December Wrap-up Newsletter

New Milford Youth Agency

NMYA DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE - JASON O'CONNOR, LMSW

As 2020 comes to a close and as we look for new beginnings in the New Year, it is important to reflect back on the year passing, especially in these times. Everyone reading this has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another, but we made it. Resilience and the power of utilizing our strengths when we think we have no more gas in the tank are powerful coping skills. However, we must keep fighting and putting in the work! Even though we are on to a new year in 2021, nothing new will happen, and change will not come if we are not willing to change our mindset and put in the work! There cannot be new resolutions and promises without a new shift in our personal beliefs! Do not be afraid to aim big in your new year goals, but start small. No change comes over night, but rather change comes from repeated dedication and efforts over time. We did not learn to run before walking, and we did not learn to walk before crawling. Change comes in time, though it will come. The question is, do you want to control that change and become the main influence on your life? I challenge all students, staff, and families to look for areas where they can grow and promote positive changes in their lives, and to stay attentive to both what their mind and body need to grow during these new changes.


Here is to a new year, and for all things positive in 2021.

Jason

CHILDCARE & PREVENTION MANAGER- BRIAN HEMBROOK

United Way Child Care Scholarships

We are excited to announce that we are continuing our partnership with the United Way and our local Social Services department to provide scholarships to local families looking for child care. Our child care program runs full-day and partial-day care at each school building and our John Pettibone Community Center daily. For instructions on how to register or info about scholarships, contact Brian at bhembrook@newmilford.org

CHILDCARE

INTERVENTION MANAGER- STACEY KABASAKLIAN

School Attendance During Covid 19

Students of all ages currently are struggling with their academics, especially on the days they are working from home. The Youth Agency is here to help! If you are falling behind, having trouble getting much-needed help, or lack a quiet place with decent internet, contact me for information on how we can help. Do not fall through the cracks; it is YOUR future. Take control, and get support. Email me at skabasakalian@newmilford.org.


We will discuss this issue more in-depth in our next podcast as we interview the parent of a son enrolled in special education. He will tell how he has managed throughout the pandemic and how the family has navigated. He’ll also describe what he recommends families to do to help their children and teens during this emotionally and academically challenging time.

About our NMYA Media Podcast Series

Please check out our Podcast series, NMYA Media! Our most recent interview was with Justin Cullmer, New Milford Police Department's Community Care Coordinator. We thank Justin for his time and help, as all of us learn more about community and police relations and the resources available to those in need. Special thanks to our crew: Roxanne Edel, Ciara Lynch, Dillon Thomas, and Annabelle Colonna. You can find us on Spotify, Apple, Pandora, and our Facebook Page and website (youthagency.org).

PARENTING TIPS FOR ANXOUS KIDS- SARA WELLS, LMSW

Parenting Tips for Anxious Kids

#2 Letting your child learn to do things on their own

While tempting, it is best not to take over or do it for your child. While this might help your child feel better right now, the message your child is getting is that you don't believe your child can do it. Then your child will start to think the same way about themselves. Try not to get caught continually reassuring your child that everything will be okay. Teach your child to answer their questions and provide the reassurance themselves. You can and should model how you think through and respond to your child's questions.

About our Editors: Taylor Balzi & Luna Heaton

Taylor Balzi: Hi! My name is Taylor, a Junior at New Milford High School and a member of the NMHS National Honor Society and our school's Wingman Program. I love fashion, writing and my two cats, Nova and Ollie!

Luna Heaton: I'm Luna, an early grad ('Cuse 2025!) Junior also at New Milford High School! I'm an NHS & Wingman member, and also part of stage crew for the All-School Musical. My favorite cereal mascot is the Cheerios Bee, and my favorite element is Hafnium