To the Editor:

Litchfield Hills Transition Center, part of New Milford Public Schools, prepares young adults with disabilities to become productive and contributing members of the community.

Our center provides developmental programs that focus on improving employability skills, increasing independence, and building stronger independent living skills. It works on strengthening peer relationship skills that will enhance the quality of life for young adults and their families.

This program would not be as successful without the support and generosity of local business, the community and many wonderful volunteers.

Improving employability skills would not be possible without our local businesses that open their doors and provide real life work experiences.

We are grateful for all they have done for our students and would like to thank: Stew Leonard’s JoAnn Fabrics, Petco and All Star Batting Cages all of Brookfield; Hill and Plain Elementary School, Big Lots, Johana’s Restaurant, New Milford United Methodist Church, Big Y, Joe’s Salon and Spa, Sarah Noble Intermediate School, New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club, The Maxx/New Milford Youth Agency Catering, Central Office NMPS, Canterbury School Dining Hall, St. Francis Xavier Church, Northville Elementary School and the senior center, all in New Milford; and Steep Rock Association, The Gunnery Dining Hall and Judea Garden, all in Washington.

Through careers tours, on-site trainings and exposure to community resources our students were able to gain information and community access skills. We are grateful for all they have done for our students and the experiences they provided them.

We would like to thank: Averill Farm and The Institute for American Indian Studies (Chris Combs and Lauren Bennet, Escape the Wigwam) in Washington; H.H. Taylor & Son True Value The Market (formerly Northville Market), St. Francis Xavier Church (kitchen usage), DolrBills Bowling Center and DJ Trivia (Dan Stra), all in New Milford; Ox Hollow Farm in Litchfield County; Brett Christensen of Mobility Training at The Kennedy Center in Danbury; Justine Arnold of Post University in Waterbury; and The Aldrich Museum (Noah Steinman) in Ridgefield.

A special thank you to Mark Mankin and Cody Norlander of New Milford Youth Agency and The Maxx for allowing our program to be in a space that gives our students to access to the downtown community and to Mike Guglielmo for keeping it in tip top shape.

We would also like to thank the following individuals who gave their time and talents with us: Maryann Ness, yoga and mindfulness instructor; Sarah Geary of New Milford Food Bank for coordinating student volunteer opportunities; Carolyn Haglund, Leo Ghio, Elaine Donahue, and Jasmin Ducusin of the New Milford Senior Center for coordinating student volunteer/social opportunities; Don Fabrizio-Garcia of Fab Real Estate; Anne Gallagher of Anne Gallagher Catering; Brian Ohmen, New Milford fire marshal; and volunteers Amy Dyer, Sue Edelstein, Jeff Edelstein, Jack Gilpin, Dan Olson, Tom Smith and Linda Durkin.

A special thank you to all of the LHTC job coaches, staff, and parents/guardians for their hard work and continued support.

With gratitude, we thank you for all the goodness and time you have invested in our program for benefit of our students.

As Henri Frederic Ameil said, “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”

Ashley Albanese

Roxanne Kraft

LHTC Transition Program

Special Education Teachers