The Arc of Greater Plymouth
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"Webster Bank is committed to living up to the communities we serve," said Ann Meade, Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking at Webster Bank. We do this in part by supporting the Arc of Greater Plymouth, an organization that provides critical support for our developmentally challenged neighbors and their families. The people of Arc are true heroes in our community and we are honored to partner with them."
Ann Meade,
SVP Webster Bank
"Like the Arc of Greater Plymouth, Rockland Federal Credit Union is committed to making an impact in our local communities. Most recently we participated in the Trik or Trot 5K. It was inspiring to see the hard work of the Arc employees and volunteers coming together to present such a family-friendly, community-focused event. This is just one example of why we are proud to support such a dynamic organization."
Stephanie Cote
VP-Marketing, Rockland Federal Credit Union
Thank you to our Sponsors and Community Business Partners .

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March 2016 
 Introducing our New Executive Director
We're pleased to introduce Mary Valachovic as our new Executive Director.  Mary comes to the Arc with over 25 years of experience supporting people with disabilities and their families.  We are very excited about her joining and leading our team. 
She began her career in New York State where she attended the University of New York at Albany. Mary moved to Massachusetts in the late 1980's where she continued her career working in progressively responsible positions across the state. She comes to us with experience administering many different types of support services including, residential services, family support services, AFC services and other individualized support services. Most recently Mary served as Vice President of Adult Services at the Kennedy Donovan-Center and prior to that as Director of Specialized Services at Vinfen Corporation. Mary is committed to strong, ethical and values-based leadership and in working in close collaboration with talented employees, family members, self-advocates and other stakeholders.
Mary has a brother, Matthew, who has a developmental disability who serves as her inspiration both professionally and personally. Her empathy with family members is what guides her work and decision making every day.
Donna Tresca with Ashley Frazier and Bobbi Martino
Donna Tresca with Ashley Frazier and Bobbi Martino at  Kingston Elementary
Since forming a partnership with The United Way of Greater Plymouth County in 2008, the Arc has awarded six $500 grants to teachers in the towns of Plymouth, Pembroke, Carver, Kingston, Marshfield , Hanover, and Duxbury.

Jennifer Bates at Federal Furnace Elementary with Efrain Gomez
Jennifer Bates at Federal Furnace Elem. w/Efrain Gomez.
Entitled Spreading Inclusion, 
t he grants are awarded to both regular and special education faculty K-12 and post grad transition programs to fund projects, classroom supplies or professional education that enhance inclusive learning in their classrooms or promote greater inclusion in the school and community.

Here are this years' winners and the creative ideas they will fund : 
  • Jennifer Bates, Grade 4  Federal Furnace Elementary School  - Classroom furniture and supplies to create sensory corner for a diverse inclusive 4th grade classroom .
  • Katelyn Fitzgerald, Grade 8 Civics teacher PSMS - Table top podiums for students who need to work while standing.
  • Mary Gazzola, Goals Program Silver Lake Regional High School - Inclusive Screen printing supplies for a business in partnership with SLRHS Technology department. To print school tee shirts and set up a storefront to sell in-school.
  • Maria Husted ,  Pembroke School District Transition Program Grades 12+ -  Laptop projector for visual presentations.
  • Beth Ann Keane, District Wide Basic Skills Program  Nathaniel Morton Elementary School -training funds for a second handler for Assistance Dog, Beamer.
  • Mary Ellen McKeen,  Grade 5 Sped teacher PSMS - Zuma Rocker for integrating seating options for students with attention and learning challenges
  • Donna Tresca , Grade 1 Kingston Elementary  - greenhouse kit to use as part of integrated science curriculum.
Patrick McCloed and Mary Gazzola at  Silver Lake Regional High School
Patrick McLeod and Mary Gazzola at Silver Lake Regional High School
We congratulate all the grant winners and all our 2016 applicants for their commitment to excellence in education and their continuing efforts to foster inclusion in all our public schools.

Teachers are encouraged to visit our website  for applications for the 2016-17 school year.
Donna Tresca and 1st grade at Kingston Elementary School
Donna Tresca and 1st grade at Kingston Elementary School
 Saying Goodbye to Malissa Kenney
On both a personal and professional level, the past 8 plus years with the Arc of Greater Plymouth have been the most rewarding of my life.

It has been such an honor and a privilege to work with and get to know you and your family members, to watch your kids grow into amazing teens and adults and to experience together the wonderful changes at the Arc and the Family Support Center.  When I started in October, 2007 Family Support was very small and there were no giving programs and few social recreation options.  Thanks to the combined efforts of a great staff, your input and shared vision, and hard work, in the time since we have weathered state cuts, created innovative programs and community outreach partnerships and most importantly developed the mission and philosophy that we know today. Furthermore many of your sons and daughters have become a recognized force both with local politicians and at the State House.  I could not be more proud of everyone and what we have collectively accomplished.

It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know and work with a staff of incredibly dedicated, talented and giving people. I will forever appreciate all the hard work, insight and experiences they have shared with me and those we serve. It has been a pleasure to share our common mission, brainstorm and try to make each day better than the one before.
With all that said it was with very mixed emotions that I submitted my resignation to Roger on February 4th and my last scheduled day is March 4th.
As gratifying as it has been to be part of the Arc family, the time has come to move out of my comfort zone and pursue new challenges. One of those challenges if BU, Harvard or Wheelock  will have me is the pursuit of a Master's degree in Social Enterprise and Non Profit Business Management. Going back to college at 53 may take some concentration and I am sure will be quite a different experience from my undergrad days 30 years ago!

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all that you do and for all that you have brought to my life. What I have learned in this profession has come not from textbooks but from observing and speaking with parents and caregivers and from the wonderful individuals themselves. The absolute best part of my job has been the time spent with families and your loved all have inspired me every day.  I will take away with me years of joyful memories and believe that I am the most fortunate person for my experiences with the Arc.

I wish each of you only the best in your future pursuits and hope that our paths will cross in the future...Plymouth is not that big after all!
Thank you so much for sharing your lives with me.
Malissa Kenney
Valentine's Day Dance at the Moose Lodge. Pasta dishes from Mama Mia's; great music from DJ Dave Long, dancing, roses and hearts!

 United Way Wellness Grant to Archways Teaches Healthy Lifestyle
Funded by a Wellness Grant from United Way of Greater Plymouth County, Health and Wellness Coach Laurie Palanza led a 12-week health and nutrition program to educate and empower the individuals at Archways Enterprises to develop skills they can use to improve their diet, exercise, and self-care to live a healthier lifestyle.  Topics included Healthy Snack Basket / Understanding Food Labeling/ Food Journaling/ Goal Setting /Sugar Blues and Blood Sugar Workshops/ maintaining healthy relationships/enjoying your work and engaging in regular physical activity - and most enjoyable healthy cooking classes!

One very positive outcome - Archways has totally transformed their food cafe, eliminated all candy and soda and replaced those snacks with seltzer water, fruit, our homemade granola and other healthy snacks.
The final session, scheduled to be a Healthy Super Bowl Party had to be postponed due to a storm day and became " Karaoke Royale"  with  great entertainment and fabulous healthy snacks prepared by the group.

Archways Enterprises Staff will continue to reinforce and support healthy lifestyle changes, encouraging individuals to exercise regularly at LLB, encourage healthy lunch choices and label reading for home food shopping.  The Arc will be applying again for United Way Grant funding in hopes of continuing the program for another 12 week session next Fall.  
Archway Enterprises
Archway Enterprises