Author Archives: Naomi LeBlanc

Re: Our Commitment to Promoting Inclusivity and Fighting Racism

To the Perkins Community,
Last week, with the support of both staff and residents, we were proud to put up Black Lives Matter signs across our campus. The signs speak to our commitment to racial equity and to being part of the solution and conversation to address racism and discrimination that results in disproportionately negative outcomes for Black and Brown people. Concurrent with putting out Black Lives Matter signs, we released the following statement:
Perkins’ mission to promote meaningful and sustained well-being cannot be fully realized in a world or a community where systemic racism and violence exists. Racism has and continues to traumatize generations of Black and Brown Americans. For this reason and many more, Perkins supports the work of the Black Lives Matter movement to combat and counter acts of violence, create spaces for Black imagination and innovation, and center Black joy.
 
We have been thrilled by the many positive responses to the signs and to our initiating conversations on racism and the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. We were also saddened and disappointed that last weekend, two signs in Lancaster were defaced by someone who spray painted over the word “Black.” We replaced the signs as soon as we could. Lancaster police are aware of this incident.  As discouraging as acts of vandalism such as this are we have been humbled by the many community members who stood up for Black lives and in support of Perkins’ Black Lives Matter signs. We know that these acts caused a rich local discussion and we were proud to see that many of our neighbors have since put up their own BLM signs. 
 
We also know that some members of our community see Black Lives Matter as a political statement.  To be clear, we see racism and the disproportionate killing of and negative impacts on Black and Brown men and women as a public health and human rights issue on which we are committed to speaking up and addressing through our work and actions. Black Americans who grow up experiencing institutionalized and individualized racism, and witnessing repeated violent acts against members of their race committed by people and systems in power, are experiencing trauma. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report on the long-term harm that racism causes for Black and Brown children. It stated “Although progress has been made toward racial equality and equity, the evidence to support the continued negative impact of racism on health and well-being through implicit and explicit biases, institutional structures, and interpersonal relationships is clear. Failure to address racism will continue to undermine health equity for all children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families.” (AAP)
 
Perkins is committed to being part of the solution by providing anti-racism trainings for staff, uncovering racism within our structures and systems, and creating broader awareness about the impact of racism. We will not be silent about injustice or complicit in allowing racist structures to persist in traumatizing Black and Brown people. We welcome and appreciate continued dialogue and constructive discussion of this important issue.
 
We invite you to visit our Online Resource page, which has a number of resources for talking to your family members, including children, about racial equity and the importance of saying Black lives matter. We welcome and appreciate continued dialogue and constructive discussion of this important issue. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
 
Sincerely,
Michael W. Ames, Ph.D.
(978) 368-6401
President & CEO

Our Commitment to Promoting Inclusivity and Fighting Racism

To the Perkins Community, In coordination with the Perkins leadership team, I feel compelled to share some brief thoughts with you. Over the last 3 months, we have been battling the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. However, as the recent killing of George Floyd brought to light once again, another pandemic, one defined by racism, inequality, and policeContinue Reading

Executive Functioning for Beginners

A piece by Nicole Bediako, Doctor Franklin Perkins School Occupational Therapist. Hello! My name is Nicole Bediako and I’m an occupational therapist here at DFPS. I am also a mother of two small children, one toddler and one very active third grader. These times have shaken us to our very foundation. As an OT providing virtual sessions,Continue Reading

Perkins COVID-19 Emergency Fund

We’re so grateful to be able to count on our strong and resilient Perkins community and we hope that you and yours are healthy and well as we all navigate these unsettling times. Our 24-hour residential programs for children, adults, and elders remain open, operating with caution and care to protect our residents and staff. They areContinue Reading

Online Family Resources

The following list of resources for families is a mere sample of the many wonderful options available online for children and adults of all ages and abilities to learn, engage, stay active, and be healthy during this unusual time. We have chosen them based on their fit for the students, adults, and families in our Perkins community, but weContinue Reading

Perkins CDC to Offer Free Emergency Child Care

Perkins Child Development Center to Offer Free Emergency Child Care Drop-in Child Care for Essential Employees and First Responders Starting Wednesday, April 1st (2020), the Perkins Child Development Center has been approved by the Department of Early Education and Care to open as an Emergency Child Care Program. This is a FREE drop-in program for those who meet the essential personnel qualificationsContinue Reading

As I See It: Power, strength of human spirit on display at Perkins School

Op-Ed by Perkins President & CEO, Michael Ames, published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The stock market has dropped by over 30% since its peak in mid-February, schools have shut down, Gov. Charlie Baker has issued a stay-at-home advisory and a mandatory shutdown of non-essential businesses, and confirmed cases of Covid-19 are increasing atContinue Reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

COVID-19 Updates for the Perkins Community (Last updated July 14, 2020) As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread rapidly across communities and is an evolving situation for all of us, including Perkins, we have been and will continue to consult with State officials and our medical advisors to ensure the best and safest care for all that we workContinue Reading

2019 Annual Report – Enjoy!

We are honored to share our 2019 Annual Report, Working Together, highlighting the power of collaboration at Perkins. We are so proud of the people, teams, and programs described within. As we reflect upon another great year, we are –as always– especially appreciative to the individuals we serve, as well as their families, for their partnershipContinue Reading

Perkins Rein in A Dream to Upgrade and Expand Facilities

“They have amazing patience, caring, and understanding for each child that walks into the barn. I am thankful to Perkins for all they have done for my son.” Rein in A Dream has big news! We are excited to announce that we are planning to expand and upgrade our Rein in A Dream facilities in orderContinue Reading