Community Partner Award: University of Vermont

Posted On October 29, 2015 By | No Comments on Community Partner Award: University of Vermont

COTS is proud to honor the University of Vermont – and the many partnerships COTS has with individual schools and departments.

COTS Program Director Julia Paradiso with Ann Pugh of UVM School of Social Work

COTS Program Director Julia Paradiso with Ann Pugh of UVM School of Social Work

First, we would like to thank the College of Education & Social Services. For the past three years, students in the Early Childhood Special Education Program, under the coordination of assistant professor Jennifer Hurley, have worked with children in COTS family shelters. The families in shelter know them as Club AFECT (Advocates for Exceptional Children Today). Through interactive and fun activities with the children, which include art, cooking, outdoor recreation, and other activities, the experience is a learning environment for children as well as the UVM students. Through the support of a multi-year grant secured by UVM, the students gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the challenges of homelessness and its impact on children. And, the children in shelter, in turn, benefit from the attention and educational enrichment from these future educators. This is a win-win, on both sides!

In addition to the Club AFECT partnership, COTS also hosts Master’s of Social Work and Bachelor’s of Social Work students from UVM. In the past three years, we have had six master’s students and three bachelor’s students intern with COTS, under the supervision of MSW and BSW COTS staff.

We also would like to recognize the College of Medicine. For the past several years, the second-year medical students at UVM have created unique annual programs to address needs among the homeless population in our community. One year, it was “Happy Feet,” addressing podiatric concerns; another it was “VFW – for Veterans’ Fitness & Wellness,” focusing on nutrition and physical fitness at Canal Street Veterans Housing, and this year, it’s “Know Pressure,” as in K-N-O-W

COTS Program Director Julia Paradiso with Jan Carney, MD, and Dean Rick Morin, MD, of the College of Medicine

COTS Program Director Julia Paradiso with Jan Carney, MD, and Dean Rick Morin, MD, of the College of Medicine

Pressure, at the Daystation, where the attention is on blood pressure and heart healthiness. Thank you to everyone at the School of Medicine for your partnership and support!

Finally, we would like to thank the Department of Community
Development & Applied Economics
. Last academic year, COTS was honored to be part of the Cabot Community Challenge course, a marketing class taught by lecturer Kate Woodruff, in collaboration with Roberta MacDonald of Cabot Creamery Co-op. Over the course of two semesters, COTS worked with dynamic students who created original new marketing tools and helped raise awareness about homelessness on campus.

The students researched the issue of homelessness, volunteered in COTS programs, and explored how COTS’ services dovetail with those of community partners. They then developed a multi-prong approach to raise awareness of services among those in need, as well as further educate donors about how their support makes a difference. Their hard work, creativity and positive energy resulted in the students achieving their marketing goals — to the benefit of COTS and those we serve. We are incredibly grateful to have been a partner in this collaboration between the business, higher-education, and nonprofit communities. Thank you!

COTS Development Director Becky Holt with UVM lecturer Kate Woodruff

COTS Development Director Becky Holt with UVM lecturer Kate Woodruff

 

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