Wellspring Reception Receives New Furniture with Help from Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation
Wellspring recently received a grant for new furniture for their Bethlehem Campus reception area courtesy of the Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund, a fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Inc.
Through the generosity of this grant, Wellspring will be able to purchase much-needed new sofas to upgrade their reception area, making the space for visitors, clients, and their families both inviting and welcoming.
“We are extremely grateful to the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation’s Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund for helping us replace our aged furniture,” shared Wellspring Co-Founder, Phyllis Beauvais, Ph.D. “This grant is helping us create a warmer, more inviting environment for those whose lives we touch.”
About The Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Inc.:
As your Northwest Connecticut community foundation, our mission is to enrich the quality of life for residents of our 20 town service area in Connecticut’s Northwest Corner through the generosity of fundholders. We seek to enrich the quality of life for residents of Northwest Connecticut by inspiring local philanthropy, convening stakeholders in community welfare, strengthening the regional nonprofits network and fostering collaborative funding partnerships. To learn more about the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Inc., please visit their website at: https://northwestcf.org.
Students Thankful to Discover True Selves & Bright Futures
This year the Arch Bridge School, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), awarded diplomas to ten students of the graduating class of 2016. Themes of the graduation ceremony on our main campus in Bethlehem were: finding our way, learning who we really are, and looking forward to a bright and healthy future. This was the first graduation to take place at Wellspring’s new Dodds Family Center for Arts and Athletics.
Reflecting the relational quality of our program, several aspects of the ceremony make Arch Bridge School graduations special. As they receive their diplomas, students are not simply given a handshake and sent back to their seats. Rather as each diploma is handed out, a member of the faculty delivers a thoughtful and personalized speech honoring the graduate’s accomplishments and progress. These personal presentations are filled with stories of transformation, tears and laughter. This year, the staff speeches included a few props such as a coveted Student of the Month tee-shirt and a tiara with scepter set. Graduates are also invited to speak at the ceremony if they wish.
“It was really difficult for me to write this speech because every time I tried to describe Wellspring, it sounded like they paid me,” one graduate said in her address. “Like when you see the Girl Scout cookie boxes where the girls are really happy – that’s me at Wellspring. Arch Bridge is by far my favorite high school experience. The staff and students were always kind and funny. Eventually I was oddly happy to wake up and go to school in the mornings. I have never been more thankful for a school.”
Another student said, “Wellspring is truly a magical place…if you take advantage of what it offers, you will transform into your true self. One of the most important things I learned here is that Wellspring will always stay with you, even after you leave.”
Keynote speaker at the ceremony, Liza Amir, a former resident of Wellspring, inspired students by sharing her experience from the heart and speaking about her success and happiness since her time on campus.
“Change might be scary and intimidating, but it is also very exciting,” Liza imparted. “Have the confidence to work towards your goals, and the self-worth to know that you deserve them.”
“Who will you be?” Liza asked. “Where will you be in a year? Ten years? I am talking to you as proof of what is possible…Wellspring saved my life. It has been 18 years since I was a resident at Wellspring. If you had told my 16-year-old self when I was a resident here that I’d be where I am today, I probably would have laughed at you. Today I am an artist, wife, mother, friend, sister and daughter. I have a fulfilling career that I love, a husband who is truly my partner and soul mate, an amazing son, meaningful friendships and a deep authentic relationship with my family. It took a lot of work. It all takes work.”
Liza’s advice for the graduates, and that could apply to everyone: Trust yourself and have faith in yourself. You don’t have to be perfect but be sure to learn from your mistakes. Remain humble and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Several students also shared their talents and sang with emotion in duos and groups – including a beautiful a capella rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
The members of the graduating class of 2016 will be moving on to college, jobs or travelling abroad. Five eighth grade students were also recognized for moving up to high school and many other students were acknowledged for their hard work and progress as they head back to their public schools, prep schools or step-down programs.
The Arch Bridge School at Wellspring, a leader in therapeutic education, has been honored as a 2016-2017 National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) School of Excellence.
According to NASET, “Selection as a NASET a School of Excellence is the highest honor a private special education school can achieve through our professional association. The recognition is bestowed on private special education schools that meet rigorous professional criteria and have demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment and achievement in the field of special education.”
“The NASET Award to the Arch Bridge School at Wellspring is another affirmation for the dedicated teachers and staff. The quality of their work and relationships to their students continues to be exemplary,” said NASET Executive Directors Dr. Roger Pierangelo and Dr. George Giuliani, in a written statement.
Arch Bridge School is also featured on the NASET School of Excellence website, as can be seen in this year’s recipients listing online.
The Arch Bridge School at Wellspring serves children in grades 1-12 and has earned multiple commendations from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education. The school offers academics and college preparatory courses, allowing students to meet their unique academic objectives while in our day school or residential treatment programs. The Arch Bridge School has a long history of success in serving youth with emotional and psychological issues along with learning vulnerabilities. At Wellspring and the Arch Bridge School youth develop the skills and resources they need to return to a public school setting, return to home, or enroll in college.
The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) is a national membership organization dedicated to rendering all possible support and assistance to those preparing for or teaching in the field of special education. NASET was founded to promote the profession of special education teachers and to provide a national forum for their ideas.
The mission of NASET is to render all possible support and assistance to professionals who teach children with special needs. NASET seeks to promote standards of excellence and innovation in special education research, practice, and policy in order to foster exceptional teaching for exceptional children. Learn more at www.naset.org.
THANK YOU to all of our friends, donors, staff, and sponsors who helped make the Give Local 2016 fundraising campaign such a success. We couldn’t have done it without you!!!
Special Thanks to the following individuals and sponsors:
Jack & Pam Baker
Wayne Eisenbaum Charitable Foundation
Salem Foundation Fund
Southbury Community Trust Fund
John & Shirley Michaels
Svetlik Andrews Fund
For more information about Give Local please visit www.GiveLocalCCF.org.
Yesterday the national Give Local campaign experienced a system overload, crashing the website! We heard from many of our donors who were frustrated that their donations were not able to be processed, and today we are excited to share the good news:
The Give Local website is working now! And the fundraising challenge has been extended to Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 PM. AND… At 9:45 on May 4 we are HALFWAY to our $40,000 goal thanks to our generous donors!
Make your donation, or check in on our progress at www.wellspring.org/givelocal.
We are excited to share that our participation in Give Local 2016 will be further amplified through the generous pledge of a $40,000 gift of matching funds provided by members of Wellspring’s board of directors and alum parents.
Donations made between 7 a.m. May 3rd and 7 p.m. May 5th will be enhanced with bonus funds provided by the Connecticut Community Foundation and their sponsors. To learn more, or to make your online donation during the campaign, please visit www.wellspring.org/givelocal.