Saturday, March 16, 2019

YCPO - March 2019

March 2019 Young Children Newsletter


EasterSeals is working to create a world where:
   •     Each child born with a disability is given the support necessary to participate fully in life and to have dreams and hopes, successes and achievements.
   •     Parents of a newly-diagnosed child with a disability are aware of the services and resources available to them and get unimpeded access to all necessary services.
   •     Children with disabilities are recognized by all as having vital contributions to make to our society.
   •     Communities value and support children with disabilities and their families.
   •     Access to appropriate child care is available for children with special needs.
   •     Families benefit from innovations and new technologies that help children with disabilities be as independent as possible.

Child Development Centers
Our Child Development Center Network is the largest provider of inclusive child care in the United States. EasterSeals serves thousands of young children and their families in a setting where children with disabilities and special needs comprise 25 percent of enrollment.

Early Intervention
Early intervention services help young children with disabilities achieve their goals in cognitive, social/emotional, communicative, adaptive and physical development.
Services may include occupational therapy to help an infant learn to hold her bottle, physical therapy to help her learn to roll over, or speech therapy to help her learn to eat. Most early intervention services take place in the home or, in the case of working parents, at child care facilities in the local community.

Locations of EasterSeals Rehabilitation Centers and Offices in New England

New Hampshire —EasterSeals New Hampshire(Rehabilitation Center)
555 Auburn Street,
Manchester, NH 03103

Maine - EasterSeals Maine, Portland
125 Presumpscot Street,
Portland, ME 04103

Easter Seals Massachusetts
484 Main Street, Denholm Building
Worcester, MA 01608-1817

EasterSeals Rhode Island, Wakefield
213 Robinson Street,
Wakefield, RI 02879

Easter Seals
5 Woodruff Ave
Narragansett, Rhode Island

EasterSeals Vermont
641 Comstock Road, Suite 1
Berlin, VT 05602

Connecticut — EasterSeals Rehabilitation Center of Greater Waterbury
22 Tompkins Street,
Waterbury, Connecticut
Children ages: 3 to 5 years

EasterSeals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut
100 Deerfield Road,
Windsor, CT 06095
EasterSeals Coastal Fairfield County
733 Summer Street,
Stamford, CT 06901

EasterSeals serves 1.4 million children and adults with disabilities and their families, offering a wide range of services at 73 affiliates nationwide. Easter Seals changes the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people's lives every day, helping their clients build the skills and access the resources they need to live, learn, work and play.

Services include:
   •     Accessibility Resources
   •     Autism Services
   •     Camping & Recreation
   •     Day Care
   •     Employment & Training
   •     In-Home Care
   •     Mental Health Services
   •     Therapy
   •     Veteran Reintegration
   •     Senior Career Employment
   •     Respite Services
How Can Kiwanis Clubs Help?

   1     Contact EasterSeals in your locale and request a Speaker come to your Club to explain how Kiwanis members can help.
   2     Have a fundraiser for EasterSeals.
   3     Register for an EasterSeals Walk With Me Event Near You — Raise funds as an individual or as part of a team.
   4     Sponsor a Walk With Me Participant — Support friends participating in an EasterSeals Walk With Me event.
   5     Join the Presidents' Council — Make a vital difference in the lives of people living with disabilities with a donation of $1,000 or more.
   6     Recycle for EasterSeals — Help the environment and raise money for EasterSeals. Recycle your cell phone, laser and inkjet cartridges, and more, to generate funds to help support children and adults with disabilities and their families. Learn more about this eco-friendly, fundraising initiative.

Feel Good About Giving to EasterSeals

EasterSeals primary services benefit over 1.3 million individuals each year through more than 550 centers nationwide, in Puerto Rico and Australia. For children and adults with disabilities and their families, every donation counts. Find out how your contribution makes a difference.
For 25 years, EasterSeals has been first among National Health Council members for the percentage (94 percent) of program dollars allocated to providing direct services.

For more information go to

Ava Adams
District Chair, Young Children Committee
Scarborough Maine Kiwanis Club
New England and Bermuda
Member, Kiwanis International Committee on
Young Children

Monday, February 4, 2019

YCPO - February 2019

Good Morning Fellow Kiwanians!


    The Manchester New Hampshire Club has established a Reading Corner in a local laundromat. Thank you to Laura Schneider-Nesmith and Marilyn Charbonneau for their work in getting the project up and running smoothly.

    A Reading Corner has been set up in a local laundromat in Caribou, Maine. with the help of a $200 grant from the Kiwanis a Foundation of New England. Thank you to Bill Francis and Club members for their work in maintaining this project. I’ve been told that this Reading Corner is so successful, that the owner of the laundromat has asked the club to set up a Reading Corner in another local laundromat. Kudos to club members!

    The Mt. Washington Valley Kiwanis Club has set up a Reading Corner in a waiting area at their local hospital emergency room area. Kiwanians are innovative, and they modify projects to meet the needs of their communities. Kudos to Janice Andrews and Club members for their efforts!

    Scarborough Maine Kiwanis has established a Reading Corner at the Scarborough Food Pantry. It is going well especially during the summer when children don’t have access to books.

    The Danvers MA. Kiwanis Club haste up a Reading Corner on High  St. In Danvers. The project was spearheaded by a committee which included Janet Bennett and Mary Giangregerio. The very small area was set up using a magazine rack for the donated books from members of the Danvers Club. They put Kiwanis stickers on all the books.

    Amesbury Kiwanis Club has set up a Reading Corner at the Hillside Launderette in Amesbury.

    The Peabody Club has all necessary materials and is looking for a facility.
    The Methuen Kiwanis Club was happy to have completed another service project. The  Merrimack Laundromat and Car Wash on Burnham Rd in Methuen was the proud recipient of a book library.

The Kiwanis Foundation of New England, through their Grant Program, has pre-approved   $1600 funding to help pay for the kits for the Reading Corners(total cost per kit ). A Kiwanis Club must fill out the KFNE Grant application with specific information about the laundromat where the Reading Corner will be set up. Submit the completed application to The Club will receive $200 to buy the kit from ReadyNation. The grant  money will be distributed on a “first come, first serve” basis. Each Club may apply only once for this assistance. For more information go to and click on grant program info.

I encourage you to establish a Reading Corner in a local laundromat in your community. The Reading Corner set up is a relatively low cost project ($100 or less) and can have a huge impact for local families and young children. Once set up you may find that your local library will supply your Club with gently used books, or Club member and friends can be asked to donate gently used books to replenish the supply of books. What better way to change a child’s promote literacy and the love and joy of reading!



Creating Reading Corners in Laundromats to Boost
Early Literacy, Numeracy and Parent Engagement with Young Children
A Perfect Fit with Kiwanis’ “Young Children: Priority One”
One of the most powerful ways to promote early literacy and parent engagement with their young children is providing materials that encourage both in venues where parents spend time with their children. This idea is most effective in venues where parents need to go for regular chores, that are easily accessible and not intimidating, where there isn’t much stimulation available and where parents have significant “down time” that could be used for reading with young children.  A prime candidate for these venues are laundromats, and ReadyNation is partnering with the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) to set up these Reading Corners in neighborhoods that serve disadvantaged families.  

The interaction at these corners can promote not only basic literacy but also early math and science concepts that build different parts of the brain and complementary skill sets. Creating simple but attractive reading corners can help make the best use of these ordinary parts of the day to build both parental bonds and children’s skills.

These are also attractive for laundromats because they set them apart from other competitors, offer a resource for customers, demonstrate their involvement in the community and engage children at the venues in productive activities.  ReadyNation would also publicize their participation in social media.

Each corner would consist of an attractive book holder; a rug that promotes letters, numbers and geometric shapes (if space allows); and books that parents can use in the moment.  The wall around the station would be decorated with posters created by the CLA and Too Small to Fail specifically for laundromats, as well as materials from another organization, Read Aloud 15 MINUTES, that convey the importance of early reading. The CLA poster would include the Kiwanis logo and is available in English and Spanish.  From that basic foundation, sponsors could do more to if they desire, such as conducting story time sessions. Kiwanis members would be responsible for identifying a local laundromat, maintaining the site, and purchasing the supplies, including the initial set-up and replenishing new or gently used books.  Kiwanis and the laundromat are responsible for any liability coverage or issues.  ReadyNation will publicize the efforts with our website, e-newsletter and social media.


Kiwanis Clubs send Nancy Fishman at the Zip codes in which they wish to work.  ReadyNation will ask the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) if they have members in that Zip code.  If so, CLA will send contact information to ReadyNation.  ReadyNation then sends the Kiwanis member an initial kit consisting of:
CLA member information
Suggested text for outreach email
Introduction letter from CLA
One-page flyer describing roles

If the Kiwanis member doesn't get a response from an email, call and/or visit, Sara will ask CLA to contact the laundromat owner personally and encourage them to participate. 

If the CLA does not have members in your  Zip code, Kiwanis would contact the laundromat on their own.  You can get ownership information about a local laundromat at your TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE in order to communicate with the owner.

Once the Kiwanis member identifies a laundromat partner, ReadyNation will send a second kit:

Posters and sign asking that the books remain at the laundromat
Form to get permission to take photos and use them for publicity purposes

We strongly urge you not to order supplies until the laundromat has agreed. Kiwanis members are responsible for the costs of all supplies, including set-up and ongoing replenishment of books.   For consistency and quality, we ask that you order this book holder (2’ x 1’, about $30) and, if space allows, this rug (5’ x 6 1/2’ – optional if space is tight, about $55).  Both are available on (see links below).

You can get inexpensive new books several ways.  One of these is through  This organization sells new, quality books at very low cost – ordinarily you would need to be approved as an organization that serves disadvantaged children.  However, ReadyNation has an arrangement with them so that you just need to set up an account and in the field for “tell us about your program” note your partnership with ReadyNation.  

Other options recommended by other Kiwanis members are companies such as Reading Warehouse or Books-a-Million.  A monthly supply of books can cost from $0 to about $50.  Books must not have religious, political or controversial themes, should include math/science topics, and should feature diverse characters in terms of race, ethnicity, physical ability, etc. Sponsors can also get used books through donations from employees or civic groups, as well as purchased at thrift stores, libraries, etc.  The laundromat owner and Kiwanis are responsible for any liability coverage or issues.

The Kiwanis member should give the laundromat their contact information and plan to visit the laundromat about once per month to refresh the books.  The Kiwanis member should also take photos with people using the site (backs to the camera is fine) and share with ReadyNation for publicity purposes.   Please also send a copy of the completed permission form.

We ask Kiwanis members to use the basic (and inexpensive) supplies identified (book holder, rug, posters) because they have been reviewed and approved by CLA.  We also took care that the equipment is sturdy, takes up minimal space and is easy to care for.  Using consistent supplies will give the Reading Corners a polished and attractive look.  

We ask that the Kiwanis member let Nancy Fishmann at ReadyNation know how the partnership is progressing, alert her to any issues, and remember to send at least one photo to be used for publicity purposes by ReadyNation, Kiwanis and CLA.  Thank you!

For ReadyNation:  Nancy Fishman
For Kiwanis: Kevin E. Thomas, District Executive Director, Pennsylvania District,  717-540-9300,

"I own two laundromats that now have reading corners that ReadyNation and Kiwanis helped set up, and we're very pleased with them (and about to add a third).  They look great in our business, bringing life and energy to our rear café / community space.  The books are in constant use, with parents reading to their kids and kids reading on their own.  We are so grateful to you for giving prominence, organization and polished visibility to our grassroots attempt to promote early literacy with our customer families."     Brian Holland, Principal, The Laundry Cafe, Pennsylvania; President, Delaware Valley Coin Laundry Association

Direct links on Amazon:

Please contact me if you have questions, or if I can assist you in any way!

Ava Adams, District Chair
Young Children Committee
New England and Bermuda District

Monday, January 7, 2019

YCPO - January 2019

January 2019 Young Children Newsletter

Happy New Year everyone!

PROJECT LINUS...a great project idea!

What is Project Linus?

Project Linus National Headquarters is located in Belton, Missouri. National President Patty Gregory and Vice President Mary Balagna direct and orchestrate the activities of Project Linus chapters located across the United States. Patty has been involved with the organization in the Kansas City area since April 2000 and Mary in Central Illinois since late 1998, as chapter coordinators and now as directors and officers. Mary also maintains a very busy chapter, donating an average of 350 blankets every month to local children. With chapters in all 50 states, Project Linus continues to grow. Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.

Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “
Provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
Chapter Listings

To find a local chapter in your area where you can donate blankets, volunteer your time, etc. just click on your state. All chapter coordinators and their contact information for that state will then be listed below the map.
The demand for blankets always exists and our chapter coordinators welcome finished blanket donations. Hospitals always appreciate no sew fleece blankets for patients.
In addition to finished blankets, coordinators may also need other items. For example, at chapter blanket making events there may be a need for fabrics, batting, thread, and other items. If you would like to donate something that can help your local chapter besides finished blankets, please contact your local chapter coordinator to see what supplies they need.


Kiwanians can make “no sew” fleece blanket to donate. What’s needed: two pieces of fleece material 48 in by 60 in. (1 1/2 yards) Place pieces back sides together. Cut off selvage  ends. Cut a 4 inch square from each corner.  Then cut strips 1 inch wide, 4 inch deep along all sides. Then tie each strip (top and bottom piece) with a square knot. have a fleece blanket for a child in need.
For a baby blanket you will need 1 yard of each fabric (so, 2 total yards).  For a child's blanket, 1 1/2 yards works well (a total of 3 yards). And, an adult-sized blanket will require 2 yards (4 total yards).
If you go to the website you will find more detailed instructions.
(Copy and paste in your browser)


This fleece blanket took about 1 1/2 hour to make.
Of course the pattern can be pinned and cut ahead, and then the strips can be tied during meeting time.
This project would be a wonderful hands on service project for  members. It’s easy and fun to do. No knowledge of sewing is needed. And if there is a JoAnn’s Fabric in your area, fleece blanket kits are available at the store.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

Ava Adams, District Chair
Young Children Committee
New England and Bermuda District
Scarborough ME Kiwanis