“Work hard, play hard, learn hard” – Graduation 2017

Posted on June 23, 2017. Category: Uncategorized, WCS News

2017 graduation and awards ceremony at waterford country schoolOn June 16, 2017 the Otto Graham Gymnasium was packed full. Over 25o people were there to watch the Waterford Country School Awards and Graduation ceremony. With the 60 kids from the Levine Education Center (the ‘school’ at Waterford Country School) looking on and cheering, numerous awards were given, each of the 6 Seniors was given the opportunity to say a few words and special guest speakers commemorated the day.

Sharon Butcher, WCS School Principal, said “When people find out I work at Waterford country School they inevitably say, wow, that must cap and gown decorated for high school graduation ceremonybe hard work! Some days its hard, but most days it’s great. This is the fun part. Today I am SO proud of these students…your children.” After calling all the staff to stand and be recognized as part of the team that makes WCS great…awards were given out to all the Lower School (K-5) and Upper School (6-12th grade) students. Awards like “Good sportsmanship,” “Extra-Ordinary Effort,” “Acts of Kindness,” “Class Olympian,” “Word Wizard,” “Creativity in Writing,” “Music Enthusiasm”, “Most Improved,” “Industrial Arts”and “School Spirit” just to name a few. Vice Principal, Pam Giannelli, broke into the programming to shout out some “I Caught You’s” which were unique things she caught students doing over the year. Things like antique bottlecapping, peer mentoring, creating a lunch delivery service, impersonating staff, recycling, and impressive records for scrabble, dodgeball, basketball and the walking challenge (One student walked 51 miles in the month of May…the highest record in walking challenge history!) If you think this kind of recognition is strange, think again. Waterford Country School touts the motto “Where Everybody is Somebody” and nowhere is it more evident than a day like awards day. When everyone gets recognized because they each have unique strengths and obstacles they’ve overcome. We celebrate each of our students and their success.

senior poses with high school diploma at commencement ceremonyEmotional Seniors gave speeches thanking their families and the those who supported them through their school career. Nick said “When I came here 7 years ago, I was a defiant little punk with no dreams or aspirations. Here…I’ve made family.” Eric wrote “For 5 years, WCS was the place I called home.” CJ greeted the crowd with “Konichiwa!” and called 2 special teachers up on the stage “I bought you presents!” Ryan talked about looking back and being shocked to realize that “For a kid who had such distrust for everyone, I genuinely connected with staff here…developed family-like bonds.” Ashley state matter of factly “I didn’t see myself finishing high school” but credited the support and love and security she found at Waterford Country School. “Thanks for the pep talks, even when I rolled my eyes!” She echoed what many of the other Seniors realized, “Obstacles can’t stop you, problems can’t stop you, other people can’t stop you, the only one who can stop you is yourself. Thank you for believing in me.”

proud african american female in white cap and gown at graduation ceremonyGuest speaker, Danny Miller, spoke about being a former WCS student, struggling with a learning disability and behavioral problems. He told the students “overcoming obstacles is a lifelong pursuit…you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.” Danny recalled stories of his time at WCS and the obstacles he faced in his academic life. Humbly, he recognized how much the skills and strategies he learned spurred him on to the place he is now, just completing a Master’s in Social Work degree. What he considers his “greatest achievement.” He encouraged the class of 2017, “Barriers do not limit your potential to achieve. It takes perseverance and determination.”

“We work hard, play hard and learn hard at Waterford Country School,” claims Sharon Butcher. It’s evident from the  overwhelming feeling of hope and pride that filled the gymnasium, Waterford Country School is not just dispensing knowledge to its students but strengthening children and families that desperately need compassionate care.

Congratulations Class of 2017!

For more information about our private special education school, visit the Special Education Page

Bring Your Mojo 2017 is HERE!

Posted on June 20, 2017. Category: Uncategorized, WCS News

7th annual bring your mojo golf tournament in memory of gary saunders to be held at great neck country club in waterford all proceeds to benefit waterford country school

 

 

 

 

 

Waterford Country School’s Golf Committee enthusiastically invites you to the 7th Annual “Bring Your Mojo” Golf Tournament on Thursday, Sept. 14th at the Great Neck Country Club in Waterford.

This is not your average fundraising tournament! The Bring Your Mojo Golf Tournament has become a SOLD OUT event! Each year there are new surprises as well as enthusiastic additions to the committee. This year Waterford Country School’s Golf Committee welcomes Maxwell Satti (ACE Hardware) and Gary Upton (UP Fitness) to the energetic planning team. The tournament is held in memory of founding family member, Gary Saunders, who passed away suddenly on Jan. 27, 2011. Bill Stanley from L and M Hospital takes a swing as one of the golfers for the Bring Your Mojo charity golf tournament to benefit waterford country school As a founding family member, Gary believed in Waterford Country School’s mission of doing “Whatever It Takes” to enrich the lives of children and families with specialized needs. Spurred on by Gary’s life and legacy, the Golf Tournament has raised over $250,000 since its inception! The funds raised helped Waterford Country School to finish Phase 1 of the Otto Graham Gymnasium and fully fund the Gary Saunders Fitness Center inside the gym. This year our goal is to fund the completion of the gymnasium which will include a large classroom for WCS kids, a kitchen, staff/family meeting room and the entryway. We can do it with your support!

Tournament day check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. with a Shotgun Start at 12:30 p.m.  Entrance fees are $166 per player, and include lunch, 18 holes of golf, greens fees, cart fees, as well as a steak and lobster dinner.  The annual golf event also features over 50 raffle items.happy golfers at great neck country club for the annual bring your mojo charity golf tournament to benefit waterford country school

The golf committee is seeking event sponsors, golfers and general supporters. All proceeds will benefit programs and services at Waterford Country School, located in Quaker Hill.  Last year, more than 120 golfers participated and raised over $70,000.  If you are interested in being a Sponsor or Golfer in the tournament, please contact the Development Office at 860.442.9454 or development@waterfordcs.org.

FOR ALL GOLF TOURNAMENT INFORMATION, SEE THE BRING YOUR MOJO PAGE HERE! 

Summer Camp 2017 Enrolling NOW!

Posted on June 19, 2017. Category: WCS News

camp cuheca is a therapeutic summer day camp for kids in connecticutSummer is finally upon us! There’s still some time to enroll your child in Camp Cuheca’s summer camping experience! Last year we expanded our camp to 50 campers per week while still maintaining a high ratio of staff to campers. Our goal is to keep our campers having fun and engaged in animal therapy and outdoor adventures all day! Waterford Country School’s 300 acre woodland campus boasts trails, tent campsites, lakes, a farm, a wildlife rehab center, exotic animal center and staff and counselors that are trained to help every child succeed.

Check out the video from Camp Cuheca 2016,  pick the week(s) that work for you and get that paperwork in!!! Camper spots are limited!

Find all the information you need to enroll your child at Camp Cuheca on theh Summer Camp page. See the Camp Cuheca page here. 

Country for a Cause – See Jason Aldean on May 19th!

Posted on May 4, 2017. Category: WCS News

Rock out AND support your favorite cause!

You’re invited! On May 19th, Jason Aldean will perform at Mohegan Sun Arena. We have a limited number of Skybox tickets available for this night of music and fun! For only $175 per person, you receive your concert ticket, food, beer and wine in a luxury skybox AND knowing that all the proceeds make a difference for children and families at Waterford Country School!!!! Don’t miss it! We thank you for your support!

Contact the Development office to purchase tickets: 860.442.9454 or development@waterfordcs.org

Jason Aldean fundraiser to benefit Waterford Country School skybox tickets for may 19 show

Introducing Hunts Brook Academy!

Posted on May 4, 2017. Category: Uncategorized

Waterford Country School is proud to announce the launch of a new program. Hunts Brook Academy is an alternative education program for middle school age boys. The Hunts Brook therapeutic boarding school program is designed for families with children who have social, emotional or behavioral challenges and are seeking an environment that fosters positive behavioral change. The goal is to create a pattern of successful and positive experiences for our students as they live and learn on our beautiful campus.

This is an exciting new venture for us. We believe all that we have learned through the CARE model and our success using it will be a huge benefit to other struggling families. To find out more about this new venture visit: www.huntsbrookacademy.org

Our first Hunts Brook Open House is coming up soon. Join us on May 31st from 9-4pm!!! Email info@huntsbrookacademy.org for more information.

Kabaret For Kids 2017 is HERE!

Posted on January 19, 2017. Category: WCS News

Tickets are on sale NOW for the 13th annual Kabaret for Kids Gala.

Don’t miss this one of a kind event featuring a spectacular musical performance by Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Young Fellows Program. Special performances by Braiden Sunshine (The Voice) and Brad Simmons (Young Fellows Program Director, musical director and peformer). Order your ticket online and find out all the details of this special night on the Kabaret for Kids page.

 

Accepted to OPTUM Network

Posted on December 6, 2016. Category: WCS News

Waterford Country School is pleased to announce it has been accepted into the OPTUM behavioral health network for children’s and adolescents’ outpatient treatment, crisis stabilization and residential treatment. Waterford Country School is now a network service participant for Anthem and OPTUM.  We also have the ability to bill for many insurances out of network—please ask us to research your family’s policy. For outpatient treatment contact Waterford Country School’s Norwich office at 860-886-7500. For crisis stabilization and residential treatment contact our admissions director at 860-442-9454 x525.

Donations to Project CT’s Child

Posted on October 25, 2016. Category: CT Adoption News

maya-2nd-bdaySincere thanks to Lisa and Jim, adoptive parents of Maya, who recently celebrated her 2nd birthday.  They helped to raise $465 for “Project CT’s Child” by having their friends and family members make donations in lieu of gifts at her birthday party, then they matched that amount themselves!  These funds will be used towards the home study services for a family who is planning to adopt a child from the CT state foster system.

 

A Community of CARE

Posted on October 13, 2016. Category: WCS News

On October 6th and 7th Waterford Country School hosted Martha Holden from table-listenersCornell University’s Residential Child Care Project and author of the (CARE) model. The Residential Child Care Project has been invited to over 40 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, Russia, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom with its ongoing programs to prevent institutional child abuse and improve the quality of residential childcare. The widely disseminated Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) System is used in hundreds of residential child care institutions an d has also been adapted for other congregate care settings, as well as for foster and adoptive families. The Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) project implements and evaluates a program model based on a set of research-based principles to help child care agencies re-align their organizational practices around the best interests of children.

 

Waterford Country School is very fortunate to be one of the first agencies in the country to experience Cornell sharon-butcherUniversity’s new Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) Program.  CARE is a “best practice” model that creates conditions for change for youth in congregate care. We have been involved with Cornell since we adopted the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) Program in 1994.  TCI is a comprehensive program designed to guide staff in their working with youth during a crisis.  100% of our direct care, clinical, education and administrative staff are trained in this model.

 

Released in 2008, CARE is a brilliantly crafted framework for children in out of home care based upon a thorough review of the literature and research.  It identifies six ray-johnson-and-spurwinkprincipal domains of treatment and builds a set of guidelines for staff around these domains.  The CARE framework meets each child where they are developmentally and helps guide them to an enhanced level of functioning.  The model is built upon the premise that children do well if they can. This framework charges staff to find what contributes to a child’s developmental disruption and to address those issues to get them back on track.

CARE emphasizes the importance of a congruent approach on all levels and across all persons, the youth in care, their families and the staff.  All WCS staff whether they are direct care workers or administrative staff are trained in the CARE model to keep the agency’s approach consistent. In 2009 we adopted the CARE model as our agency model and became trained by Martha Holden, Tom Endres and Jack Holden from the Cornell Residential Child Care Project.  We were then given the ability to provide our own CARE trainers so that everyone in the agency was part of this new way of operation. Since then, every new staff member has been trained in CARE.  We have learned about the importance of shifting rules to expectations, moving from control to order, being flexible in our expectations, and shifting from consistency across children to consistency within children. It has completely changed our outlook from being “crisis oriented” to being “relationship oriented”. Our physical restraint percentage has been drastically reduced while our relationships with the kids we work with has improved. We have had such success with the CARE approach that we are now asked to share our journey with others.

Ohappy-listenerOctober 7th, 2016 Waterford Country School hosted nine agencies and Martha Holden for a Community of Practice Event. Martha presented updates on CARE and answered questions. Each agency was given time to share their own journey to CARE. The attendees broke into focus group discussions on how to bring CARE or continue rolling out the model in their own agencies. It was a wonderful day for us to reflect on how far we’ve come. Our Agency now has the direction that it has sought for so long.  CARE is our framework for treatment and our guide for providing the highest level of services for our youth and their families.  We are so inspired by the changes we’ve seen and hope to encourage others to their own success.
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Many thanks to Martha Holden from Cornell University, The Brandon School, Children’s Home, Community Health Resources, Hillside Family of Agencies, Martin De Porres School, Spurwink, Sweetser, and The Village for attending this CARE community event at Waterford Country School.