Embracing Community Outreach

Brooke Lemke presenting at Sheboygan Falls YMCA Daycare

Brooke Lemke is a Parent Educator/Community Outreach Coordinator with the Sheboygan County Family Resource Center (FRC) and recently earned a certificate in Pediatric Mental Health. Brooke has embraced the community outreach requirement of the certificate and has so far given four (and counting) presentations.

In her four presentations, Brooke has educated over 44 childcare employees. She has six more presentations scheduled yet this spring. Brooke wanted to do more with her position at the FRC. Earning the certificate and making community presentations was a perfect fit and growth opportunity for her and the FRC. The 60-minute presentation she put together is called “Supporting Children’s Mental Health,” and it utilizes a lot of the information she learned in the certificate program.

Trish Erpelding, Executive Director of FRC, Sheboygan County, said, “It has been wonderful to see how many organizations responded so quickly to participate when Brooke began making her initial outreach in the community. It really shows how important this topic is, and how more education in infant and pediatric mental health is needed and wanted, especially for those in our area who work with young kids each day. I am proud to be a part of a community that is willing to take the time to learn more about this topic to better support the kids and families they work with, and even more proud that Brooke and the FRC are able to provide this information.”

Survey responses from participants at Brooke’s presentations have been overwhelmingly positive and motivating:

“Angel moments are important and what I do matters to these kids!”
“Making sure I create a safe and connected environment in my classroom.”
“Giving daycare kids in our classrooms attention and love mattes and is important.”
“The brain is affected by experiences.”
“Being more aware of things in the child’s life and working to foster positive connections.”
“How impactful adults in a child’s life can be.”
“Staying calm when children are crying.”
“Trying to keep my level of intensity lower than that of a child [to help them regulate].”

The Family Resource Center of Sheboygan County has been around since 1997 and is dedicated to supporting young children, their families, and adults through parenting education and adult literacy programs, which are both offered free of charge. FRC has a strong reputation in the community for providing programming to support individuals and families, and they work hard to make sure their programming meets the needs of the community. Addressing mental health concerns continues to be a priority in Sheboygan County, and FRC is happy to be a support to the community in this area.

The Pediatric Mental Health Certificate is offered through the Division of Community Engagement and Workforce Training at UW-Green Bay. If you would like to learn more about the certificate or community outreach, please connect with Melissa Betke, Program Specialist, betkem@uwgb.edu.

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