great deal for the buyer and we will be sure to have inventory for both the serious and casual fabric artists of all ages”, shared Sue diRosario, Broadreach’s Director of Philanthropy and Community Relations.


“A special thanks goes out to our sponsors of this event, Heavenly Sock Yarns of Belfast, WORKS of Searsport, The Purple Fleece of Stockton Springs, Fiddehead Artisan Supply, and Good Karma Farm & Spinning Company, both of Belfast.  We know these are wonderful local resources for the fabric artist and we are thrilled that they are our sponsors.”

If you have items to donate, please contact diRosario by September 20th at 338-2200 x 201 or at sdirosario@brmaine.org.  Broadreach Family & Community Services is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that provides Early Childhood Education Services, Behavioral Health and Case Management Services for all ages, its Youthlinks after school and summer program for middle – high school youth in the greater Rockland area, and Prevention Services such as parenting classes and programs for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and substance abuse.  For more information about Broadreach services please call 338-2200 or visit the website at www.broadreachmaine.org.

Pot o’ Lobstahs Fundraiser for Youthlinks Program – Buy/Sell Tickets through 9/30

Pot o Lobstahs Photo

Thanks to the generosity of Dave Cousens of South Thomaston and Reny’s – A Maine Adventure, the Youthlinks Program of Broadreach Family & Community Services is offering the tastiest raffle of the season – two chances to win a pot of lobsters, complete with the pot, mitts, and crackers.  Dave Cousens, a local lobsterman has donated the tasty crustaceans to benefit the programs of Youthlinks.


The tickets for Pot o Lobstahs are selling 6 for $5 and the drawing will be held on September 30th.  All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Youthlinks Program.  Youthlinks has been serving the youth of the greater Rockland area for over thirty-two years.  Middle and high school students sign up for after school and summer programs that offer a wide range of topics.  Most “clubs”, as each topic is known, bring community experts to Youthlinks and give the students an opportunity to interact with the community.  Besides learning new skills, expanding knowledge, and trying new things, the students also have a chance to provide community service through a local meals program, volunteer at a local residential health care facility, and at an animal shelter.  Clubs also encourage healthy lifestyles, including good nutrition, physical activity and avoiding harmful substances.


Most recently, the Student Garden Army at Youthlinks hosted a Grassroots Garden Tour showcasing all the work they had accomplished in the gardens and greenhouse this summer including sales of their garden produce at their weekly farm stand and their donations to the local food cupboard.  Other groups of students had opportunities to attend camp at Youthlinks or Sailing Camp through the Apprenticeshop and a special grant from Machias Savings Bank.


Youthlinks, is a program of the non-profit organization Broadreach Family & Community Services agency, a 501(c)(3) organization.  For more information about how to purchase tickets, please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 and speak with Kris Koerber, the Program Director or Hannah Magnusson, the Program Manager.  You may also contact Sue diRosario in the Belfast office of Broadreach at 338-2200, extension 201 for ticket information for the Pot o Lobstahs Fundraiser.

August 4, 2014

Grassroots Garden Tour to be Hosted by Youthlinks Student Garden Army

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On Saturday, August 16th from 9 am until noon, the Youthlinks Program’s Student Garden Army will host a Grassroots Garden Tour at their 420 Broadway location in Rockland.  Local students have been participating in the summer agricultural program and the event will showcase the work they have accomplished in the gardens and greenhouse and allow participants to sample the fresh produce they have grown.  Each Wednesday morning from 9 am – 11 throughout the summer the Student Garden Army operates the Youthlinks Farmstand at 420 Broadway, next to Eastside High School.


The Grassroots Garden Tour will also feature the students of the Midcoast Music Academy who will be on-site to provide live music for the gathering.  The Student Garden Army participants have also planned fun games and prizes and will be displaying art at the event.  Children under 12 receive free admission and for those 12 and older the admission is $5.  All admission fees will be used to support the Student Garden Army Program.


Working with the young people have been Kristofer Koerber, Youthlinks Director and Hannah Magnusson, Program Manager.  The program is supported from private foundations, local businesses, and private individuals.  Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a private, non-profit organization serving children, youth and adults for over three decades with youth services, early childhood education, prevention services, and behavioral health and case management for all ages. For more information about Youthlinks, contact 594-2221 or find Youthlinks on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/youthlinks to learn more about the programs offered and visit http://broadreachmaine.org/ to learn about all of the great things happening through Broadreach.







November 19, 2013

Deb Donnelly Joins Youthlinks

Deb Donnelly photoRockland – Broadreach Family and Community Services’ Youthlinks Program welcomes new Program Assistant Deb Donnelly.  Ms. Donnelly is familiar with the work of Youthlinks.  Her son participated in several of the programs including afterschool options such as Animation Class and Dodgeball, and Summer Photography Camp and an Outdoor Activity Camp.  She also was involved in Youthlinks’ Farm Camp at Headacre Farm in Owls Head this past summer.

“I feel strongly about the importance of Youthlinks programs.  Youthlinks provides a lot of opportunities at an age when that support is so necessary.  Youthlinks provides a sense of belonging.  It’s good to know that the people at Youthlinks always have your back,” Ms. Donnelly shared when speaking of a young person’s experience with Youthlinks, as well as the experience of being a parent of a teen participating in Youthlinks.

Ms. Donnelly combines her role as parent and Youthlinks Program Assistant with part-time work at a local bookstore.  Throughout her career she has worked for a number of non-profit organizations including a Ronald McDonald House in an urban area of the country where she learned a great deal from the parents of sick children.

“I worked there when my husband and I were starting our family.  It truly changed the way we thought about family life and what we thought of as important.  There are parents and children from all walks of life and all income levels but they all had something in common – they would do anything to help their child.  It helped us decide that we wanted a different kind of lifestyle for our family.  We made the decision to move to Maine, where his parents were living.”

“My son really enjoyed his time at Youthlinks.  Now I look forward to my role here, making sure I help things run smoothly at Youthlinks.”

For more information, contact Youthlinks: 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.  Youthlinks, offering after school programs and summer camps, is a service of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983.


June 5, 2011

Mid Coast Children’s Services Now Accepting Summer and Fall Enrollments

Mid-Coast Children’s Services is in the midst of planning our 28th year of summer and fall programming. Our qualified staff has been hard at work designing a variety of early childhood education options that will enrich a child’s early years providing a language and literacy enriched, nurturing learning environment with certified teachers.

This summer beginning June 6th, we are offering our regular extended day program (childcare). Our hours of operation will be Monday thru Friday from 7:30AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, a special six-week Early School summer program (July 11th – August 18th) for children ages 3 – 5 will be offered. This program will be Monday through Thursday from 8:30 – 11:30 AM with the option of our ever popular “Lunch Bunch” until 12:30 if needed. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to maintain his /her skills that he/she achieved over the past months, have fun, and make the transition to kindergarten smoother.

In addition, we are asking for your help and support by spreading the word that MCCS is now accepting applications for our fall programming beginning September 6th. This new school year, we will be offering the regular Early School morning sessions (8:30 to 11:30AM) for 2 ½ years olds (Tuesday and Thursdays); and for 3 years old on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. We are excited to share that we will be bringing back the 4 year olds programming that will focus on school readiness skills for preparation for entering kindergarten. The 4 year old classroom will be offered Monday through Thursday, 8:30 to 11:30 AM.
For those families needing extended days coverage for childcare services, we will continue our same hours of operation in the afternoon as this past year.

As always, we’re happy to answer any questions and/or provide more information. You can contact Sandy Billington at 594-8474, ext 301 or via email sbillington@brmaine.org, or Mary Bailey MCCS Director at 594-8474 ext.304, email mbailey@brmaine.org.