I’m Laura Taylor from the Clinton Early Childhood Resource Center. We partner with WHEAT on all their programs. I was a past WHEAT employee before I had this role, and have been partnering with WHEAT for the five years that I have been in this job.
The Clinton Early Childhood Resource Center is a program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. The Coordinated Family and Community Engagement grant provides families with access to locally available comprehensive services and supports that strengthen families, promote optimal child development, and bolster school readiness. We have playgroups, parent support, referrals, and ready for school programming. Our focus is family engagement and promoting the parent as the child’s first and best teacher. All that we do is at no charge.
It is important for all of the comprehensive service providers within our community to work together to make sure that all of our families know what services are available to help them. We recently worked with WHEAT as they donated toys, clothing, and books to us that we distributed to our families to commemorate a year in quarantine. We also partner with all their programs (food pantry, Café, Hidden Treasures, Tools for School, Hope for the Holidays, Feed-A-Family). What they offer to our community is a godsend. Many are facing hard times and WHEAT has been a constant.
It is always a pleasure working with WHEAT. You are greeted with a smile and a warm hello and are asked, “How can we help?” The positive attitude is infectious and when families are members of the community come in they feel welcomed and that they are going to get the help they need. I have known Jodi (WHEAT’s Director) for years and her commitment is unprecedented.
As I mentioned above, WHEAT is a godsend for this community. During Covid they provided meals for anyone who needed it, as well as made sure that our community knew that they had a food pantry that is available for all. Their main mission is to just help those in our community who need it and that gives families who are in crisis hope. In these days, hope is so important and vital.