April 4, 2017

Unity College Center for the Performing Arts to Host “Why Kids Need Mud Puddles” Place-Based Nature Education Forum

Why Kids Need Mud Puddles

The Dirt on Place-Based Nature Education Sprouts program and panel to explain the Forest Preschool Movement

UNITY, Maine —  The Unity College Center for the Performing Arts will host a forum on place based nature education with panelists from Unity College and the Broadreach program “Sprouts”.

The forum, “Why Kids Need Mud Puddles,” will provide parents, educators, college students and community members with a deeper understanding of the Forest Preschool Movement. Guests will learn about the Movement’s goals, practices and therapeutic applications. This model is currently used in Unity for children of all abilities including those with special needs, and guests will have an opportunity to see examples of the model as it is currently practiced, and offer suggestions about how the program could be modified to serve a wider audience.

Deb Hensley, Director of the Early Childhood Program at Broadreach, will serve as the monitor of the forum. Hensley says, “We are interested in having conversations that matter about the value of providing a preschool model that restores children’s right to play outside,  gives them regular access to and interaction with the natural world, and how such a model benefits children’s physical, social emotional and creative development.”

Panelists will speak briefly about their involvement in the program and respond to questions from the monitor and the audience, who are welcome to contribute their ideas to the discussion.

Child care will not be provided at this event, so while parents are welcome to come with children, children should remain with parents throughout the evening.

The forum begins at 6 p.m., Monday, April 24th. This forum is free to attend. For more, visit the Unity College Center for Performing Arts website.

Please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/o6Oi5G2ORBTVioBG2


About the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts

Built from a 100-year-old barn with attached farmhouse, the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts (UCCPA), is a vibrant cultural and arts center that offers an eclectic mix of music, films, art, lectures, and more. Since opening in 2000, the UCCPA has seen many events including world-renowned musicians, award winning speakers, and memorable community gatherings. The UCCPA is also home to the Leonard R. Craig Gallery featuring up-and-coming as well as renowned artists throughout the year.

January 10, 2017

Broadreach to offer interactive forum on the value of place-based nature education

sprouts fort

Why Kids Build Forts and other inspirations from the Forest Preschool Movement
On Monday, January 30, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, The Belfast Free Library will host an interactive discussion forum on the value of place-based nature education for young children in the Abbott Room of the Library.. The forum features a panel of seasoned early childhood educators who are currently working in a Forest Preschool setting, providing nature-based preschool services to young children designated with a variety of special needs as well as typically developing children. The presentation is sponsored by the SPROUTS Early Childhood Education Program of Broadreach Family and Community Services: www.brmaine.org. For more information contact Vicky Nickerson at 207-338-2200 x 101, vnickerson@brmaine.org

February 18, 2016

Broadreach co-sponsors Fostering Reading Readiness Through Place-Based Nature Education Training

Nature to Nurture Program on February 26

Susan Bennett Armistead
Dr. Susan Bennett-Armistead


Broadreach Family & Community Services has been diligently working to move its Early Childhood Education model to incorporate nature-based programs in its classrooms in Waldo County. A recent grant from the Davis Family Foundation is allowing the organization to bring an exciting program, “Where Nature Meets Nurture…Fostering Reading Readiness Through Place-Based Nature Education” to Belfast on Friday, February 26th from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm with featured speaker Susan Bennet-Armistead. Ms. Bennett-Armistead is an Assistant Professor of Early Literacy and holds the Correll Professorship in Early Literacy at the University of Maine.

The program is co-sponsored by the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, also the location for the session which is open to the public. The cost is $39 per person and includes lunch. The program offers five training contact hours for education professionals.

The Davis Family Foundation grant is designed to provide a series of rigorous professional development opportunities to early childhood educators. It will give teachers a deeper understanding of the rationale, methods and therapeutic value of implementing nature-based programs for children of all abilities. It is intended to help educators locate and carry early language and literacy learning experiences into natural settings.

Deb Hensley, Director of Broadreach’s Early Childhood Education Services shared, “We are excited to be able to open this program to the community and to our colleagues in other schools and programs. With the success of last summer’s Unity Sprouts summer program; we have been moving forward with our place based nature programming. Literacy, language skills, numeracy, science, general developmental and social skills have all been successfully provided in an outdoor setting for young children of diverse abilities.”

Susan Bennett-Armistead, the speaker for this event, will be drawing on her twenty years as a preschool teacher, parent educator, program administrator, and her doctorate with an emphasis in early literacy. She speaks nationally to educators and parent groups on the role families can play in their children’s early literacy learning. For more information, please contact The Hutchinson Center at 338-8034.

February 24, 2015

Write in Your Vote for Broadreach Today!

This is the last week to vote for your favorite non-profits in Bangor Savings Bank’s 2015 Community Matters More!  Please write in your vote for Broadreach Family & Community Services under the Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc & Waldo Counties section.  We need your vote!  Please ask your family, friends, and colleagues to vote for Broadreach, too!

A total of 68 grants will be awarded to the organizations listed on the Community Matters More ballot and to the top 20 write-in recipients. The organizations in each of the eight regions (including write-ins) that get the most votes will receive $5,000 each. The remaining 60 organizations will each receive $1,000. So, make your vote count!

To vote for Broadreach and up to two more of your favorite nonprofits, visit Community Matters More or stop by any of the Bangor Savings Bank’s 56 branches statewide or you can copy and paste the following link in your browser and click for the Bangor Savings Bank voting site:


Thank you!


February 9, 2015

NAMI Courses Being Offered in Belfast

The Maine Affiliate of NAMI is offering two eight-hour Mental Health First Aid Training Courses with Youth and Adult Models in Belfast.  These courses help teachers, parents, peers, and caring citizens help a young person (12—18) or an adult who is experiencing a behavioral health or substance abuse challenge in their lives.

The course covering adults is scheduled for Thursday, Febuary 12th at Broadreach Family & Community Services’ 8 Stephenson Lane Conference Room in Belfast and the course focusing on youth will be held on March 26th at the Waldo Technical Center on Route 137 in Belfast.

The courses  are open to anyone 16 or over who wishes to gain a better understanding of different mental illnesses and addictions, and what helps individuals experiencing these challenges get well.  For more information call NAMI at 1-800-464-5767 or contact by email at www.namimaine.org.


November 5, 2014

UMCC Awards Funding to Broadreach

umcc 14

(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.


September 23, 2014

Camaraderie and Fun – Volunteer for Stashbuster

This Broadreach fundraising event promises to be a fun time!  Over 75 donors have helped us amass an amazing collection of fiber and fabric to sell at the Broadreach Stashbuster Fiber & Fabric Fair fundraiser for the Early Childhood Education Program to be held on Saturday, September 27th from 9 am – noon in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library.  We also have volunteers for Wednesday through Saturday for the prep and event but could use a few more helping hands on Saturday, the 27th, the day of the event.  We have openings for the following shifts:

6:30 – 8:30 AM  The Early Bird Shift for set-up

8:30 AM – Noon  Volunteering at the Event (may choose a portion of this time to volunteer)

Noon – 2:00 PM  Clean-up

If you can volunteer any of these time slots, or a portion of one of these time slots, please contact either Deb Schilder at 338-2200 x 112 or Sue diRosario at x 201 or email either Deb or Sue at dschilder@brmaine.org or sdirosario@brmaine.org.



September 11, 2014

Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program Achieves Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Gold Status

Youthlinks, a Rockland area program serving middle and high school students, has been notified that it has attained Gold Status in the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 Program. Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that promotes the increase of physical activity and healthy eating for youth.

Gold status requires that the program implement all five Let’s Go! priority strategies, have them in written policy format, and enforce these policies.


As a Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 site, Youthlinks is dedicated to carrying out these strategies by providing healthy choices for snacks and celebrations, providing water and low-fat milk instead of sugary beverages, providing opportunities for daily physical activity, and engaging with community partners to help support and promote a healthy lifestyle for youth. Youthlinks collaborates with RSU 13, the Good Tern Co-op, Cooking Matters, a program of the Knox County Community Health Coalition (KCCHS) which is funded by the Good Shepard Food Bank, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Program,  and Foo Corps, to provide consistently healthy lifestyle choices for students in middle and high school.


For example, the Student Garden Army, summer camp, and other programs offered by Youthlinks for 11- 17 year olds emphasize the tenets of 5-2-1-0 which signify eating at least 5 vegetables and fruits per day, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity, and 0 sugary beverages. At Youthlinks, students have opportunities to grow, harvest, and eat their own garden produce. Many students try vegetables that are new to them and learn they like them and find out ways through interactive cooking demonstrations to incorporate more healthy ingredients into their meals.  They bring this knowledge home with them to their families and it adds to their store of knowledge needed to become a healthier adolescent and adult.


Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services. For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit the following website: http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .



Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program Awarded Quimby Family Foundation Grant

The Quimby Family Foundation has awarded Broadreach Family & Community Services Youthlinks Program a grant in the amount of $15,000. The funds will be used to expand the summer pilot Student Garden Army into a sustainable year-round program for middle and high school students in the greater Rockland region – Rockland, Cushing, St. George/Tenants Harbor,Thomaston, South Thomaston, and Owls Head).


Youth, age 11 – 17 living in towns served by RSU 13 will have an opportunity to participate in the program that teaches young people to learn to grow, cook, and eat healthy food and to make food choices that positively impact their health, and that of their community and their world. Student Garden Army also teaches students how to operate a micro-business through the operation of a local farm stand, and to give back to the community through support of the local food cupboards with fresh garden vegetables and fruit.


Youthlinks works closely with partners such as RSU 13m the Good Tern Co-op, Cooking Maters, a program of the Knox County Community Health Coalition (KCCHC), Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Food Corps. The Youthlinks Program is located at 420 Broadway in Rockland and has been in operation for nearly 32 years.  It provides a safe place to nurture the development of young people, to support youth in becoming positive role models, and create meaningful connections between youth and their community.


For more information on Youthlinks please call (207) 594-2221 or visit the following website: http://www.youthlinksonline.org/ or for information about Broadreach Family & Community Services the website is www.broadreachmaine.org .



August 4, 2014

Grassroots Garden Tour to be Hosted by Youthlinks Student Garden Army

SGA photo

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.







July 28, 2014

Broadreach to Host Stashbuster Fiber & Fabric Fundraiser in Belfast

Stashbuster Fiber & Fabric Fair Requests Donations from Local Fiber Crafters

 Calling all knitters, sewers, weavers and crafters! Here is a chance to turn your unused stash of yarn and fabric into gold to support high quality learning experiences for Waldo County’s youngest learners. It is also a chance, come September 27th, to stock up on materials for new projects and support a great cause.

A Fiber & Fabric Fair will be held on Saturday, September 27th from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library. The fundraiser, which will support Broadreach Family & Community Services’ Early Childhood Program, will feature a wide array of yarns, fabrics, and supplies for the fiber craftsperson. Broadreach is asking all those fiber and fabric aficionados who have yarn, wool, fabric, patterns, and other supplies they wish to contribute to contact Broadreach at 338-2200 extension 201 to arrange a donation. Local businesses such as Heavenly Socks Yarns, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, WORKS, Good Karma Farm and Weaving, and Purple Fleece will be donating door prizes for this exciting fiber event.

The Fiber & Fabric Fair is free and open to the public. All those who knit, weave, sew and quilt, or those who would like to become involved in these crafts, are encouraged to attend. There will be people of all skill levels in attendance and fiber creativity will be free-flowing.

Broadreach Executive Director Kate Quinn Finlay shared, “September is the perfect time of year to stock up on your yarn and fabric supplies. Just as the first crisp days of autumn begin, we start to think of our holiday and winter projects. Whether you are an accomplished fiber artist or a beginner, there will be something for everyone at this Fiber and Fabric Fair and all the proceeds will help support Early Childhood Education.   We encourage those who wish to contribute some of their accumulated supplies to contact our office to arrange the donation of their materials for this first-time event. ”

For more information, contact either Sue diRosario or Deb Schilder at 338-2200 at Broadreach Family & Community Services. Broadreach is a not-for-profit organization serving the people of Waldo, Knox and Lincoln counties with Early Childhood Education, Behavioral Health/Case Management Services, Youthlinks after school and summer programs, and family strengthening and child abuse and neglect and substance abuse prevention services. More information about Broadreach can be found at www.broadreachmaine.org.




June 19, 2014

Youthlinks Program Has Student Garden Army Opening

Youthlinks Farmstand

Youthlinks Director Kris Koerber announced that there are a few remaining openings for the June 30th – August 21st Student Garden Army.  This eight week program for high school students features a wide array of agricultural and culinary experiences including: planting seedlings, growing vegetables, maintaining and developing a garden, harvesting crops, and cooking and preparing healthy foods.




Kris Koerber shared, “This is a great way for high school students to gain leadership skills, make a positive impact on their community, and earn money through managing the farm stand sales.   It is a great experience that provides knowledge that will be useful throughout students’ lives.”




For more information about application for the School Garden Army, contact Kris Koerber at 594-2221 or at youthlinksonline.org. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services and is located at 420 Broadway in Rockland.  The program is free of charge for participating students.



April 16, 2014

Youthlinks Hosts Student Creative Writing Workshop in Thomaston



Youthlinks Creative Writing Students revYouthlinks Creative Writing Authors rev


Left:  Students of Oceanside West and authors pose for a group photo at the end of an all day Creative Writing Workshop.

Right:  Authors presenting at the Creative Writing Workshop are, from left, Jen Blood, Ben Odgren, Lacy Simons, and Elizabeth Hand.

Photos and article by Sarah Woodman, Youthlinks/AmeriCorps

On March 19th, forty eighth and ninth grade students of Oceanside West gathered at Watts Hall in Thomaston for a full-day Creative Writing Workshop, organized by Youthlinks of Rockland. This workshop complimented a weekly after-school creative writing club provided by Youthlinks and offered to high school students of RSU 13, from January through April of this year. The Creative Writing Workshop connected Oceanside West students to four writers of varying literary style who call the midcoast area home: Jen Blood of Cushing, Liz Hand of Belfast, Lacy Simons of Rockland, and Ben Odgren of Rockport. Students split into groups of ten and rotated through the day to spend an intensive, hour-long session with each author.

Jen Blood holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine, is a freelance journalist, professional editor, and author of the bestselling Erin Solomon mystery series.  Jen Blood led the students through the creative, multi-media process of developing dynamic characters which reflected her own process of creating characters.  Blood provided a series of questions about the character to encourage students to think deeply about creating a layered character; questions such as:  what is their favorite color, who is their best friend, what food do they love or hate, and where did they grow up? 

Elizabeth Hand is a multiple award-winning critic and author of numerous novels, comics, and short fiction for adults, teenagers, and children.  She is on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, and divides her time between Maine and London.  Liz Hand led students through an exercise in creating strong descriptive language for stories.  Using student directed words and phrases, Hand showed how an out of the ordinary descriptive word choice can create emotional, visceral, and evocative descriptions of images and objects.

Benjamin Odgren studied film in college, lives in Rockport, works at the Island Institute in Rockland, and writes screenplays in his spare time. Odgren’s session began with a screening of the introduction of the movie “Kung-Fu Panda” while students followed along with a copy of the movie’s screenplay. Odgren explained the structure of a screenplay, the language of denoting camera work and dialogue, and the importance of writing directorial narration such as setting, actor direction and blocking. Students were then given time to write and share their own film scenes.

 Lacy Simons, who holds an MFA in poetry and is the owner of Hello Hello Books in Rockland, introduced to students to a variety of literary games and exercises to inspire creativity in writing, specifically poetry. Simons had students write the thoughts, sounds, smells, sights, and emotions of a ride in a favorite car. Using this exercise, Simons encouraged students to keep a journal as a record of similar sensory memories, which are so integral in writing and so easy to forget.

The day wrapped up with time for students to bravely share the imaginative, layered, and often funny works created throughout the day in each author’s session. The intention of the workshop was to connect students with local authors, inspire and skill-build in those students with experience in creative writing, and create a new interest for students who had not expressed an affinity for writing in the past. Feedback from students and authors indicated that the workshop was a success.

Organized and hosted by Youthlinks in Rockland, the Creative Writing Workshop was generously supported by RSU 13 and Oceanside West’s student activity fund. Snacks for students and lunch for the authors was available through donations from the Rockland Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets. The use of Watts Hall at no-cost for this educational event was provided by the town of Thomaston.

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.


April 4, 2014

Broadreach’s Youthlinks Program Welcomes Chef Jeff Space of Pen-Bay Hospital

Broadreach Youthlinks Top Chef Club April 4 2014

Youthlinks students take a photo with their
guest chef. Back row, from left: Ethan Keene, Nick Smith, Chef Jeffrey Space,
Kat Cova, and Caroline Duda, and Front Row: Nina Davis and Kat Howarth.

By Sarah Woodman

On March 18th, the Youthlinks Top Chef Rockland cooking club was visited by Chef Jeff Space, Director of Nutritional Services at Pen-Bay Hospital. Each week, local high school students gather at Youthlinks in Rockland to learn new cooking skills, taste new foods, and meet with local chefs who share their talents and knowledge with students.

Jeff Space joined the program to share with students the USDA’s “My Plate” initiative, to reinforce the Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 program (5 servings of fruits and veggies, 2 hours or less screen time, 1 hour or more physical activity, and 0 sugary drinks), and to improve student cooking skills. The “My Plate” model is a program of the USDA, which offers a simple, brightly colored guide for people to follow to create healthy and nutritious meals. “My Plate” transforms the food pyramid into a daily meal guide, with half a plate filled with fruit and vegetables, one quarter filled with a lean protein, and one quarter filled with a whole grain, and a serving of lowfat dairy on the side. Chef Jeff Space cooked a “My Plate” meal of asparagus, chicken, and lowfat cheese quesadillas; tomato, avocado, and cilantro salad; a black bean and mango salad; and seared pineapple, served with a container of skim milk. Chef Space showed students that flavor, color, and interest in a meal can come from a variety of fruits and vegetables and delicious herbs and spices instead of added fats or preservatives.

Students also improved their cooking skills while working with Chef Space, as he reinforced the proper way to hold and use chef knives, tips for peeling garlic, red peppers, and pineapples, and the best way to pit an avocado and a mango. The meal was then enjoyed by all participants!

Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information please call Youthlinks at 594-2221 or visit youthlinksonline.org.


March 5, 2014

Spread the Word to End the Word

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Sue Dirosario @ 6:02 pm

General Campaign Questions

Q: What is Spread the Word to End the Word?
Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to engage school organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support in helping to build communities of inclusion and acceptance for all people.

Q: When is Spread the Word to End the Word?
Spread the Word to End the Word holds its’ annual day of awareness on the first Wednesday of every March. However, people everywhere can help spread the word throughout their communities and schools year-round through pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation.

Q: Who supports the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign?

A: Spread the Word to End the Word is a youth-driven movement supported by Special Olympics and Best Buddies International.

Q: How and when was Spread the Word to End the Word created?
Spread the Word to End the Word was created by youth with and without intellectual disabilities who participated in the Special Olympics Global Youth Activation Summit at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The motivation for the campaign was driven by a united passion to promote the positive contributions people with intellectual disabilities make to communities around the world combined with a simple call to action – a pledge to stop using a word – that also symbolizes positive attitude change and a commitment to make the world a more accepting place for all people. The trademarked “Spread the Word To End the Word” annual day of awareness was created by Soeren Palumbo (Notre Dame class of 2011) and Tim Shriver (Yale class of 2011) who are recognized as co-founders of the campaign.

Q: Why is the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign important?
A: Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the word “retard(ed).” It is time to address the minority slur “retard(ed)” and raise the consciousness of society to its hurtful effects.

Q: How do I take the R-word pledge?
: Click “Pledge and Be Heard” above!

Q: Where can I find more materials to host an R-word event in my area?
 You can download materials on our resources page and purchase merchandise and event materials in theOfficial R-word Store!

Q: Where do I purchase R-word t-shirts and other merchandise?
You can find all R-word merchandise, including t-shirts, baseball caps, bracelets, stickers and more, at theOfficial R-Word Store.

Q: What other ways can I get involved with Spread the Word to End the Word?
Our social media channels are a great way to stay involved with the R-word campaign. You can find us onFacebookTwitter and YouTube.


Questions about Language

Q: Are you looking to ban the word completely or do you think it can still be used in certain contexts?
 This effort is intended to draw attention to the fact that a large population of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are hurt and offended by the use of the R-word. Our goal is to educate and to raise awareness that the R-word it isn’t funny, it isn’t a joke, but it is harmful to many people.

Q: So you’re not trying to remove it from the dictionary, or tell academics they can’t use it when it’s used properly?
 We want people to understand that it is hurtful when it is used as a derogatory term, and that’s really how it is used the majority of the time. You don’t have to use the R-word. If there’s a better way to say what you’re trying to say, then do that.

Q: But even if we don’t use the term “retarded,” won’t it just become about a different word? History has shown that if we stop using one word, we just replace it with another.
 The R-word has become a popular punch line for jokes and a frequent slang in pop culture, and it has gone too far. This is about more than just eliminating a word, this is about a revolution of our attitudes toward a population that has been stigmatized throughout history. They deserve respect, and removing the R-word from our everyday speech is one step we can take toward showing them that respect.

Q: In so many instances though, this is not a word that is intended as a derogatory comment, but just as a generic putdown. Why is it bad if it’s not directed toward people with disabilities?
A: This word has been associated with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since its inception. Over 43 U.S. states have passed or introduced legislation to remove “mental retardation” from laws and replace it with more respectful people first language. In 2010, the federal government enacted “Rosa’s Law” which replaces “mental retardation” with people first language. In the medical community “mental retardation” remains in a majority of official publications, but it is widely recognized as an outdated term and most medical professionals choose to use more respectful language. It is clearly time to move on as a society and widely adopt people first language.

Q: The main problem with this is that initiatives and campaigns like this generally end up with official government censorship, and that’s the wrong place to head.
 We are not talking about or even asking the government to consider censorship. What we are trying to do is raise awareness that this word is offensive so that people think before they speak and realize that their words have power. This campaign is encouraging people to have a conversation about the use of this word so they realize who is listening when they use the R-word and who they may be hurting. You have the right to free speech. We have the right to petition you to choose your language more carefully.

Q: What term should be used in place of mental retardation?
 “Intellectual disability” is a widely accepted synonym for “mental retardation.” For many, the term “mental retardation” evokes the word “retard” and brings up painful memories of rejection and ridicule. The important thing to remember when considering language is that we are all people first. If Joe slips and breaks his foot, he is not a broken footed person. He is Joe with a broken foot. The person should ALWAYS come before the condition.

August 16, 2013

Youthlinks School Garden Army invites community to celebrate summer harvest

School Garden Army selling their weekly harvest at their farm stand near Oceanside East High School in Rockland.

School Garden Army selling their weekly harvest at their farm stand near Oceanside East High School in Rockland.

School Garden Army invites the community to celebrate the summer harvest this Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at Youthlinks from 8-10AM. Pick up some fresh veggies from our last farm stand of the season, take a tour of the Youthlinks/Oceanside East High School Garden, and learn about what the Garden Army has been doing this summer! We’ll have door prizes and contests to win free vegetables!
School Garden Army empowers youth to become leaders and responsible stewards of their environment using food as the mechanism of change. The program encourages land stewardship through sustainable local food production, improves public health through better nutrition and food security, and promotes community and economic development through investing in the next generation.
For more information, contact Youthlinks: 594-2221. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983.

January 11, 2011

Active Parenting Now Series Continues At Searsport Location

Filed under: Prevention Services — Tags: , , , — Vicky @ 8:29 am

Broadreach Family & Community Services has announced that a new series of Active Parenting Now classes will begin in Searsport at the Searsport Elementary School on Monday February 7th. Classes will be held from 6 pm to 8 pm. This new curriculum offers 6 two-hour sessions and has been shown to improve parents’ confidence and ability.

Active Parenting Now is a video-based education program targeted to parents of 5 to 12-year-olds who want to improve their parenting skills. Class material promotes mutual respect among family members within a democratically run family. The program teaches parents how to raise a child by using encouragement, building the child’s self-esteem, and creating a relationship with the child based upon active listening, honest communication, and problem solving. It also teaches parents to use natural and logical consequences to reduce irresponsible and unacceptable behaviors.

These parent classes will be open to all parents and childcare will be provided during class if needed. Because of grant funds awarded by the Maine Children’s Trust, there will be no cost for parents who want to participate. Pre-registration is required and enrollment will be limited.

Broadreach provides a variety of services to young parents and their children in Waldo and Knox Counties. Broadreach services have been making a critical difference in the lives of area children and families since 1983. Each year over 2000 families with children benefit from the agency’s quality education and support programs. Broadreach has over a quarter of century expertise in delivering parenting education, family support, early childhood education and family literacy programming. Other provided parent education options include Kids First, Guiding Good Choices, and the Nurturing Fathers Program.

If you would like to learn how to register for Active Parenting Now, or learn more about our parent education offerings, please call Patrick Walsh at 207-338-2200 ext 109 or e-mail pwalsh@brmaine.org.