Symposium at Brocton school brings communities together

Pictured is Allyson Gardner of Silver Creek school as she accepts a door prize of sensory items dontated by Refresco of Dunkirk.

BROCTON — The fourth annual Family, School and Community Symposium was held recently at Brocton Central School with 213 registered guests as well as walk-ins from the parent-teacher conferences and surrounding communities.

The event hosted 76 programs, an increase from last year’s 52 programs. Representatives from organizations who cover most of Western New York were present to visit with schools, parents, youth, local church leaders and grandparents. Schools from Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, Allegany and Erie counties were represented either in-person or virtually during the symposium.

Lecturers were scheduled and covered topics of body dysmorphia and bullying, Strong Starts Chautauqua restorative practices in schools, vaping and addiction issues, childhood trauma and PTSD, social media and youth, music therapy, a discussion on American youth who have been stolen for the sex trafficking trade and the rescues of these children led by Thad Turner, a Navy SEAL and CEO of the Warren County YMCA, and a surprise mini-lecture by County Executive PJ Wendel, who elaborated on vaping and the damage it causes to the physical and mental development of our youth, and the long-term effects on their overall well-being.

Brocton School Superintendent Jason Delcamp opened the symposium with a speech of the importance of knowing about programs and how they can assist families, schools, and each other, and Marie Carrubba, Southwestern Independent Living Center’s executive director, gave the closing statements asking everyone if they learned new ideas, met new people, found new resources to utilize.

Food trucks, door prizes from Honey Baked Ham, Red Lobster, Texas Roadhouse, Tops, Home Depot and others, as well as a tables of information and goodies were available throughout the day, with Brocton Central School hosting a free breakfast buffet to all who attended. Other sponsors included Media One Group Radio, Refresco, The Chautauqua Center and Person Centered Services.

Thad Turner, former US Navy SEAL, gave insights into the world of trafficking and rescuing American children who have been taken overseas.

New services and programs were introduced at the symposium, such as GoodSkills, NAMI of Buffalo and Erie County, Strong Starts Chautauqua, PPAC (Roswell’s Vaping Education program), as well as new programs developed by Hillside, Chautauqua Opportunities and The Chautauqua Center.

The 2024 symposium is tentatively scheduled for March 15, 2024, at Brocton Central School. For more information, contact Miss Judy Wroda, Southwestern Independent Living Center, at 716-450-3960 or 716-661-3010.


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