Franklin Grand Isle Regional Council Recap – September 2018

Margaret Maley
Franklin Grand Isle Regional Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




In early Spring, the council made the decision to utilize funding awarded through the Race to the Top grant to fund “Welcome to Kindergarten” bags to each incoming Kindergartener in Franklin and Grand Isle county. The council spent the summer compiling lists of schools, number of students, bag contents, and plans for distribution. Each child in Franklin and Grand Isle entering the kindergarten system received a bag that included a welcome to kindergarten letter to the parents, stickers, a pencil, colored pencils, a Help me Grow magnet, information local early childhood resources, and a children’s book. As of the first week of September, the final count of bags delivered was 695. The schools were so eager and excited to hand them out to the students!

This year the Franklin County car seat fitting station has been recognized as Northern Vermont’s Child Passenger Safety Fitting Station of the year and will receive an award on September 25th presented by the Lieutenant Governor. The fitting station is staffed by Michelle Trayah from the Northwestern Counseling and Support Services Parent Child Center, Ann Weinstein from Weinstein Property Management and Steve Munroe from Good News Garage.

In an effort to address the high number of individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness in our county, our local community action agency is leading an initiative developed by the VT Coalition to End Homelessness. This system, named Coordinated Entry, will assess those who are housing insecure and work to match them with resources based on their need. This will be done in conjunction with helping families secure stable housing when it becomes available. 

Our local Vermont Department of Health public health dental hygienist is working with our Parent Child Center to identify ways to increase access to and education on oral health in the community.

The council’s unique ability to diversify strategies based on needs in the community has truly been a highlight of the past few months. Whether it’s finding a way to provide concrete supports in times of need, seeking solutions for unstable housing, or identifying public health concerns of the community, the council steps up no matter how complex the issue. 

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