Saturday August 22nd marked the Inn at Weathersfield’s Annual Farm Dinner Celebration. SAPCC was thrilled to be a part of this celebration of locally sourced food and farmers. Many thanks go out to the Inn for orchestrating such a special, festive evening and for selecting Springfield Area Parent Child Center to be the recipient of the Silent Auction pledges.
The Learning Together Program at SAPCC is what sparked Innkeepers Marilee and Richard Spanjian to honor us with their sponsorship this year. Learning Together is an intensive pre-vocational, educational and parent training program. It is geared to help young parents get the support, education and information they need to become self-supporting contributing workers, citizens and parents.
We were very pleased to have one of our own Learning Together Graduates, Darian Holden participate in the evening’s events as a server. Marilee shares our passion and our pride in our program, and called Darian up during the dinner to speak about her accomplishments to the entire group of diners. She illustrated how Darian is a great example of how our program can make a real difference in the lives of a young family. Darian was 15 when she gave birth to her daughter Raelynn, and was unsure and afraid of what the future would bring. Through Learning Together, Darian was able to complete her high school education, receive her diploma and gain both job and parenting skills while having her daughter onsite attending pre-school at PlayWorks Child Care Center. Darien is now the Center’s Cook preparing breakfast, lunch and snacks for up to 52 children and adults daily.
Many thanks once again to Richard and Marilee of the Inn at Weathersfield, along with their Farm Partners, all the local businesses supplying the auction items and for the music of the Springfield Stringers and Johnny O for an amazing night of local food, music and community spirit.
Richard and Marilee are also to be commended for their civic mindedness and support of community projects and interests all year long. The Farm Dinner is just one of many ways that they give back to local non-profits in the towns in and around the Inn. For example, Wednesday Nights this past summer have been Community Wednesdays at the Inn. Each Wednesday a different local charity/non-profit has been the recipient of 10% of the food and beverage sales for that evening. Richard and Marilee have also committed to being a part of our Learning Together Program continuing education program by opening up their “Hidden Kitchen” to our participants to teach professional cooking and life skills off site. This type of community collaboration is one that we are looking to build upon with other businesses to enrich our program. The ability to expand learning and life skills outside of the center and into our communities is a very important way for our participant to transition from the classroom to real world settings. The types of worksites that would fit with the skill sets of our participants would be as follows:
- Health Care and Service Organizations
- Retails Outlets
- Hospitality and Tourism Venues
- Entry Level Clerical positions
- Offsite Child Care/Early Education
Our goals in the program are to provide the basic level 1 soft skills training in our onsite worksites here at the center and transition our participants into the workforce as interns while still in the program to aid in their transitions after graduation. If your business or organization is interested in pursuing internship possibilities with our participants, we welcome you to contact Julie Merrill at 802-886-5242. She’ll be happy to discuss the possibilities with you. As a non-profit Parent Child Center serving 16 communities in North Windham and South Windsor, we are always happy to receive donations and collaborate on event sponsorships to offset the cost of the many wrap around services we provide to young children and their families. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to come by the center for a tour. You can also learn more about us www.sapcc-vt.org or by calling us directly at 802-886-5242.