Promoting the optimal health and development of children and families in our
region of New Hampshire
109 Pleasant St, PO Box 1098, Claremont, NH 03743  

 Donate Now           June 2016
Upcoming Events! Click for more info.

Some of you may recall my reflections on my canoe trip down the Ohio River last year. At the risk of tooting my own horn and for those unfamiliar with this annual event of mine, let me fill you in. For 14 years I have been paddling from the creeks of 
For perspective, our canoe is a small dot in the middle of this photo taken near Leavenworth, IN.  You need to enlarge the photo to see us.
Western New York, where I used to live, to the Allegheny River and then to the Ohio River. I have done this with a friend I met in 1993. As of two weeks ago, we have paddled our canoe 950 miles since 2002, covering 149 miles in six days this year. In 2019, we will reach our destination: the Mississippi River. It is an amazing journey, akin to walking the Appalachian Trail or the Camino in Spain. When you have all day to move 28 miles at the very best, you see life in new ways.

This year I was struck by the reality of nearsightedness and farsightedness.  We are very close to the earth as we paddle at about 3.5 miles an hour. The Ohio River is a commercial and industrial river with barges chugging up and down all day. However, the garbage on the river is mostly from residential use. The river rises and falls regularly, carting off lawn chairs, plastic bottles and, well, plastic everything!  It can look very trashy so close up. And I could become very discouraged at the ways humans can clutter the natural world.

But then I look up to the horizon. The Ohio River Valley is one of the most beautiful and serene places to be when you get away from the few large cities that promote river traffic for industry and recreation. The rolling hills are beautiful. There are no bridges for miles and miles. No houses. No boats. Just nature, quite and serene. It is literally awe-some.

It is so easy to be nearsighted and complain about the world, about the challenges families face, about the bad decisions people make. Like the trash along the river, there is a lot to complain about and judge everyday. But it is also easy to lift our eyes to the bigger picture. The immense beauty is everywhere if we choose to set our eyes on it. Every day we see moms and dads working hard to give their children a good life.  Every day we see families discovering new ways to enjoy each other. It is that view that helps sustain us as we work together for the sake of stronger and healthier families.

Just like my river journey, it is an ongoing effort to provide parent education as well as supports and services for families in our region. I keep my eyes on the horizon and believe that we are making a difference every day. Thank you for being part of what we do. 

Maggie Monroe-Cassel
Executive Director
Raising TLC Family Resource Center is sponsoring a screening of The Raising of New Hampshire: The Early Years on June 23 from noon to 1 pm at the Sugar River Bank Community Room, 10 Main St., Newport. The film features the work we do at TLC Family Resource Center as well as other programs across the state. You are invited to come and join with others in a conversation about the importance of investing in education and family support in the first five years. The impact on a community, from its schools to its economy, is felt when we do not invest in those early years.  The goal of the event is to engage the community in envisioning some actions for the future that will strengthen the resources available to families. This screening is co-sponsored by TLC Family Resource Center, Sugar River Bank, and Sullivan County.  Click here for a flier to share and/or post. Reservations are required so we can plan for lunch.  Please call 603-542-1848 x 322 to reserve your space.
If we want to get more kids into universities, we should invest in preschools.
First, a quiz: What's the most common "vegetable" eaten by American toddlers?
Answer: The French fry.
The same  study that unearthed that nutritional tragedy also found that on any given day, almost half of American toddlers drink soda or similar drinks, possibly putting the children on a trajectory toward obesity or diabetes.
But for many kids, the problems start even earlier. In West Virginia, one study  found, almost one-fifth of children are born with alcohol or drugs in their system. Many thus face an uphill struggle from the day they are born.
Bear all this in mind as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump battle over taxes, minimum wages and whether to make tuition free at public universities. Those are legitimate debates, but the biggest obstacles and greatest inequality often have roots early in life:
If we want to get more kids into universities, we should invest in preschools.
Actually, preschool may be a bit late. Brain research in the last dozen years underscores that the time of life that may shape adult outcomes the most is pregnancy through age 2 or 3.
"The road to college attainment, higher wages and social mobility in the United States starts at birth," notes James Heckman, a Nobel-winning economist at the University of Chicago. "The greatest barrier to college education is not high tuitions or the risk of student debt; it's in the skills children have when they first enter kindergarten."
Read more
Five Ways Fathers Matter
Father's Day is a time to pause and think about the many ways that dads make a difference in their children's lives.  Research shows that father's positive engagement can improve child well-being whether they live full-time with their children or not. Fatherhood is a complex and evolving concept, but there are some things we know for sure about its value for kids.  Read more
Our Born to Run 5K race has been moved from May to October. The race will be held in the same location in Cornish as in previous years. Stay tuned for more information but mark your calendars now for October 8. The fall colors will be beautiful and it will be a great day.  Keeping with the pumpkin theme in and around Cornish that weekend, you will be seeing some special new additions to the race!
Online auction coming July 15
Starting on July 15, you can bid online for some great deals on vacations, sports memorabilia, art and jewelry!  Here are some of the items that will be available for bidding on:
Football signed by Tom Brody of the Patriots
Vintage, collectible Weebles Tree (Yes, old toys can increase in value!)
Simon Pearce gift card
Many local store gift cards
Silver and pearl earrings from Jozach jewelry
B & B weekend in Woodstock
Tickets to the Barn Playhouse in New London
Tickets to Claremont Speedway
Massage gift card
Legal services
Antique hall stand for coats
Items will be added weekly and throughout the auction which will be open until July 31!
SHINE Summer Sessions and more!
Find out more about our SHINE program here. We provide comprehensive sexual health information for young women and men 16-21 with the goal to lower teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates in the county. Email or click here to find out more or click here to register for a class.
Summer Bargains at 2nd Beginnings
Do you have grandchildren visiting this summer? Check out our bargains at 2nd Beginnings Thrift Store and send them home with a new and affordable wardrobe to start the school year.  Open to the public, Tuesday to Saturday, 10-4.
Maggie Monroe-Cassel 
(603) 542-1848 x 322