Paint for our Cause!, How to Get to School Safely, Looking for Tree House CAC Board Members, Staff Spotlight: Alison Kramer-Kuhn, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy supplies needed, Announcing our Tree House Tour de Cookie T-shirt Design Contest!
How to Get to School Safely:
Tips to keep your children safe on the road to learning
It’s that time again, the start of a new school year! Time to buy new school supplies, clothing, backpacks and so on… but more importantly, time to ensure your children learn how to stay safe as they travel back and forth to school, no matter how they travel. We cannot list all of the tips here, so please take the time to explore the links at the end of the article.
Walking to School:
Accompany your children during their walk if at all possible.
Remind your children to put their phones and earphones down when crossing the street.
Determine the safest route to school or to the school bus stop. If your child is going to a new school, walk the route together a few days before school starts.
Designate “safe houses” in the neighborhood where your child can go in case of an emergency.
Riding the School Bus
Ensure that your children wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off.
Leave extra time to get to the bus stop. Many accidents occur when children are running to catch the bus.
Children should walk in front of the bus only and be sure to stand back on the curb as the bus approaches.
Your child should wear bright colors to increase visibility.
Ensure that your child's bike is in good working order.
All passengers should always wear a seat belt and keep it buckled until the car has stopped at your destination.
If you are driving, remember that you are modeling good driving practices for the children in the car: follow the speed limit, be courteous to other drivers, and don't text or be otherwise distracted by your phone.
Confirm carpool arrangements in advance and ensure that your children know who will be picking them up before and after school.
No matter how your children travel, these are good things to do:
Always call the school if your child will be absent and be sure that the school knows how to contact you if your child does not show up.
Be sure that your child knows how to contact you in an emergency.
For more tips on getting to school safely, visit these sites:
Exciting changes are happening at the Tree House CAC and I’m offering you the opportunity to be a part of our future.
Since its beginnings in the late 1990’s, the Tree House has been a partnership between county government and the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County (PCC), a non-profit organization. The connection with the Primary Care Coalition was critical in the beginning stages of our history and over the years PCC has been an outstanding partner and fiscal agent.
But now the time has come for the Tree House to stand on its own and to develop an organization that is solely dedicated to our mission of helping children who have been traumatized by physical and sexual abuse. Several members of the community have already taken steps to meet this goal and the Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, MD, Inc. has been incorporated as a non-profit organization. But there is much more work to be done and we are seeking dynamic community leaders to get involved.
Where do you fit in? As someone who has been a supporter of the Tree House in the past, I am asking you to consider serving on our new Board of Directors. We are seeking people from various walks of life within the community. The children of Montgomery County deserve the best Child Advocacy Center we can provide. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of creating that for our community? Or do you know of someone who would?
I am extremely excited about the prospect of engaging people who are passionate about helping victims of abuse in this new venture. If you are interested in this incredible new endeavor, please send a reply to Thomas.Grazio@montgomerycountymd.gov. We shall be in touch promptly to provide more details.
Thomas Grazio, Director
Staff Spotlight Seventh in a Series
Alison Kramer-Kuhn, PhD
Alison grew up on Long Island, New York, and attended James Madison University for her undergraduate degree. While earning a Masters in Forensic Psychology, she worked in a non-profit setting with men, women, and youth returning home from incarceration. Alison earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a specialization in child and adolescent psychology. Before joining the Tree House, Alison provided trauma-focused therapy and assessments at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters Child Abuse Program, a Child Advocacy Center serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is experienced in outpatient, acute inpatient, and consultation and liaison services, but her clinical focus is on assessing and treating children and families with histories of child maltreatment. Her research interests include the prevention of behavior problems and the promotion of social and emotional competencies in children, with emphases on violence prevention and trauma.
When we asked Alison why she decided to work at The Tree House, this is what she said:
When I tell people what I do, I often hear things like, "Oh, that must be so sad!" and "These kids will probably need to be in therapy forever!" I'm always happy to say that the fact is, we have very effective treatments for traumatic stress. This makes my work as a clinician extremely rewarding, and is one of the reasons I decided to come to work at the Tree House. I am happy that my job also includes supervising clinical psychology trainees, as I enjoy teaching and believe it is critical for more mental health practitioners to be trained in evidence-based trauma treatments. Last, but not least, I see a great potential for the Tree House to advance the field of child advocacy through research and program development. Our field has come a long way, but still has far to go!
We are VERY excited to be implementing a new type of therapy at The Tree House called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). The goal is to improve the quality of the parent-child relationship via "ear-bud" coaching during observed interactions between the parent and child.
In order to properly stock the playroom in which this therapy will take place, we need the following items:
1. Letter blocks
2. Legos, Duplo blocks (geared to kids age 6 and under)
3. Tinker toys
4. Lincoln logs
5. Mr. and or Mrs. Potato Head
6. Foam blocks
7. Play sets such as farms, houses
8. Toy food
9. Coloring supplies, especially thick crayons for little hands.
If you have any of these items, new or nearly new (and in great shape), please consider making a donation. You can bring them to The Tree House at 7300 Calhoun Place, Suite 600, Derwood, MD 20855 any Monday-Friday from 8:00-4:30. Be sure to tell the receptionist that they are for PCIT therapy and should be given to our child psychologist. Don't forget to fill out a donor form too!