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New program for teens

The Parent-Child Center of Rutland County (PCC)announces a new teen outreach program, ‘The 7s Club’, that will be based out of our Brandon site on Fairve Circle. The program is a joint venture with local grammar/high schools and will start as a ‘three days per week’ program and evolve into a full week’s outreach throughout 2022. The core of this program is reconnecting seeking and in-crisis teens (11-13) to their community, nature and most of all, to themselves. Under the banner of NatureWorks, The 7s Club, like our successful SAPLINGS program, will involved shelter building, reading/crafting, story-telling, obstacles course activities, and maintaining a community garden in Brandon. It will also include hikes, a variety of on-going group projects, field trips and much more. This teen outreach, like other successful programs in Vermont, will focus on mentoring, peer mentoring, cooperative team events, and creativity. All data shows that reliable and consistent one-on-one relationships between staff and students partnering in honest and compassionate ways can help youth feel a greater sense of purpose as they navigate harsh times in and out of school. Mr. Chris Laro, director of both programs in Brandon, along with co-staff Mr. Ray Awusi and Ms. Anna Austin (Director of Learning Together school for PCC), will share in leading youth in both indoor and outdoor events designed to instill confidence and self-esteem in all participants. “We’re doing a potent job at the PCC with these youth initiatives,” says Mr. Laro. “The bulk of my social work for twenty years in Vermont has been creating programs and systems for youth participants. Starting with SUCCESS School here in Rutland, then on to Ekerd’s Camp E-Wan-Akee (a noted outdoor youth center in Benson, VT), CSAC in Middlebury, VT, B&GC in Rutland, and currently here at RCPCC/PCC, the chance to help create and support essential interventions for our youth is a blessing.” The goal for early 2022 is to work with ten to fifteen grammar-school-aged teen males at the Brandon, VT site where the PCC runs one of its early childhood education and toddler services, as well as SAPLINGS. Please stay tuned for further updates on all of these programs in coming weeks.

For more information on SAPLINGS enrollment and the teen outreach with ‘The 7s CLUB’, please contact Chris Laro at 802-779-6386.