The Grapevine Family & Community Resource Center
July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007
In October 2006, The Grapevine’s 10th Anniversary culminated with an open house and celebration of community support, highlighting and honoring the dedication to our mission throughout the first decade by Betty Avery, Ben Pratt and Sydney Wilson-Smith, all of whom were on the original steering group that started The Grapevine and continued to be vital to the mission for the first 10 years—Betty as a children’s program and Strong Living volunteer, Ben as a member of the board of directors, and Sydney as the parenting educator. Also honored were Rick & Diane’s Restaurant, for financial and other support, and Monadnock Paper Mills—The Grapevine’s first and biggest local annual financial supporter.
The Grapevine mission is to promote family and community health and well-being through support, education and the sharing of resources. Our programs support parents, as their children's first and best teacher; children, so that they will be healthy and eager to learn; and communities, as healthy and supportive environments for all.
· Hilary Weisman Graham, a film maker and Grapevine parent from Francestown, donated her exceptional creative talent and countless hours creating a video about The Grapevine. Hilary interviewed parents, staff and others from the community, shot footage of community suppers, wood bank work, the spring Walk for Families, Strong Living, the People’s Service Exchange, and the children’s program, and then edited it down to a 16-minute film complete with music by the Matt Savage Trio and cover design by Ruth Benedict. The video was premiered at the 10th Anniversary Open House in October.
· Also in October, the construction of the Community Wood Bank Shed was completed. In November a large crew (many of whom were from the Martel family) filled the shed with donated wood primarily from Robblee Tree Service and cut and split by many hard-working volunteers. In the Spring of 2007, the shed was bare and Wayno Olson donated 8 cords of split-and-delivered firewood for the next season.
· In February 2007, a group of teens began meeting weekly to create a vision for a new teen center in Antrim. At the March 2007 Antrim Town Meeting, after hearing teens speak, the voters passed a warrant article raising and appropriating $6,000 to support a new teen center.
· With the support of a grant from the NH Charitable Foundation/Monadnock, staff and the board of directors participated in two spring “retreats” at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, facilitated by Allen Hollander. From these meetings, six goals were identified through a strategic planning process. Each goal is being “championed” by one or two members of the board of directors, to ensure that progress is made in the identified areas, including board development, outreach and fund raising. Plans to develop an official logo were laid, with the process to take place early in the coming fiscal year.
Parent-Child Programs – We strive to provide supportive, nurturing, enriching, fully accessible programs for all parents and their children birth to 5 years of age.
Better Beginnings Parent-Child Program: This program met 3 mornings each week and served 103 children and 68 adults. A “Better Beginnings Together” afternoon drop-in playgroup was added in the winter. Early Childhood Educator Beth Bradford teamed up with assistant teachers Catrina Young and Kim Duthie, along with playgroup helper Heather Readel, to lead the program using a developmental approach with a focus on strengthening social and language skills. Community volunteers, including Betty Avery and Terry Wenkus, provided invaluable one-on-one small group activities for the children.
Sydney Wilson-Smith, our parent group facilitator, led weekly discussions on child- and family-centered topics. The parent groups offered parenting support and information on child development. Sydney often opened the door to discussions about community, state, national or world issues -- the world in which we are raising our children. Carol Lunan was our parenting educator during the 2006 summer months, and Jane Richards-Jones of Hancock substituted for Sydney in the fall, while Sydney recovered from knee surgery. Guest presenters in the parent group included: a mother who talked about readiness for school, guest parent educators who spoke on “Unconditional Parenting” and parent-child connections, a visit from government officials, a past parent who talked about balancing parenting, work and other
life aspects, a former DCYF supervisor who talked about prevention of neglect and abuse, a mother who talked about the local food cooperative, a yoga instructor, a massage therapist, counselors from Monadnock Family Services, substance use prevention workers, and a nutritionist.
Better Beginnings for Babies began its seventh year, with Beth Bradford facilitating parent discussions and creating a nurturing and supportive environment for both parent and baby. 34 parents and 52 babies participated. Topics discussed included breast and bottle feeding, family bed or crib, sleeping, routines, taking care of yourself so you can care for your baby, parenting styles, crying and other child development issues. Special speakers joined this year and shared information on infant massage, early intervention and infant/toddler nutrition.
The Learning Vine: The Learning Vine, a parent-cooperative early childhood learning program for preschool-age children, completed its seventh successful year in June. The Learning Vine, taught by Carol Lunan M.Ed., offers hands-on learning for children and a unique opportunity for parents to enrich the learning experience. Classroom activities and field trips into the community combine to create a rich experiential learning environment. The dramatic or pretend play area of the class transformed from “house” to “post office” to “doctor’s office” to “forest campsite” to “pizza restaurant” over the course of the year. Community trips in 2006/2007 included visits to Tenney Farm, Edmunds' Hardware, Antrim Marketplace, Rick & Diane’s
Restaurant, Norway Hill Apple Orchard and Tuttle Library.
Access to Services and Resources
Monadnock Family Services used our "provider office" to offer child and family counseling on a sliding scale to people who live in Antrim and neighboring towns. MFS therapists Celia Oliver and Neva Williamson regularly met with clients each week, serving 26 children and adults.
A.C.C.E.S.S. (Associates in Career and Community Employment Support Services), with offices in Keene and Peterborough, supports people with disabilities in their search for meaningful employment and valued community engagement. Five people were served by A.C.C.E.S.S. at The Grapevine.
Community Wood Bank—This year, wood was once again donated primarily by Robblee’s Tree Service, with labor provided by Wayno Olson, Ben Pratt, John Vance, Kurt Schellinger, Kathleen Crawford, Eduard Hristache, the Martel family - Larry, Donna & Joe Martel, Robin Martel Quinn and Dan, Peter Martel and Lisa Shingler Martel, with sons PJ & KC – and Chris and Carol Healey. Grounds and maintenance staff person Fenton Fitzpatrick stacked wood as it came in throughout the year. 20 families received wood. Construction of the Community Wood Bank shed was completed in October, thanks to a grant from the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation and Antrim resident Carol Healey, who wrote the grant proposal.
Community Supports and Resources
4-Town Group—Community Suppers, Transportation—The weekly community suppers in Francestown, Bennington, Antrim and Hancock, initiated in 2003 by The Grapevine and the 4-Town Citizen Group, continued through the year and promise to go on indefinitely. Every Thursday evening, about 100 people enjoyed good food and good company in one of the four towns. Townspeople organize the suppers, which are funded by donations.
This year, the 4-Town group became the “model” for community organizing in a regional transportation planning project coordinated by Under One Roof in Peterborough. The group held transportation meetings in each of the four towns in order to identify local transportation needs and opportunities. Antrim’s Community Bus quickly became a popular subject in all of the town “clusters” formed through this planning project in the Contoocook Valley region.
The People’s Service Exchange—This neighbor-helping-neighbor project, based on the “time dollars” model, grew significantly this year under the leadership of coordinator Christine Polito and the volunteer Kitchen Cabinet. The concept of the People’s Service Exchange is elegant in its simplicity: One hour of service equals one “time dollar.” Members help each other out, earning credits called “time dollars” as they work, which they can then spend on services they need. As of June 30, 2007, the Exchange had 110 members and over 200 services offered.
Brown Bag Coalition, the “Before School Club,” and the beginning of a Teen Center—In 2003 The Grapevine convened representatives of local groups—schools, law enforcement, town office, library, churches, recreation department, civic groups, and The Grapevine—in order to better communicate with each other about the resources available locally and how we might best coordinate to improve life in Antrim and nearby towns.
The group’s early focus was on our youth, and how to ensure that each child has the opportunity to engage in meaningful, healthy out-of-school time pursuits. With the Before School Club starting its second year in September 2006, and the start of an Antrim Recreation Department after school program in October 2006, the BBC turned its focus this year to teens. In November, an ideal site was identified for the teen center, and in February both teens and adults began meeting to develop a vision and a plan. On March 1, a proposal was submitted to the NH Charitable Foundation for funding, and at Antrim’s town meeting a warrant article was passed, supporting the teen center and raising and appropriating $6,000 to the effort.
The teens met weekly through the end of the school year, participating in fund raising, team building and community service projects. At the end of June, we were still awaiting word from the Charitable Foundation as the space at 42 Main Street underwent renovations.
The Before School Club, which provided Antrim Elementary and Great Brook School students with supervision, homework help and enrichment activities every school day morning from 6:30 to 8:30, began the year with the expert team of Connie Cody and Janet McEwen. When Connie left for full time work in late winter, we were fortunate that Kristin Readel was available to bring her creative talents to the program.
From July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007, The Grapevine served a total of 1,609 children and adults at the center and in the community. 165 children and 114 parents participated in parent-child programs. Our primary Information & Referral staff person, Carolyn Gilmore, assisted the majority of 188 families who were helped to find food, transportation, clothing, housing, crisis services, fuel assistance, dental and health care, child care and other resources. 67 additional children and 145 additional adults participated in special activities including:
· Healthy Anger Management series
· Second Monday series workshops: teen parenting, sensory play, conflict resolution, financial management, and other topics
· “Raising Cain” parenting education series in Hancock
· “Raising Your Spirited Child,” a parenting workshop
· “Preschoolers: What are They all About,” a brown-bag lunch discussion facilitated by Carol Lunan
· Family Health Night presented by NH Public Television
· Nutrition Series: Beyond Cheerios, Breadmaking, Picky Eaters, Gardening
· Special children’s programming: summer adventure camps, family friendly field trips, vacation programs
· Childcare- “Stop, Drop and Shop” and “Stop, Drop and Romance”
Grapevine received financial support from the following:
§ Hillsborough County Incentive Funds ($25,220)
§ NH Division of Public Health Services ($20,665)
§ Monadnock Paper Mills ($10,500)
§ NH Children's Trust Fund ($9,500)
§ Town of Antrim ($5,250)
§ Monadnock Community Hospital ($5,000)
§ NH Charitable Foundation/Monadnock ($5,000)
§ Town of Hancock ($3,750)
§ NH Ball Bearings ($3,500)
§ Town of Bennington ($3,000)
§ Town of Francestown ($3,000)
§ Presbytery of Northern New England ($3,000)
§ Robin Colson Memorial Fund ($3,000)
§ Under One Roof ($2,850)
§ Healthy NH Foundation ($2,000)
§ Ocean National ($1,200)
§ Antrim Friends of Recreation ($150)
§ SDE ($100)
§ Millard Group ($100)
Our annual benefit auction in September raised $6,822. Our Spring Walk for Families in April raised $1,238 and our Abracadabra benefit toy sale raised $2,414.
The Grapevine raised $12,235 in fees from Better Beginnings and The Learning Vine, $9,400 in Before School Club fees, $2,630 in special program fees, and $4,390 in fees for consultation to the Under One Roof community transportation project. Better Beginnings fees are on a sliding scale ($2 to $12 per week per child), and The Learning Vine fees are $90 per month per child for the parent cooperative program, and $120 per month for the drop-off program (scholarships available). No family is excluded due to inability to pay.
At the end of the fiscal year, The Grapevine Endowment totaled $33,108.
Individual Financial Contributions—Local people responded to our annual fundraising appeal letter by contributing $12,253.23. Our thanks to
Bonnie & Paul Achterhof, Keith and Laura Akerley, Ames Planning, Arthur & Ann Allison, Dick & Eleanor Amidon, David & Katherine Anderson, Tom & Kay Anderson, Richard & Jeanne Atkinson, Antrim Baptist Church, Betty Avery, Henry Badgley, Fernando & May Barsanti, Larry & Carol Barr, Margaret Bean-Wright, David & Catriona Beck, Terry & Nancy Benda, Susan Bartlett & Bob Bernstein, Roberta Beeson, Peter Bixby & Francelle Carapetyan, John & Terri Blackmer, Carl & Linda Blicker, Yvette & Darrell Brinkley, Herb & Rosa Bromberg, Brian & Caryn Brown,
Norma Bryer, Ken & Linda Bundy, Pamela & Gary Carter, Robert Caron, Amos & Priscilla Chamberlain, Alan & Shirley Chandler, Richard Cilley, David & Nancy Clarke, Donna Cody, Jarvis Coffin, Maud & Don Cogliano, John & Mary Connor, Glen & Janice Cook, Paul & Patricia Corcoran, Jarvis Cotton, Matt & Martha Crebbin, Joe & Erin Cuddemi, Rick & Diane Davis, Joyce Davison, Robert & Karen Dudra, Paul & Michelle Dugre, Marion & Robert Duris, Sarah Dyer, Josh & Jen Edes, Richard & Jeanine Edmunds, David & Lois Essex, Bob & Alycemay Flanders, John & Mary Fleischman, Jane Fluhr, Everett Fuller, D. Baldwin Gardner, Mary Teal Garland, Kathleen Brennan & Michael Genest, Stanley & Linda
George, Andrea Gilbert & Wendell Smith, Lyman & Cynthia Gilmore, Valerie & Phil Germain, David Glynn, John Goodhue, Hal Grant, Jon & Elizabeth Grosjean, Virginia & Jon Guignard,
Ron & Ann Haggett, Donald & Mary Hammond, Ted & Barbara Hardwick, Dorothy & Carl Hardwick, ardBrian & Anne Hennessy, Arthur & Lois Hixson, Taisto & Sirkka Holm, Donna & Dick Holt, Raymond & Donna James, Marjorie & Michael Jenkins, Richard Jennison, S.R. Jones Excavation, Gertrude & Werner Kanner, John & Marion Kay, John & Diane Kendall, Peter & Anne Kenney, Paul & Elizabeth Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Robin & Richard King, Paul & Madelyn Klose, Barbara Gard & Phil Kohl, Eleanore Lane, Phil Lang, Jenny Lavoie, Ted & Beverly Leach, Ed & Joyce Lowe, Robert & Linda Lindgren, Mary Lindstrom, Richard & Robin Loveland, Patricia Luther, Frank & Anne Magill, George
& Mary Maniscolco, Don & Amy Maughn, Herman & Pat Maynard, Ron & Christine Mclure, James & Geraldine McGlory, Patrice & William McNeil, Peter & Nancy Merrifield,
Elsie Mikula, Peter & Teri Moore, Doug & Sandra Mooney, Bill & Helene Newbold, Martin Nichols, Wayne & Thelma Nichols, Wayno Olson, Andrew & Karen Paul, Dotti & Dave Penny, James & Janet Pietrovito, Greg & Sissel Perry, Patricia Place, Richard & Bonnie Plyler, Ben Pratt, Hannah Proctor, Bill Prokop, Cliff & Joyce Purington, Chris Rawnsley & Cindy Crockett, Ed & Cynthia Richard, Gif & Russ Russell, Peter & Sarah Sandback, Lawrence Savage, Brian & Mary Sawich, Larry & Marcia Schwartz, Charles Setaro, Don & Kay Severance, Neil & Peggy Sharby, Don & Priscilla Shook, Barbara & Roger Strawbridge, Judith Stuart, Daniel Sullivan, Donald Trow, Jonas Taub & Ruth Benedict, Althea Ullman,
Steve & Marcia Ullman, John & Judith Vance, John & Kristen Vance, Charles Van Horn, Robert & Nancy Van Horn, Elsa Voelker, Pat & Carole Webber, Elizabeth White, Richard Withington, Richard Winslow, Betsey Olson & Michael Wright, Catrina & Sam Young, Sam & Linny Zachos, and Rod & Ruth Zwirner.
Grapevine Board of Directors
Lauren Kirkpatrick, Chair
Rose McKinnon, Treasurer
Kiersten Streeter, Secretary