November 3, 2017


Filed under: Press Releases — Tags: , , , , , , — Vicky @ 3:47 pm

Belfast, ME (November 2, 2017)—With three and a half decades of service in Waldo County and beyond, Broadreach Family & Community Services (originally Waldo County Preschool Services) is making plans to celebrate its latest milestone anniversary next year.

To mark its 35th year, Broadreach will launch a new behavioral health home service in partnership with Penobscot Community Health Center, establish a family resource hub at the First Church of Belfast and complete extensive renovations at its 5 Stephenson Lane campus to bring its Waldo County staff together under one roof.

Broadreach Board Chair Sharon Goguen, M.Ed., was there back in 1983 when it all began.  At the time, she was the director of Special Education Services at then MSAD 56.

“The federal law had just passed requiring school districts to provide special education services to identified students,” said Goguen, “and there were no programs in Waldo County to deliver those services to identified preschoolers.”

Goguen and four other local residents, including founding Executive Director Ruth Southworth, donated $5.00 each toward the $25 licensing fee to launch the nonprofit Waldo County Preschool Services. Goguen became the founding board chair and retains that position on the Broadreach board to this day.

“I believed strongly in the necessity and benefit of early intervention for preschool children with cognitive, physical and emotional challenges to insure more equal footing and success moving into the public school system,” she said.

The agency’s first preschool classroom served a dozen children with disabilities in what is now known as the ‘red and white’ building. This past year, Broadreach served nearly 130 preschoolers of all abilities in 6 sites across Waldo County.

From five people who each invested five dollars to achieve the single vision of delivering high-quality early childhood special education in Waldo County, the agency has quite literally achieved “Broadreach” status. Today Broadreach Family & Community Services has $3 million in annual revenues, more than 70 staff, multiple service sites in Waldo and Knox Counties and touches 1,000 lives each year across mid-coast Maine.

Broadreach will be inviting the community to join in its 35th Anniversary events in the coming months. Please stay tuned for more details!

Gail Jones-Wilkerson

Executive Director

Broadreach Family & Community Services