March is National Nutrition month, which serves as an opportunity for the Newtown Health District to promote the wealth of nutrition education sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “There is no magical or mystical way to achieve good health; its primarily about how much you move and what, and how much, you consume,” Health District Director Donna Culbert recently told The Newtown Bee. “Yes, there can be complex genetic and/or environmental factors that affect your health, but that is not the case for the majority of people.” Ms Culbert said Newtowners can access loads of information at the academy’s website, EatRight.org. The Newtown Health District is currently working with its regional public health partners, Western Connecticut Health Network, Bethel VNA and New Milford VNA, the Regional Y of Western Connecticut, the United Way of Western Connecticut, and other health agencies on a community needs assessment and a community health improvement plan.
The Board of Selectmen approved $15,000 during a meeting March 17 that will underwrite a tickborne disease awareness and prevention campaign that will be launched in the coming weeks by the Newtown Health District. After brief discussion between First Selectman Pat Llodra and Selectman James Gaston, they moved and approved the funding, which is being drawn from an undesignated town Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund intended to support public health, safety, or resiliency initiatives. Ms Culbert said she is excited to be partnering with More Advertising, a minority- and women-owned Massachusetts-based cause marketing firm with experience successfully mounting public health and safety programs similar to what Newtown hopes to launch this year.
NYA Sports & Fitness Center will offer two complimentary sessions of TLS’s Weight Loss Solution system on Tuesday, March 25, at noon and 6 pm. TLS Weigh Management Coaches Christine Tyrell and Chris DeVellis unveil the program for all interested adults. TLS Weight Loss Solution is a weight loss program that emphasizes a low-glycemic approach to eating, which helps keep blood sugar levels where they need to be.
Kim Killoy, Grant Coordinator for the Newtown Prevention Council has notified The Newtown Bee that she is postponing the Council's Parent Speaker Series event featuring school climate and bullying prevention expert Jo Ann Freiberg. That talk was set for this Wednesday, March 19 at the Middle School at 7 pm. She said that after much discussion and projected low attendance for the event, it was felt that parents would be more inclined to attend a similar activity in the Fall.
The Lions Low Vision Centers of Fairfield and New Haven Counties (LLVC) recently delivered a free Eye-Pal Solo reading device to Adrienne Ralles, 82, a Nunnawauk Meadows resident with macular degeneration. The device “reads aloud” to the sight impaired. heart disease and arthritis. Devices such as the Eye-Pal Solo are provided by the LLVC at no cost to the recipients after referral to LLVC by an eye care professional. Most clients are people who, having sustained a significant vision loss, must find new ways to do necessary and favorite activities.
Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism (MCCA) will honor Greg Williams and The Non-Profit Development Corporation of Danbury at its annual awards dinner on March 20. Mr Williams, a Newtown native currently living in Danbury, will be honored as Man of the Year for his work in producing "The Anonymous People," an 84-minute, independent documentary about the 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery. “I’m very humbled and flattered that somebody wants to recognize my work,” said Mr Williams. “The MCCA has been an incredible agency in supporting people in recovery ... It shocked me, to hear I was getting this award,” he said. The making of the documentary was not about getting an award, though, said Mr Williams, and being the recipient of the Man of the Year Award leaves him conflicted. “This is not about Greg Williams. It’s about the men and women of the decade, who are people who will forever affect change,” he stressed.
Workshops are filling quickly for the 5th Parent Empowerment University (PEU) set for Saturday, March 22, from 8 am to 2:30 pm, at Newtown Middle School. Newtown Parent Connection, in partnership with Brookfield CARES, is once again offering the day of education for parents and caregivers who wish to be proactive and learn positive parenting strategies for raising children of all ages. This year’s keynote speaker, Dr Jane Nelsen, EdD, LMFT, will present “How to Empower Your Children & Yourselves.” In a change from previous years, parents will then head to just one afternoon session of their choice instead of two. Children are welcome at the event, which will again include Kids University.
A free seminar series, “The Transition Dilemma: A 4-Part Series on Aging,” is being offered at Maplewood at Newtown, 166 Mt Pleasant Road, to explore the questions, options, challenges, as well as solutions and resources for elder care. Attorney Kathy Boufford, one of the event’s organizers, describes the event as an opportunity for the community to gain a wealth of valuable information in a short period of time. Although the series is taking place at Maplewood at Newtown, event organizers want to emphasis that many types of care for the elderly will be discussed. The seminars will take place Thursdays, March 20 to April 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm each week. Three speakers per evening are scheduled for a total of 12 professional presentations.
School climate has nothing to do with air quality or the physical temperature of the classrooms in which Newtown students learn. But when it comes to school climate, Jo Ann Freiberg, PhD, recently told The Newtown Bee that she prefers to see it cool versus heating up. Dr Freiberg is an educational consultant with the Connecticut State Department of Education working with the Bureau of Accountability and Improvement. According to her bio, she manages the wide arena of bullying, improving school climate, and character education. She will be the next guest in the Newtown Prevention Council’s Parent Speaker Series, Wednesday, March 19, at Newtown Middle School. Her presentation is open to all residents, but she hopes to see lots of local parents and students at the talk, which is scheduled for 7 pm.
Paul L. Sirois was named executive director of Regional Hospice Foundation, the fundraising arm of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut, as of January 1. A financial planner for 17 years, most recently vice president and financial advisor for Union Savings Bank, Mr Sirois previously served as chairman of the Regional Hospice board. “This felt like a very natural transition,” said Mr Sirois. “You would think after 17 years in one career there would be some anxiety [with a career change], but there was not. It feels right,” he said. Along with his financial expertise, Mr Sirois brings to his new position his seven years of experience of having been on the other side of what it takes to make Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut.