Brooker Memorial Blog

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wonderful people

Today I attended a memorial service for a wonderful person - Roberta Lee August who passed away in July. At the gathering following the service, I sat at a mostly empty table with two women I did not know. We were chatting and I learned that Dawn was a nurse here at Brooker Memorial in the 1980s. She moved out of the area years ago. I invited her to come to Brooker after the luncheon for a tour. She accepted my invitation. She just left. We had such a nice visit. We talked about Brooker's current programs. She told me that many years ago her family took in in a young family struggling with many issues. The families are still in touch - all three generations now! It was a heartwarming story about everyday people who really care about others and do extraordinary things to make a difference. Much like Roberta Lee August, at whose memorial service this story starts! I was so impresssed with Dawn. And so glad I sat at that empty table with two strangers!
written by Cathy Coyle, Executive Director, Brooker Memorial

Monday, March 11, 2013


This morning I had the privilege of attending a press conference where the United Way of Northwest CT's Women's Leadership Initiative announced JoAnn Ryan as the recipient of its first "Woman of the Year" Award. The Susan B. Anthony Project was also announced as the "Best   Supporting Organization in the Role of Empowering Women." It was inspiring to see JoAnn, who so ably and enthusiastically leads our regional chamber of commerce, accept the honor. JoAnn appeared to be genuinely surprised at being the first recipient of this prestigious new award. But it came as no surprise to me and to the many others who witness her leadership in so many avenues. Read the article about today's announcement in the Register Citizen

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Inspired to Act

Acts of Kindness. Ann Curry asked what would happen if we all committed to doing 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. Response across the nation has been overwhelming and many have commited to performing 26 acts of kindness to include the teachers who also lost their lives. At Brooker, we have started a wall of kindness in the child care foyer where staff, families, and children can post their acts of kindness, big or small.​ I stopped by the Kindness Wall today and read about many wonderful, generous and often random acts of kindness. Someone paid for the drive through order of the customer behind them, several people donated clothes, toys and food to charitable organizations, someone paid for another customer's prescription at the pharmacy, someone enabled a struggling family to get free tickets to MOMIX at the theatre and many more. Keep up the kindness. Let's make kindness overshadow violence.
Published by Charlene Lee and Cathy Coyle

Monday, December 17, 2012

"There are always helpers"

Regarding the tragedy last Friday in Newtown, I've been receiving words of wisdom  via email from a variety of sources. Here is a quote from Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers). I thought it was really helpful, especially for parents with young children: 
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
posted by Cathy Coyle, Executive Director, Brooker Memorial

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Resources for Coping with Newtown Tragedy

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones in the Newtown school shooting. As a parent of school-age children, I found myself wondering: what should I tell my kids?, how can I  comfort them?, how can I keep them safe? Below are some links that provide useful information for these and the many other questions and feelings we are all experiencing. In addition, courtesy of A Healing Trail Massage Center in Harwinton, "Here is a meditation recording for you and your family to use. Bring them together, sit down, turn off all the electronics and most of the lights, close your eyes and relax for 20 minutes together. This recording brings elements of PEACE as well as strength. Heal and help others heal!"

In peace,
Cathy Coyle, Executive Director of Brooker Memorial.

Dealing with Children's Grief and Fear

In addition to the children who were directly affected by events, news of this frightening tragedy will be difficult for all kids to understand. The following resources offer some guidance.

Dealing with Trauma

Friday, December 7, 2012

Choosing the Right Toy

Holiday shopping is in full swing, which also means lots of holiday advertising! We know young children are easily influenced by the media and when bombarded with so many commercials it can be difficult for families to determine which toys would be the best choices. We want to choose gifts that are fun, hold our child’s interest, and encourage creativity and learning. With all the hype, must haves, and new technology, what should we choose? Dr. Stevanne Auerbach’s article “Why This Toy?” offers some helpful advice. You can find it and many other great resources on the NAEYC For Families website at Scroll down to Learning & Development to see the article. Happy holidays!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Brooker supports the community

In addition to their hard work and commitment to caring for our Brooker families, the Brooker employees are supporting other charitable organizations in the Northwest Corner by contributing to the UNITED WAY of Northwest CT. This year's employee campaign was led by Carole and Lynn, who did a great job sharing the United Way Story. As a result Brooker Memorial's 35 employees raised $3,100 toward the United Way's goal of $820,000. I am proud of the generosity of our staff and thank them for their support and dedication!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pesto for Everyone!

Our Little Green Thumbs Garden Coordinator Judy Hogan made pesto from our own garden grown basil. The children all sampled pasta with pesto. All but two of them loved it! Yum! We are almost ready to harvest our second planting of lettuce. If you know families with pre-school children, they should check out Brooker's pre-school- we have an awesome nature and garden curriculum!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympic Champions

Our pre-schoolers learned about the Olympics, teambuilding and world-wide goodwill during their week of Olympic-themed events and activities. They played games, had competitions and all the children received medals for their efforts. Go Brooker Olympians!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Painless Dentistry!

Today, we saw a 7 year-old little boy who needed to have a tooth extracted. The little man fell asleep during the procedure and even kept his mouth open for Dr. Karanki to work! Keep in mind we don't use any sedation at Brooker's Children's Dental Center. He was just plain tired. What a cutie!