Strengthening Attachment through Social Play
Like all childcare centers, Banner Lake Early Learning Center is a very busy place. Even with low student to teacher ratios, it is difficult to give each baby and young child the amount of one-on-one time and attention that they need and deserve. A caregiver must be intentional about providing an attuned presence during daily tasks and activities. This is difficult while caring for a class of children, even with multiple adults in the room. At our center one of the ways that we meet this challenge is through Baby Doll Circle Time, which is a part of our Conscious Discipline Curriculum. The goal is to increase the quality of the relationship between children and caregivers by strengthening attachment, attunement, and social play.
Attachment is a word used to describe the child’s emotional bond to their primary caregiver(s). If a child has a secure attachment, then they allow caregivers to comfort them and are comfortable exploring their environment. Children that do not have a secure attachment have trouble being comfortable and can become anxious or reluctant to explore and learn new things. Attunement is the act of being aware and responsive to another person. It is the conscious focus of attention; it is not something that can be done by accident. Social play is something that we can see even in young infants when they smile, coo, and imitate facial expressions, it includes games like peek a boo or pat-a-cake. These interactions give caregivers a way to sustain a child’s engagement in the activity which forms mental models of attention.
During a session of Baby Doll Circle Time, children interact with their baby dolls as a group. They will do songs, fingerplays, and rituals. These are the same interactions that are done by caregivers with each child as they can throughout the day. Every time they play with their babies, the children reexperience the connections made with their caregivers. This means that each interaction they have with a caregiver can be experienced multiple times, even in a class full of children.
CTWH is Educating the Treasure Coast About Human Trafficking
By Jackie Holfelder
The whirlwind schedule of Sarah Marie Henry, executive director of Catch the Wave of Hope (CTWH), continues to be filled with speaking engagements as residents of the Treasure Coast endeavor to learn all they can about this heinous crime happening right in local neighborhoods.
Often accompanied by Detective Brian Broughton, SVU Detective from the Martin County Sheriff Office, Henry gives sobering statistics about how much trafficking is taking place right in our backyards, often by people that your children know and trust. She shares what parents can do to help keep their children safe and what should be done if contact has already been established.
Among the recent groups she’s addressed are kindergarten-fifth grade students at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Church; members and guests of Treasure Coast (FL) Chapter of the Links at its Princess Tiana in Sneakers Running to Stop Human Trafficking Tea; Christ the King Lutheran Church and Community; Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition; Treasure Coast Women’s Republican Club and Treasure Coast Classical Academy. Tea – At Princess Tiana tea: Galean Stewart, WPTV News; Princess Tiana (aka Jean Laws-Scott); MCSO Detective Brian Broughton; Sarah Marie Henry, CTWH executive director; Nirlaine Smartt, Treasure Coast (FL) Chapter of the Links
Catch the Wave of Hope can tailor its presentation to the youngest attendees. Since recent statistics have confirmed that the United States is the #1 country in the world for human trafficking, Florida is the #3 state for human trafficking and southeast Florida is the #1 region in the state for human trafficking, it’s never too early to raise awareness of how to protect yourself or your children. To plan a date for Henry and CTWH to speak with your organization, nonprofit or business about human trafficking, its myths and how to raise your awareness. Visit www.catchthewaveofhope.org or email email@example.com.
TCCA – At Treasure Coast Classical Academy: Sarah Marie Henry, CTWH executive director; Kiley Baggett, TCCA; MCSO Detective Brian Broughton
Photos provided by CTWH
Helping People Succeed’s Holiday Ugly Sweater Run/Walk
By Jackie Holfelder
Everyone loves an ugly holiday sweater! That’s why you’ll want to join in the fun that will abound at Helping People Succeed’s inaugural Holiday Ugly Sweater 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, December 9.
Bring the whole family, including your four-legged friends, to this joyful fundraiser that will start at Helping People Succeed’s headquarters, 1601 NE Braille Place, Jensen Beach at 8 a.m. (Registration is from 7-7:45 a.m.)
Rob Romano, Janet Cooper and Riley Rankin
Proceeds will benefit families most in need this holiday season served through Helping People Succeed’s Behavioral Health Services Program, which provides mental health support to children, families and adults.
Entry fee is $30 per runner/walker and $35 day of the race. Included in the price is a t-shirt, snacks and medal. The race is official and will be timed by Mike Melton of MCM Timing and Results.
Sponsorship opportunities at a variety of levels are available.
Helping People Succeed has been building successful families and futures on the Treasure Coast one life at a time for more than half a century.
For sponsorship and other information, contact Glenna Parris at 772-320-0778. To learn more about Helping People Succeed, visit www.hpsfl.org
Zweben Law Group Embarks on a Decade of Generosity:
10th Annual Bike Drive to benefit United Way Holiday Project
In a remarkable milestone of a decade-long commitment to helping Martin County families, the Zweben Law Group proudly announces its 10th annual partnership with United Way of Martin County for the Zweben Law Group Bike Drive. This cherished initiative aims to bring extra holiday joy to local families facing financial challenges by gifting 300 brand-new bikes to children in need through the United Way Holiday Project.
Launch Event: Bike Drive Kickoff Party
To kick off this heartwarming endeavor, Zweben Law Group invites the community to join them at the Bike Drive Kickoff Party on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House in Jensen Beach. Tickets for this magical evening are $40 in advance and $50 at the door, covering one drink and delectable appetizers. Secure your tickets online at UnitedWayMartin.org/Bike.
Gene Zweben, Founder of Zweben Law Group, expressed the significance of this initiative, stating, "Every child remembers their first new bike because it represents more than just a gift – it embodies freedom, marks a rite of passage, and enables transportation to school for some children."
Supporting the Cause
The kickoff party serves as a vital fundraising event for the bike drive. Contributions, both big and small, can be made through ticket sales and direct donations until Monday, December 11 at UnitedWayMartin.org/Bike. One hundred percent of every dollar raised directly funds the purchase of bikes and helmets. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our event sponsors: Zweben Law Group and Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House, and our early significant donors, Treasure Coast Running, and IBEW LOCAL 627.
United Way's Holiday Project: Spreading Joy Across Martin County
The United Way Holiday Project unites the community to provide toys for Martin County children in need, serving as the official coordinating organization for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots in Martin County.
For more information or to make a donation, visit UnitedWayMartin.org/Bike.
It’ll be a dog day morning and afternoon at the humane society’s “Pooch Plunge”
STUART, Fla. — Each year, dogs look forward to the closing of the Sailfish Splash Waterpark for the winter. That’s because it gives them a chance to swim, splash and play in the park’s pool at the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast’s “Pooch Plunge.” The House of Hope and Sailfish Splash Waterpark are partnering with the humane society for this year’s 10th annual event, which will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, at Sailfish Splash Waterpark, 931 SE Ruhnke St.
Sponsored by Camp Bow Wow of Stuart and Monterey Animal Clinic, the cost is a $10 donation per dog, which benefits the humane society’s shelter animals. The event is open to dogs of all sizes and breeds. Online pre-registration is highly recommended by going to this link: https://hstc1.org/post/Santa-Paws-Holiday-Pooch-Plunge.
Guests also are encouraged to bring dog or cat supplies to benefit the four-legged clients at the House of Hope. The nonprofit organization’s volunteers will be collecting essentials such as pet toys, dog leashes, cat litter, dog and cat treats and pet bedding — essentially any item that brings the creatures comfort.
In addition to the open swim for dogs, there will be pictures with Santa, music, a 50/50 raffle, food trucks and more.
For more information about this splash-tacular event, contact Community Events Specialist Alyssa Bean via email at Abean@hstc1.org or call 772-600-3215.
To sponsor the Pooch Plunge or any other Humane Society of the Treasure Coast event or program, contact Development Manager Ashton Standish at 772-600-3216.
Junior League of Martin County names news officers and plans year ahead
STUART, Fla. — The Junior League of Martin County (JLMC), which has a 35 year history of collaborating with other nonprofit organizations to better serve the local community, announces its 2023-2024 Board of Directors.
Taylor Gilmour will lead the group as president; Lara Bailey, vice president; Keri Gustafson and Charlene Lyons, co-treasurers; Julia Sansevere, sustaining member director; and Ashley Price Winchel, advisory-nominating chair.
They are joined by committee chairs Ashley Price Winchel, advisory-nominating chair; Lauren Aloia, community chair; Alyssa Regan and Heather Frady, fund development co-chairs; Laura Baird, membership chair; and Teena White, state public affairs committee chair.
“We started a new year this fall, with programming, workshops, service projects, public affairs activities, and more,” said Gilmour. “Our approach is simple. Through hands-on training and formal learning opportunities, we give women the skills they need to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.”
Keri Gustafson, Charlene Lyons, Taylor Gilmour, Lara Bailey, Julia Sansevere
Photo by Doreen Poreba
The group aligns its initiatives within the three impact areas of women, children and civic leadership. These include human trafficking, domestic violence, women’s health, teen dating violence, child sex trafficking, nutrition and food insecurity, and poverty. Among the programs, JLMC offers two scholarships to graduating high school women in the Martin County School District and a scholarship for female students at Indian River State College.
The Junior League of Martin County is accepting new female members on a rolling admission. Women must be at least 22 years old and reside in Martin or St Lucie County. Membership benefits include improving the local community through organized and effective methods, building relationships with a diverse group of current and emerging women leaders, developing volunteer skills and leadership potential and sharing talents with a network of interesting women. Additionally, members benefit by becoming part of an international association of more than 196,000 women.
The Junior League of Martin County is a part of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) – a women’s organization whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training. For those interested in learning more about the Junior League of Martin County, visit www.jlmcflorida.org
Shoot For the Moon Shatters All Records
By Elizabeth Farrar
The Mark Garwood Foundation hosted its 7th Annual SHOOT FOR THE MOON Sporting Clays Charity Event, presented by Audi, Infiniti, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo of Stuart, on November 3 at the South Florida Shooting Club.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Mark Garwood Foundation and its Phoenix Scholarship program.
Erica and John Garwood hosted 45 teams and over 70 guests for lunch at this year’s event, breaking all previous attendance records.
Representative Toby Overdorf and Martin County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Budensiek joined John Garwood in welcoming participants before they headed to the competition courses.
After a BBQ lunch expertly prepared by the Martin County Sheriff’s Grill Team, Phoenix Scholarship recipient, Alexandria Dennison told her story of overcoming substance misuse in preparation for Erica and John Garwood’s introduction of the nine 2024 Phoenix Scholarship recipients.
The Mark Garwood Foundation was founded in 2014 by Stuart residents Erica and John Garwood after they lost their 24-year-old son, Mark to complications of substance misuse and type 1 diabetes.
Since 2015, the Mark Garwood Foundation Phoenix Scholarship program has awarded 67 scholarships and educational grants totaling more than $435,000 to adults in Florida who are in recovery, committed to long-term sobriety and ready to begin or continue their education.
2024 Phoenix Scholarship recipients (back) Alec Zenner, Jenna Stoddard, Alex Smith, Destiny Ferguson, Casey Cook, Nicole Blackburn, Molly Williams, (front) Walter Laseter, Heidi Zuckerman
The Mark Garwood Foundation will host its next fundraiser, Racquets for Recovery Tennis and Pickleball Tournament on January 27 at North River Shores Tennis Club in Stuart. For information, go to www.racquetsforrecovery.org.
To learn more about the Mark Garwood Foundation, visit markgarwoodfoundation.org.
Photos provided by Mark Garwood Foundation
Hibiscus Children's Center and
Community Bring Holiday Joy to Children
Martin County, FL – The holiday season is often considered a time for spreading love and joy. This is just what our local community has been helping Hibiscus Children’s Center do since the Tilton Family Children’s Shelter opened its doors. Hibiscus has provided safe haven to abused, abandoned and neglected children at the Shelter for almost four decades and each year, “Santa’s Elves” partner with the community to ensure the children have a joyful and memorable holiday season. Santa’s Elves – aka our incredible Martin County Guild members – is led by co-chairs Ashley Braden-Knowles and George Ann Braden. Along with the help of many elves, they collect and wrap donations of toys, games, books, dolls, trucks, and much more, all for the children to find under the tree on Christmas morning. Just imagine their excitement and the smiles on their faces!
Our hope is for the children to not only experience the magic of the season, but to enjoy it all year long. One of the goals of the Santa’s Elves Program is to provide Life Enrichment Activities that the children can enjoy throughout the year, including museums, educational exhibits, sports and community activities, fishing, sailing and art camps, and much more. These life experiences can provide a sense of normalcy to the children, help them heal from the trauma they have endured and give them positive childhood memories.
Several children shared that Christmas morning at Hibiscus is wonderful and they loved having adventures throughout the year. Twelve year old Callie expressed, “Christmas is really fun at Hibiscus but it was even better that we could go on field trips during the year so the fun lasted longer!”
Hibiscus Children’s Center believes that every child deserves to experience the joy of the holiday season and the warmth of a caring community. We aim to not only provide the children with presents but also with experiences that will enrich their lives and create lasting memories.
If you would like to get involved and help brighten the holiday season for children, please visit us at http://www.hibiscusdrive.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of children at the holidays and all year long!
Stuart/Martin Chamber simplifies staff training with Vubiz
Martin County, FL.— The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Vubiz to provide a powerful online training portal for our members, their staff, and Career Connect Martin clients. Members now have access to hundreds of online courses at a very low cost.
Vubiz courses will be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The broad range of courses address your company’s needs, employee’s interests, and required compliance training. Vubiz provides real-time data and tracking for managers as well as certificates for completers. Courses, which range in pricing and time, are offered in several mediums from mobile friendly, audio, video and more.
- Customer Service, Marketing & Sales
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Health & Safety
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
- Personal Development & Wellness
- Spanish Language Lessons
For more than 90 years, the Chamber has redefined the standards of service to meet the changing needs of our members. It is this extraordinary philosophy that launched Career Connect Martin, the Chamber’s workforce development program that helps underemployed residents sharpen their skills while accessing new career opportunities. We are now pleased to expand our professional training offerings with Vubiz. Not only are the courses available for Chamber Members at a discounted rate, but they will be available at no cost to Career Connect clients coupled with one-on-one coaching and other services.
To get started go to: https://smccoc.vubiz.com/ and click on Admin / Start Course. Choose any course for your employees using our simple e-commerce system. The course is available for viewing for an entire year. Each course has a final exam and reports data back to the admin/manager. This is a great way to invest in the growth and development of your most valuable assets: your employees. As a bonus, proceeds from your purchases help support Career Connect Martin programming.
About the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce:
The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the community. Playing a significant role in the economic climate, the Chamber’s purpose is to inform, unite and promote the business. The Stuart/Martin Chamber acts as the front door to the community offering maps, welcome guides, visitor information and a community event calendar. For business members, the Chamber provides opportunities for leadership, networking, advertising, and essential advocacy locally, in Tallahassee and in D.C.
Established in 2000, Caring Fields Felines is a no-kill cage-free feline rescue and adoption organization located in Palm City, FL. Our mission is to reduce the overpopulation of homeless and abandoned cats and kittens in our local area through aggressive spay/neuter programs, weekly adoption events, and community education.
Each year, CFF finds homes for about 400 cats and kittens so we can take in another 400. We receive no public funds of any kind and are able to support the organization through fundraising events such as Waikiki at Willoughby. Please take a look at the invitation below and consider joining us for an evening of fun in support of the animals in our care as they await adoption.