Family Resource Network Plans Advance Network will be part of the TalkReadPlay Center
Over the last year, Every Child Thrives agencies and community members have been planning for the future TalkReadPlay Center at the Watertown Public Library — not only the physical space, but also a network and programs that will support our goals of building strong families and ensuring all children are ready for and succeed in school. Learn more about the planning process and the full vision and mission for the TalkReadPlay Center here.

A Family Resource Network within the TalkReadPlay Center

We are excited to share that the Watertown Family Center will relocate to the TalkReadPlay Center when it opens, and will continue to offer playgroups and educational programs for parents and caregivers. Expanding on its mission, the Family Center will also coordinate development of a Family Resource Network to be housed in the TalkReadPlay Center. Formalizing partnerships that already exist between Every Child Thrives family-serving agencies, the Network will connect families with young children to formal and informal community supports to nurture their children’s development and build the protective factors families need to thrive.

A multi-sector community leadership team has guided the vision and development of the TalkReadPlay Center and the Family Resource Network. As a next step, this team will begin recruitment of a Family Resource Network Coordinator who will coordinate development of the Network and processes to connect families with the resources they need.
Positive Parenting Program Now Available
FREE to Dodge & Jefferson County Parents
TalkReadPlay's NEW Positive Parenting Program offers free one-on-one coaching, virtual seminars and discussion groups to families in Dodge and Jefferson counties. An Every Child Thrives initiative to support building strong families, the program is designed to help families spend more time learning and growing together, and less time dealing with stress and misbehavior.

Two Local Providers Accredited, More to Come!

Congratulations to Stephanie Curtis (Watertown Family Center) and Chris Weddig (Watertown School District) for recently becoming accredited to offer the Positive Parenting Program! Other practitioners are currently completing the process to become accredited so more programs can be offered, with the goal to reach more than 700 families in our two counties over the next year.

Are you a parent, or do you know of a parent, who is looking for more positive in their days? Join us and help us spread the word about these upcoming offerings:

  • Dealing with Disobedience - 9/29 @ 6:30 p.m. (virtual discussion group)
  • Hassle Free Shopping with Children - 10/21 @ 6:30 p.m. (virtual discussion group)
  • One-on-one parent coaching to meet individual needs
Building Resilience
Healthy Minds Program App - a FREE Well-being Tool
During these unsettling times, we can all use simple strategies to calm our minds.

The Healthy Minds Program App was developed by Healthy Minds Innovations, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison. It offers podcast-style lessons and both seated and active mindfulness activities. The app helps you develop skills as it guides you through the four pillars of the science of training the mind: awareness, connection, insight and purpose. Supported by research, it helps to increase focus, reduce stress and build resilience, enhance compassion, and contribute to overall health.

Give it a try today! It is easy to use and is now free to the public, funded by generous donors to Healthy Minds Innovations.
Back to School with Healthy Food
Spotlight on Johnson Creek's Fuel-Up Program
With school starting up again, either in-person or virtually, food service staff are back to ensuring that students have access to healthy food to fuel their minds and bodies for learning.

The Foundation has been working with the Johnson Creek School District for the last three years to transition its breakfast and lunch menus with recipes cooked fresh daily in school kitchens, featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, 100% all-meat beef and chicken, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and clean label products.

The main difference with this program and a traditional school lunch is how the food is prepared. Traditional school lunches consist primarily of reheated packaged foods. Johnson Creek’s fuel-up menu follows customized, nutritious recipes developed by an in-house chef. Meals are prepared on-site in school kitchens using fresh and clean label ingredients.

Prior to each school year starting, food service staff (pictured above - kudos to them!) participates in a “Culinary Academy” which covers knowledge and skills with menu planning, knife and cooking skills, kitchen organization and sanitation, and nutrition and health.

The scratch-cooked meals in Johnson Creek have been very successful. Prior to school buildings closing last spring, Johnson Creek had seen a 13% increase in their school lunch and a 2% increase in school breakfast participation rate. When school transitioned to home, they quickly pivoted and offered pre-packaged, scratch-cooked meals, which were picked up or delivered to students. This year, whatever the school year brings, they are ready to ensure students are well-nourished for learning.
600 East Main Street, Suite 200, Watertown WI 53094
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