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Children’s Center, Boys & Girls Club hold open house

By Andrea Holata

BRIGHTON — The Health Department’s Children’s Center for Diagnostics and Therapy (CCDT), along with the Brighton Boys & Girls Club, hosted an open house for the Brighton community on Oct. 4 at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School.

Staff from both departments showed off their new facilities and presented the services they have to offer the community.

“Amazingly, it started back in March 2012,” said Lisa Izenwasser, CCDT program manager, regarding the new facility. “Right after school started in early September, the modulars were delivered, and we are now able to provide therapy on the Brighton Reservation.”

The services offered at the CCDT include speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapy, as well as educational testing by a child psychologist.

Therapists greeted each guest with a brief explanation of their therapeutic services.

The mission of CCDT is to provide a culturally appropriate, comprehensive, multidisciplinary team to promote the highest possible outcomes for children and youth with special health care needs and their families within the communities. With the new modular in place, the therapists agreed that they will be able to provide just that.

The therapists use the latest technology, such as iPads, to work on speech and language; conduct behavior assessments using age appropriate games; and work one-on-one using equipment to improve gross motor skills.

The Boys & Girls Club opened their doors as well for guests. The tour included several activity rooms, a large television area equipped with a Nintendo Wii, a teen room and a kitchen for afternoon snacks.

Guests saw the projects the youth have been working on, including rocket building, music production and the remodeling of a dollhouse.

According to their mission, the club not only offers fun activities, but they also assist youth in self-confidence, self-esteem, culture and the ability to grow into productive, responsible contributors to society.

“The Boys & Girls Club is there for homework help for afterschool as well,” said Pemayetv Emahakv principal Brian Greseth. “It’s a great thing for parents and for students. In fact, we’ve gone up from averaging 40 students a day to over 50 students.”

Lead club counselor Taylor Mauldin said that by having their own building away from the school, they already noticed changes in youth.

“They feel safe here because it feels like their home,” Mauldin said. “We’ve already noticed behavior changes.”

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