Sunday, September 27, 2009

Searching for Mummies

On August 28, 2009, the girls of the North Wing embarked on an afternoon trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. After a smooth transition from the school shift, a few girls showered early and changed into their best city clothing for an afternoon of fun-filled museuming. Along the way to Boston, the group stopped at a D’Angelo’s Bistro in Hanover, MA where they met Donna, the helpful and friendly manager who had prepared all of their orders ahead of time. Donna kept the girls engaged with stories of her own special needs daughter. Upon leaving the dinner, the girls expressed their gratitude with not only the food but also the extra- friendly staff of D’Angelo’s.
When the group arrived at the museum, the girls immediately noticed the advertised Mummy exhibit. Everyone agreed that this was the must-see exhibit of the evening in Boston. With maps of the museum in hands, the children wandered from room to room with staff answering to much of their curiosity. On the second floor, in the Egyptian collection, the girls wandered wide-eyed, but found no mummies amongst the ancient hieroglyphics and antiquated stoneware. From there, they discovered the works of the Roman Empire, and then strolled into a room filled with classical Greek sculptures. The search for the mummies appeared unfruitful, despite their extra discoveries of the Italian Renaissance. Finally, one of the children returned to her map and discovered another gallery on the first floor—The Egyptian Funerary Arts. The girls decided this display would be the next stop, but not before stumbling upon a Modern Art collection. Viewers gathered around a 72 minute film of separate Madonna fans singing the same songs in sequence. While some of the girls stopped to go the bathroom, the others watched a filmed still life of a bowl of fruit growing mold. One student decided to ask a security guard how to get to the mummies. They wandered past the Matisse, past the C├ęzanne, past the Pollock, and past the Visitor’s Center, and finally into the Mummy Exhibit.
The deceased and mummified proved very exciting for the girls of the North Wing. They meandered past the bronzed ancient auras of the dead long-ago. They pressed their noses against the glass as their faces glowed with curiosity. Staff stood bombarded by questions only archeologists could answer. The trip back to Latham was silent and full of slumber, and one could overhear, resounding against the van’s radio, the still sound of dreams stimulated by the lost tombs of Egypt.

Article submitted by: John Bonanni

"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."
~Pearl Buck

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Latham Hawks - Staff vs. Students Softball Game

The annual Student vs. Staff Softball game took place last week. During the game, the students learned how much their skills have improved and the staff learned how Father Time has robbed them of any skill they once had. The weather for the day was perfect and the game was a back and forth battle.
These types of events are what make our Latham community special. For now, the Softball season has come to a close, but plans for the Special Olympic soccer and flag football season are already underway. Go Latham Hawks!!

"The nice thing about teamwork 
is that you always have others on your side."
~Margaret Carty

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pinwheels For Peace

On Monday September 21, the Latham Girl Scout troop joined girls from around the nation to participate in Pinwheels For Peace. Girl Scout troops nationwide created homemade pinwheels which they displayed as a visible symbol for creating world wide peace.
This is the first year that Latham had a troop and we are happy to join other troops in this worthwhile movement. We look forward to continuing this great tradition for years to come!

"I've seen and met angels 
wearing the disguise of ordinary people 
living ordinary lives."
~Tracy Chapman

Latham Players At It Again

The Latham Players is our world renowned Adult Services Drama Club. Penelope Chatterton has directed the group for over ten years and feels privileged to be involved with such a great group. Penelope recounts, “The Latham Players developed out of dance and voice lessons at our office on route 134 years ago. I elected to be that teacher as I had the background and the spirit for the job. I noticed, by calling in an executive meeting next door to see our theater pieces, that these folks loved entertaining! (So much so, that they call themselves "hams"!) We couldn't be stopped after that!”

The calendar for the Players is now packed year round. They perform at nursing homes, other agencies, the Cape Cod Community College and have been featured on Cambridge Public Access television. They also regularly perform at Latham Centers graduations and special events.
The Latham Players are a prime example of a program that enriches the individuals involved as well as the greater community. Most importantly, as Penelope states, “We have a nifty routine going and we continue to find fun in our innovation and humorous programs.”
The Latham Players are preparing for Max Manning's first television show called "The Diversity Show". They are dedicating it to Eunice Kennedy Schriver and the Players each have a wonderful slant on their participation and the meaning of the Special Olympics in their lives. Very wonderful participation and we will produce the program on Oct 3rd.

"Every survival kit should include a sense of humor."
~Author Unknown

Half Day Hoopla!

The first ever Half Day Hoopla was enjoyed by all who participated. On Thursday September 17, while the educational staff had a training, the kids were released early to participate in the Half Day Hoopla. Using the stage that is set up on the athletic field, students were asked to display their talents to the Latham community. Singing, dancing and comedy... our students are multi-talented and they shined on this day.
Many more students than expected participated and everyone enjoyed the show. It was a joy to see so many brave students able to ham it up in front of a large audience. Thanks go out to all the Residential staff, particularly Behavior Specialist Emily Lazott who came up with the idea and organized much of the event.

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
~e.e. cummings

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Message From The Director of Finance

My name is Patricia (Pat) Hallahan and I am the Director of Finance at Latham Centers. Did you know that for every one dollar that Latham spends, 85 cents of it goes for payroll and fringe benefits? That does not leave much money for mortgage, food, utilities, school books, computers, and recreation just to name a few expenses.

Latham Centers is not like other schools that receive endowment funds to help them when things get tough, like it is now. Latham has no endowment and what we receive from the state and local governments is all that we have to spend. The state also controls our tuition rates so we can not raise them when our costs increase. If the state cuts payments which is what happened this past year, we need to find other ways to cover costs which have only increased for ourselves and for the staff who work here. It is not easy to manage the cash flow at Latham, but due to our great staff and supportive parents, we have managed. We don’t just want to cover our costs but continue to provide our kids with increasingly enriched programming and decent facilities for them to live and learn in.

This is where you come in. We need your support to help us meet the challenge of providing quality programming for kids who are restricted from so many of life’s activities. Please consider making a donation to help us fund our ongoing capital projects, enhance our PWS programming, or to simply provide an individual youth who has few funds of their own for their personal needs and/or recreation (such as horseback riding, skiing, or a gym membership).
Latham is a private, non profit, 501c 3 charitable organization. If you would like to make a donation to help us in our mission, please send it to:

Latham Centers Inc.,
1646 Main Street,
Brewster, MA 02631.

Any donation will make a huge difference in the lives of these kids. Thank you for your support!

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
~Winston Churchill

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Day of School News

The first day of school was a bit later than usual this year, and students and staff were more ready than ever to start a new school year. School year 2009-2010 is bringing lots of positive changes. First of all, Latham School has begun a new reading program with students meeting in reading groups to improve their reading skills. Using the Teach Your Children to Read Well reading program, a reading program authored by Michael Mahoney and based on the best research about teaching, even struggling and beginning readers have the potential for tremendous results. There have been other changes as well. Physical Education is being taught daily to all but our transitional students by a new Physical Education teacher who brings with him much experience. Social Skills has also been added to the daily curriculum. Soon Latham will have our first school store, managed by a student from our transitional class and overseen by our vocational coordinator. Students will be earning Latham dollars to spend in the store. Our elective program has expanded to include a school newspaper and two off campus activities: video production and tap dancing. Students heard about all these changes at the first all school assembly, and their enthusiasm was palpable. Students are now getting ready for Student Council elections so that they can continue to work on making school year 2009-2010 a huge success for all.

"Always walk through life 

as if you have something new to learn and you will."
~Vernon Howard

Friday, September 4, 2009

We Love Cape Cod, End of Summer Celebration!

Cape Cod has some of the most beautiful beaches in all the world. Within minutes from our campus, there is easy access to ocean beaches with surf, bay beaches with warm, calm water and, if the tide is right, miles of open sand flats. The natural beauty around us is one of the greatest perks of our location

All summer long our kids have been fully enjoying Cape Cod. Almost daily there have been beach outings that have included swimming, beach walks, seashell scavenger hunts and kite flying. Today was the culmination of the summer’s activities.

This morning, the grill was packed up, the umbrellas were stowed with the beach towels and the kids were lathered up with their sunscreen as everyone headed out to West Dennis beach for a cookout. Since school starts next week, kids are doing their best to suck up the end of summer.

To all the day was a success. The kids have returned tired, but full of smiles and good memories from their Cape Cod summer. As school starts, it is days like this that the kids will remember most. These have been carefree, fun days where there was nothing to worry about. Sometimes a good day on the beach is the best medicine for what ails you.

"In summer, the song sings itself."
~William Carlos Williams