Thanksgiving Day was very busy and exciting. Many students went to see a nearby football game while others chose to help set up for dinner or do games and activities. Students and staff transformed the dining room into a festive and welcoming sight, complete with hand-made leaves on which everyone wrote out some things that they were grateful for. Students and staff read those messages aloud just before the dinner began. Everyone then called out a loud and warm “Thank You!” to Tim and Barbara, who spent many, many hours planning and preparing the wonderful meal.
"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts
I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at and participate in the PWS conference in Orlando Florida. When I went down there I was already aware of what PWS was and how it affects the children in my care. However I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet and speak with the families it affects. I was struck at what a tight knit community the PWS community is. More experienced families were offering advice to families recently affected by the syndrome. Older kids were helping the younger kids in the YIP and YAP programs, and providers were holding conferences to give information and trainings to other professionals in their field.
I was impressed to hear that this is the first time in history that we are seeing people affected with PWS live to be elderly. The advancements in treatments have soared, and being able to see how other programs treat PWS was great. It made me realize how lucky I am to be part of such a dynamic team.
How impressed others became when I told them I was from Latham Centers. What a reputation Latham has amongst other programs for being ahead of the rest, and the leading program for the treatment of children affected with PWS. I am proud to be here and a member of this dedicated team. I encourage anyone to go on the pwsausa website to learn more about this syndrome and what the future holds for our courageous students.
"It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings
can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone."
As the holiday season approaches our students here at Latham are filled with excitement and great anticipation. These are the times that our night time routines and rituals are needed more than ever. It is truly wonderful to watch staff be able to settle an anxious student with a talk, bedtime story, and a tuck in. It speaks volumes to our program when our students feel comfortable and safe enough to get a good night sleep!!
"Stars are the daisies that begem
The blue fields of the sky."
I just wanted to let everyone know that our trip to Roger Williams Performing Arts Center was a HUGE success! Students were able to meet resident actors and learn the art of improvisation, get a tour of the entire theatre, try on costumes, and even help create part of the set for the upcoming play!
Some highlights of the trip:
JH was able to work in the sound booth! He learned how to run the light board and was even able to make cues on head set with the other light board operator! He was on cloud nine the entire time!
DA got the chance to work with actors in workshops and completely opened up on stage. He was so enthusiastic and happy to be on a stage working with real actors. He was such a strong leader and the other students truly looked up to him while he was a part of the workshops.
BY found a Sherlock Holmes costume and stayed in character the entire trip! Everyone addressed him as Sherlock and we were able to get some pretty fantastic pictures.
DW fell in love with the costume shop and tried on several gowns and had a photo shoot with the actors!
There are PLENTY of other stories I could share but ask the students instead! They loved every minute and Roger Williams was so impressed with their manners and respect for the theatre. We have been invited back for future workshops and even a FREE SHOW! *more details to come*
Thank you so much to the staff that came out to help! Your enthusiasm and encouragement gave our students that small boost of confidence they needed to get on stage!
Casey Ann Mandel
“Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” ~ Sanford Meisner
I had the pleasure of attending my first PWS conference this past week in Florida. I sat in on several different lectures, ranging from behavioral and medical issues to the role of the family in the life of the person with PWS. I met families from all over the country and was able to hear their stories. I was happy to learn of the support everyone had for each other and how we truly are one family and that no one is alone.
I was happiest to hear about dealing with behavioral issues, food security and helping the child with PWS function in our society. I am proud to say that Latham incorporates the same information I heard from the experts into our own programming here on campus.
As a counselor who deals with the children in their residence, I rely on my training and support from my fellow staff. Our training is key in creating a safe environment for our students. I am proud of the amazing job Latham staff does working with children with PWS. We are using all the important tools and strategies to assist and aid our students to be successful in their lives. It is the support we give now that will help our children to be valued members of their community.
(Left to right: Jonathan J. Smith, Director of Children’s Services; Pam Nolan, Director of Education; Patricia Morgan, Day Supervisor; Patrice Carroll, Manager of PWS Services)
Members of the Latham Centers team recently participated in the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association’s (USA) 31st Annual National Conference. This year’s theme, “Survivor 2011” signified innovative research and treatment options for individuals with PWS. Conference sessions included a strong focus on “Best Practices” and support for individuals and families. Latham participants acquired ground-breaking information regarding scientific advances; the importance of sensory integration, effective educational and behavioral support approaches; and methods to support the physical and cognitive health of individuals with PWS.
"You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself."
What an amazing opportunity Latham Centers had at the 2011 Conference. As sponsors of this major event, we had the pleasure of meeting new and re-connecting with old friends. I heard my name called out in the exhibit lobby and hugged Margaret Stone, a former nursing supervisor of the Latham School who had retired to Florida and volunteered at the conference. She was delighted to learn of Latham’s involvement and to catch up on her former colleagues from Cape Cod. From the opening keynote address to the closing ceremonies, the conference offered all of us an opportunity to hear what is happening in the world of PWS.
What we experienced at the conference was a comaradarie amongst those who support and those who love a person with PWS. Families, providers, medical staff, educators and other professionals are working together to advance the research, treatment, education and quality of life for people with PWS. Imagine 900 people gathered under one roof, all there to be part of the solution to the many challenges people with PWS face. It was joyful to see the children engaged in activities and the parents gaining strength from each other. Congratulations to the staff and volunteers, toPWSA (USA), and everyone connected with this great event. Congratulations to Gloria W of Winnepeg, Canada on winning the Kindle at our exhibit booth. I spoke with parents from around the country over the course of the three days and I thank all of you for your information and interest.
Let’s keep this momentum going.
Director of Training & Marketing
On a beautiful November afternoon, the staff and students engaged in a rousing soccer game. Good effort and good sportsmanship were shown by all involved. There were many dramatic plays, including heroic saves in the goal net. With a strong last ditch effort, the students got the two goals which they needed to tie the game. Those not on the field, cheered for their favorite team. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the whole event. We look forward to more games in the future.
"I've got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time,
Patrice Carroll, Manager of PWS Services for Latham Centers, Inc and Jeff Covington, Director of Residential Services for Catholic Charities Disabilities Services of Albany NY have been elected co-chairs of the PWSA USA Provider's Advisory Board. The Board works with providers nationwide on issues involving crisis management, referrals, as well as support and mediation services for families and providers. Congratulations to Patrice & Jeff on their appointment!
"Enthusiasm is the engine of success." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club of Brewster, a long-time supporter of Latham Centers, was named Outstanding Business/Organization at the 2011 Philanthropy Day on Cape Cod held November 1st. Presented by The Planned Giving Council of Cape Cod, Robert J. Newman, General Manager of Ocean Edge and Latham board member, accepted the award on behalf of Corcoran Jennison Hospitality Company, the Ocean Edge parent company, in front of a sell-out crowd of 550 non-profit professionals, board members, Cape Cod community and business leaders, and philanthropists.
The annual award is presented to
“a business/organization that has demonstrated outstanding commitment through financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement in response to local needs.” Ocean Edge was nominated by seven Cape nonprofits including Latham Centers, the Town of Brewster, Nauset Youth Alliance, Brewster Conservation Trust, the Brewster Baseball Club/Brewster Whitecaps, the Brewster Brew Run to benefit Brewster Fire & Rescue, and the Brewster Chamber of Commerce/Brewster in Bloom. Ocean Edge has worked closely with Latham Centers for more than five years in helping to provide quality treatment and residential programs for children and adults with behavioral, developmental and physical disabilities on Cape Cod.
“Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club acts both locally and regionally to affect positive change in a multitude of diverse areas beyond Latham, including youth, conservation, education/recreation, safety, and many others,” according to Keith W. Bradley, Chair of the Latham Centers Board of Directors.
In 2008, Mr. Newman was the recipient of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for his many contributions to the Cape Cod community. Under Mr. Newman’s leadership, Ocean Edge has dedicated significant time and in-kind resources toward supporting a wide array of Cape nonprofits. Newman currently serves on Latham Centers’ finance committee. Ocean Edge was recognized by Latham Centers in 2010 when it was awarded the Roy T. Morgan Community Award for its outstanding service in support of Latham’s children’s and adult programs.
In the past year alone, Ocean Edge has devoted major philanthropic support to the community, totaling more than $100,000 in in-kind services, including Ocean Edge staff time. The resort has also issued numerous gift certificates supporting local charity fundraisers throughout Cape Cod and neighboring areas.
“Ocean Edge’s contributions to organizations like Latham have been invaluable in supporting and advancing our not-for-profit missions,” adds Anne McManus, Executive Director of Latham Centers. “Every event that Ocean Edge hosts is top-notch, and the staff and facilities are nothing but exceptional. We are beyond grateful to them.”
To read the Cape Cod Times November 2 coverage of Philanthropy Day 2011, CLICK HERE.