Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Graduation

Consider how special it is to graduate in December! So many others are June grads, but at Latham, some young women get to graduate later in the year. It was a pleasure to attend two graduation ceremonies recently where two students at a time were acknowledged for the completion of their work at Latham.
To the strains of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance, each girl processed into a warm and loving environment filled with their excited and enthusiastic fellow students. Yes, they wore caps and gowns and carried special mementoes. Head of School, Lucy Foran, acted as Master of Ceremonies and three members of the staff spoke about each student's progress at Latham and hopes for their future. There was lots of applause and acknowledgement from the audience. Some of the graduates offered special thanks and remarks on their schoolwork and success in many special endeavors. Then, of course, the photos began with the presentation of the Certificates of Completion, some received flowers, each received a Memory Book (a personal recollection of stories and photos of each student's time at Latham) and each received an especially made commemorative quilt -- beautifully conceived and crafted by a group of quilters in Harwich. There were lots of hugs -- hugs of excitement, congratulations, encouragement, love and some teary goodbyes -- everything a graduation should be. Latham is such a special place!

Keith Bradley, Member, Board of Directors

"There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises." Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning."
~Orrin Hatch

Monday, December 21, 2009

Latham and The Jolly Jaunt

A JOLLY JAUNTing we will go . . . on December 6th, more than 536 runners and walkers turned out for the Special Olympics fundraiser called the JOLLY JAUNT. The Latham team was captained by Tim Vaughan and eleven folks signed up to run or walk. The team raised over $1,500 to go toward Latham students' participation in Special Olympics events. While most runners did the 5K race, I did part of the 2k walk with Lucy Foran and Scout. Scout was enthusiastic to compete and really wanted to win. One of the Latham runners came in seven seconds behind the winner! Many of the Latham students were at the Finish Line to welcome in the Latham runners! Just wait til next year!
After the race, everyone settled into the large ballroom at the Resort and Conference Center for lunch, the prize awards and results of the Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle. Overall, the event raised close to $43,000 for Special Olympics. Next year, let's get more Latham team members and break out the blue and white balloons and streamers! Congratulations to Tim Vaughan and all the Latham runners and walkers!

Keith Bradley, Latham Board Member

"Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first."
~Author Unknown

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Just In From The Children's League...

The Children’s League of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Human Service Providers Council of which Latham is a member, is actively participating in The People First! campaign. The focus of the campaign is to ask the governor and the legislative leaders to put People First! as they develop the state budget for FY '11. Part of this effort is a petition campaign.

The Council, who is coordinating the campaign, has launched its Democracy in Action (an automated advocacy tool) petition today. In this perilous time for so many residents, the People First! campaign is calling for state officials to renew the focus that people are first. Any dollars tied up in any obsolete, duplicative or nonproductive administrative systems, structures or mandates -- anywhere in government -- should be eliminated before eliminating funding that directly impacts the lives of those in need of essential state services.

The petition is now going to all members of the People First! campaign to be circulated among their memberships. We need HUGE numbers to make this effective, so we need your help.

Please consider getting involved by using the link below to access the petition, sign it, and forward it to your others who might be willing to participate.
CLICK HERE to sign this petition.

They are asking people to respond to this by Friday, 12/11.

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
~Elmer Davis

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Latham Students’ Learn Leadership

The Latham Student Council meets monthly to discuss and implement positive changes on the Latham campus and in the community. Elected in September and meeting monthly, members have initiated many projects. One project is keeping the grounds on campus beautiful. As one member noted, “We want to be proud of our campus when visitors come.” Because of student initiative, each classroom now has a garden area on campus to keep weeded and trimmed.
Students have also had ideas on how to increase activities in Physical Education, how to help the breakfast and lunch times run more smoothly and how to increase school spirit through Spirit Days. The spring term will be a busy time for the Student Council as members work on community projects such as organizing a can drive for the local Food Pantry and earning money through chores to donate to appropriate causes. Students are also thinking of ways to motivate students who have difficulty staying in class and working hard all day every day. This group of young people is making a difference.

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, December 7, 2009

We Love The Museum of Science!

On Saturday, members of Simpkins Cottage and the Cabin visited the Boston Museum of Science. They had a wonderful trip and look forward to returning in the future!

"Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boys Participate in Worldwide PWS Art Show

We have been working in the Simpkins Cabin social skills group on collages. The theme for the collage is "All About Me." Students chose items as if they were using pictures to describe themselves and what they like to someone. We are submitting these to the International PWS organization for the East Meets West International PWS conference in May in Tapei, Taiwan.

The artwork will be formatted and displayed electronically for viewing on a big screen in the lecture halls before each of the sessions and during breaks. The title of the piece will be displayed on the screen together with the name, age and country of the artist.
The maximum number of submissions from each artist is 3 pieces. This is not a competition. Each artist will receive an electronic certificate with the conference logo thanking them for their submission. Thanks to all the boys and staff for representing Latham in this wonderful effort.

These are their submissions.

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."
~Charles Horton Cooley