At the Downingtown Area Communities that Care Community Prevention Board Meeting, attendees were moved by the message of Keynote Speaker, Senator Andrew Dinniman. Senator Dinniman urged community leaders involved in developing and implementing programs for the Downingtown Area "Communities that Care" (CTC) to consider utilizing the conjunctive phrase, "and yet...", to broaden their thinking in activating the larger community to embrace and support the goals of this tremendous organization.CTC is a partnering of many organizations offering programs intended to strengthen the supports for the youngest and most vulnerable segment of our community - our youth. Attendees of the annual luncheon held at the Lionville Community YMCA heard from "Big Brother" Max and "Little Brother" Chris about how the Big Brothers Big Sisters program - one of several CTC programs on the agenda - was such a positive influence in their lives. Representing the "Parenting Wisely" workshops, another of the CTC programs, facilitator Jill Crawford, LCSW, spoke about how the benefits are derived for the entire family system, not just the participating parents.

The primary goal of CTC is to help children avoid problem behaviors that have been identified in our community such as drug and alcohol use and anti-social behavior. This is accomplished through a partnership of community based organizations such as the YMCA, school district, hospitals and other resource groups in the community that offer programs that attract, involve and educate children from grades K-12 and their family.

Community volunteers are always welcome and are urged to share their time and talents in the New Year. Bethany Arnold, Community Mobilizer for the group, urges everyone to consider making a difference in the community by making a difference in the life of a child. To volunteer or learn more about the many programs and opportunities, contact Bethany Arnold at 610-458-9553 or Email dtownctc@umly.org.

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