History and Archives

 

5th Edition – July 2015

 

1990

A group of school teachers, counselors, and administrators begin meeting as an Act 51 Advisory Council (Act 51 is 1983 substance abuse prevention legislation) as well as community concerns about youth and drugs. These school employees invite parents and community members to join the conversation.

 

1994

The Act 51 Advisory Council meets monthly. 20-30 people attend the monthly meetings. The Council includes school personnel and community members. Spectrum Teen Center is launched as a school-supported, youth-focused and youth-led group.

 

1995-1996

The Act 51 Advisory Council continues meeting monthly and addressing issues and concerns as they arise. The Council serves as the adult board of Spectrum Teen Center, with a youth board making and implementing most of the decisions on a day-to-day basis.

 

1997

The Act 51 Advisory Council accepts the general goal of “building assets” for young people.

 

1998

The Act 51 Advisory Council changes its name to the Windsor Central Supervisory Union Community Council.

 

2000

The Community Council continues meeting monthly and addressing issues and concerns as they arise. Shining Light Mentoring Program is established by the Community Council as a school-based, community-supported middle school mentoring program. Mentors meet with mentees on-campus or in sanctioned off-campus meeting spaces, during the school day. The first Shining Light Mentoring Program Coordinator is appointed; the coordinator serves as a volunteer. The Community Council serves as the board for the Shining Light Mentoring Program. The Council applies for its first grant.

 

2001

The Community Council helps establish the Tobacco Coalition with Gifford Medical Center (Randolph, VT). Community Council begins to organize “Project Graduation” (previously started by the High School PTA) and the after-prom event. In May, the first After-Prom-Party is held at Town Hall.

 

2002

A Shining Light Mentoring Program Director is hired with a small amount funding provided by the WCSU; SLMP adopts a policy requiring background checks for all existing and new mentors. SLMP adopts a policy allowing for after/before-school meetings, as long as prior approval from the mentee’s parents and the SLMP Program Director has been obtained.

 

2003

The Community Council is awarded a few small grants from the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the Vermont Department of Health as well as from Community Partners. Programming is implemented by the Community Council, with the grants received and dispersed through the WCSU.

 

2004

Community members Cathy Hazlett and Sandy DiNatale are appointed co-chairs of the Community Council. The Community Council begins the process of becoming a non-profit organization, the Ottauquechee Community Partnership (OCP), Inc. An Executive Committee is formed to advise on policy matters related to OCP. Shining Light Mentoring Program, which is a stand-alone program between 2001 and 2003, loses its Program Director and comes back under the umbrella of the Ottauquechee Community Partnership.

 

2005-2006

Cathy Hazlett is hired as the Executive Director. OCP launches “Strengthening Families”, a parenting program, and conducts the community youth activity survey to find out what activities young people take part in and would like to see more of. OCP’s mission and vision statements and by-laws are crafted. A new Mentor Coordinator is hired who continues to support the Shining Light Mentoring Program. A bookkeeper is contracted to keep OCP’s accounts. The After-Prom-Party event is discontinued.

 

Additional OCP-supported programs and activities during this time include: Spectrum Teen Center, a substance abuse prevention curriculum at WUHS, tobacco use prevention and cessation work, Project Graduation, an Active Parenting Class for parents of elementary school children, education about 2nd hand smoke, a community forum on the effects of alcohol on brain development, a community meeting about underage drinking, local launch of a public media campaign (“Kite Strings”) focused on underage drinking, support for local public TV programs focused on underage drinking, and a local pre-prom mail campaign focused on preventing underage drinking around graduation time.

 

2007

OCP receives federal non-profit status. An initial Board of Directors is elected in June to begin in July (the beginning of OCP’s fiscal year). An Outreach Coordinator and an Administrative Assistant are hired. Cathy Hazlett, Executive Director, resigns in the autumn. Tom Roberts is appointed Interim Director.

OCP sponsors a home show, “Healthy Homes/Healthy Families,” which is held in the Union Arena.

The Shining Light Mentoring Program and Strengthening Families program continue.

 

2008

Jacqueline Fischer is hired as Executive Director. Existing Mentor Coordinator resigns to accept a position with a national mentoring organization based in Washington, DC. Existing Administrative Coordinator resigns. New Mentor Coordinator is hired in October. OCP moves from a small, one-room office on the 3rd floor of Woodstock Recreation Center to a suite of offices owned by the Ottauquechee Health Foundation, on the river level of the Ottauquechee Health Center.

The Shining Light Mentoring Program continues.

Other OCP programming launched this year includes:

  • CHAMPPS (Coordinated Health and Motivation and Prevention Program) with a focus on obesity prevention
  • New Directions, with a focus on building coalition and community capacity, underage drinking prevention, youth engagement in peer leadership activities.
  • Community Tobacco prevention program, with a focus on developing smoke-free zones and implementing themed campaigns.

OCP and WUMS/HS collaborate in administering Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Asset survey Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors, with 331 students in grades 7-10 in December of this year.

 

2009

OCP partners with and serves as the fiscal sponsor for the Upper Valley Farm to School Network and three new local Farm to School programs: Reading Elementary School, Bridgewater Village School, and Woodstock Elementary School.

 

With a focus on youth empowerment and community involvement, OCP holds Community Dialogue trainings with Robert Bryant. Bryant trains youth and adult teams to facilitate Dialogues. The first Community Dialogue is held in Woodstock with a focus on underage drinking.

 

OCP holds a 2-day “Generations Together” retreat in May. The retreat is based on examining the findings of the Search Institute survey conducted in December 2008: Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors. Over 40 people of four generations participate in the retreat. The retreat spawns seeds of ideas for future initiatives to connect together youth and community.

 

OCP partners with the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park and the Upper Valley Farm to School Network and other Walk Woodstock community partners for “Trek to Taste” – a local celebration of trails and food.

 

OCP partners with the Windsor Central Supervisory Union (WCSU) Coordinated School Health Team (CSHT) to work on Botvin’s LifeSkills evaluation and on building Farm to School support throughout the WCSU.

 

OCP contracts with WUMS for OCP’s Outreach Coordinator to assume the role of leader of the school-based Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT). OCP’s Outreach Coordinator is also involved with school-based Vermont Student Leadership Program (VTLSP) when it aligns with goals of other OCP programs.

 

A core group of six students are trained to analyze the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results in the WCSU area and then to train others in the YRBS Data Analysis process. In November 2009 a group of 17 students analyze the 2009 survey data and define their top areas of concern.

 

The Shining Light Mentoring Program continues to support mentoring in the Woodstock Union Middle School (WUMS) and Woodstock Union High School (WUHS). CHAMPPS (Coordinated Health and Motivation and Prevention Program) obesity prevention programming continues. New Directions coalition and community capacity building, underage drinking prevention, and youth engagement in peer leadership activities continue. Community tobacco prevention programming continues.

 

2010

With Community Coalition input, a new logo is designed for OCP.

Another Community Dialogue is held in May in all five WCSU sending towns on the same night. The focus of this dialogue is: “What is Our Ideal Community?” Five teams of youth/adults facilitate the Dialogue in Barnard, Bridgewater, Killington, Reading, and Pomfret.

 

In January 2010, the group of students who analyzed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results for the WCSU area presents their findings to the community in a Community Dialogue Night and a Community Action Planning Night. Four action groups emerge from these events:

  • Youth Matter Community Collaborative (stemming from the concern that 48% of youth feel they don’t matter to community)
  • Woodstock Healthy Teens (stemming from the concern that 25% of 8th graders report having had sex)
  • ATOD Policy group (stemming from the concern that 37% of youth report having easy access to drugs at school)
  • Youth: Parent Town Hall meetings about alcohol (stemming from the concern that 72% of youth report that it is okay to have 1-2 drinks per day)

 

Farm to School programming, with OCP sponsorship, continues in the Bridgewater Village School, Reading Elementary School, and Woodstock Elementary School.

 

The Shining Light Mentoring Program continues to support mentoring in the Woodstock Union Middle School (WUMS) and Woodstock Union High School (WUHS). CHAMPPS (Coordinated Health and Motivation and Prevention Program) obesity prevention programming continues. New Directions coalition and community capacity building, underage drinking prevention, and youth engagement in peer leadership activities continue. Community tobacco prevention programming continues.

 

Woodstock Elementary and Sherburne Elementary schools partner with OCP on a Guiding Good Choices parenting program.

 

OCP enters into an agreement with the Coordinated School Health Team efforts to improve fidelity of Botvin’s Lifeskills being newly taught in all 6th grades of the Windsor County Supervisory Union. OCP also partners with CSHT to implement the School Health Index through a Department of Education School Tobacco grant. At the same time, OCP prepares to use the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Community Health Assessment and Group Evaluation (CHANGE) tool with members of the school sector.

 

OCP’s Outreach Coordinator continues to provide adult leadership for WUHS’s Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) and Vermont Student Leadership Program (VTLSP, previously called “Students Against Destructive Decisions” or “SADD”)

 

Along with partners throughout the community, OCP launches the “Healthy Eating Active Living” initiative – focusing on increasing good nutrition and physical activity.

 

OCP creates and hires (in September) a new position: Volunteer and Administrative Coordinator. The new position is responsible for the implementation of the Shining Light Mentoring Program and the design and implementation of any new mentoring programs, including recruitment logistics, training, and support of mentors. New mentoring programs are planned for Reading Elementary and Bridgewater Village School at the request of the schools.

 

OCP forms a coalition of three coalitions with the Quintown Prevention Partnership and Gifford Tobacco Free Coalition, and they jointly submit and are awarded a grant for VT Dept of Health’s Community Tobacco grant.

 

A partnership is established with WISE of the Upper Valley. This collaboration leads to the launch of a “Woodstock Healthy Teens” project, which focuses on developing a community-wide model of support for healthy teen relationships.

 

2011

OCP continues to provide adult leadership for school-based VKAT and VTLSP. The Outreach Coordinator works in partnership with VTLSP and the Spectrum Teen Center to implement an underage drinking prevention program called the Sticker Shock campaign. OCP also works with Spectrum Teen Center, VTLSP, and the Vermont Department of Liquor Control to present a training for 34 retailers around preventing tobacco and alcohol sales to minors, and a Town Hall meeting special event in April 2011. Some 50 people attend the youth-led event.

 

The Shining Light Mentoring Program continues to support mentoring for 7-12th graders in the WUMS and WUHS. New mentoring programs at Bridgewater Village School and Reading Elementary School are launched and are named “OCP’s Buddy Programs.” Woodstock Elementary School (WES) requests that OCP start a buddy program at WES. The Woodstock Inn becomes an active partner with the WES Buddy program.

 

CHAMPPS (Coordinated Health and Motivation and Prevention Program) obesity prevention and chronic disease prevention continues. The CHANGE tool is used with Woodstock Elementary School in conjunction with the School Health Index. OCP also begins to use the CHANGE tool with local health providers and community-at-large sectors.

 

Community tobacco prevention programming continues.

 

OCP partners with Mount Ascutney Prevention Partnership for facilitation of the Guiding Good Choices series, January through March, in the town of Reading with 11 parents participating.

 

Support for Farm to School continues and expands to developing environmental strategies to “make the healthy choice the easy choice.” This includes increasing access to local, healthy food in the public venues of schools, stores and restaurants and assessing the built environment so that being physically active is the easy choice.

 

OCP establishes the Vermont Healthy Stores Workgroup, with a focus on how to implement the best practices from the VT Dept of Health’s “Healthy Retailers Initiative,” which focuses on reducing advertising for tobacco and alcohol and increasing sales of healthy food. The Workgroup, consisting of coalition members and independent country store owners, is designing criteria and incentives for a “Vermont Healthy Stores” designation. OCP is invited to lead a workshop at the Vermont Department of Health’s Healthy Retailers Initiative statewide training. OCP invites partners, including retailers, to present on the panel.

 

OCP begins work focused on chronic disease prevention through increasing options for physical activity and good nutrition, decreasing tobacco use, and expanding the Healthy Retailers Initiative.

 

2012

OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program (previously known as the Shining Light Mentoring Program)

OCP’s expanded mentoring program had 23 matches in five schools at end of 2011-2012 school year. The program’s name was changed to OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program to more accurately reflect the program. The OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program Advisory Board is established. The Mentoring Advisory Board is made up of the liaisons from each school, plus school administration, business representation and mentors. The Mentoring Advisory Board focuses on reviewing policy and on mentor recruitment. The expanded mentoring program structure includes having mentor liaisons in each school. These liaisons are most commonly the school counselors, but also include other school staff at the Woodstock Union Middle and High School. They help make the matches in each school and check in and follow up with the individual mentor matches, an important feature of developing sustainable matches.  As of June 18th, 2012, OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program will have its office in Woodstock Elementary School.

 

Vermont Department of Health’s CHAMPPS (Coordinated Health and Motivation and Prevention Program) obesity prevention and chronic disease prevention and Community Based Prevention grants finish their final year. With this funding:

  1. The Local Health Food Council was launched. A team of members assessed strengths and barriers to increasing access to local healthy food in public venues and managed a pilot local delivery system, funded through Sustainable Woodstock. The Local Healthy Food Council will be expanded to a regional food network, and will be sustained through a pilot program through Vital Communities. Partners include Mt Ascutney Hospital, Upper Valley Farm to School Network, SE Vermont Correctional Facility, local food shelves, schools, Sustainable Woodstock and more. OCP was fiscal agent for the Road to the Pogue fundraiser for Farm to School programs, which made possible the purchase of child-sized salad bar for Bridgewater Village School.
  2. OCP supported development of a comprehensive Farm to School volunteer database template, including all the tasks that are required to run Farm to School programs, taste tests and garden maintenance.   A volunteer recruitment plan was also developed. This database can be accessed by any interested Farm to School programs.
  3. The Safe Routes to School Team (SRTS) was established with a focus on Woodstock Elementary School. The team consisted of representation from Woodstock Police Dept, Village Trustees, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC), Sustainable Woodstock, Town of Woodstock Planning Commission, school admin and crossing guard, parents and OCP. A SRTS travel plan, complete with a comprehensive needs assessment and engineering recommendations for improving walkability and safety in the Village, was completed and presented to the Village trustees, who adopted it as a first step to creating a Walkable Woodstock.
  4. OCP’s ED convened a group of health professionals to review the health impacts of the Town of Woodstock Town Plan, at the bidding of the Town of Woodstock Planning Commission. Recommendations are being made including health impact items for the 5 year Town Plan review.
  5. OCP’s ED became a partner of the TRORC’s HUD Sustainable Communities grant, which will increase the positive health impact on town plans throughout 40 towns in the Windsor/Orange Counties.
  6. VT Dept of Health’s Healthy Retailers Initiative: OCP participated in conducting assessments of stores, surveys of community members and implementation of early stages of Healthy Stores Initiative for VT Dept of Health. This work will be discontinued on June 30, 2012.
  7. OCP’s participation in the Windsor County START team and other alcohol related strategies was supported. These include:
  • A panel discussion with law enforcement and schools, and follow-up meetings about substance abuse, including a Community Dialogue and subsequent meetings with recommendations. Over 50 people attended each event.
  • A Dept of Liquor Control retailer training for 25 retailers was held. Youth activists awarded certificates of appreciation for stores that passed compliance checks.
  • OCP’s Outreach Coordinator co-led youth activist group VTLSP in numerous strategies related to alcohol and drug prevention

Community Based Tobacco: Community tobacco prevention programming continues. Youth activists (youth photo mappers) conducted an assessment of the built environment in August 2011. They were trained by Sharon Earn, an urban architect, and Wendy Call, a writer in residence at the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park. The activists identified areas they liked and things about the environment they’d like to see improved. They asked, the Village Trustees to create smoke free park at Teagle Landing, and the Trustees responded by deciding to write a policy to make all public parks in the village smoke-free. The Town of Woodstock Select Board, on being asked by youth activists, designated the entrance to Town Hall as a smoke free zone.

 

Youth programs: OVX/VKAT/VTLSP – emerging as the (Vermont) Youth Action Network

The OCP Outreach Coordinator continued his work with OVX/VKAT/VTLSP youth activist groups this year. (See newsletter on following pages.) The local work with youth activists, including attending a youth training with 8 students in Maine in the fall of 2011, is forming a framework of youth activism that young people are calling: The (Vermont) Youth Action Network (VYAN). They see it as a local and regional network, that may expand locally and regionally, and beyond Windsor County in the future. Youth activists and OCP will seek funding from foundations to further develop this network in 2012-2013. The Youth Action Network office will be in the Woodstock Union Middle /High School as of June 18, 2012.

 

OCP and MAPP:

OCP contracted with Mount Ascutney Prevention Partnership to:

Serve on the East Central Vermont Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission, Sustainable Communities committee

Mentor MAPP staff in working with Town Planners on town plan reviews from the health perspective

Write a curriculum for Youth Photo Mapping for MAPP to use in its summer programs.

Collaborate with MAPP on conducting a youth training in Aug 2012, using the Dover Youth to Youth trainers.

 

2012-2013

OCP’s blended funding of three major grants from the Vermont Department of Health were not renewed in the Spring of 2012, with funding from Department of Health ending June 30, 2012.

In order to cut costs and to maximize our partnership with the schools, OCP was awarded free office space in the Woodstock Union Middle and High School and an office space in Woodstock Elementary School.

 

OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program ended the year with 20 mentor matches that will continue into next year. The program has solid support from the counselors at each school. One counselor wrote a letter to the editor thanking the mentors at the end of the school year – and we’re considering using portions of it for the annual letter of appeal.

 

OCP started the Vermont Youth Action Network (VYAN) at Woodstock Union High School. The purpose is to develop a team of youth and adult advocates for youth leadership and empowerment. OCP had two youth interns through KidPower – Holli Olson and Marissa Farbman. These two interns and Jim Grossman strengthened the partnership with VTLSP (Vermont Teen Leadership and Safety Program) at WUHS. As a result of pre and post evaluation sessions for a presentation by Kevin Brooks, youth leaders emerged and were trained to facilitate all monthly advisory groups at WUHS with administration support. One county wide VYAN meeting was held with youth and adults from Woodstock, Hartford and Thetford.

 

The relationship between OCP, Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership and other Windsor County coalitions was strengthened through the work of the Regional Planning Commissions Sustainable Communities grant. Jackie Fischer served as a consultant to MAPP’s Healthy Communities by Design project. OCP will participate in a county wide Partnership for Success (PFS) grant from the Vermont Dept. of Health by receiving $7,500 to:

  1. Prevent underage drinking (through increasing visibility of social host liability)
  2. Continuing the retail outlet liquor trainings and Sticker Shock (with Spectrum Teen Center) and
  3. Participating in the Rx Prevention initiatives

In addition, we will continue our tobacco prevention through a Dept. of Ed grant for $4,000 in partnership with Woodstock’s Coordinated School Health Team leader, Gretchen Czaja. We also receive an OVX/VKAT grant for $5,000 , which will pay for the youth advocacy trip to Maine Youth Action Network – a VYAN initiative. Only $1,500 of this may pay for personnel. Jim Grossman plans to continue working two days per week in Woodstock to continue this work.

 

OCP served as fiscal agent for Upper Valley Farm to School Network and BarnArts Center for the Arts. OCP was paid 5% for fiscal agency for a total of $1,373.75 during the year.

 

OCP board members committed to helping Glad Rags move in and out of the yearly sale.

 

The ED is on the leadership team of the Woodstock Non-profit Network. Major initiatives being explored are the Volunteer Cooperative (for which we are currently seeking funding) and United Woodstock.

 

A major arts/fundraising event for July 4th weekend was planned with Hand and Heart Productions. The event did not proceed, but Hand and Heart did make a contribution of $2,500 to OCP. OCP will convene other arts and youth organizations in the area to explore an arts event for next year.

 

The Rotary of Woodstock approved $2,500 to purchase the Search Institute’s Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors Survey to implement again (after 5 years) in grades 7-10 of WUMS/HS in fall of 2013. We are putting together a Rotary/OCP/Interact/Community Advisory Board to implement the survey, take a first look at the results and decide how to share the results with the public. A Youth Summit or Generations Together retreat may be considered for Spring 2014.

 

Robbie brought the Vermont Law Enforcement Hockey League together to play a game against local team for an OCP fundraiser. Tickets to an autographed Bruins jersey were raffled off. The event brought $500 to OCP. Union Arena and Youth Hockey partnered with OCP on this event.

 

July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014

OCP Board Retreat was held on August 3 at the Forest Center.

 

New board members: Yvonne Frates, Susan Ford and Kathy Astemborski joined the OCP Board.  A board training was held on June 30th, 2014.

 

Asset survey: Rotary of Woodstock provided funding for implementing Search Institute’s survey Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors in grades 7-10 in fall 2013.

 

OCP worked with three Youth interns, Marissa Farbman (senior), Holli Olson (junior), Kia Amirkiaee (junior).  The Interns primary focus for the year was leading the intergenerational data analysis of the survey results and of planning the Youth Summit.

 

To do this, the interns met with adults from community, Phyllis Arata-Meyers (Change the World Kids) from Rotary (Josh Jarvis, Macy Lawrence and Robbie Blish) with school faculty (Virginia Dean) and counseling (Chris Cate) and from OCP to analyze what we were glad to see from the data and what troubled us.  Interns attempted to bring in young people, but met with little success.  The three interns met three times with the adults to review the data.

 

The Youth Interns worked with Jackie Fischer to organize the Youth Summit held March 2014.  The Summit was funded by grants from Hypertherm (through a grant written by Youth Intern Marissa Farbman) and grants from Ottauquechee Health Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation (small and inspiring grants), the Ottauquechee Health Foundation and the Woodstock Foundation.

 

The event was held at Farm and Wilderness and included 22 young people and 20 adults for an all day, one day retreat.  Breakfast and lunch were provided.  Total cost for the retreat was $9,500 (which includes Jackie’s time.)

The purpose of the retreat was three fold:

  1. to bring youth and adults together to meaningfully connect around issues facing young people in the community
  2. for adults to hear from young people about their experience
  3. to develop concrete action plans to implement in the community .

The three action plans that were developed were:

  1. increase job and internship opportunities for young people
  2. increase youth access and coordination of arts activities for young people
  3. increase capacity of school-based advisory sessions to meaningfully address student needs.

The retreat and the actions plans were based on the need expressed from young people in the survey to have more ways to feel supported by positive adults, to feel more valued by community and to have more out-of-school time arts opportunities.

 

Action groups did form as a result of the Youth Summit around item #1 and #3.  Positive connections across art ‘sectors’ of Artistree and Pentangle, but a specific action group was not formed.

 

The Youth Summit Newsletter reflects the details of attendance and action items.  This document will also be used to give to people when asking about OCP.

 

OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program continues to slowly grow.  Woodstock Elementary School now has nine matches, Bridgewater Village School has four, Reading Elementary has one, Woodstock Union Middle and High School has ten matches. Biz Alessi is establishing the OCP database for the statewide mentoring group. This will position us for a grant from VT mentoring to train all mentors and mentor liaisons to enter their information about meetings in the database. It will also include mentee information on absenteeism, academics, and positive changes.

 

Windsor County Prevention Partnership:

OCP is participating in Partnership for Success (through Dept. of Health), a Windsor County-wide initiative with five other community coalitions from across the county. OCP has taken the lead on the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Taskforce, a group with cross-sector representation to raise awareness of Rx abuse. We have worked with Sheriff Chamberlain and Town of Woodstock Police to initiate a pilot project in which law enforcement is available to pick up unused Rx drugs from the homes of shut-ins. The idea is to try it out locally and, if manageable, it will be instituted countywide through the Sheriff’s office. Other focus of the PFS grant is to curtail under-age drinking. OCP collaborated on Sticker Shock with Spectrum and VTLSP in May. Chief Robbie Blish is participating in party patrols to curb underage drinking parties.

 

Woodstock Area Non-Profit Network:

The leadership worked with a team of students from the Tuck School of Business to conduct a Collective Impact Assessment. Report from the Assessment is on the Town of Woodstock website and a report was submitted to the Town of Woodstock warning.

Working toward a collective volunteer appreciation event, perhaps focused on Glad Rags (for their 100th sale.) OCP volunteers worked at both Glad Rags sales in 2014.

October: The board reviewed grand lists from Barnard, Reading and Woodstock for names of people we can add to OCP’s fundraising database.

November: A Mentor Appreciation event called “Banking on Our Kids” was held at Cloudland Farm on Tuesday, Nov 13th.  The charge was $500, that was paid for primarily by local banks, thanks to outreach by board member Denel McIntire from TD Bank.  Contributors included Lake Sunapee, Citizen’s, Mascoma and TD Bank. People’s Bank did not participate.

Dinner was soup and bread.  We talked about who mentored us.  Board members and mentors attended, about 22 in all.  All agreed it was a success and we’ll plan again for next year.

November: Letter of appeal yielded $6,000.

February: Robbie Blish organized another Face Off for Youth fundraiser, with a cops vs coaches hockey game at the Union Arena.  This year OCP gathered gift baskets and raffled them off, in addition to the autographed jersey.  Baskets were from the Woodstock Inn, OCP and the Youth Hockey League.  The Vermont Law Enforcement Hockey League donated $500, giving OCP a total of $850.

March:  

All six towns passed town appropriations for total of $14,000.

Youth Summit was held March 22nd. See newsletter for details. Is it the first Annual?

Trained six mentors and matched 3 of them. Remaining three will be matched in the fall.

 

June:  

Jackie was invited to be a panelist at the Governor’s Forum on Rx Abuse in June.

Engaged Biz Alessi as an intern, who is interested in the management of non-profits through August. In the summer she has paid tasks and optional non-paid tasks for a total of $1,500. She and the ED are submitting a grant to Mobius the Statewide Mentoring Organization to fund her from Sept – Dec. for 20 hours per week to bring all our mentoring info and programs into an online database. In addition we are being encouraged to conduct a Quality Mentoring Systems Assessment with guidelines from Mentor, a national mentoring organization.

 

July 2014 – June 2015

Staffing: Biz Alessi was hired for 20 hours per week as Outreach Coordinator. Jackie Fischer worked as .5FTE Executive Director.

OCP’s Mentor and Buddy Program: Biz introduced all existing mentors to OCP’s Vermont Mentoring Database to use to document all of their match meetings. Most mentors are using the new system, some are still not using it. All new mentors are trained and required to use the system.

 

OCP received funding from Mobius to implement the criteria for Mobius’ Quality Mentoring System. All mentoring policies and practices are now up to date and in the Mentor Manual. Mentor Advisory Board met in July and approved use of mentor and mentee surveys. The primary goal for the program is for students to feel supported and connected. The Mentor Advisory Board feels strongly that we need to keep this as the goal.

 

A mentor recognition was held in November at the Norman Williams Public Library – attended by all board members and many mentors.

 

For the first time this year, we had three mentee matches graduate from elementary school to middle school. A celebration was held for the matches, for the mentees parents and with the MS liaison, Vali Stuntz. Pizza and refreshments in the school library, with a welcome from Vali and a nice chat around the table. All are looking forward to continue meeting in 7th grade.

 

We finished the year by training 7 new matches. John Steinle, mentor of two mentees, continues to be our best recruiter!

 

Social Media: Biz works on OCP’s Social Media to deliver PFS messages (underage drinking and Rx drug abuse prevention) and Vermont Youth Action Network (VYAN) messages. OCP has about 300 followers.

 

Fundraising: New this year to OCP was the Spartan Race, with OCP as recipient of the funds raised! Close to $1,000 was raised for OCP by these Spartan warriors! Robbie Blish continues to head the Face Off for Youth, which also raised $850.

 

Youth Summit: Biz (with the assistance of OCP’s youth interns) produced the 2nd Annual Regional Youth Summit on March 21, 2015. Held at the Woodstock Inn, it was attended by 52 people, half under the age of 30. Many middle school students participated. Biz invited youth and adults from throughout the county, by working with Windsor County Prevention Partnership partners. Students from 15 towns attended, but most were from Woodstock. Newsletter produced. Funding from PFS of $12,500 was contributed to make the Youth Summit a regional event.

 

Partnership for Success: The 2nd year of PFS through the Windsor County Prevention Partnership brought increased collaboration throughout the county. The Be Aware Don’t Share campaign produced a brochure, which is focused on developing awareness about the issues of Rx drug misuse and abuse. Jim Marmar, pharmacist at Woodstock Pharmacy, is stapling the brochures to every prescription of a controlled substance that he fills.

 

Jackie continues to host monthly calls with partners around the county to build partnership around prevention of Rx drug abuse.   Partners include Thompson Center, Bayada Hospice, OHF, Woodstock Pharmacy and other prevention professionals.

 

Vermont Youth Action Network (VYAN): VYAN, led by Biz Alessi, is submitting proposals to conduct trainings as a fee for service.   A training of WUHS faculty will be conducted on Aug 25th in the form of a World Café for $1,000. She has also submitted a proposal to Vermont Department of Health to conduct a statewide training of Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) and Our Voice Exposed (OVX) – both youth leadership groups. The proposal is for $12,600 to conduct the training, build a network of support for youth trainers and conduct a rally at the Statehouse in February 2016. Biz has assembled a team of three young people – all 20 somethings from Vermont – to conduct the trainings.

 

OCP’s role is two fold: one is to serve as a mentor to the VYAN trainers, the other is to serve as a fiscal agent. OCP will not charge for the fiscal agency at this point, but may in the future. There is a VYAN Advisory Board, consisting of myself, Melanie Sheehan and Claudia Marieb – other experienced professionals.