In the news and on the move in 2012...
A BRIGHTER CHRISTMAS FOR OVER 500 CHILDREN & YOUTH
Thank you to everyone for your support and generosity during the 2012 Holiday Season! Because of you, many of the less fortunate children, youth and families we serve had a brighter Christmas; presents to open Christmas morning and a dinner on the table. What a wonderful feeling to know that you had a part of making this happen! So from all of us at Waterbury Youth Services we thank you, and wish you and your families love, joy and peace throughout the New Year!!
CITY WIDE BACK TO SCHOOL RALLY 2012
WYSS, in partnership with the Waterbury Department of Education, Mayor's Office and other community agencies, hosted our 15th annual City Wide Back To School Rally. 3,000 were in attendance to hear this year’s Keynote Speaker, Dr. Edward Joyner from Sacred Heart University. Dr. Joyner spoke to youth and parents about the importance of education. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Ouellette, Mayor Neil O'Leary and members of the Board Of Education encouraged our youth to do well in school. Over 60 vendors participated in the Rally offering a wealth of information for youth and parents on education, health and community resources. There was free food, giveaways, raffles and many fun activities for the youth! Back To School Rally Slideshow
EXCELLENCE IN YOUTH AWARDS
“Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.”
Congratulations to our 2012 Excellence in Youth Award Recipients! Each year WYSS recognizes young people who have demonstrated outstanding character. Youth from Middle and High Schools in our area are nominated in one of our five Character Categories: Citizenship, Community Service, Good Samaritan, Initiative & Leadership. A celebration is held for the winners where their nomination letter is read and they receive a special engraved plaque. WYSS is proud to hold this event to recognize and promote the development of strong character in our young people. A special thanks to The American Savings Foundation for their continued support in making this event possible!
THE MINI MONETS' PROJECT
Artwork by 3 and 4 year old students in School Readiness Programs across the City was displayed the Brass Mills Center and Veteran's Hall at Waterbury City Hall during the month of May to celebrate the Week of the Young Child. WYSS and Waterbury School Readiness Provider Network developed the Mini Monets' Project, where children created very exciting pieces working with various mediums both familiar and new. Funded by the Leever Foundation and administered by the Connecticut Community Foundation, the Mini Monets' Project is the first art project of its kind in the City.
INTER-GENERATIONAL PROJECT...youth & seniors together
WYSS Tech-Media Program youth are working on a new Inter-Generational Project in collaboration with Beacon Communities at Exchange Place Towers, a nearby senior apartment residence. The youth visit with the seniors weekly to exchange stories & life experiences, and to enjoy social activities. Seniors bring a great level of wisdom and experience and youth bring energy and new skills; by coming together during activities, these two groups begin to set the patterns of positive intergenerational communication, creating an atmosphere where seniors and youth socializing together are the norms - not the exception. The youth are documenting their visits through pictures, videos and stories. At the end of year celebration, the final project, a video documentary will be shown. Communities are empowered when people begin to care about and value each other, celebrate their differences and rejoice in their similarities.
KARATE TEACHES YOUTH DISCIPLINE & RESPECT
WYSS has recently entered into a partnership with Dr. Robert Beaudoin, Master Instructor- 8th Dan Black Belt and owner of the Beaudoin Academy of Karate. The program is held at Stepping Stone gym Tuesday and Thursday each week, though a collaborative agreement between WYSS and NAFI CT. The goals set forth by the Beaudoin Academy align with the mission of Waterbury Youth Services, to help each student reach their fullest potential and become better citizens in their communities. Through this program component, youth learn respect, discipline, and control, as well as achieve a level of confidence while becoming fit and having fun.
KIWANIS PEANUT DAY
Peanuts anyone? WYSS was happy to help sell peanuts in downtown Waterbury for Kiwanis Club's annual Peanut Day! It was just a small way to give back to our local Kiwanis Club for generously allowing us to use their facility each year to hold our summer camp. WYSS camp, which has been in existence since 1999, gives urban youth ages 3-14 the opportunity to experience the joy associated with attending an outdoor summer camp.
WYSS TEAM SCRABBLERS
Meet "Team Scrabblers"! The City of Waterbury generously sponsored 6 high school youth from WYSS for the 6th annual Scrabble Challenge to benefit the Literacy Volunteers Of Greater Waterbury. The 6 youth practiced their scrabble skills for weeks in order to prepare for the big day. They had a great time, used their critical thinking skills and were happy to be part of an event that benefits their community.