To the Editor:
I recently met with Scott Gaudet, principal at Greene-Hills School, to discuss the impact of the state budget cuts on programs in his school. He introduced me to Linda Rich, the program director for the Family Resource Center (FRC), a passionate advocate for children in need.
She educated me on the philosophy behind Family Resource Centers.
There are approximately 70 in the state of Connecticut and 3 in Bristol (Greene-Hills, West Bristol and Southside). The philosophy of the Bristol Centers is to “provide collaborative, integrated and comprehensive services that strengthen families, promote the optimal development of children and create strong family-school-community partnerships”. Primarily funded by grants from the State Department of Education, local grants, and school and community support, the FRCs build their programs on the individual needs of each school.
The programs focus on the birth-to-5 age group, Parenting education, outreach programs, Home daycare, Family support activities, and community collaboration. In listening to Mr. Gaudet and Ms. Rich describe the need that they experience every day, I am convinced of the value of this service to the Bristol community.
With the last budget debacle at the state, another $100,000 was eliminated from their available grant money, putting a greater strain on the FRC’s ability to provide the needed services. The loss of grant revenue put additional pressure on the local Board of Education to continue the support of this important service.
This is yet another example of the disarray created by the fiscal instability of our state government and the negative impact on the City of Bristol.
We cannot continue down this road of misplaced spending priorities that directly affect our children’s educational opportunities. A change is needed in Hartford that will restore the fiscal stability needed to maintain support for education in the state of Connecticut.
Republican Candidate for State Representative, 79th District