January thru March 2020             
FIRST CONNECTIONS' WINTER NEWSLETTER  
Playgroups, Support Groups, Parenting Seminars, Special Events
Beginning with this cycle of programs, we request that all families registering for a program complete a one-time family registration sheet.  
The purpose of this request is to collect demographic data that we are asked for in the many grant applications and reports we must complete. Names are never used in these reports, just total numbers in requested categories. 
When you register for a program we will email you the form and when you return it to us your registration will be processed. If you have any questions, please contact Mary (mbeilman@jri.org). We greatly appreciate your understanding. The form is also posted on our website under "At a Glance": 

 This logo indicates the program is funded by the Mass. Dept. of Early Education and Care

  ALL FIRST CONNECTIONS PROGRAMS ARE FREE AND REQUIRE REGISTRATION BEFORE ATTENDING 

unless otherwise noted

Email:

or call 978-429-8284, x202
We will confirm your registration!
     Thank You! 
Infant and Pregnancy Loss Support Group
This free monthly group is for those who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy at any stage or infant loss shortly after birth and are looking for support from others with shared experiences.  The group is facilitated by an advanced practice nurse with experience supporting families whose pregnancies have ended unexpectedly or whose infants have died.
Held at First Connections
179 Great Road, #104A
Acton
Mondays, 6:30-8:00
January 13, February 10, March 9

Individuals are encouraged to contact the facilitator, Katie Stockman, NP, at 
kstockman@emersonhosp.org
or 978-287-3422 before attending, though this is not required. Please email Katie for confirmation the group is running in the event of severe weather.  
Childcare Subsidies
Parents who would like to know if they are eligible for a childcare subsidy should call 877-211-6277, or go to www.mass211.org
 
This free service will help you find childcare that works for your family by providing referrals to licensed child care centers, family child care providers, and out-of-school time programs. This free service is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Subsidy Update
There is an approximate one-year wait list for child care subsidies to help pay for the cost of child care.  If you are already on the subsidy wait list and have recently moved, changed your phone number or email address, please be sure to contact the office  below serving your town to update your record so you can be notified of openings:

ACTON, BOXBORO, CONCORD, HARVARD, LITTLETON, WESTFORD
 978-602-8650 or merolon @sevenhills.org

MAYNARD, SUDBURY
508-796-1838
marbrown@sevenhills.org 

BEDFORD, CARLISLE, LINCOLN
 800-660-2868 or
                                        
If you would like an updated listing of child care centers and home child care providers in the First Connections catchment area, we can easily send that to you by email or you can view it on our website. The list includes programs that accept vouchers, as well as scholarship information for preschool.  Just email lmatthews@jri.org   

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group in Acton

Come share the rewards and challenges of raising your grandchildren. Learn from and support others in similar circumstances. Discover ways to relieve stress. Benefit from the resources available from the Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and hear about State agencies which can provide assistance. If you are interested in joining, contact Joe O'Leary at 978-760-0360 or j.j.oleary@comcast.net
Held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 11-12:00 at
Acton Senior Center
30 Sudbury Road, Rear
Public School Early Childhood Registration News
 
Acton-Boxborough
Kindergarten Info Night
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
7:00-8:30 p.m. 
High School Auditorium
General meeting for families with a child beginning kindergarten in September 2020.  Students need to be 5 by 9/1/19.  Full schedules, sign-up, and important dates at:
https://www.abschools.org/families
/student_registration/kindergarten_r
egistration 
Snow date January 8
Online registration will be held from January 8 to March 1, 2020.
Info: Registrar - 978-264-3303
registrar@abschools.org  

Bedford
 Preschool Screenings
Friday, January 24
Appointments required by
calling 781-275-6804 x4916
between 8:00-12 noon or
sandra_young@bedfordps.org 
before January 9th.* 
Bedford Integrated Preschool will be conducting screenings for children who will be 3 years old by 8/31/19. Parents will receive a letter with the outcome of their child's screening stating whether they qualify for the public 2020-21 preschool class. 
*Office closed from 12/24/19-1/2/20. 

Carlisle
Kindergarten Parent Talk
April 30, 2020, 7-8:00 p.m.
For children who will be 5 by September 1, 2020.  Questions? 978-369-6550

Harvard
"Intent to Enroll in Kindergarten" 
due March 27, 2020
If you do not receive a packet by mid-March and your child will be 5 on or before 8/31/2020, please contact Jessica at:
jdrennen@psharvard.org 

Littleton
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION
February 12, 2020
1:00-4:00 or 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Shaker Lane School

Maynard Public Schools Preschool Information Night
Thursday, January 23 (snow date January 29)  7:00 p.m.
Learn about the preschool program and meet the preschool team. Held in the Green Meadow Cafeteria.
Preschool Screenings require an appointment: Call 978-897-8246

Sudbury
KINDERGARTEN KICKOFF
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
6:30 pm at  Peter Noyes School
Learn everything you need to know about getting your child ready for school if  your child will be 5 on/before 9/1/20.Online registration begins February 1, 2020.
 Reach out to anh_le@sudbury.k12.ma.us with any questions. 

Sudbury Public Preschool Notice
If you have concerns about your 3 or 4 year old child's development, please contact Stephanie Juriansz to discuss your concerns and determine how to proceed. 
978-639-3202

Westford
Kindergarten Registration
March 2, 2020, 6-8 p.m.
March 3, 2020, 9 a.m. to noon
23 Depot St., Room 4
(behind Abbot School)
For children who will be 5 by September 1, 2020.
For questions/information:
978-692-5560 x2426
Free Museum Admission Days  
The Museum of Fine Arts 
Monday, January 20
Saturday, February 1
 
Worcester Art Museum
Sundays, 10-4:00
January 5, February 2, March 1
 
Acton Discovery  Museum
Free from 4:30-8:00
January 3, February 7, March 6
 Non-perishable food donations accepted. New exhibit, Toys: The Inside Story begins mid-January.
 
Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge
Free Sundays, 9:00-12:00
New Resource
DO YOU HAVE THIS INSURANCE CARD? 

Starting January 1 individuals and families who show this card can visit the Discovery Museum in Acton for $1 each at any time. Check out what they have to offer:

Self Regulation for Children
presented by Susan Lerner, LICSW

Self regulation allows children to m anage their emotions, behavior and body movement when they're faced with a situation that's tough to handle. This information is geared to parents of children in preschool through grade 5.
Wednesday, March 25 
(snow date 3/26) 
7:00 pm, Free. No RSVP required
Held at Stony Brook Middle School 
9 Farmer Way, Westford

Susan is the Director of Clinical Services at Metrowest Behavioral Health Center in Acton where she provides therapy to family members as well as parent consultations and coaching.
   
Preschoolers' Speech and Language Development 
presented by 
Alex Alexopoulos, SLP
Have you ever wondered whether your child should be able to say a sound yet? Or at what age a child should be able to follow complex directions in a classroom? Current research and evidence-based receptive and expressive language strategies will be reviewed including when to seek an assessment. Geared toward teachers, but registration open to parents. Held at Mt. Calvary Church, Acton, January 21, 6:30-8:30 pm., $30. Register:
Do You Have a Child with Special Needs?
If so, we urge you to subscribe to the following free newsletter which contains a wealth of information on programs and activities that your family may be interested in:
 
  SPED Child Mass.

Sudbury Camp Fair

Sunday, January 26, 2020  

11:00-2:00 p.m.

Lincoln-Sudbury H.S.

390 Lincoln Road Sudbury

It's hard to think about summer camp in January, but you can meet and speak with representatives from 80 summer camps for children entering Kindergarten through Grade 12 in one place by attending this event! Children welcome. Free.

 Sponsored by

Loring ElementarySchool PTO

www.sudburycampfair.org

YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR WIC AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT 

Did you know that in 10 of the 11 towns we serve, less than half of eligible children are receiving WIC food benefits? Pregnant women and children under age 5 can receive free healthy food. A family of 3 can earn $39,461 and be eligible (pregnant women count as 2). To check your eligibility and learn where to sign up: 

Basic Rights in Special Education: Understanding the IEP

January 8 in Townsend

6:30-8:30

A representative from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will present information every parent should know if their child has a 504 or IEP plan in school. Free. No registration

800-331-0688 or info@fcsn.org for more information. Held at North Middlesex Regional H.S., 19 Main Street, but relevant to parents of children all ages.

New Resource
Are you (or do you know someone) aged 18-24?
Interested in a new career?
There is federal funding available to help you train to become an LPN, EMT, dental assistant, phlebotomist, automotive tech or construction worker. These and other occupations are enrolling now at Metro South/West Career Connections program.  Contact Patty Gorman at 774-258-8237 or pgorman@msweta.org for more informatio n. 
Residents of  Acton, Boxboro, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Hudson, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Marlboro and Sudbury may qualify.
I n addition to those listed here, be sure to check the "Community Events" section below for more topics!  We are extremely grateful to the staff of Emerson's Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies for donating their time and expertise providing many of these workshops.  Pre-registration required unless noted otherwise: lmatthews@jri.org   

January 15 - Pelvic Floor Health for Moms
Do you leak when you laugh, cough or sneeze? Do you have pain with intercourse? Have you had trouble lifting or getting back into exercise? If so, join the pelvic health physical therapists from Emerson Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies to learn more about pelvic floor dysfunction and pain and how it can be treated. Pre-registration NOT required - drop-in. 
Held at New Moms Group at First Connections, Acton, 1-2:30

January 8 - Choosing a Preschool
Will you be looking for a preschool or child care for your child in the next year? Has your family started with a school or child care and you want to be sure it's the right fit? Come and learn what the options are for preschool or child care, and what questions to ask to be sure you pick a setting that works for you and for your child. Bring your questions! Handouts and a list of local options will be provided.  Request childcare when registering if needed during the discussion. Presented by Ellie Springer, M.Ed. Early Childhood
Held at First Connections, Acton, 10-11:30

March 10 - Introduction to Baby Sign
Why use sign with hearing babies? Learn the benefits of using gestures with infants, the optimal time to begin, and how to encourage your baby to use signs to communicate well before he/she can speak. Babies welcome. 
Presented by Jaclynne Benoit, MS, CCC-SLP.
Held at Roudenbush Community Center, Westford, 10:15

January 28 - Introducing Solid Foods
Learn the readiness signs for starting solids, foods to begin with, how long it can take for your baby to like an unfamiliar food, and why playing with her food is beneficial. Presented by Irene Gibbons, MS, CCC-SLP. Babies welcome.
Held at Roudenbush Community Center, Westford at 10:30

February 27-Play-based Language Development for Ages 1-5
Play is the way children learn new skills, and language is one of the most important skills children learn while they play. Parents and caregivers will learn more about what they can do to build their child's vocabulary while playing simple games with them. Presented by Claire Borowski, MS, CCC-SLP.
Request childcare when registering if needed during the presentation. 
Held at Concord Carousel Preschool at 10:15

First Year of Life Support Programs

 

New Mothers Support Group
Any mother with a pre-crawling baby is welcome to attend this ongoing weekly support group facilitated by Emerson Hospital and First Connections. This open discussion group is a forum for you to share experiences and resources,  connect with other new mothers, and seek guidance about any concerns you might have. Facilitators are certified in lactation support and special topics occur monthly. No registration required. 

Every Wednesday, 1-2:30 p.m.

Meets at 179 Great Rd., Acton, Unit 104A

 

Emotional Wellbeing After Baby Group

Emotional challenges are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, yet parents often feel isolated and ashamed if they are struggling. Parents experiencing anxiety or depression in the postpartum year can come together in this supportive, nonjudgmental, confidential group to share stories and learn from each other. While this is an ongoing, weekly group, before attending for the first time please contact the facilitator, Heather O'Brien, LICSW at hobrien @jri.org or 978-429-8284, ext. 219.   Every Thursday, 10:00-11:30 a.m. 
First Connections, 179 Great Road, Acton, Unit 104A  

 

New Dads Group

This group allows dads to make connections with other fathers, ask questions, and share their experiences of parenthood. Adjusting to the new work/life balance and changes in relationships with friends, family and partners can sometimes be a challenge! Fathers are welcome to attend with/without babies and continue to attend the group for as long as it is helpful. Please email hobrien@jri.org before attending for the first time so we have your contact information in case of any last-minute changes.  Tuesdays, January 21, February 18, March 17, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Maynard Public Library, 77 Nason Street 


 
Monthly Working Parents Group

New group begins January 11th.
H eld at First Connections, 179 Great Rd., Unit 104A, Acton

All working families with a child under age 2 are welcome to attend the group when it meets at the Silver Unicorn Book Store on the 1st Saturday of each month, 12 Spruce St, W. Acton

Additionally, you can join the working parents Facebook group at the following link for additional parent-organized meet-ups:
             
New playgroups begin the week of January 13 - your child should be registered for the group that includes his/her age on the start date.  
Registration is required for all groups: lmatthews@jri.org. No fees. Children may be registered for one group. All groups require participation of a parent or caregiver. Registration begins as soon as you receive your newsletter. Please let us know your child's first name and age, the name of the  person who will bring him/her to playgroup, and the town you live in.  Families from any town may register for Baby Playgroup since it is funded separately . All other groups give preference to the towns our grant serves:  Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Hanscom AFB, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury, Westford.

Baby Playgroup: Group includes developmental discussions and handouts, playtime, circle time with finger plays, rhymes and songs. Based on the Ages & Stages Developmental Milestones suggested activities for this age group. Appropriate for all babies 3-9 months, and babies 10-11 months who are not actively crawling. 
Held at Roudenbush Community Center, Westford
Tuesdays, 10-11:00 beginning January 14
 
Older Baby Playgroup:  This group will have free play time at the beginning, and stories and songs at the end. The facilitator will be available to talk to and answer questions, but we won't have the same structured adult talking time as in the infant group because the children are starting to move around and sitting still for more than a few minutes is too much to ask! Based on the Ages & Stages Developmental Milestones suggested activities for this age group.  
Appropriate for ages 10-17 months if crawling or walking
Held at Bedford Public Library on Mondays, 1:00-2:00
 
Literacy Playgroup for 18-30 Months: 
T his group offers free play time in a preschool classroom with specific activities to work on different fine motor, communication, self help, and social skills, as well as a circle time with a book and songs. Every family will get a bag of books to take home each week, along with tips to foster your child's love of reading. Due to size and location of room, only infants worn in a sling or carrier may attend with the registered child - no strollers or car seats.  
Held at Concord Carousel Preschool on Thursd ays, 10:00-11:15 

Learning Play Skills Through Exploration for 2 Year Olds:  Children learn best through play, and in this group we will use the Mass. Early Learning Standards and Approaches to Play and Learning to foster children's natural curiosity about the world around them. This will support their new skills such as taking turns and working with others through play. The group will have free play time, activities tailored to the children's interests, and circle time.  
Held at Village Nursery School, Harvard on  Fridays, 10:00-11:00 

Multilingual Families Playgroup
A child's primary language and culture are key contributors to lifelong development. This playgroup is specifically for families who are conversing in a language other than English as part of their family culture and daily life. The group will include a Read &  Rise monthly parent discussion topic, led by a parent educator and book bag exchange program. Circle time, snack time and free play round out the morning. During registration please let us know if your child has any anaphylactic allergies to foods. Baby siblings in carriers welcome. If you are registering for the first time, please let us know the language other than English that is spoken at home. 
Appropriate for Ages 1 1/2 thru 5. 
Held at First Connections in Acton on   Mon
days 9:30-11:00  

Military Families Multi-Age Playgroup
This playgroup is for mobile babies thru age 5 (pre-K) and their caregiver. This group will have free-play time, activities for different age groups, and a circle time with stories and rhymes. Non-mobile infant siblings may attend if "worn" in a carrier.  This group is open to any family who has an I.D. allowing them to access Hanscom Air Force Base. Please let us know if you are also enrolled in Minuteman E.I. or the EFM Program.  Held at Hanscom AFB Youth Center on Wednesdays 10:00-11:00  

Teaching Your Preschooler about Money & Math    You may not realize it, but money is a big part of your preschooler's life. Our children watch commercials, observe adults buying groceries & more, accompany us to the bank and watch as we use money or slide our bank cards multiple times a day. In this group we will read stories about money, sing number songs, play games, count, and make choices while we pretend to shop or save for a desired item. There will be a weekly handout for parents, a book list, a field trip to Digital Credit Union, and suggested activities you can continue with your child as they grow. Younger siblings must be held in a front carrier or sling since we will be using small items such as coins and game pieces which are choking hazards. This group will have a very similar curriculum as the same group last year.
Appropriate for ages 3 thru 5
Held at First Parish Church in Lincoln on  Fridays, 1:30-2:30
  
FREE 
WEEKEND BABIES  &
BOOKS PROGRAM

Come join Concord Family Network and Concord Children's Center for a public book group for babies ages 0-24 months on 3 Saturdays this winter. This book group is for babies and toddlers with their parents or caregivers, and will include tips on fostering a lifelong love of reading. Free play begins at 10:00 with story and circle time following at 10:30. All dates will meet at Concord Children's Center, 1300 Main St., Concord. Please RSVP to smsweeney07@gmail.com. In the event of severe inclement weather we will post updates on our website ( www.concordfamilynetwork.org ), Facebook, and notify RSVP's by email. Open to parents living in any town.
Saturdays, February 1 & 22, March 28, 10-11:30

TRI-CON SNOW BALL  will be held on January 12, 3:30-5:00 with crafts, snacks, and dancing! $5/child or free for members. Check website for details, www.concordfamilynetwork.org 

VALENTINES DAY PARTY
Acton-Boxborough Family Network will hold their annual Valentines Day Party in early February which includes a sensory-friendly free 30-minute option for children who benefit from a quieter environment. For details on this event and information about ABFN: www.abfamily.org 

LITTLETON PARENTS ASSOCIATION PLAYGROUP
Littleton Parents Association will be continuing their weekly playgroup on Tuesday morning this winter. The group either meets outdoors or at the Congregational Church when weather is less hospitable. Find out more at www.facebook.com/littletonparents 
DO OTHER PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD'S SPEECH??

Consider a screening if any of the following are seen in excess or in combination in a two year old: drooling excessively when not teething, maintaining an open-mouth posture all the time, having fewer than 50 words, not responding to questions or listening to stories, not using "you, me, & my" appropriately, not naming objects/pictures. For a full overview, please see the "Preschoolers Speech & Language Development" seminar listed below left. 

Early Intervention Programs evaluate children from birth to age 3 without a fee and without a physician referral. Contact the program that serves your town for a screening. They provide family-centered services that facilitate the developmental progress of eligible children.

Minute Man Arc E.I ., 978-287-7951,
Acton, Boxboro, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Littleton, Lincoln, Maynard

Lipton E.I. Program, 978-840-9354
Harvard, Bolton, Groton, Ayer and towns north & west

Criterion Middlesex E.I. Program, 508-620-1442
Sudbury, Wayland, Framingham and south

Thom Anne Sullivan E. I. Program, 978-453-8331
Westford, Chelmsford, Billerica and north

South Bay E.I. Program, 978-452-1736
https://www.southbaycommunityservices.com/services/early-childhood-services/  for residents of  Westford, Chelmsford, Billerica and north

After age 2.9 parents should contact their local public school for an appointment for a preschool evaluation for possible services.

 
 
Support & Education Topics

 
Perinatal and Postpartum OCD: Diagnosis and Treatment  will be presented by Alexia Johnstone, LMHC, at UMass Medical Center's Hiatt Auditorium on January 9, 6-7:00 pm. Free, no registration required. More info: www.ocdmassachusetts.org   

Birth Order: How Your Place in the Family Affects Your View of the World  presented by Jack Agati.   This entertaining and informative program looks at the many characteristics associated with the various positions in the family. Participants will gain a better understanding of the styles of their children's behavior and how to avoid potential conflict between their own styles of behavior and those of their children. We will identify many of the characteristics associated with the oldest, only, next to the oldest, middle and youngest in the family and look at better ways to use the positive characteristics of each position. Wednesday, January 15, (snow date January 16) 7:00 pm, Free. Held at Stony Brook Middle School, 9 Farmer Way, Westford 

Asperger's/Autism 101: A Workshop for Parents of Newly Diagnosed Children, Thursday, January 23, 7-9:00, $40. Start your journey with your wonderful, engaging, sometimes quirky child! Includes what you can expect raising a child on the autism spectrum such as core strengths and challenges, ways to cope at home, advocating at school, transition planning and more. Held at AANE, 51 Water St., Watertown. Register at www.aane.org/events 

Why Family Therapy is Important in Treating OCD, presented by Perrie Merlin, LICSW, at McLean Hospital DeMarneffe Cafeteria, Belmont on February 4, 7:00 pm. Preceded by a Family Support Group at 6:00. Free, no registration required. www.ocdmassachusetts.org 

The Roots of Empathy in Childhood  presented by Mary Gordon, Founder of Roots of Empathy. Educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert will speak at the Discovery Museum Speaker Series on February 27, 2020, 6:30-8:30 pm at the First Parish of Arlington, 630 Mass. Ave. Registration required: www.discoveryacton.org. Free, $5 donation suggested, light refreshments. 

Visions of Community Special Needs Conference annual event will cover many aspects of raising a child with any special need. Workshops will be posted online in early 2020 at https://fcsn.org/voc/.  Held Saturday, February 29 in Boston (or watch the live stream). Scholarships available by calling 617-236-7210. Sessions presented in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian-Creole, Somali & Arabic.  

Current Trends in Autism Conference with guest Temple Grandin will be held in Burlington on March 13 & 14. There will be workshops, speakers, vendors and groups. Registration required: www.ctiaconference.org . More info: ctiaconf@gmail.com 

Breaking Free from Anxiety,  presented by Clinical Psychologist Dawn Huebner. Even small children have an internal alarm system perfectly designed to keep them safe. The alarm gets triggered by potential danger so sometimes kids feel at risk when in fact they are safe. Worry grows out of control when an overzealous internal alarm, coupled with a handful of misconceptions on the part of parents and teachers, leads to behavior that quiets fear in the moment but strengthens it in the long run. Parents will learn to identify where a child is in the "worry loop" and the techniques needed to break free. Held at Mt. Calvary Church, Acton, March 10, 6:30-8:15. $30. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breaking-free-from-worry-tickets-74006963821?aff=efbeventtix 

PARENT GROUPS

Mothering without a Model 5-Week Support Group  facilitated by the Center for Early Relationship Support on January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 7-8:30 pm. An opportunity for mothers of young children to explore the ways in which the absence of a positive maternal presence in their lives has impacted them as mothers: how the way you were mothered influences your parenting style; how you now see your mother as a parent and how you imagine she might be as a grandmother; how you are supported by others; and what you are learning about yourself as a mother from your children. Learn to recognize the unique strengths, intuitive gifts, and skills you bring to mothering. $125 and registration required before the first session. Held at Temple Israel, 477 Longwood Ave., Boston (parking available). Register: jroberts@jfcsboston.org or 781-434-9544.

"The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money" This free Book Discussion Group will look at Ron Lieber's book which touches on how, when & why to talk to kids about money, whether they are 3 or 13. Includes topics such as the tooth fairy, allowances, chores, saving, birthdays, holidays, and more ways to raise kids to be generous and less materialistic. Meets February 27, 10:00, at the Mary Atwood Room at J.V. Fletcher Library in Westford Center. For questions contact mary.anne.seraphin@gmail.com, coordinator of Westford Parent Connection.

INSPIRE 6-Week Group for Parents/Grandparents of Children Age 4-9 Who Have a Special Need  will be held in Concord on Tuesdays from March 24-May 5 (not April 21), 9:30-11:00.  Group members will learn strategies to feel more emotionally balanced on a daily basis, nurture your identity beyond being a parent, cope with and reduce stress from relentless advocacy for your child, create positive connections with others, and gain new perspectives on having more satisfying interactions with your child. Facilitated by Patricia Marquis, LICSW. Free. Contact cpt@concordps.org or 978-202-1143, or register on website: https://centerforparentsandteachers.org/inspire 

Community Happenings - Parent & Child

Celebrate the New Year with your children on December 31st:
1) Noon Year's Eve Party at Concord Library, 129 Main Street, 11:00
Stories, songs, crafts and lots more fun for all ages! FREE
2) Bessie's Noon Year's Eve Party and Pajama Dance Party
Free with admission to The Discovery Museum, 10-12:00, Acton. Wear your P.J.'s and make party hats and  noise makers. At 11:45 a DJ will help count down to 12:00 with a dance party and ball drop. 
3) Noon Year's Eve at the Ecotarium in Worcester, 10-3:30
Make resolution time capsules and enjoy the blast of bubble wrap "fireworks". $18 adult, $14 child, under 2 free. www.ecotarium.org 
4) Preschool New Year's Eve Party at Fletcher Library in Westford
Drop in for a fun filled party with crafts, singing, dancing and a celebratory countdown to noon with noisemakers and confetti. For ages 5 and under. FREE. 11:00-12:00.

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature at Concord Museum event through January 5, 10-4:00. 39  Christmas trees decorated in the themes of children's picture books. Admission $15 adults, children $6 (under 5 free). 

Free Family Days at The Umbrella Arts in Concord: January 11, February 17 and March 14, 2:00-5:00 p.m. Families will engage in art making activities designed and taught by an art instructor using a variety of art materials and professional artist tools. Projects take about 30-45 minutes and families with children of any age and size may attend. Under age 5 must be supervised at all times. RSVP online at https://theumbrellaarts.org/class/free-family-days
 
Very Important Thank You's

Nordblum Family Foundation: $25,000 grant
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation: $10,000 grant
William E Schrafft & Bertha E. Schrafft 
Charitable Trust: $5,000 grant
Acton Congregational Church: $5,000 donation
NAMMA Families: $2,500
Maynard Community Chest: $1,000
J.M. Huber Corp. on behalf of 
Tyson Seely & Shannon Sweeney: $872.55
First Parish Church of Stow & Acton: $580
Jacob Buttrick in Honor of Smith Ryder: $50
Kaitlynne Vasquez: $25, with Tufts health plan match

Donations raised during The Climb:
Kaitlynne Vasquez: $530, Sarah Trisdale: $465, Christina D'Amico: $385, Ali Kepple: $375, Heather O'Brien: $315, Laura Kennedy: $300, Jackie Connolly: $290, Mary Beilman: $200, Elisabeth & Daniel Renczkowski: $220, Tracie Horan: $165, Emily Lindblad: $150, Lauren Brown: $50, Robert Sugar: $25, Erin Lemire: $20, Laurene Hummer: $50, Samantha Coccia-Schillo: $25. First Connections will receive a portion of the funds raised.

In honor of Erin on her Birthday:
Jenny Citrin: $10, Megan Flowers: $50, Breanna Kelly: $30, Stephen Preston: $50 

Acton Barn Coop Preschool  f or the SteveSongs Tickets for local families who otherwise wouldn't have been able to attend.
Acton Congregational Church (ACC) members for transporting the hospital bed and delivering a Thanksgiving meal.
ACC Women's Ministry: $160, $70 gift cards, diapers
Open Table for food deliveries to a Concord Family.
The Dartmouth Group for the office supplies, stamps & $50