Monthly Archives: March 2020

Brothers build lasting friendships at Sunrise

Nicolasa Moreau of Amherst – parent to Caleb (2) and Carter (7) – shares her Sunrise story

Shortly before Nicolasa’s son Carter was of the age to start kindergarten, she started searching for a place that offered a centered environment with a classroom and teachers that could help Carter with his transition into kindergarten. Carter, who was four years old at the time, was shy and slow with transitions.

“I asked around and received a ton of recommendations – all encouraging me to check out Sunrise. My friends shared how much they love the Sunrise teachers and how much fun their children were having at the center. I signed up for a tour and instantly fell in love with my tour guide, Miss Donna. Sunrise felt like a very good fit and a place I would feel comfortable bringing Carter.”

Sunrise offered a pre-kindergarten program that could help Carter slowly ease into the transition to school. If Carter started to feel nervous or shy about being around the other kids, a teacher would quickly be by his side offering their hand so he could feel safe.

“The teachers made Carter instantly feel safe, which helped set up the building block he needed. Because of this, his confidence started to take off and he began opening up to the other children, and slowly creating friendships.”

Carter has made long lasting friendships since he first started attending Sunrise in 2015. And, Nicolasa has received a lot of support from the parent-moms whose children attend Sunrise.

“Just like Carter and the special bonds he has built, I have met and become very close with the Sunrise moms. We have created our own little parenting village!”

Beyond the bonds that have been created with the moms and the children of Sunrise, what Nicolasa and her children like most about Sunrise are the teachers.

“Caleb, who started attending Sunrise when he was six months old, has become very close with his teachers – he feels comfortable and safe with them. And Carter too has built very good connections with his teachers. Both of the boys simply adore Miss Dawn and Miss Ann. They also really like Miss Clarice and Miss Molly.”

The teachers are kind and patient with the children and are very creative with the variety of activities that they prepare each day. One example is an activity where they balled up and wet paper towels on a snowy winter day and kids tossed them around, pretending they were snowballs.

“This was such a fun and interactive game to play. The boys loved it!”

Carter has enjoyed arts and crafts as well as painting and making little things with seeds and popsicle sticks. Both of the kids love all of their playtime and they enjoy the sand boxes and the swings.

“Sunrise does a great job of getting the kids outside when it is nice out, so the kids have fresh air and movement as much as possible.”

While Nicolasa is at work, she can check on the boys through Bright Wheel , an app where teachers upload photos and notes of their snacks, activities and games they have enjoyed playing.

“It’s such a hard thing to be a working mom and having someone else raise your children while you are gone – this is really tough. The Bright Wheel App has really helped. During lunchtime I can click on the app and see what the boys have been up to, and I can check out the snowman they painted, for example or a video of them dancing to one of their favorite songs. I really enjoy following along throughout and showing the boys the photos that I received, when we are together again at home.”

Nicolasa – a fourth grade teacher – is pregnant with her third child who will be joining their big brothers at the center in the fall of 2020.

“Sunrise feels like an extended family. I love all of the warm, welcoming personalities and everyone that takes such good care of our kids. I don’t have to worry about anything. I love Sunrise and absolutely recommend the center to other moms. I am so thankful that I found them!”

2020 Longview Winter Expedition – An Adventure in Jefferson

By Nicole MacVane, assistant director at Longview

As part of the annual Adventure Based Counseling program a dozen Longview students and seven staff members participated in the first winter expedition in 10 years, in Jefferson, New Hampshire. Excited to ski and snowboard for two straight days starting on February 12, our team was thrown a quick winter curve ball on Wednesday as we discovered that our mountain of choice ran out of gear to outfit our group. Open to new ideas and prepared for the unexpected, all of our students handled this news gracefully as we shifted gears by heading to the Josselyn’s Log Cabins in Jefferson, checking in to our quarters and settling in. Once settled, we then gathered together and prepped meals which included spaghetti and meatballs and homemade pizza (yum) before taking off for a fun night of bowling. Some of our students who were first time bowlers quickly became experts, rolling strikes and spares by the end of the day.

As snow trickled down early on Thursday morning, we made our way to Cannon Mountain for a full day of skiing and snowboarding (the mountain was ready to welcome us with all the gear we could possibly need!). Some of our students were experiencing a ski resort as large as Cannon for the very first time. Thrilled to be outside and in the middle of the action, they pushed themselves in new ways by venturing out of comfort zones and overcoming fears of the unfamiliar. Triumphing, our students gained new bragging rights and were proud to yell from the mountain that they skied at one of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains on a perfect snowy winter day.

Excitement filled the air in the evening as we made our way back to our joyful cabin quarters. We came together and gathered as a group while students enthusiastically shared highlights from our little adventure up north. They talked about how much they enjoyed their time in the cabin playing board games and apples to apples while giggling with friends the night before. They also reminisced about their adventure heading up the Peabody Express chairlift and of course, cruising down the long runs together as a group!

Indeed, it was a good snowy time in Jefferson during the week of February 12.

Takeaways from Longview staff

Over the last 10 years Longview has been split into two teams for its Adventure Based Counseling days. One team participates in two expeditions in the fall and spring, while the other team completes day-long trips and team building activities. This was the first time in 10 years that both of our teams participated in the winter expedition. Like any new venture, some students were a bit hesitant about joining and giving up the familiar comforts of home, while others were eager to have a new experience and getaway!

Like our trip to Jefferson, our expeditions (whether up north or closer to home) occur to challenge our students to get out of their comfort zones and to try new things. More importantly they are meant to foster connections that help promote success throughout the school year as relationships are a key factor to overcoming behavioral and mental health issues.

By the end of our trip, we were delighted to hear that all 12 of our students were really thrilled to have participated in the Longview winter expedition in Jefferson, with some already asking about next year’s trip.

Learn more about this year’s winter expedition by contacting Longview Director, Tom Jennings or Assistant Director, Nicole MacVane.

RSEC student receives 2020 Presidents Volunteer Service Award

Parker Bowen recognized for her commitment to giving back to Girls at Work, Inc.

Regional Services and Education Center (RSEC) is proud to announce that Parker Bowen of New Boston has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities, was recently granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. RSEC nominated Bowen in recognition of her volunteer service and dedication to giving back to her community.

Bowen is a senior at The RSEC Academy in Amherst. For the past two years, she has volunteered for Girls at Work, Inc., a Manchester-based organization that empowers girls with the tools to overcome adversity and build confidence to face current and future life challenges. She has been volunteering between five to eight hours per week over this period.

“We are delighted that Parker has been recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her commitment to serving her community,” said Janet Reed, director at Regional Services and Education Center. “She has selflessly giving back to an organization that makes a difference in the lives of young girls every day. We are proud of Parker for being a role model to all of us at RSEC, and to the young individuals who participate in the Girls at Work program.”

In its 25th year, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.

“Across the United States, young volunteers are doing remarkable things to contribute to the well-being of the people and communities around them,” said prudential chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “Prudential is honored to celebrate the contributions of these students, and we hope their stories inspire others to volunteer, too.”

To learn more about Bowen and Regional Services and Education Center contact Janet Reed at 603-673-6656, or visit