Friday, June 26, 2009

Arts Festival a Huge Success!

Latham's annual Arts Festival was held on Friday, June 19th. This event is the students opportunity to show off the results of their year long efforts in the arts. Despite the rain, this event was a big success.

The afternoon started off with a "Trash to Treasure" Sculpture Contest. The students had to make a sculpture, using all "found" items. The judging was difficult but finally 3 students won their gift certificates to AC Moore. The Video club showed video from the recent prom and the video they made of local Brewster scenes. The Pottery group demonstrated throwing pots and showed off their beautiful and colorful pottery projects, ranging from bowls, cups and vases to small animals. The Photography club made a gallery of their photos and took orders for reprints. The Project Art group displayed their creations. Staff and students wore the student designed T- shirt from the annual T shirt contest, on the theme of what Latham means to them. The day was capped off with the dance recital by the Performing Arts group. The fabulous numbers included songs from "High School Musical" and "Mama Mia."
Everyone had a wonderful day!

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
~Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summertide News

Summertide is ready to go. We have 3 interns this year: Brynn Woodland returning from last year, Melissa Caprale and Rachel Davies which will be helpful because we have a busy schedule. Students will continue their academics in the morning until lunch, concentrating on reviewing math concepts learned last year, writing in a variety of formats and a novel study. Our transitional classes will continue to practice community skills and their study of citizenship and math for the real world. Our afternoons will be spent swimming, enjoying some new and interesting clubs, and taking trips, many off cape.
This year our trips will be tied to the Massachusetts Frameworks, but that does not mean they will not be fun. Some trips include a trip to a farm where they will learn about farming in the 1800's, an ocean trip where they will actively capture and study plankton and other creatures from the sea, a play through which they will learn about the elements of fairy tales, and directing, and a trip to a the South Shore Natural Museum where they will learn about the eco systems of Massachusetts. Students will be busy having fun and learning, no matter what the weather brings!

"Enjoy the little things, 
for one day 
you may look back and realize 
they were the big things." 
 ~Robert Brault

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Special Olympics Fundraising Pays Off

Over $3000 was raised for Latham’s children services Special Olympics program last year. This money is going to great use. So far it has paid for all fees associated with our basketball, bowling and track/field teams. It has paid for end of the season parties and special awards for our athletes. New equipment has been purchased and enjoyed by everyone. This week additional warm up suits will be purchased to ensure that all our athletes represent the Latham Hawks in proper style.

This would not be possible in this current economic climate without the previous dedication and commitment of Latham staff. Many people took time from their busy schedules to donate their time and energy to raising money for this worthwhile cause. Our young athletes are now enjoying and benefiting from these funds.

Track and field season was a huge success this year. Thanks to Jessica Majewski for leading the team through the entire season. Thank you also to the many assistant coaches that helped out in varying amounts of times. You all helped directly to ensure that our athletes had a positive experience.

This summer will be the second season for our softball team. Presently, we are the only Special Olympics softball team on the Cape. We hope that through our example other programs pull together teams that we can compete against. Please stay posted for the summertime staff vs. student softball game. All staff are encouraged to come out and play!

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need."

~Kahlil Gibran

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Note From The Director of Maintenance

As Director of Maintenance at Latham Centers I am keenly aware of the importance of food security for our students and individuals. Over the years we have developed a number of systems and techniques to insure that food is safely and securely managed in our homes.

Currently we use padlocks on all refrigerators. We typically purchase standardized single side refrigerators and place latches and locks on the freezer and the refrigerator door. We use heavy duty padlocks that can be purchased at any local hardware store. We secure the latches for these locks to the door of the refrigerator by drilling holes carefully into the side of the door and the wall of the refrigerator. We use self-tapping screws and additionally use lock tight glue or super glue to secure the latches. We find that occasionally the latches need replacement if they are wiggled frequently. It is important to check for loosening of the latches from time to time.

On our cabinets we use a high quality barrel lock. Depending on how long the cabinets are we may add a second lock to insure that they remain secure. It is important to periodically check these locks to insure that they are not becoming loose.

Last of all in managing our trash disposal we secure all food refuse in locked dump sheds.

Most recently we have been in conversation with our alarm company and electrician discussing the development of a timed lock using magnets. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

If you have questions about installation of locks please comment and we will help if we can.

Contributed by:
Tim Semple
Director of Maintenance

"Safety First" is "Safety Always."
~Charles M. Hayes

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pony Camp Is a Big Hit!

The value of our kids being around, caring for and enjoying animals can not be understated. A strong argument could be made that the most popular guy on the Latham campus is Scout, our Corgi therapy dog. Scout has to be one of the most petted, walked, kissed and cared for trained dogs in the world. Animals have the incredible power to heal kids unlike anything else.
Latham Centers has teamed up with Angels on Horseback to conduct a six week Pony camp for our kids. Angels on Horseback is a stable located in Wellfleet run by Heather Morse. Heather is licensed in therapeutic riding and loves working with children. The kids will learn to lead and groom, with the ultimate goal of being able to ride the horses. Heather says, “Before I let anyone ride a horse, I have to be sure that the horse will listen to them from the ground.” Aside from the fun of being with these beautiful animals, we hope the kids improve their levels of confidence, leadership and self awareness.
In this first class, the girls groomed Serenity, wrote their names on her back, met Rosie the pig, the llamas and then got to lead the horses around the ring. We hope that this is the beginning of a regular partnership that meets the therapeutic needs of our students.

"There is something 

about the outside of a horse 
that is good for the inside of a man."
~Winston Churchil

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Message From Christine Gallant

My name is Christine Gallant and I am the Director of Marketing & Training at Latham Centers, Inc. One of my goals is to be sure that LCI offers staff the opportunity to develop the professional skills necessary to work with children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Understanding the challenges of PWS is an important step in becoming a professional direct care worker.
Many of us come into this field with some background in Human Services, child care or education. We typically understand the need for program structure and the value of rich, interesting activity planning, but the concept of total food security and strict adherence to nutritional guidelines can be misunderstood when you don’t understand Prader-Willi Syndrome. It is not news to families that food plays a huge role in the care and well-being of those with PWS, but it might be to staff who know little about this complex syndrome before they begin their new job with us.

We have designed an orientation program that helps staff understand PWS. During their initial week-long orientation to LCI, new staff meet with key personnel to learn about Prader-Willi Syndrome, our philosophy, and the current research and best practices about this challenging syndrome. We actively support all staff in increasing their knowledge about PWS through attendance at conferences and inservices, expanding our PWS library and consulting with and learning from Drs. Janice Forster and BJ Goff. We are members of PWSAUSA, PWSNE and IPWSO. We welcome all families, organizations and professionals to join us as we continue to develop programming that offers excellence in care and support to those with PWS.

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."
Chinese Proverb

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PWSNE Walkathon, A Wonderful Way To Spend the Day!

Our PWS young adults took part in the PWSNE walk-a-thon at Borderlands State Park this past Saturday. The weather was perfect and the park was beautiful. Rolling pastures, old forest trails and pristine ponds were the back drop for the 3 mile walk. The Simpkins Boys and Northwing girls handed out waters to the passing walkers and cheered on Angel Silva and her Mom, who were but a few of our PWS community that walked. Stephanie Hight’s sister and Mom came by to say hello and walk along with Anne McManus and a large group from our Adult PWS houses. We all had fun while participating in a worthwhile event. We stayed long after the walk was over to picnic and enjoy the scenery.

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
~John Muir