2018 Spring Howard Center Education Series2018-03-05T11:36:39-05:00

Thursday, March 29
Safe Injection Sites: Part of the Opiate Solution? Panel Discussion with Q & A
Moderated by Jane Lindholm, host of VPR’s “Vermont Edition.”
6:00-7:30 p.m.


  • Brandon del Pozo
    Chief of Police, Burlington, Vermont
  • Patti Fisher, MD
    Chief Medical Officer, Central Vermont Medical Center
  • Sarah George
    Chittenden County State’s Attorney
  • Grace Keller
    Program Coordinator, Howard Center Safe Recovery
  • Mark Levine, MD
    Vermont Commissioner of Health

Thursday, April 19
“Welcome to Vermont: Four Stories of Resettled Identity”
Film screening and discussion with documentary filmmaker Mira Niagolova
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Main Street Landing

“Welcome to Vermont” offers a nuanced view of lives of forcibly displaced people once they have achieved their ultimate desire to resettle in the US and “live the American dream.” In four vignettes, it takes us inside the daily lives of four families from Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Rwanda who have recently resettled in Vermont, one of the smallest and most homogeneous states in the country. The documentary raises questions about identity, assimilation, and diversity and explores how the adaptation process differs from one ethnic group to another, from one individual to the next. -Mira Productions website

View a trailer of “Welcome to Vermont.”

Mira Niagolova 

Mira Niagolova is an award-winning, internationally recognized documentary filmmaker committed to telling socially conscious stories portrayed with sensitivity and compassion. Mira is the recipient of a 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant. The Award is to teach independent film for social change at the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts, in Sofia, Bulgaria, and to develop her new multi-platform documentary about gender stereotyping, “Selling Identity.”

Thursday, May 10
Scattered: ADHD Across the Lifespan
Presentation with Q & A with Feyza Basoglu, MD and Joseph Lasek, MD
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent and at times controversial condition which can be present in people at any age. Though sometimes misunderstood, it actually has a well defined set of criteria and an easily recognized set of problems. This presentation will cover the epidemiology, presentation, and assessment of ADHD across the life span. We will also discuss ways in which self-care, diet, exercise, psychotherapy, and medications can be used to help those with ADHD decrease suffering and improve functioning. We’ll discuss special considerations in ADHD treatment, including co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and substance use conditions. Finally, we’ll discuss potential concerns about assessment and  treatment, including misdiagnosis, diversion/misuse of prescribed medication, and long-term outcomes of treatment.

Feyza Basoglu, MD

Dr. Basoglu credits her amazing high school psychology teacher who encouraged her passion for this field, as well as the many doctors in her family who talked her into becoming an doctor. Pursuing both interests, she graduated from Istanbul University School of Medicine knowing she was going into psychiatry. She left Instanbul to attend the University of Massachussetts for training in adult pschiatry, followed by a fellowship to study child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Vermont. BasogluI works with patients at Howard Center and the Counseling Service of Addison County, and says, “I learn, grow, transform with them through this very humbling experience of understanding the developing brain.”

Joseph Lasek, MD

Dr. Lasek is the Associate Medical Director at Howard Center where he has been working for more than a decade. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at UVM Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and Adjunct Faculty for Southern New Hampshire University’s Graduate Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He has worked in many community mental health settings, corrections and inpatient psychiatric settings over the course of his career.

Educational Guide on Children’s Health from drugwatch.com2018-02-06T11:38:14-05:00

Questions about your child’s health? Find answers to common questions parents have as their children reach different stages of their growth and development.

Learn about the flu vaccine.

Relationships First: Creating Connections That Help Young People Thrive2017-02-10T13:30:04-05:00

Tony and Caiden pose in Big Buddy Little Buddy tshirtsSearch Institute’s newest research-to-practice initiative will focus on studying and strengthening the developmental relationships that help young people succeed. A developmental relationship helps young people attain the psychological and social skills that are essential for success in education and in life. Young people can form these relationships with their parents and family members, with their friends and peers, with staff members in their schools and programs, and with caring adults in their neighborhoods and communities.”

  1. Young people who experience strong development relationships are more likely to report a wide range of social-emotional strengths and other indicators of well-being and thriving.
  2. Young people with strong relationships are more resilient in the face of stress and trauma.
  3. Young people do better then they experience a strong web of relationships with many people

This study also highlights 55 ideas for deepening one-to-one relationships. Download the study here!

What Teens Need Most from their Parents (and Mentors, too!)2016-12-09T12:44:30-05:00

Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger lays out helpful age-by-age guide to understanding teen behavior patterns and ways that adults can best support them.

“…Tweens can actually slip backward in some basic skills…”

“…Teens at age 16, who had affectionate moms when they were 12, ​showed brain changes linked to lower rates of sadness and anxiety and greater self-control…”

“…At about this time, teens’ response to stress goes haywire, sparking more door-slamming and tears. The impact of social stress is peaking around this time.”


Car safety – chances are your kids should STILL be in a Booster Seat!2016-10-24T14:59:43-04:00

Yes, we find it surprising, too. But, parents & mentors, take heed. Help kids to stay safe by following these guidelines:

In Vermont, to get out of a booster, a child must pass two milestones

  1. The child must be 8 years old to even consider leaving the booster.
  2. The child must pass the 5 step test to get out of the booster. The belt must fit them correctly. This test checks for belt fit.

The 5 Step Booster Test:

  1. Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle’s seat?
  2. Is the lap belt below the stomach, touching the thighs?
  3. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
  4. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle’s seat?
  5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole ride?

What do kids need to succeed?2016-07-13T09:59:58-04:00
Here are some resources we like to consult when thinking BIG – helpful in program design.
The Search Institute
  • Developmental Assets®, Search Institute’s framework of strengths and supports, which has become the most widely recognized and most frequently cited approach to positive youth development in the world.
  • Developmental Relationships, those relationships that help young people attain the psychological and social skills needed for success in education and in life.
  • Developmental Communities, a focus on creating contexts and settings that attend to young people’s developmental needs and are aligned for collective impact.
Along these same lines is the David Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality… “empowers education and human service leaders to adapt, implement, and scale best-in-class, research validated quality improvement systems to advance child and youth development.”
Teaching Tolerance – a great resource for diversity, equity & justice issues2016-07-13T09:39:01-04:00
Teaching Tolerance– a great resource for diversity, equity and justice issues!
Where we learn about state & national trends in Afterschool programs2016-07-13T09:42:42-04:00
Vermont Afterschool is where we read information on policy and what else is happening in our state!
To learn more about national trends, policies, and tips for program enhancements, we go to the Afterschool Alliance.
Head Start Resources – Parenting, Child Development, School Readiness2016-10-24T14:59:43-04:00

Head Start’s web page for families has a wealth of information and articles!

Parent Resources from Head Start

The Math Revolution – The Atlantic2016-07-08T09:26:05-04:00

“The Math Revolution”, The Atlantic, March 2016

“Students who show an inclination toward math need additional math opportunities—and a chance to be around other math enthusiasts—in the same way that a kid adept with a soccer ball might eventually need to join a traveling team. And earlier is better than later: The subject is relentlessly sequential and hierarchical. “If you wait until high school to attempt to produce accelerated math learners,” Loh told me, “the latecomers will find themselves missing too much foundational thinking and will struggle, with only four short years before college, to catch up.” These days, it is a rare student who can move from being “good at math” in a regular public high school to finding a place in the advanced-math community…”



“…The ratio of rich math whizzes to poor ones […] In the U.S., it is 8 to 1. And while the proportion of American students scoring at advanced levels in math is rising, those gains are almost entirely limited to the children of the highly educated, and largely exclude the children of the poor. By the end of high school, the percentage of low-income advanced-math learners rounds to zero.”

Why Young Kids Learn Through Movement – The Atlantic2016-07-08T09:17:43-04:00

“Research has shown time and again that children need opportunities to move in class. Memory and movement are linked, and the body is a tool of learning, not a roadblock to or a detour away from it.”

Read the article here

Let’s get kids outside to play!2016-07-08T08:57:16-04:00

“The outdoors has something more to offer than just physical benefits. Cognitive and social/emotional development are impacted, too. Outside, children are more likely to invent games. As they do, they’re able to express themselves and learn about the world in their own way. They feel safe and in control, which promotes autonomy, decision-making, and organizational skills. Inventing rules for games (as preschoolers like to do) promotes an understanding of why rules are necessary. Although the children are only playing to have fun, they’re learning”

Read more here

Cultivating Joy and Wonder – a curriculum presented by Shelburne Farms2016-07-08T09:01:53-04:00

Written by dear friends and educators at Shelburne Farms, with support from fellow funder, AD Henderson Foundation, Shelburne Farms produced this curriculum used with our Preschool students over decades of Friday adventures.

Can you teach GRIT? – NPR2016-07-08T09:10:50-04:00

“But if you want someone to really stick with a project over a long period of time, you need to make them feel they have a sense of purpose and that they’re getting somewhere and that they’re getting better at things. And those are not things that you can do with simple material rewards and simple punishments.”

Paul Tough’s take on teaching ‘grit’ – shared interview-style on National Public Radio. “Teaching The Intangibles: How To Ingrain ‘Grit’ In Students”