School climate has nothing to do with air quality or the physical temperature of the classrooms in which Newtown students learn. But when it comes to school climate, Jo Ann Freiberg, PhD, recently told The Newtown Bee that she prefers to see it cool versus heating up. Dr Freiberg is an educational consultant with the Connecticut State Department of Education working with the Bureau of Accountability and Improvement. According to her bio, she manages the wide arena of bullying, improving school climate, and character education. She will be the next guest in the Newtown Prevention Council’s Parent Speaker Series, Wednesday, March 19, at Newtown Middle School. Her presentation is open to all residents, but she hopes to see lots of local parents and students at the talk, which is scheduled for 7 pm.
Paul L. Sirois was named executive director of Regional Hospice Foundation, the fundraising arm of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut, as of January 1. A financial planner for 17 years, most recently vice president and financial advisor for Union Savings Bank, Mr Sirois previously served as chairman of the Regional Hospice board. “This felt like a very natural transition,” said Mr Sirois. “You would think after 17 years in one career there would be some anxiety [with a career change], but there was not. It feels right,” he said. Along with his financial expertise, Mr Sirois brings to his new position his seven years of experience of having been on the other side of what it takes to make Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut.
The Resiliency Center of Newtown has added two events to its schedule, both coming up within the next week. A new series of classes will also begin within the week. The first program, on Tuesday, March 11, is a community yoga session; and the second special event, on Thursday, March 13, is an EFT/Tapping Workshop. In addition, Positive Discipline of Western CT will be holding introductory classes at The Resiliency Center through March for anyone who may be interested in taking the six-week course beginning April.
Recent studies show only 20% of Americans are happy in all aspects of their life. Which percentage are you a part of? Looking for a change? Feeling stuck? Wishing for better job, success or more enjoyment in your life? Cannon Ridge Training Center will host Live Ignited, Fearless & Excited (LIFE) on Saturday, March 8, at 9:30 am. Participants will learn how to turn the mundane into the amazing through an “interactive and transformational workshop.” Cost for the three-hour workshop is $45 per person, and reservations are requested.
Until recently, patients of Newtown’s Community Health Associates and Dr Jeffrey Friedman who were tipping the scales, showing evidence of high blood pressure, cholesterol, hypertension or other conditions threatening their heart health, might have received a stern look or candid lecture, and been sent home with reference materials on how to lose weight or dial down their stress. Others may have been put on, or were warned that they were facing the prospect of being prescribed, blood pressure or cholesterol medication. But thanks to a new tool and guidelines for physicians introduced last November, Dr Friedman can now show patients a computerized profile of their cardiovascular health, and work with them using the tool to help minimize, and in some cases eliminate, their potentially heart-harming conditions.
The Newtown Parent Connection, Inc., in partnership with Brookfield CARES, announces the return of its popular, parent education day. Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 22, from 8 am to 2:30 pm, at Newtown Middle School. Registration is necessary for attendees and children. This collaboration is offered to parents and caregivers who wish to be proactive and learn positive parenting strengths for raising children of all ages. This year’s keynote speaker is Jane Nelsen, EdD, LMFT, noted author and accomplished educator in the field of Positive Discipline. Her topic is “How to Empower Your Children and Yourselves!” Kids University is also offered, with music, games and special guests for ages 3-11.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is hosting its next Family to Family Education Program, 12 weekly sessions offering support and education to family members and loved ones of individuals with mental illness, in Newtown beginning on March 3. Sessions will meet at Newtown Christian Church, 210 Sugar Street, from 7 to 9:30 pm each week. Then on Wednesday, March 5, NAMI Fairfield will presents its First Wednesday of the Month Speaker Meeting featuring David Kelly, LCSW, and his talk “The World Is a Sharp Object.”
Residents from Newtown and across the state who have filed complaints about outdoor wood-burning furnaces in their neighborhoods with a state-based environmental advocacy organization may be breathing easier soon. The American Lung Association of the Northeast, the Sierra Club of Connecticut, and Environment and Human Health, Inc (EHH) are submitting a legal “petition” to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) asking that agency to set regulatory air standards for residential wood smoke emissions. The Connecticut Fund for the Environment has also submitted a letter to the CT DEEP calling for strong action from the agency on this issue.
Newtown residents who have been receiving financial assistance from the local Lions Club to help offset out of pocket costs for post 12/14-related mental health and counseling services can continue receiving assistance uninterrupted. Robert Schmidt, a spokesperson for the local unit of this global service club told The Newtown Bee February 17 that money in a special Lions fund set up to help local individuals afford counseling for themselves or family members since the Sandy Hook shootings is running out. But the Lions have teamed with the local Rotary Club and the Newtown Memorial Fund to help ensure residents tapping support services aren't forced to stop because of the burden of out of pocket expenses for counseling.
The Newtown Public School Recovery Project is sponsoring two upcoming parent forums, one at Newtown Middle School and the other at Hawley Elementary School. Both are being offered with morning and evening sessions, and all sessions are being done on February 20.The first forum, called “Building Resiliency in Yourself and Your Children,” will teach attendees how to better prepare themselves and their families to navigate life’s stressors and challenges by building inner-strength and resiliency. The second forum, “Parenting Using Positive Discipline Techniques,” will share positive discipline techniques that give parents the tools needed to help with daily challenges.