Carbon County agencies and organizations want to educate state legislators about child and family programs in the area.
That's why the Interagency Council of Carbon County and the Partners for Progress Child and Family Collaborative Board organized a legislative brunch for area legislators and the public. The two-hour event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on July 30, at the Lehighton Recreation Center, 243 S. Eighth St., Lehighton.
Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein and Jeanne Miller, director of Carbon and Schuylkill County Educational Services at Lehigh Carbon Community College, both said that the brunch is meant to help build a relationship between the legislators of the county and the area organizations. Nothstein and Miller are co-chairpersons of the Child and Family Collaborative Board and active in many of the organizations involved in the brunch.
"I feel that our elected officials have lost touch with the local level programs and do not fully understand how funding affects our programs and what our agency programs do and how our successes can reduce the long-term costs of programs for individuals," Nothstein said. "This brunch is meant to educate our elected officials about the programs and services we provide at the county level and how they affect the future of individuals and program costs."
Miller added that this brunch will help show present and future policy makers what is being done in the county and how these programs affect the quality of life for children and families from birth to senior citizens; as well as how these programs save the county money over time.
Legislators that have been invited to attend include Sens. David G. Argall and Raphael J. Musto; Speaker of the House Keith McCall; state senator candidates, state Rep. John R. Yudichak and Luzerne County Commissioner Stephen A. Urban; state representative candidates Doyle Heffley and Justin Yaich; and Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek, Charles Getz, and Nothstein.
During the brunch, speakers from six county organizations will speak on the programs they offer and how they affect the area youth and families. Speakers include Jeanne Miller; Megan Croizier of Carbon County's Children and Youth Services; Sheila Theodorou, director of the Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/MR administration office; Jamie Drake of the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission; Pat Sasserath, executive director of the Carbon County Assistance Office; and Cheri Mae Santore, director of the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging. The presentation is expected to last a total of 40 minutes.
Following the speakers, the floor will be open to the legislators for a question-and-answer session about the programs and services currently in the county. They will also receive informational packets containing facts and figures on the programs.
In addition to the legislators and candidates, the public is also welcome to attend. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome.
For more information call Larissa Kimmel, CASSP coordinator at Carbon-Monroe-Pike MH/MR, at (610) 377-0773 ext. 3621.