Three Coös County child care providers win state awards

BERLIN — Coös County child care providers had a banner day in Concord at the Child Development Bureau's (CDB) annual "Celebration of Early Childhood and Afterschool Professionals" on April 24. Five Coös County childcare centers sent representatives to receive honors for having earned credentials and Licensed Plus status over the last year. Honored were center directors Amy Graham, Patti Henry, Nicole Benway-Ladd, and Jane LeBlanc for earning Licensed Plus. April Ronish, Jeanne Carrigan, Sue Blais, Amy Graham, Amy Brooks, Patti Henry, Nicole Benway-Ladd, Sue Cloutier, and twenty-five staff were also honored for earning credentials. Twenty-one of the Coös County credentials were earned by providers who had not previously done so before this year. child-care-awardsPatti Henry and her staff were among the many Coos child care providers honored in Concord recently. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Highlighting the event was a keynote address by Governor John Lynch and the announcement of three of the state of New Hampshire's annual early childhood awards, Rising Star (Silver), Shining Star (Gold), and Guiding Star (Platinum). All three of this year's awards went to directors from Berlin and Colebrook. Nicole Benway-Ladd, owner and director of All About Kids Learning, LLC in Colebrook, was the recipient of the Rising Star Award. The nominee for this award must be new to the field and demonstrate outstanding commitment and professionalism in day-to-day work with children and families, her own professional development, and contributions to the field. Nicole graduated last May from the Early Childhood program at White Mountains Community College (WMCC), opened her center last summer, and continues to take college courses while encouraging her staff to do the same.
Day By Day Child Care Center's owner and director, Patti Henry, received the Shining Star Award due to her commitment to a strengths-based approach to working with children and families. The other criterion met was her commitment to personal and professional excellence at work and in professional growth for herself and her staff. Patti has been in the field for over 35 years, has presented at local and national conferences, and was tied for first place in the state for a center that earned credentials for all staff.
The Guiding Star Award this year went to Sue Blais, director of the WMCC Child Care Center, who has demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of care and education and utilizes a strength-based approach to working with children, families, and the community. Sue has been in the field for over 35 years and has led her staff to complete the arduous process for the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) accreditation process. The center and staff are awaiting a site visit, which will determine their status. NAEYC Accreditation is the highest level of achievement in early childhood programs and denotes that a center has a high quality early childhood program which contributes to children's optimal development and learning.
Two other local professionals, Kathy Sosny, director and disabilities coordinator at WMCC, and Amy Brooks, Brooks' Colebrook Country Day School, LLC, earned Gwen and Henry Morgan Awards for their commitment to the early childhood field. Other Coös County childcare professionals in attendance and earning credentials were Jen Gilbert, Sue L'Heureux, Colleen Miller, Nancy Murphy, Shayna Henry, Elaine Smith, Wendy Gilbert-Neff, Ann Auger, Melinda Beaulieu, and Raylene Beaulieu.
All of the aforementioned directors are active members of the Coös County Director Network, an ongoing program of the Early Childhood Initiative. White Mountains Community College is home to the Early Childhood Initiative and is a partner in the Early Childhood Development North Country Strategy funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The goal of the Initiative is to help childcare centers throughout Coos County improve the quality of their programs. The five-year strategy is designed to help all children thrive by focusing services and information for parents on the early years of growth and development, supporting professional development and continued education for early childhood professionals, increasing access to infant mental health, and strengthening childcare and preschool services for all children, ages birth – 6, in Coos County. It is guided by the belief that investing early in families with young children will improve the future community and economic vitality and stability of the North Country. For more information about this Initiative, please contact Kathy Keene at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 603.752.1113 ext. 3293.

FLEX Route summer youth passes now available

BERLIN -- Tri County CAP Transit will once again be offering youth passes for the summer months for students between the ages of 12 and 18. These passes offer unlimited riding on the flex route systems for $30 from the day after school ends to the day before school begins. This is a great way to get teens to activities, employment, shopping or for various other reasons. To take advantage of this great offer tickets can be purchased from the flex route bus drivers or by calling 1-888-997-2020. This offer is available on all Tri County CAP Transit flex routes including the Tri Town bus serving the towns of Littleton, Lancaster, and Whitefield, the Berlin Flex Route serving the Berlin and Gorham area, and the Blue Loon flex route serving West Ossipee to Wolfeboro, Laconia, and North Conway. 

Berlin Rec. Dept. news

Summer is almost here. Call 752-2010 for details on the following or come in with payment to register before the deadline and be entered into the
Incentive Raffle. (Eligible to win Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce gift certificate worth $25) It's worth pre-registering!
Summer temporary employment with Berlin Recreation Department: Sports directors and scorekeepers, Playground leaders, Babe Ruth Baseball officials and Program Instructors. Pick up applications at Berlin Recreation Center, First Avenue, Berlin. Berlin Recreation is an equal opportunity employer. Application process will remain open until all positions are filled.
Adult Kickball anyone? Berlin Recreation is trying to see if there is enough interest for an 18 & older weekday evening Kickball program. This would be a fun, low-key sport that any ability can participate in. If interested, please call 752-2010 and leave your name and number and what day of the week works best for you.
Farm League baseball: $35 per person. Morning games. Ages 6 - 12. Minor and Major divisions played at Community Field. Volunteer coaches needed. Please call 752-2010 if you can help out. Register by June 7 for the Incentive Raffle.
N. Country Summer Youth Soccer with Craig Melanson: Tuesday night games at Community Field. Open to boys and girls from kindergarten to grade 8. Three divisions: K - 2, grades 3 -5 and 6 - 8. Volunteer coaches needed in all levels. Call 752-2010. $35 per person. Register by June 8 to be eligible for the Incentive Raffle.
Beginner Baseball: Ages 4 - 6. $35 per person. Wednesdays, 8:30 - 10 a.m. beginning July 11 at Gilbert Street Field (inclement weather - Recreation Center) Six weeks. Instructor Jim Couhie teaches the very basics sometimes using a "T" and soft "incrediballs." Register by July 2nd to be eligible for the Incentive Raffle.
Grade 3-5 basketball: Wednesdays, 10:15 - 11:30 a.m. at Recreation Center. Starts July 11. Six weeks. Instructor Jim Couhie. Open to boys and girls. Low-key, fun games and drills. Register by July 2nd to be eligible for the Incentive Raffle.
Tennis lessons: Learn the game with former Tennis Captain Zachary Stephenson. Grades entering 4th - 7th meet 5-6 p.m. at Horne Field. Grades entering 8th through adult meet 6 - 7 p.m. Mondays & Wednesdays for 5 weeks starting July 9th. $40 per person.
Cheerleading with Susanne Styles: Girls entering 1st - 4th grade will enjoy this program of cheers, dance, tumbling and more! $40 per child includes lessons, uniform t-shirt and hair bow. Program begins Thursday, July 12 and runs to August 2nd. Thursdays and Tuesdays, 10 - 11:30 a.m. at Gilbert Street Field. Rain location - Berlin Recreation Center.
Grade 4-8 Field Hockey Clinic: Learn the sport from coaches Nicole Arguin and Louise Johnson. The three-day clinic will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, July 17, 18.19. 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. at Community Field. $40 per person. Students must have stick, shin guards and mouth guard. Register at Berlin Recreation Center.

Gorham Rec. Dept. news

Summer Recreation Guide booklets are out! Booklets will be handed out through the school on Friday, June 1. Visit our website under the Summer Info & Programs page.
Sunday, June 3 – ADULT COED SOFTBALL – 4 p.m. A & A vs. Aubuchon Hardware, 5:30 p.m. Milan Variety vs. U.S. Cellular, 7 p.m. Mike’s Refrigeration vs. All Terrain Auto, 8:30 p.m. Mr. Pizza vs. Tri-County Cap.
Monday, June 4 – Farm League (SEA DOGS vs. ROCK HOUNDS) – Minor League Cal Ripken (ATHLETICS @ CUBS).
Tuesday, June 5 – T-Ball League (ORIOLES vs. GIANTS) – Minor League Cal Ripken (CUBS @ REDS) – Major League Cal Ripken (RED SOX @ DODGERS).
Wednesday, June 6 – Farm League (ROCK HOUNDS vs. FISHER CATS) – Minor League Cal Ripken (MARINERS @ ATHLETICS) – Major League Cal Ripken (DODGERS @ PHILLIES).
Thursday, June 7 – T-Ball League (EXPOS vs. BRAVES).
Friday, June 8 – Minor League Cal Ripken (RED SOX @ REDS).
The tennis courts will be closed Monday, June 4, until Wednesday June 6, for maintenance.
Monday, June 6 is WALK NH and there are two walks you can participate in Gorham (this is a non rec dept event).
WALK #1 – Will be held June 6th and is an easy one mile walk from the Town Common Info Booth to the Edward Fenn Elementary School and will start at 7:30 am.
WALK #2 – Will be held June 6th and is an easy to moderate two mile walk along the multi-modal trail starting at Lancaster Road and will start at 5:30 pm.
The Recreation Department is seeking sponsorship for our Summer Concert Series. If interested please contact us at 466-2101 for more info.
Challenger Soccer Camp information is here! There are two camps this year from August 6-10. Camp one is for players ages 7-13 and camp two is for players entering grades 8-12. Each player will receive 15 hours of training, a free Challenger soccer ball, t-shirt and camp certificate. Sign up before June 22nd (online) to receive a free soccer jersey. If interested, call the Recreation Department or sign up through our web site. Host a coach and receive an $80.00 off!  
Please visit our web site,, for information, schedules, news and forms for all of our programs. Friend us on Facebook!

AVH, Gorham to co-sponsor a Walk NH

GORHAM -- Androscoggin Valley Hospital and the town of Gorham are pleased to once again co-sponsor a Walk NH 2-mile walk, to be held at the multi-modal trail (just off Lancaster Road in Gorham) on June 6.  There will be prizes for which participants can enter. All are welcome to join this free event, which is set to begin at 5:30 P.M. 
The event is held annually to promote the health benefits of walking. For more information, please call James Patry, AVH public relations and marketing director, at 326-5606.