Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Laralympics: Let the games begin!

     It's been far colder in Johnson than Sochi, Russia, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Laraway's own celebration of the Olympics---Laralympics---is a 4-day extravaganza at Laraway School complete with inspirational speeches, classroom learning, athletic events and special internationally-themed lunches in our cafeteria.
     Marc Gilbertson, a cross country skier who was a member of the United States Olympic Team in Nagano, Japan in 1998, served as guest speaker at our opening ceremony on a chilly Monday morning.  Gilbertson challenged students to follow their bliss, strive to minimize regrets, and find the courage to take the first step towards their goals. 
     Students formed four teams representing nations at the Olympics: Russia, Norway, Germany and China.  They learned about the geography and history of their respective nations and made flags and t-shirts.  We started with a relay race which included stops along the way for tasty chicken wings and chocolates.  Snow events include snowman building and creating snow angels.  Our new ice rink will host curling and skating competitions.
     Interesting ethnic aromas emanate for Laraway's cafeteria.  From egg rolls to potato pancakes to bratwurst to pierogies...our kids and staff are eating like international Olympians!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Seeking aspiring Janes of All Trades

                                             VERMONT WORKS FOR WOMEN
                                                     JANES OF ALL TRADES

Janes of All Trades is a FREE program where young women, ages 15-22, will build confidence through the exploration of skilled trades in a safe, fun, woman-centered, supportive environment.

WHO?  Any interested young women, ages 15-22

WHAT?  Learn carpentry and welding skills, use power tools, and explore two other skilled
 trades as well. We will also have time for some arts, team building games, and media literacy work.
Throughout our time together, we will focus on supporting one another and building confidence as women.

WHEN? Thursdays, March 6-June 5, 3:15-5:45

WHERE?  Green Mountain Tech and Career Center (GMTCC), Hyde Park

HOW?  To register, contact Julia Chafets at or call 802-622-0400 x157


Note:  Laraway Youth & Family Services, Lamoille Family Center and Lamoille County Court Diversion Restorative Justice Programs, Inc. have provided are delighted to partner with Vermont Works for Women in this endeavor.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Laraway hires Behavior Consultant

            Laraway hired Melissa Deppisch as a Behavior Consultant. Deppisch possesses a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Applied Behavioral Analysis. She will work with the agency’s Backpack Program which provides public school based behavioral intervention supports.  Deppisch, whose areas of expertise include autism, will assess individual student needs and design interventions to build skills and promote independence.
“I’m really excited by the potential that exists here at Laraway,” Deppisch says. “Laraway is not only filled with people who know about that they do. They really care about what they do.”
Laraway responds to the needs of at-risk kids and their families by offering innovative, strength-based services through alternative education, therapeutic foster care, and public school based support programs.


Laraway Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy with a day or service

             Johnson-based Laraway Youth & Family Services’ staff fanned out across Lamoille County on January 20th, volunteering at numerous non-profits. Staff members delivered meals, painted, cleaned and organized materials, and visited with young children and seniors. 
“Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is synonymous with service at Laraway. This is our way to give back to a community that supports our work with at-risk children and youth,” said Katherine Stamper, Laraway Development Director. “It also allows staff members to get to know each other across program areas, strengthening our connections as colleagues.”
 Agencies Laraway partnered with include:  Lamoille Family Center, Meals on Wheels, RSVP, The Manor, Johnson Historical Society, Morrisville Food Bank and Lamoille County Court Diversion Restorative Justice Program, Inc.