September 16, 2008

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 Connecticut's Playbook for Prevention is here!
Follow this link to visit, the website containing the winning game plan for kids and Connecticut. As Coach Jim Calhoun says, "It's all about the kids."
In this issue:  

Focus on child poverty
WVIT-TV reporter Tom Monahan (right) interviewed Senator Jonathan Harris and Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman about new legislation to battle child poverty on the August 10 edition of "Connecticut Newsmakers." For more information on the legislation, visit the Poverty section of our website. (Photo: Pat Estill)
Lessons from children about September 11

Another anniversary of the September 11 attacks has come and gone, but the impact of such events on children can be deep and life-long. That's why each year for six years after the 9/11 attacks, the Commission on Children invited children and youth throughout Connecticut to express their feelings about terrorism, natural disasters, and their overall safety in art and writing. Among the things we learned from their work:
  • Children are concerned that adults are not fully in control and protecting them. After 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, they wondered why adults couldn’t prevent such events or their consequences.
  • Many children do not feel safe. Some feel safer than others within their homes, but all of them worry about what’s going on outside – regardless of whether they live in a city, suburb, or small town.
  • Children want to know what their communities and the state are doing to keep them safe. What if an emergency occurs while they're at day care or an after-school program? Will they be evacuated? How will they reach their parents? What if they are disabled?

We invite you to view a booklet containing some of the best children’s work we received (PDF)

If you’d like printed copies of the book, contact us here.

Become a parent leader
The Parent Leadership Training Institute inspires and trains parents to become leading advocates for children. Since its inception, PLTI has helped more than 1,700 parents across the state make a difference by taking leadership roles in local PTOs, boards of education, city councils, nonprofit boards, and even in the Connecticut General Assembly. Fall training sessions start in October in New Britain, Norwalk, and Stamford. For more information on how to get involved, visit or call 860-240-0085.

PLTI: Helping parents who care become parents who

Seats going fast for childhood obesity forum
A few seats remain for the Connecticut Childhood Obesity Council forum set for Friday, November 7, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The session will help
municipal officials, community leaders, health-care professionals, educators, business people, and families respond effectively to the epidemic of childhood obesity. The keynote speaker will be Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Learn more and register

We will post a notice on the website when regular seating runs out and begin taking registrations for an overflow room.

PPS: The Council welcomes suggestions for panel topics and speakers that would inform attendees on best practices in childhood obesity prevention. Send your ideas to Commission Director of Policy and Research Analysis Thomas R. Brooks. (Do not register here; see above.)

Commission on Children in the news
Note: Most newspapers make their online articles available for only a short period before charging access fees.

  • Commission Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman gave two television interviews on September 11 regarding the 9/11 attacks' impact on children. The first was a live one for the morning newscast of WVIT-TV, Channel 30 in West Hartford. The second was taped for "Beyond the Headlines," a public affairs program that aired Sunday, September 13 on WTIC-TV, Channel 61 in West Hartford. Watch the Channel 61 interview
  • Commission Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman discussed reading instruction in Connecticut for the May 14 edition of "Where We Live," a public-affairs program on Connecticut Public Radio's WNPR-FM.
    Listen to the program on the WNPR website (52 minutes)
  • Prior to the June 25 statewide graduation ceremonies for the Parent Leadership Training Institute's Class of 2008 (see above), the local PLTI sites held their own ceremonies, and several of those were covered by local newspapers, including the Connecticut Post (for the Milford site), the Norwalk Hour, and the Greenwich Post. To get copies of those articles -- since they aren't available on the newspapers' website for very long -- send an e-mail to the Commission.
Remember to visit our website, at

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About the Commission
Created in 1985 by the Connecticut General Assembly, the 25-member Commission on Children brings together the three branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial--as well as the private sector to promote public policies in the best interests of children. More

The Connecticut Commission on Children
18-20 Trinity Street
Hartford, CT  06106-1591
Phone: (860) 240-0290  
Fax: (860) 240-0248

Commission members:
M. Alex Geertsma, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chair; George A. Coleman, Vice Chair; Alison Hilding, Treasurer; Judith Busch, Secretary; James P. Cordier; Representative Andrew M. Fleischmann; Mary K. Fox; Senator Mary Ann Handley; Senator Jonathan Harris; Representative Michael Lawlor; Josh Piteo; Mary Grace Reed; Laura Lee Simon, Chair Emerita; Leslie Wolfgang; John Yrchik. Ex-officio members: commissioners of children and families, developmental services, public health, education, social services, and correction; the secretary of policy and management; the attorney general; and the chief court administrator. More information

Commission staff:
Elaine Zimmerman, executive director; Elizabeth C. Brown, legislative director; Thomas R. Brooks, director of policy and research analysis; Patricia Estill, special projects director; Dawn Homer-Bouthiette, Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) director; Kevin Flood, public information officer and webmaster; Mary Kate Lowndes, grant writer and accounts manager; Rachel Levy, executive secretary; Edie Luciano, legislative secretary. Contact information    


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Newsletter editor: Kevin Flood

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