Skowhegan Women’s Club Discovers Children’s Centers in Maine
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Skowhegan Woman’s Club met on May 11 at the Heritage House Restaurant and via Zoom to hear keynote speaker Jeff Johnson.
Johnson is executive director of Maine Children’s Centers, with facilities in Waterville, Farmington, Augusta and Skowhegan, according to a club press release.
Johnson gave an overview of programs for children with developmental disabilities, ranging from six weeks to six years old, and their families. In an explanation of brain development and childhood, he pointed out that people born with disabilities, including speech and language deficits, autism and cerebral palsy can (if identified by early detection, intervention and early education) improve, be better prepared for public school and enjoy an improved quality of life.
Years ago, these children were housed in public institutions or lived in group homes far from their families and dependent on others. Over the past 15 years of research, many improvements have been made in early childhood intervention and education. Every child is unique and it’s important to realize that people don’t know a child’s full potential. Physical therapy, speech and occupational therapy, peer interactions through creative play and recreation, and learning under the guidance of trained clinicians and educators who focus on a strength-based model, in conjunction with parental education and support, can change and enrich the lives of these children and their families.
To learn more about children’s centers in Maine, visit childrensctr.org. To make a referral or to ask questions, call the Children’s Center Augusta main office to speak to the admissions coordinator at 800-894-6264 or 207-626-3497.
For the past two years, the Maine State General Federation of Women’s Clubs President’s Project has focused on supporting children and families. To support this mission, the Skowhegan Woman’s Club donated money to Pine Tree Camp and children’s clothing to local elementary schools, and continued donating infant and toddler clothing to Newborns in Need. The club also donates to the Good Will-Hinckley summer camp program and the Skowhegan Children’s Center.
In June, the club plans to announce the recipient of this year’s Skowhegan Woman’s Club Annual Scholarship to a graduate wishing to pursue higher education.
Area women, not just Skowhegan residents, who want to learn more and attend the meetings (in person or via Zoom) can call Billie Sherman at 207-474-5052 or Mary Cayford at 207-474-9820.
Local students are on Southern New Hampshire University president’s list