The education ministry of Carolyn’s Place is dedicated to advancing healthy relationships founded on Catholic truths. I often visit religious education programs, church youth groups and schools to share the message about healthy relationships with our youth and young adults. Recently, I have had the privilege to expand our education programs to some new groups.
In the spring, I ran an eight-week Respect, Responsibility, Relationship series at the Willow Plaza Community Center in Waterbury. The kids at Willow Plaza come from low income, broken homes. They often don’t have positive role models in their lives. The children would greet me with excitement, hugs and smiles when I would arrive. Each week, I was challenged to let these children know that they don’t have to settle for a life of brokenness. They learned about self-respect, integrity, character, and healthy relationships while playing games and making some fun crafts. Our program was so well received, that I have been invited back to conduct an ongoing youth leadership program for the 2018-2019 school year. In the upcoming months, we are going to build on the friendships we established and work to empower these kids for success. The staff at Willow Plaza and I are also working to form a bible study that will introduce the kids to the gospel and reinforce the character building we do during the leadership classes.
In addition to Willow Plaza, Carolyn’s Place ran programs for the kids at Naugatuck Youth Services. I went to the armory in Naugatuck and held a class for approximately 30 middle school students. I helped the children ask themselves and answer the following questions; “Where am I going?” and “How will I get there?” We established some practical goals and worked on decision-making skills. I went back to visit their Summer Lounge program to discuss sexually transmitted diseases and infections with children aged 11-16. It was heartbreaking that these children had not been taught accurate information about STD’s/STI’s before I visited. Every one of these kids believed that if they use a condom, they would not contract a STD/STI. Nothing could be further from the truth!!! I am so glad I was able to clear up their misconceptions and give them the accurate information they need to keep themselves healthy.
Looking forward, I will be hosting a Respect, Responsibly, Relationships program for eight weeks at the Woodbury library this fall. It is exciting that the education programs are beginning to reach beyond our churches and schools!!! I am happy to visit with your group as well; all our programs are free. Give me a call, 203-695-3999!