June 2009

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In this issue: 
Class of 2009 graduates from PLTI On a sad note...
Children in the recession: A legislative task force Commission elects officers
VIDEO: Legislative briefing from Liz Brown Commission on Children in the news
Promoting employability & wages with SNAP-ET About the Commission
Class of 2009 graduates from PLTI
With their families and state officials looking on, more than 170 parents from across Connecticut graduated on June 24 from the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), a family civics initiative of the Commission on Children. It was the culmination of 20 weeks of leadership training and hard work on community projects.

More information, photos, and video

Children in the recession: A legislative task force
The Commission hosted a June 16 forum where Speaker of the House of Representatives Christopher G. Donovan announced the formation of a legislative task force to address the needs of children affected by the recession. Event documents, video, and photos

Legislative briefing from Liz Brown

How did children fare in the recently completed General Assembly session? Watch this video for an overview by Commission on Children Legislative Director Elizabeth C. Brown. Recorded June 17.

Promoting Employability & Wages with SNAP-ET
On June 8, 2009, the Connecticut Commission on Children hosted a briefing on how job-training providers -- including municipalities and community colleges -- can participate in SNAP-ET, which provides a 50-cent federal match for every dollar spent on services that help food stamp recipients find regular employment. Read more

On a sad note...

The Commission on Children is losing to retirement two longtime staff members: Legislative Director Elizabeth C. Brown and Special Projects Director Patricia Estill. The energy, intelligence, and care that Liz and Pat brought to their work for Connecticut's children will be missed deeply here at the Commission, but count on them to focus their gifts on new endeavors. If you'd like to wish them well, we're happy to pass your words along.


Brain research informs us that reading is teachable to 95 percent of our students. Yet 10 to 40 percent of them will have difficulty learning to read and will need specialized instruction.

Visit the factsheet page
of the Commission website for more facts on reading and other topics, including bullying, lead poisoning, parent engagement, poverty, prevention, and childhood obesity.

Commission elects officers
At its June 9 meeting, the Commission on Children unanimously elected the following as officers for 2009-2010:

  • Chair - M. Alex Geertsma, M.D.
  • Vice-Chair - George Coleman
  • Secretary - Mary Grace Reed
  • Treasurer - James P. Cordier

Meet the rest of our board

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 was interviewed by WFSB-TV on June 16, as part of a story on the launch of House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan's launch of a legislative task force to address the needs of children affected by the recession. (See the article above.)
  • The Hartford Courant published on June 4 a letter from Ms. Zimmerman that congratulated Senate President Donald Williams and the other legislative leaders for guiding the passage of an effective menu-labeling bill. She called it "an important step forward for children's health." Request of copy of the letter
  • Claudia Morales-Gonzalez, a graduate of the Danbury PLTI Class of 2009, is featured in the current issue of "Jill," a magazine supplement of The News Times of Danbury. See pages 8 and 9.
  • The June 16 graduation ceremonies of the New Haven PLTI Class of 2009 were covered by the New Haven Independent.
  • WTNH-TV used data supplied by the Commission for a June 1 story regarding childhood obesity. The story also referred to the Connecticut Childhood Obesity Council, which is co-chaired by Director of Policy and Research Analysis Thomas R. Brooks.
Remember to visit our website, at

Topics:  About Us | Policy & Legislation | Health & Safety | Education | After School | Parent Engagement

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; Mary Grace Reed, Secretary; James P. Cordier, Treasurer; Laura Lee Simon, Chair Emerita; Judith Busch; Representative Andrew M. Fleischmann; Mary K. Fox; Senator Jonathan Harris; Alison Hilding; Senator Andrew J. McDonald; Josh Piteo; Barbara J. Ruhe; Representative Toni Walker; 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, director of development; Rachel Levy, executive secretary; Edie Luciano, legislative secretary. Contact information

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Newsletter editor: Kevin Flood

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