Get your "Champion" nominations in by Friday! (April, 2010)

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WCCC Spotlight April 12, 2010
A frequent reminder that our kids and families matter!
Please note:
The Coalition has a new phone number:
(401) 788-2347

Beverage companies reduce calories in school soft drinks

Final Assessment of the Alliance School Beverage Guidelines Released

An agreement between the Alliance for Healthier Generation and the American Beverage Association, Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and PepsiCo has resulted in better options for schoolkids.
   Starting this schoolyear,
industry representatives agreed to remove full-calorie soft drinks and offer lower-calorie, age-appropriate portions instead.
   Early results already show:
  • 88% percent decrease in total beverage calories shipped to schools between the first half of the 2004-05 school year and the first half of the 2009-10 school year.
  • the overall volume of full-calorie carbonated soft drinks shipped to schools was 95% lower in the first half of the 2009-10 school year than they were in the first half of the 2004-05 school year.
  • 98.8% of all measured schools and school districts were in compliance with the agreement.
Final CBT lecture
May 5 at Village Inn

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Traumatic Anxiety in Psychologically Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Implications in Clinical Practice
Wednesday, May 5, 5-7:30 pm
The Village Inn, Grand Ball Room, Narragansett
This is the final presentation
in the Spring 2010 Evening Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Coalition and the Brown Alpert Medical School. The lectures are designed for mental health clinicians, medical staff, and school professionals and offer CEUs. The $35 registration includes dinner and educational materials as well. Download a brochure and/or call or email the Brown CME office: 401-863-3337,

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Westerly parents, professionals, educators
turn out to hear Coalition-led report on teen pregnancy, delayed prenatal care, food insecurity 

Infant & Child Health Partnership spent two years surveying parents, providers, clergy, and residents about causes, solutions
bookmark1Westerly teen girls are three times more likely to have babies as their counterparts elsewhere in Washington County, Westerly women are nearly fifty percent more likely to delay seeking health care during their pregnancies, and area pantries are reporting record numbers of families seeking help.
    Concerned by these statistics, the Coalition released Westerly Children at Risk: A Community's Self-Assessment, the summary report of two years of discussions, surveys, and interviews with local parents, social service providers, clergy, school personnel, residents, and other experts about probable causes and possible solutions to the three challenges. The release took place last week at Westerly Hospital and was well-covered by local media.
    The Westerly Infant & Child Health Partnership, an initiative of the Washington County Coalition for Children (WCCC), gathered the material.
    "The statistics themselves aren't up for debate," notes Susan Orban, WCCC coordinator. "We were asking our neighbors and co-workers why Westerly continues to have higher rates than all the other towns in Washington County and the state as a whole. What are the underlying issues?"
   Respondents identified poverty as the key issue, as well as absent or insufficient services, especially around:
·   Public transportation
·   Character development programs in the lower grades
·   Sex education
·   Youth programming.
    Surveys also identified that eligible families don't always take advantage of programs available to them.         
   "Area clergy and professionals assert many eligible families are unaware of public benefits (e.g. RIte Care, Food Stamps, WIC, FIP, LIHEAP) nor the local social services and food pantries that may help them," the report states. Westerly has no Social Services Department, so residents have no local site to learn about available community resources or to get assistance making connections with needed services...[S]ome families find it impossible to deal with the bureaucracy of complex state programs."
    In many cases, people contend, Westerly residents don't know the extent of the problems, and would respond if they were. "Participants maintain most residents are unaware of the growing poverty and hunger among working families in Westerly. They would be surprised that the WARM Shelter has several teen parents currently living in a motel, for example. Those we spoke to believed Westerly residents would be moved to take action to help if they were made aware of the issues."
    Copies of the report and the extensive survey materials are available on the WCCC website:

Have you nominated a 'Champion' yet?
Hurry! The deadline is Friday, April 16.

The Coalition is accepting nominations for the prestigious "Champion for Children" Award until Friday, April 16. The winner will be honored at the 8th Annual Children's Issues Forum in May.
    "We've got lots of 'unsung heroes' for kids in our nine towns," says WCCC Coordinator Susan Orban. "It's time to sing about one of them!"
    Candidates can be advocates, volunteers, elected officials, nonprofit agency directors or board members, teachers, service providers, journalists, and other community leaders in Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, and Westerly. Current WCCC members are ineligible for the award.
    Past winners include:
·   South Kingstown School Superintendent Dr. Robert Hicks;
·   Wilburn Logan of the Family Advocacy Project;
·   Mark Hawk, Special Education Director for Westerly School Department;
·   Deedra Durocher, foster parent and business leader;
·   Kim Bossian, Head Start Health Coordinator for South County Community Action; and
·   Tammy McNeiece, Special Education teacher at Curtis Corner Middle School.
    Contact Heidi Reardon at (401) 294-5318 or or visit for a nomination form.

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What you need to know about the WCCC

The Washington County Coalition for Children brings together everyone in Washington County who cares about children. The Coalition is known for: 

  • Tracking and publishing the trends in children's issues, and convening public meetings around the needs.
  • Convening monthly meetings that bring together more than 40 organizations
    to tackle the most compelling problems facing children and their families.
  • Establishing a website to help parents of children with mental health and substance abuse problems connect with local treatment providers
  • Sponsoring an annual "How Are the Children?" Forum, a must-attend event
    for anyone working on children's issues: community leaders, advocates, and elected officials.
  • Holding monthly workshops to help doctors and mental health professionals care for children with behavioral health problems and  developmental disabilities.
  • Organizing a holiday gift drive for teens in conjunction with Casey's Grill & Bar in Wakefield.
     The Coalition achieves astounding results, with just one part-time staff person, dedicated volunteers, and administrative support from VNS Home Health Services.
We cover all Coalition costs through voluntary contributions
of Coalition members, grants, and your generous donations.

     For more information about the Washington County Coalition for Children, go to or contact Coalition Coordinator Susan Orban at or (401) 788-2347.