September 9th, 2014
Dave Gleason, who led the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children for more than 10 years as president before retiring in 2012, passed away at his home in Nashville on Sept. 4.
“The important, positive, and lasting contributions Dave has made leave an enduring legacy on the lives and well-being of countless children and families,” said Gary O’Neil, Chairman of the Foundation Board and Senior Vice President, Employee, Partner, and Community Engagement , for Bright Horizons.
Dave’s legacy includes the almost 300 Bright Spaces the Foundation has opened that serve 100,000 children a year. Gleason Grants – the Foundation’s volunteer recognition grant named for him – also help thousands of children a year by recognizing Bright Horizons employees who volunteer in their communities.
“Dave will be remembered for his visionary leadership, appreciation for early educators, and an inherent sense of responsibility to share one’s success with those less fortunate,” said Foundation President Mark Mendel. “In addition to his work with the Foundation, he will also be remembered for his work in the field of early childhood education.”
A nationally recognized expert in quality child development programs, Dave’s impact on the field of early childhood education can be felt in the development of the CDA, which he collaborated with NAEYC to develop, and on the World Forum Foundation, which he stayed involved in throughout his life. At Bright Horizons, he had the vision to establish the Awards of Excellence and was committed to ensuring leaders in all roles are acknowledged and rewarded for their contributions to quality care and education.
Dave leaves behind Corinne, his wife off 44 years, four children (Kelly, Casey, Colleen, and Connor) and 10 grandchildren with another on the way.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s wife, Corrine, their children and grandchildren, as well as his many close friends within Bright Horizons and the early education community,” said Foundation Executive Director Becky Bowman. “We can all ensure his memory and vision live on by working with passion and compassion in all we do.”
Dave’s family has requested that charitable gifts be made in his memory to The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children to honor his passion for the well-being of all children, especially those in crisis such as children who are homeless.
August 27th, 2014
Teens in Mississauga, Ontario now have a gaming area, a TV/movie/lounging area, a table/workspace area, and a research/computer area in their new Bright Space at Interim Place.
Homelessness can be especially difficult for teenagers, leading to severe anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Teens report feeling unsafe in adult shelters, and yet they often feel out of place in family shelters, too old for the younger children’s activities and yet too young for the help offered for adults. Without a welcoming room designed especially to engage them and support their emotional needs, teens needing more autonomy may leave the safety of the shelter and head back to the “independence” of the streets, which can be disastrous for the teen and for their family.
“I was fortunate to meet a few of the youth,” said Bright Horizons Regional Manager Fatima Taveres, who worked on the space. “They are beside themselves with excitement.”
August 19th, 2014
When Justin Timberlake brought his 20/20 Experience World Tour to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncastville, CT, earlier this summer, the 20/20 Experience became a Bright Horizons Foundation for Children experience too. Bright Horizons at Eagleview works closely with The Mohegan Tribe and was thrilled when they generously extended the opportunity to host a fundraising event at the concert. They donated an entire skybox to Bright Horizons Division 13. By selling the tickets to Bright Horizons employees, and their family and friends, Division 13 raised more than $9,000 in one night for the Foundation.When it comes to raising money for the Foundation, Division 13 rocks!
July 29th, 2014
Outdoor spaces can be very important to children who have experienced violence in their lives, allowing a more comfortable environment for the child to discuss the crisis that faces him. The outdoor space at SPAN in Boulder is used for group therapy as well as one-on-one sessions. When Bright Horizons employees at the Broomfield office found out the space could use some TLC, they sprang into action. They raised money to create an outdoor Bright Space through office fundraisers such as chili cook-offs, root beer floats, ice cream sundaes, breakfast burritos, and capped it off with a silent auction raising more than $11,000. Special thanks to Linda Toldness and Amy Shamburg for their leadership, as well as the whole Broomfield Foundation Committee for making this Bright Space a reality for the children at SPAN.
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonvoilence (SPAN) is a human rights organization committed to ending violence against adults, youth and children through support, advocacy, education and community organizing.
July 16th, 2014
“When we first got Juno, I had no intention of having her become a therapy dog,” says Arryn Sullivan. After seeing on TV how much of a difference therapy dogs made to Sandy Hook survivors, though, Arryn found Dog B.O.N.E.S. of MA, an organization that trains dogs for therapy work. “We went to the sessions, and because of Juno’s personality, she was a shoe in for this type of work.”
For her and Juno’s work together, Arryn, executive assistant to Bright Horizons CEO Dave Lissy, was recently honored with a Community Service Award for Dog B.O.N.E.S.
Arryn and Juno have visited numerous colleges for stress clinics during mid-terms and finals. They were part of a senior project for a girl at Milford High School, and have visited an elderly man in Wellesley many times.
“The most time we spend is at the Franciscan’s Children’s Hospital in Brighton in the CBAT psych unit,” says Arryn. “Juno and I go once a week and spend time visiting with the kids. These kids are struggling with behavioral issues, bad home situations, and are threats to themselves or others. When we go, I love talking to them (many have been there for months) and witness how they leave their routine for an hour and are just kids having a good time. When we get there the kids run over to Juno and immediately start petting and asking me about her.”
Community Service Awards are $250 and are funded by the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.
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.
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.
Families 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.
For 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.
August 1st, 2013
The family of Tyler Montgomery were devastated by his tragic death in a car accident last June, just a 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.
This 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.
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.
September 15th, 2014
Please join us in congratulating Pam Schaffer, Business Manager at the Mayo Clinic Child Care Center in Arizona, for being honored with a Gleason Grant.
Duet will receive a check for $500 in her name. Duet is a service that helps older adults live independently. Pam provides business help to a homebound individual . . . reading mail, bill paying, insurance, etc.
September 2nd, 2014
Please join us in congratulating Robin Davis, Teacher at The Enrichment Center in North Carolina, for being honored with a Gleason Grant. Changing a Generation with F.A.C.E in Durham will receive a check for $500 in her name.
Robin has worked with CAGWF for several years. She assists with Destiny Land and Think Big Adventures as a chaperone on trips and play time. She also assists the Child Care Center’s Director during in-service training, and during the summer, she helps with tutoring for children who need basic math and reading skills.
August 25th, 2014
Please join us in congratulating Cameron Randall, Regional Education Coordinator – Division 12C, for being honored with a Gleason Grant. The Boys & Girls Club of Mercer Island will receive a check for $250 in her name.
The Club has long been known for running many of the island’s youth sports teams, and Cameron volunteers more than 75 hours coaching for T-ball!
August 18th, 2014
Please join us in congratulating Jamie Mallone, Teacher at Kids’ Place in Fort Worth, TX, for being honored with a Gleason Grant. Ark of Salvation Outreach Ministry for Children will receive a check for $500 in her name.
Jamie teaches skill classes and connects families to agencies that properly fit their needs. She provides shelter assistance in the area of paying bills, family life shelters, the GED program, and assisting and organizing the food and donation department.
August 11th, 2014
Please join us in congratulating Wendy Butler, Teacher at Bright Horizons at Rochester, for being honored with a Gleason Grant. Paws and Claws Humane Society will receive a check for $500 in her name.
Wendy fosters kittens that have usually been abandoned by their mothers and require bottle feeding every 2-4 hours around the clock. She litter trains and socializes them until they are old enough to be vaccinated and neutered or spayed.
August 5th, 2014
Please join us in congratulating Jamiel Maze, Education Coordinator at JP Morgan Chase – Tampa Highland Oaks, for being honored with two Gleason Grants. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania will each receive a check for $250 in her name.
With the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida Jamiel planned bi-monthly troop meetings, helped and supported the girls in planning and executing community service projects and in learning about the world around them, diversity, and inclusion.
With the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania she helped plan seasonal camps with local troop volunteers, assisted in troop meetings and special activities and camps, attended trainings, and assisted with community outreach activities.