“To whom it may concern, I am writing to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for Child Connection Center (Pascale Sykes Program), here at St. Michael the Archangel Regional School.  Since the program has been made available to us, it has been a vital asset to the success of our students. The attention to the needs of our students is of tremendous value.  Miss Bechs is always available for any concerns or needs, we as teachers, request for the overall success of our student…”  -Mr. Joseph Williams, Teacher at Saint Michael the Archangel Regional School

“This program is an invaluable resource to [many teachers.] The parents are always so grateful when they see their children begin to thrive. It is nice to know that when we have a question, concern, or a need, that this program is available.  Making a difference in one child’s life is amazing, but to see so many benefit from the [Child Connection Center] Program is priceless.  We hope to continue working with these facilitators, to give each child the chance to shine and realize their full potential.”  -Mary Hardy, Teacher at Saint Michael the Archangel School

“The Child Connection Center offers teachers many strategies to assist students with unique needs and increase their learning potential in the classroom. One student with ADHD had been acting out in class and refusing to do work because of his frustrations. Working with the social workers, the student was able to use strategies to calm himself, work toward behavior goals, and focus on time/work load management so that by the end of fifth grade, he was on the path to success. With the social workers on-site, the teacher, social workers, parents, and students were able to work as a team to support this student’s needs. The Child Connection Center helps students who are having social, emotional, and academic struggles through school-based programs, which offer students strategies to deal with stress and solve issues and problems in a healthy, productive way. This opportunity allows students to be successful both academically and socially. Ms. Bechs and the Child Connection Team have been an invaluable resource for teachers who strive to reach every child.”  -Kathy Mercier, Teacher at Saint Michael the Archangel School

“CCC has helped me as the school nurse with student support in various issues.  Toilet training [is a common issue among students who] fear the automatic flushers.  Normally they come to the nurse’s office [to use the bathroom] and the training doesn’t happen.  [Students] continue losing classroom time by coming to the nurse to use the bathroom.  [The CCC has also helped me to] assist students who are frequently visiting the nurse’s office with emotional issues r/t home or school. I can’t begin to say how nice it is to have CCC here at our school and I am able to discuss concerns I may have about a student.” -Bonnie Boucher, R.N., Central Early Childhood Center

“An elementary school student was referred to CCC for social and emotional concerns as well as financial concerns for the family.  The CCC helped the student improve his social relationships by including him in social skills group as well as working with the classroom as a whole to help form groups of interest and connect with other students.  The student’s social relationships improved and he even joined the Boy Scouts. The CCC also helped the family connect with community resources such as the Food Bank and People in Transition to help them with food and housing issues.”                                           –Teacher at Herma Simmons Elementary School

“I am so happy that she is participating [in group] and you know what? Her worries are gone! Well, technically [they are] still there, but she has a positive attitude towards them now. Like when she forgets to borrow a book, instead of worrying, she would just smile and laugh a little. She would say that she’s not worried anymore. I really appreciate what Mrs. Riggio and Mrs. Meluso have done so far with her.” – Parent at Saint Michael the Archangel Regional School

My favorite thing that I did last year in group with Mrs. Riggio and Mrs. Meluso was: “I was in a group with my class. We talked about facing your fear and we did an activity where we drew a picture of it and turned it upside down. The picture looked funny and it made it not scary. This made me feel better.”    –  4th grade student at Saint Michael the Archangel Regional School

The best thing about guidance classroom workshops with Mrs. Riggio is: “Talking about different subjects. We talk about feelings, self-esteem, bullying, internet safety, healthy relationships and more. In eighth grade, I am going to be taking Personality and Careers, which will help me decide what I want to do when I grow up.” – 7th grade student at Saint Michael the Archangel Regional School

“What happily surprised me was the offering of a group session which included some of my daughter’s closest friends.  Not only did [my daughter] get to talk to peers in similar situations, she learned how to be a better listener- a better friend.  Both [my kids] really trust (the social worker) and even ask to spend more time with her!  I think she brought their smiles back.  Yet, they are even brighter than before.  She showed them how to feel those difficult feelings and work through them and, as a result, they are even happier than they were before! The response I have received was unexpected and greatly appreciated! Even though the behaviors were just at home, they took the time to meet with me and answer all my questions.  Never did I feel rushed or uncomfortable.  I was part of a team helping to come up with a plan for my children.  One might say they are ‘just doing their job’, but it is really so much more.  I think if what happened to my kids had happened to me when I was younger, I would never have received the same amount of support at school (if any).  I myself am in the education world and know that the support they offer is not in every school.  I am so thankful that it was here and is openly available to my children.  Without it, I fear they would have struggled more with the home issues ultimately causing them to struggle in school.  I speak with other parents outside of the school and they are amazed with what was offered to them at St. Michael’s.  I speak with other parents at St. Michael’s and they are equally impressed.”  – Parent at Saint Michael the Archangel Regional School