Bringing “Westport Together” to Support Youth and Families
The Town of Westport announced that its long-standing Positive Youth Development (PYD) partnership with the Westport School District has a new name, renewed mission statement, and additional collaborating partners. Westport Together is an alliance that unites Westport by strengthening the health and well-being of youth within our families, schools and community and nurtures positive youth development through advocacy, education, and enhanced community connections.
- Advocacy for Resilient Youth, Healthy Families, and Strong Communities
- Education through Programs, Presentations and Resources
- Enhanced Connections among Families, Schools and the Greater Westport Community
According to Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker who spearheaded the new vision, “Westport Together reaffirms the roots of PYD’s 23-year collaboration between the school district and the town, in addition to other community providers. The goal is to revitalize the community’s commitment to supporting the positive development of children and families through improved communication and enhanced coordination among providers and participants.”
In 1996, the United Way organized a town-wide forum on youth issues, which resulted in Westport’s adoption of the Positive Youth Development framework. PYD guides communities in organizing services by strengthening developmental assets and offering supports to parents and community members in a collaborative consensus-building process.
Human Services Director Elaine Daignault stated, “It’s always exciting to build something new while recognizing past successes. Westport Together is actually a tribute to past Westport thought leaders including Human Services Director Barbara Butler, former Assistant Superintendent Lynne Shain, former Positive Directions Executive Director Marty Hauhuth and the late Westport-Weston United Way Executive Director Bernice Corday, all of whom recognized the need for coordination among key stakeholders and began this movement in the mid-1990s.”
Tooker added, “Westport Together will continue to be coordinated by the Town’s Human Services Department in partnership with the schools, the PTA, and local youth serving, non-profit agencies.”
Westport Together is the new and improved Positive Youth Development (PYD) made possible by community members who were instrumental in helping to create the new brand. The new website, created by Youth Services Director Kevin Godburn, links collaborators and assists residents in navigating local opportunities for education, advocacy and connection. The Town is proud to work with key organizations that serve youth and families including the Westport School District, Westport PTA’s, Children’s Community Development Center, Westport Weston Family Y, Earthplace – The Nature Discovery Center, Homes with Hope, MoCA Westport, Positive Directions - The Center for Prevention and Counseling, the Westport Library, Wakeman Town Farm, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport Museum for History and Culture, Westport/Weston Health District, The Westport Prevention Coalition and several others.
Daignault explains, “Our new alliance offers an opportunity to enhance communication, increase participation and collectively identify trends and topics toward the positive development of youth and families throughout the community.”
Residents are encouraged to join the mailing list and follow Westport Together on social media including Facebook, Instagram and their new website.