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.

June 23, 2011

Grant Supports Youthlinks Programs

Filed under: Teens — Tags: , , , — Sue Dirosario @ 2:57 pm

Youthlinks, a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, recently received a grant of $10,000 from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to support a variety of programs that benefit area youth and animals.  A common goal for most Youthlinks’ animal-related programming is to empower youth to advocate for responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals, while a creating a generation of life-long community-minded volunteers.

The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation was established by Mrs., Elmina Brewster Sewall of Kennebunk, Maine in 1982.  The Foundation strives to enhance the quality of life for those in Maine through the conservation of the natural environment and support for the well-being of animals and humans.  The Foundation seeks to inspire the generosity of others and empower those who share its vision to work together for healthy, vibrant communities.

Youthlinks’ mission is to empower youth to commit to themselves and their communities, broaden their horizons, and acquire healthy life skills through focused enrichment programs and meaningful volunteer work.   Youthlinks offers a diverse menu of in-school, after-school, and summer programs to engage a broad base of youth with varying interests. Their programs rely on creating mutually beneficial relationships with other area non-profit agencies. Through these opportunities, youth are exposed to new experiences, develop new knowledge and skills and develop pride in the service they give to their community.

Animal-related programs that partner with local animal shelters are consistently among the most popular offered. The very popular Run-A-Hound Outing Club is an example of a successful and ambitious program.  Last year, the club provided 66 area youth with a program that integrated regular recreational running with a community service animal care program.  The club meets weekly for trail and road runs. Each youth is paired with a homeless dog needing exercise and companionship. This dynamic pairing introduces youth to the benefits of a running practice while developing their skills as caregivers to needy canine companions.  The participating shelter dogs experience increased fitness, socialization, and chances for adoption.

Youthlinks has many exciting animal-related programs planned for its free summer camp and after-school programs.  There are still a limited number of camp slots still available for summer 2011 programming. To find out more about Youthlinks programs, call 594-2221 or visit www.youthlinksonline.org.