Thursday, February 17, 2011

Latham Goes on a Snow Tubing Adventure

 "O, wind,
If Winter comes, 

can Spring be far behind?"  
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Related Posts:
Boys Enjoy a Night of Bruins Hockey
Everyone Loves Dancing
Rec and Exercise Group on the Move

Soon to be Latham Graduate Particiaptes in PWS Presentation

Jessie Siles, soon to be our most recent graduate from Latham, sports enthusiast, responsible jobs program participant and general ‘good guy’, put another feather in his cap by participating in his class’ presentation on Prader-Willi-Syndrome. He did research on the computer for information on PWS, helped prepare a Power Point slide show and read along with two of his classmates in the program presented to several other classes at Latham. He and his peers did a fabulous job and enjoyed a hearty round of applause! Congratulations Jessie!

"Hitch your wagon to a star." 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day at Latham Centers

Valentine's Day at Latham Centers was celebrated Monday evening with our annual Restaurant Night.  The dining room on campus was beautifully decorated with tablecloths, linen napkins and candlelight.  The students dressed as if they were going to a fine restaurant and the atmosphere was very festive.  The meal started with an appetizer of soup or potstickers.  Dinner selections included either steak with roasted vegetables or sesame chicken with noodles and the best part, dessert, was either chocolate cream pie or red velvet cupcakes.  Very difficult decisions!  The students especially enjoyed members of the management staff acting as their waiters.  Everyone had such a good time there is talk of expanding Restaurant Night to other holidays.

"Without Valentine's Day, February would be... well, January." 
~Jim Gaffigan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Children’s Advocacy Day in Boston

Seven Latham students attended the Children’s League of Advocacy Day presentation in Boston. The day included a trip to the T-Station, a stroll through Boston and a visit to the Massachusetts State House. The students represented Latham with integrity and proved the big city was no match for our gifted students.

Latham Center’s Anne McManus gave a powerful speech that struck a chord with a few students.
“I really enjoyed when Anne McManus said "No more cuts for kids!" She got everybody to chant!”
After learning about government in her classroom one student said,  “I liked that legislature helps other parents know about children with disabilities.”

The day concluded with a wonderful lunch at McDonald’s and an experience for the ages. One student summed up the day, “Listening to Special Needs students speak about the support they received really went a long way.”

Well done, Latham.

"Don't find fault.  Find a remedy."
~Henry Ford

Monday, February 14, 2011

Latham Launches Fundraising Campaign to Benefit Pope’s International Equestrian Dream

Latham Centers resident Zanders Pope will compete in Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece this Summer. Latham Centers, Inc. is challenging the Cape community to support the dreams and accomplishments of Alexandra ―Zanders‖ Pope, a young adult with a rare genetic disorder, poised to compete in horseback riding at the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens Greece, June 25–July 4, 2011.

Pope, 25, was selected to represent the U.S. in the equestrian division of the Games along with only nine other riders in the country. Pope resides in Yarmouthport in an adult group home operated by Latham Centers for individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

   "We are so proud of Zanders, and fully support her dreams. She has accomplished so much during her time with us, according to Anne McManus, Executive Director of Latham Centers. We are now asking the community to rally around her both emotionally and financially, as we ourselves are doing. She has definitely inspired us and deserves our support."

Before traveling overseas, Pope must first attend a national training camp in San Diego at the end of March as a trial test before her three-week trip to Greece beginning June 18. A native of Connecticut, Pope began riding horses when she was 12 years old. At the time, she refused to participate in Special Olympics and insisted on riding in a regular program. As Zanders grew older, her riding became more limited due to weight gain, a common occurrence with individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome who often face lifelong growth, metabolic and behavioral problems from the disorder.

  "My favorite thing to do is ride and care for horses. I've done this since I was a little girl. It's one thing I am really good at and is my passion in life,  shares Pope on her Facebook page where she started to promote her horseback riding activities.  I am thrilled to be chosen to represent the United States in the 2011 Special Olympics World Games…I really want to go and visit another country."

Pope trains locally at Diamondsedge Farm in West Barnstable with Brenda Tri who nominated Pope for the World Games. Tri works with numerous special needs programs and individuals on the Cape. The Latham resident also loves animals and stays busy volunteering at the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable while attending Project Forward at Cape Cod Community College—a vocational training program for students with significant learning disabilities. She also enjoys the company of her sister Sunie, a community actor living in Brewster.

Tax-deductible donations to Zanders’ Special Olympics travel fund can be made online at by clicking Make a Donation or by mail payable to Latham Centers, 1646 Main Street, Brewster, MA 02631 with Alexandra Pope noted in the memo section—both online or on personal checks. Thanks for your support!

"Dreams are free, so free your dreams." 
~Astrid Alauda

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hazelmoor and Upper Deck News

In January, Latham opened a new home for students with PWS.  Located 20 minutes from the main campus, Hazelmoor is a 6 bed, co-ed home for students who have demonstrated that they can live closer to the community, supported by a structured, predictable, and food secure environment.  The students are all excited to be living in their new home as are the staff who are with them.

Minutes from the health club they all belong to, within a traditional Cape Cod neighborhood, these students are enjoying living in a larger home that more closely resembles what they might be in when and if they move into adult services.  This experience should help them with that major life transition.  They also continue to participate in the full range of healthful activities that not only help them maintain their increasingly svelt figures but also reduce stress through exercise.

The remaining boys with PWS are preparing to move into their new suite on the second floor of Yawkey.  Recently completed,  this 5 bedroom suite will accommodate 6 boys.  Named as “Upper Deck” by the boys themselves, it will have a sports theme, exercise equipment, and a lot more living space than Simpkins Cottage had.  An adjacent large activity room will serve as a central location for students with PWS to hold joint activities and meetings during the afternoons and evenings.
This was made possible by the support of friends and parents of Latham Centers and financing from the US Department of Agriculuture.

"The light is what guides you home, 
the warmth is what keeps you there." 
~Ellie Rodriguez

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Children's League of Massachusetts Advocacy Day Program info

Hi All,
Please join us at the State House on Tuesday, February 8th for the Children’s League of Massachusetts Advocacy Day Program (see below). Our distinguished Executive Director, Anne McManus, is presenting.  It is important that the Legislators hear our voices.  We invite you to join us and if you cannot make it, please call your legislators and let them know that this is important to you. We and our children appreciate your help.

Advocacy Day Program
February 8, 2011
11:00AM - 1:00PM
The State House Grand Staircase

Greetings from Board Chair Tim Callahan, Executive Director of the Brandon School and Residential Treatment Center in Natick.

Musical Performance by Brandon School and Residential Treatment Center, Natick.

Welcome from Barbara Talkov, Executive Director of the Children’s League.

Release of the Child and Family Welfare Platform- presented by Anne McManus of the Latham Centers in Brewster. The League developed the platform to serve as a framework for improving the child and family welfare system in Massachusetts. Focus is on five areas of recommendations: access to services, family voice and choice, accountability and outcomes, workforce training, and adequate resources.

Presentation of Children’s Choice Award to Representative Kay Khan for leadership on child and family policy issues in the commonwealth.

Call to Action: Teens from Roxbury Youthworks, Boston

Musical Performance by the Plummer Home for Boys, Salem.

Light lunch will be served. Please RSVP!!

"You don't have to hold a position in order to be a leader." 
~Anthony J. D'Angelo

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Latham Hosts Circle of Courage Training

Last week, Latham co-sponsored a training with RFK Childrens Action Corp on the Circle of Courage.  Forty people attended this two day training in the second floor of Latham’s Yawkey Dormitory. This new residential space will be utilized by a group of our young men diagnosed with PWS by the end of the month. It is a wonderful space that allowed for a comfortable training space.

All Latham employees that attended the training will be presenting the information to all employees in the coming months. The basis of the Circle is that every child has four basic needs- Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity- that must be fulfilled to find balance. If a child is demonstrating some sort of imbalance we must look to see where the Circle is broken.

Latham would like to thank Lisa Shephard, the trainer from Reclaiming Youth, and our colleagues at RFK for partnering with us. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful learning opportunities.

"The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; 
it is essentially a part of it." 
~Charles DeLint

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PQI Update

The PQI (Performance Quality Improvement) Committee met on January 21, 2011 to review the data presented to the committee on these topics:
  • Case Record Review, Children’s Services
  • Student Restraint Data
  • Medication Errors, Children’s Services
  • Medical Record Review, Adult Services
  • Elopement Review, Adult Services
  • Client Financial Records
  • Performance Evaluation Timeliness
The committee concluded that Elopement and Performance Evaluations have met their goals. Further recommendations were made regarding case record review and a new tool for the Medical Record Review has been created by Nursing for immediate use.  We will continue to follow the student restraint data and implement the actions recommended by the Children’s Services Teams.  While the total number of med errors was statistically low, nursing has made several changes to medication distribution that further improves accuracy. Client Financial Record Reviews have made several adjustments to their process and will educate staff on the changes. 

The committee has suggested several new projects.  We will closely review the implementation and success of the PQI process in 2010. We have asked all programs to consider specific client centered outcomes to examine this year.  Human Resources will also propose outcome measurements on staff satisfaction based on the survey from August 2010.

As we continue to develop and expand our PQI focus, we look forward to sharing the valuable information we are collecting. If you have any questions on the PQI process, PQI reports, or if you would like to volunteer for the committee, please contact Chris @  

"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." 
~John Dewey