Hello to The Partnership! The Brick House has a few big updates we’d like to share with you. First, just a quick plug that we are offering a free program, Momentum Arts, which is available for any youth ages 11-18. Young artists get to choose which mediums they are most interested in exploring, and then learn from local professional artists. This program meets at The Brick House on Wednesdays from 4:30-6. We are also offering free music lessons, songwriting, and recording studio support on Thursdays from 4:30-6. Interested youth are welcome to stop by.
Second, we are so happy to announce that we’ve hired Sandra Ramos as our Parent and Family Services Coordinator. Sandy has over 30 years of experience in human services, working as a Family Advocate, serving at MCSM, Headstart, the Food Bank, and DCF in Vermont. Sandra’s role will be to help connect parents with existing resources, to support parent leadership, and to advocate on behalf of parents to help make local resources stronger and more accessible for families.
You can reach Sandy by email: sandra[at]brickhousecommunity.org or by calling 413-863-9576 and choosing ext 1. Or stop by The Brick House (24 3rd St., Turners Falls) between 9-10 am on Wednesday, 4/17, when Sandy is hosting an informal meet-and-greet. There will be coffee and doughnuts!
We are also excited to share that The Brick House is going to be taking more of a leadership role in hosting and facilitating this coalition in the future. Our work with parents and families is funded by a DCF Community Connections grant, and we have a long history of partnering with the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership through this grant. Sandy and I will be collaborating with existing Partnership leaders to ensure a thoughtful and thorough transition when the Drug Free Communities funding ends next fall.
Between now and the start of the 2019/20 school year, we are looking to you all to stay involved in The Partnership and help us set goals for the coming year. For our DCF Community Connections grant, we are asked to create an action plan for each new Fiscal Year, which for our agency runs July-June. So we are pulling together a sub-committee of stakeholders from the Partnership, Executive Council, Brick House staff, and community members to help us make decisions and prioritize our work moving forward. We see this as an excellent way to ensure that the work of the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership will be sustained in the years to come, and to really hone in our focus for this next year in particular.
If you would like to give input, or if you know someone who may be interested in participating in the Action Planning process, please let me know! We are holding an Action Planning meeting for The Brick House and Gill Montague Community School Partnership on Monday, May 6th from 9am-12pm at The Brick House in Turners Falls. We’d love to have you join us.
We look forward to continuing to partner with each of you, and we are excited to see how this next chapter of our work will unfold.
Dana Lee Mengwasser, Executive Director