DANBURY, Conn. -- This summer, Danbury families looking for community resources to help them raise healthy and happy children won’t have to look any further than their own peers.
A group of 20 parents, trained as “community messengers” under Promise for Children Partnership’s new pilot program, will share information about support services with other parents in their neighborhoods, churches, schools, and workplaces.
According to the organization, they will also be manning tables at family-oriented events sponsored by the Danbury Library and the Danbury Fair Mall, as well as at the Danbury Downtown Farmers Market, and other venues.
They will be distributing information about the Summer Meals program, the free Imagination Library book program, the Help Me Grow program, and other programs that support families with young children, the organization said.
The messengers, who took a six-week course conducted at the Head Start Building on Foster Street, were briefed on topics such as how to find child-care and prepare your child for school; how the city government works; how to find recreational activities; how to find services for families who have children with special needs; and how to find financial resources.
“When recruiting parents for the program, we tried to identify parents who are the ‘go-to’ people in their neighborhoods and schools,” said Hayward McLain, family advocate and fatherhood initiative coordinator at Head Start, who co-facilitated the program. “We wanted parents who would take what they learned and use it to help other parents.”
The messengers are Miguelina Matista, Patricia Morocho, Rosa Quintuna, Adelaida Chacha, Gabriela Mendoza, Stacy Diaz, Samantha Wolf, Beena Shaik, Andrea Gutierrez, Viviane Leite, Mayra Ceballos, Karina Abril, Imelda Tenesaca, Pamela Acosta, William Batista, Jorge Andres Diaz, Maria Diaz, Jennifer Swetland, Leonel Villavicencio and Milagros Loughlin.
For more information about the Community Messengers program, call Caroline LaFleur at 203-792-5330, ext. 245; or Elizabeth Quiñonez at 203-792-5330, ext. 222.
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