Child Survivors of Domestic Violence have a Tranquil Place to Heal at New Bright Space

April 16th, 2014

AWS 2“My heart sings!” said Bright Horizons Center Director Lalaine Monteclaro after opening a new Bright Space. “This project had been on my to-do list for about 2 years, and it is such a joy to finally complete it!”

The new Bright Space opened at the Asian Women’s Shelter in San Francisco with the help of Lalaine and a multi-center team of Bright Horizons employees.

“It was amazing to see the transformation,” said Lalaine after attending the Grand Opening of the space, “It was wonderful to see the children actually there and playing in the space.”

Asian Women’s Shelter provides support to survivors of domestic violence and has the special cultural and linguistic expertise to provide programs in 41 languages to survivors with limited English Proficiency.AWS 1

In the Bright Space, children will have their first birthday celebrations, their first Thanksgivings, their first chances to communicate with their non-abusing parent about what is going on in their families, and their first opportunities to rebuild a strong attachment of trust, play, and possibility with that parent.

The Bright Space was made possible thanks to Bright Horizons at 221 Main, Bright Horizons at 2nd Street, Marin Day School Fremont Street, Marin Day School Spear Street, and Marin Day School Redwood City.

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Celebrating Volunteers: Gleason Grant Recipients

April 7th, 2014

Miracle League MottoThis week is National Volunteer Week! The Foundation’s volunteers make us what we are today – we couldn’t do anything without them. We are very grateful for all our volunteers.

Volunteers like all of our Gleason Grant recipients. Katherine Grayson, Director of Westchester Executive Park, and Margaret Rowan, Director of TimberRidge Family Center, are two examples of Gleason Grant recipients. The Miracle League of Westchester will receive a check for $500 in their names.

This award is special as they are going to use the money for uniforms,” says Division Vice President Bev Basham. “The children with autism have baseball teams in the Miracle League. We get to pick the name of the team, and will honor the memory of DJ Henry (son of Bright Horizon’s Chief Human Resource Officer Dan Henry) in the team name.”

To qualify for the Gleason Grant, Katherine and Margaret assist with teams and individuals through the buddy program.  They also assist with creating a “store” for Miracle League’s Holiday Event so that the disabled children can select gifts for their parents, and with their Halloween Event by setting up age appropriate games and activities.

 

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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Welcome to Our Newest Bright Space in Florida

March 11th, 2014

 

 

 

Welcome to our newest Bright Space at Women in Distress of Broward County, Florida, a domestic violence shelter. More than 300 women and children working to transition into a safe, self-sufficient life will be able to use the Bright Space each year.

This Bright Space was sponsored by Bright Horizons client American Express, and volunteers from American Express plan to stay engaged with the Bright Space.

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Bright Spaces Helping Families of NICU Babies

January 6th, 2014

​Families with children in the NICU are experiencing a great deal of emotion: fear, joy, hope, love. Not only are parents worried about the newly-born babies facing their own struggles, but they are worried about the well being of their other children and family members. The Bright Horizons Foundation and the Dallas March of Dimes have partnered to ease this stress at several Dallas-area hospitals.

NICU ribbon cuttingFamilies with newborns in the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas will now have a new Bright Space where they can play and have fun. One new mom says that this is music to her ears because the Bright Space adds a distraction that was much needed for her older child. When visiting her baby brother in the NICU, the family would spend time watching TV in a family room. Now her daughter can use her imagination, feel like there is a space just for her and feel a sense of normalcy in a difficult place.

In addition to a place to play, these Bright Spaces will offer hope and inspiration through beautiful photography and inspiring quotes mounted on the walls. It also includes special materials for siblings with a particular focus on pretend play involving baby dolls, home living and medical play.

In addition to this Bright Space, a ribbon cutting was recently held for the March of Dimes-Dallas/Fort Worthand Bright Horizons Bright Space for Siblings located in the Special Care Nursery for the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. This is the sixth NICU Bright Space the Bright Horizons Foundation has opened in partnerships with the March of Dimes.

NICU KidsFor siblings of children in the NICU and Special Care Nursery, it can be very hard to understand why their baby brother/sister can’t come home and why they need to be at the hospital. The Bright Space allows them a place to play when visiting the hospital, and allows families to spend time together during this period of crisis.

There are more NICU Bright Spaces in the works and we are so proud of the work that is being done.

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Unique Music Studio Bright Space Opens in Memory of Special Young Man

August 1st, 2013

The family of Tyler Montgomery were devastated by his tragic death in a car accident last June, just Tylera month before his 20th birthday. They wanted to find a special way to honor his memory.

Tyler’s cousin, Candice Amour, Center Director at UChicago Child Development Center, knew about Bright Spaces and contacted the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children to see about creating one in Tyler’s memory.

A year later, a very unique Bright Space opened: the The TwoCanSam Recording Studio at the Guardian Angel Community Services’ Dillard Harris Education Center in Joliet, IL. Tyler was a gifted aspiring musician, and TwoCanSam was Tyler’s name in a local rap group. The opening was held in celebration of what would have been Tyler’s 21st birthday.

StudioThis music studio will be used to for music therapy and music education in Tyler’s memory. Students from second to twelfth grade will be able to go in and do music and work through their issues, according to program director Laura Coan.

“Because of the Foundation, we do get to celebrate Tyler and because of the Foundation, Tyler’s legacy will live on,” said Candice. “Our family is devastated with the loss of Tyler and our hearts ache, but because of this wonderful opportunity to create a space for Tyler to ‘live’ through, we have begun to fill our hearts with love and hope for the children that will use this recording studio.  You have given us a wonderful outlet for healing.  This is the greatest gift.”

 

Watch a special video tour of the Bright Space. It not only shows the room….but Tyler’s music is playing in the background.  A song called “UP”..one of Tyler’s last songs he recorded before his death.  It is about being positive and not getting down and being true to yourself not matter how much people or life circumstances try to put you down.

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Garden of the Five Senses opens at Frazer Center thanks to Greenman Gift

May 13th, 2013

Pictured left to right: Trace Haythorn, Jessica Conway, David Hoffman, Mark Mendel, Melony Gibson, Charlese Dease, and Rosalie Howell

A special “Garden of the 5 Senses” interactive teaching and therapy area recently opened at the Frazer Center in Atlanta. The project was made possible thanks to a Greenman Gift grant from Bright Horizons and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.

The Frazer Center is a nonprofit agency with a long-standing history of providing outstanding services to infants, preschoolers and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and other disorders.  It is one of only a few inclusive child care programs in metro Atlanta and are unique in that both children and adults with disabilities are afforded day services at the same site.

The Frazer Center’s 1,600-square-foot existing courtyard was turned into a space that integrates beauty and function. The Garden of the 5 Senses is a space that invites exploration and imagination while also stimulating lear

ning. In addition to plants that are beautiful to see, touch, smell, and taste, there is a small amphitheater for children to listen to stories and a special humming stone. This space will also be used as an outdoor classroom and reading area.

“The heart of our effort lies in the deep conviction that introducing and cultivating a love of nature with young children provides not only a wonderful learning opportunity but also the early building blocks of a life-long commitment to appreciating and caring for our natural world,” said Trace Haythorn, Executive Director.

The Rich Foundation also contributed to the garden.

The Greenman Gift was established in 2009 in honor of Jim Greenman, the former Chairman of the Foundation Board and Senior VP of Education and Training for Bright Horizons. Jim’s professional life was dedicated to the wellbeing of children and families. He left a legacy of creating wonderful places for children and adults where they could play and learn, creating warm memories that would become a part of the fabric of their lives. The Greenman Gift provides a $35,000 grant of direct financial and in kind contributions to one child care program each year to improve its facility in Jim’s honor. 

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Client Relations Director Stephanie Rose Receives Gleason Grant

April 14th, 2014

Please join us in congratulating Stephanie Rose, Director, Client Relations, for being honored with a Gleason Grant. School on Wheels of Massachusetts will receive a check for $250 in her name.

Stephanie and her daughter collect new school supplies and backpacks and then visit School on Wheels a few times a year to pack the backpacks to be delivered to homeless shelters and local YMCA’s.

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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Resource Educator Kimberly Polychrones Receives Gleason Grant for Bridge to Hope

March 31st, 2014

Please join us in congratulating Kimberly Polychrones, Support/Resource Educator at Children’s Choice at Scottsdale Shea, for being honored with a Gleason Grant.  Bridge to Hope, a housing ministry/homeless recovery program for Single Moms, will receive a check for $250 in her name.

Kimberly assists with child care once a month while Moms are in group/counseling and once a month while Moms participate in monthly dinners, organizes and sorts donation room, hosts annual yard sale, works with Moms on home evaluation reviews on skills to help maintain a healthy home, and once a month cleans and sanitizes the child care room.

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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Volunteers Complete Some Spring Cleaning at Bright Space Shelter in Chicago

March 25th, 2014

Spring cleaning was in full force this month at the La Posada Interim Housing Program in Chicago. Volunteers from Bright Horizons’ EdAssist office, University of Phoenix and its parent company Apollo Education Group, and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children came together to help improve the lives of at-risk families and children and strengthen the Chicago community.

UOPX 3The volunteers worked on projects at La Posada including refreshing the Bright Space, updating and painting multiple rooms, installing new additions to the computer lab, painting a mural, and surprising the kids with special gifts at the end of the event.

Approximately 70 families will benefit from the projects and donations, helping to encourage early childhood education and preparing them for success. Located at 1322 N. Kedzie Ave., La Posada has been offering housing and support to homeless families in the Chicago region for more than 15 years.

 

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Teacher Sarah Aaron-Bromley Receives Gleason Grant for Friends of Appalachia

March 24th, 2014

Please join us in congratulating Sarah Aaron-Bromley, Infant Lead Teacher at Yale West Campus, for being honored with a Gleason Grant.

Friends of Appalachia, an agency that helps impoverished people living in Central Appalachia, will receive a check for $250 in her name.  Sarah attends planning meetings, solicits and collects donations, and assists with many fundraising projects.

 

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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Education Coordinator Karen Karren Receives Gleason Grant

March 18th, 2014

Please join us in congratulating Karen Karren, Education Coordinator at Bright Horizons at Beaverton, for being honored with a Gleason Grant.  The Oregon Humane Society will receive a check for $250 in her name.

Karen volunteers in the cattery, trains new volunteers, fosters cats (135 of them so far!) . . . over 1,200 volunteer hours per year!!!

 

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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Recruitment Coordinator Stacie Shattenberg Receives Gleason Grant.

March 10th, 2014

Please join us in congratulating Stacie Shattenberg, Recruitment Coordinator serving Divisions 2, 10 and 11, for being honored with a Gleason Grant. The Frederick Area Swim Team (FAST) will receive a check for $250 in her name.

Stacie has been on the Fundraising Committee for the past three years. They have a few large fundraisers each year and raise funds for usage fees for two high school pools for any child that cannot afford the membership fees and for scholarships for families that have hardships so that their children can swim, and toward the building of a new pool.

Stacie also meets and greets new families, making sure that she is present on the desk to answer questions about the team during practice. She helps hand out ribbons after meets to make sure the children get acknowledged, spending many hours in the stands and on the pool deck being an ambassador for the team. She says that FAST is a family and she has been a part of it since her daughter, now 15, was 4 years old.

 

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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Director Marisa Rothbard receives Gleason Grant

March 3rd, 2014

Please join us in congratulating Marisa Rothbard, Director of Bright Horizons at Trumbull, for being honored with a Gleason Grant.  The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which provides therapeutic recreational opportunities at camp and in hospitals to children living with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families, will receive a check for $250 in her name.

Marisa’s volunteer responsibilities include hosting children and families when visiting the camp in Ashford, CT as well as fundraising events throughout the year.

 

Our special thanks to Diane Trister Dodge, Founder of Teaching Strategies, a member of the Bright Horizons Education Advisory Board and a friend of the Foundation. Her generous donation in honor of retired Foundation President, Dave Gleason, supports the Gleason Grant Program.

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