The hub of information for the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, our blog contains posts with announcements, news and events, articles, periodicals and additions or updates to our website.

This page contains published posts from the January 2014 archive sorted chronologically with the newest at the top.

WFSU 'Perspectives' Features GAL Program, Upcoming Fundraiser

WFSU Logo

On Thursday, January 16, 2014, the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program was featured on an entire episode of Perspectives, WFSU's listener call-in radio program.

Hosted by Tom Flanigan, the nearly hour-long episode highlights our program and mission while featuring commentary from Circuit Director Deborah Moore and two program volunteers, Child Advocates II Board President Brian Sealey and CAII Board Member Kristine Lamont.

Flanigan and company discuss the role of guardians ad litem in the court system, share stories of how volunteers and community supporters make a difference in the lives of children and give information on the upcoming CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids fundraiser. Several callers also had the chance to ask some great questions and have them answered.

The entire episode is a great listen. You can visit the Perspectives website, download an MP3 of the audio or listen to the piece on YouTube, also embedded below.

Perspectives is broadcast live every Thursday at 11:00 AM on WFSU 88.9 FM. Thank you to WFSU and Tom Flanigan for sharing our mission with their listeners.

Original Photo Credit: WFSU --- CAII Board Member Kristine Lamont, CAII Board President Brian Sealey, 'Perspectives' Host Tom Flanigan and Circuit Director Deborah Moore

Kristine Lamont, Brian Sealey, Tom Flanigan and Deborah Moore
Photo: WFSU

Kudos: Emma Henderson

I would like to give kudos to guardian ad litem volunteer Emma Henderson, who goes above and beyond for the child in her case.

Emma has been in touch with the child's probation officer and helped the child to get an incomplete in a class in lieu of being failed. She also took the child to get a learners permit.

Thank you to Emma for being an outstanding volunteer!

Original Photo Credit: WoodleyWonderworks --- thank you note for every language ('thank you' written in various languages)

Kudos: Four Outstanding Volunteers

I have worked with a lot of amazing guardians ad litem recently. Kudos to the following four volunteers who made a difference!

  • Taylor Greenberg
    Thank you for always being so on top of your case and being ready to jump to action when the unexpected happens.
     
  • Frank Platt
    If I did not know that you were the guardian ad litem, I might have though you were the mediator. You are able to maintain positive working relationships with all parties on your case — a very useful skill!
     
  • Lisa Peerson
    You are a top-notch guardian ad litem, an ever so helpful volunteer team leader and now a superstar foster parent. You are one of the best jugglers that I know!
     
  • Elizabeth Adejokun-Ojo
    You are so committed to your guardian ad litem kids. When placements occur, you are ready to visit as soon as you get the address, no matter how far the child has gone. Thanks for your dedication!
Original Photo Credit: WoodleyWonderworks --- thank you note for every language ('thank you' written in various languages)

Family In Need: Weights and Weight Bench [Fulfilled]

We regularly encounter families who are in need of living assistance but our resources are extremely limited. When special requests for essentials such as beds, linens, clothing and school supplies come in from families, our staff reach out to the community for help in fulfilling those needs.

If you can assist in fulfilling the below request or have any questions, please get in touch with the request contact. Thank you for your help!

  • Status
    Fulfilled
     
  • Request
    Weights
    Weight bench
     
  • Quantity
    One (1) bench
     
  • Narrative
    N/A
     
  • Contact
    Deborah Moore
    deborah.moore@gal.fl.gov
    (850) 606-1218
    (850) 294-7545
Update
2014-07-19: update status to "fulfilled"

Executive Director Alan Abramowitz Reappointed

On Friday, December 27, 2013, Governor Rick Scott announced the reappointment of Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program Executive Director Alan Abramowitz.

First appointed by Governor Charlie Crist on December 29, 2010, Abramowitz will now serve a new three-year term from December 30, 2013 to December 29, 2016.

"I appreciate the Governor's support for the program and the thousands of volunteers," Abramowitz said after his reappointment.

"It has been my honor to represent you and all our wonderful volunteers and staff for the past three years and we look forward to the challenges and the successes for children we give a voice to in the coming three years."

Many of Abramowitz's accomplishments have been detailed on this blog including the Quality-Parenting for Children in Foster Care Act (Senate Bill 164); updated Standards of Operation; the passage of Senate Bill 1960 permitting guardian ad litem volunteers to transport children; and additional funding for the program.

Congratulations to Alan Abramowitz on his reappointment. As he recently said, "together we are making a difference for Florida's children."

Kudos: Diane Molitaris

I would like to give kudos to Diane Molitaris for her work and dedication to the children in our community.

Diane is extremely committed to the program and recently celebrated her thirty-year anniversary as a volunteer. She excels at collecting details to ensure that the team's recommendations are well-informed and never misses visits with the children.

Congratulations and thank you to Diane, a dedicated child advocate!

Photograph: Diane Molitaris (center) accepts an award from CAII Board President Brian Sealey and Circuit Director Deborah Moore at Guardian ad Litem Appreciation Day on June 15, 2013.

Original Photo Credit: WoodleyWonderworks --- thank you note for every language ('thank you' written in various languages)

Free Educational Websites for Children

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Training Coordinator Christine Gornik shared a list of ten free learning websites for kids.

Originally assembled by Lyndsey M. Kuster, a first grade teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, the list provides parents and guardians with fun and educational websites that children can enjoy while learning.

Although created as a resource to help bridge the learning gap that the summer months can serve, the websites are appropriate for any time.

You can download Kuster's print version of the list or browse the sites below (alphabetically).

  • ABCya
    Practice math and reading skills all while playing fun games
     
  • FunBrain
    Play games while practicing math and reading skills
     
  • Highlights Kids
    Read, play games and conduct cool science experiments
     
  • Into the Book
    Go "into the book" to play games that practice reading strategies
     
  • National Geographic Kids
    Learn all about geography and fascinating animals
     
  • PBS Kids
    Hang out with your favorite characters all while learning
     
  • Seussville
    Read, play games and hang out with Dr. Seuss and his friends
     
  • Starfall
    Practice your phonics skills with these read-along stories
     
  • Storyline Online
    Have some of your favorite stories read to you by movie stars
     
  • Switcheroo Zoo
    Watch, listen and play games to learn all about amazing animals

In Print: Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids Fundraiser

Logo: CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, an article written by Child Advocates II, Inc. (CAII) Board Member Kristine Lamont was published in the Chronicle edition of the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.

Advertising the CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids fundraiser, the article provides the general public with a basic introduction to the upcoming event, a friendly competition for amateur and professional bakers.

In addition to the newspaper, CAII has also arranged for appearances on local television and radio to promote the fundraiser and increase awareness of the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program and our mission.

Later today on Sunday, January 12, Lamont will be joined by fellow CAII Board Member Dana Powell for an episode of The Good Morning Show on WCTV-DT (8:00 AM, Channel 6.1). Lamont will also join Circuit Director Deborah Moore, CAII Board President Brian Sealey and host Tom Flanigan on Thursday, January 16 for an episode of Perspectives on WFSU-FM (11:00 AM, 88.9 FM).

Thank you to Kristine Lamont for her work organizing the CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids event and sharing our program with the public.

The Tallahassee Democrat article is presented below in case you missed it.

Child Advocates II to host Cupcakes & Cookies for Kids fundraiser
by Kristine Lamont

Thursday, January 9, 2014
Tallahassee Democrat
Chronicle Edition

On Saturday, Feb. 8, Child Advocates II (CAII) will hold a Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids fundraiser from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Leon High School cafeteria. The competition offers professionals, amateurs and youth an opportunity to submit cupcakes and cookies for judging in a friendly competition.

Profits from the event will be used to support the Second Judicial Circuit's Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program. The public can purchase tickets to enjoy a selection of the entries and learn which entries are winners.

Visit the website (www.gal2.org/cupcake) to view a copy of the rules, enter the competition, become a sponsor, and purchase tickets. Tickets will also be sold at the door on the day of the event.

There are 5 levels of competition: Professional ($50 entry fee), Amateur ($30 entry fee), and Youth High, Middle and Elementary School ($15 entry fee).

Each ticket to the event costs $20 and has 10 stamps on it. Ticket holders use the stamps to buy a cupcake or cookie. One stamp will buy one mini-cupcake, one cookie or one cupcake box; two stamps will buy one regular size cupcake. If people use up the stamps on their ticket, they may purchase additional tickets at the door.

Sponsorships are available at a number of levels with benefits including complimentary entries and complimentary tickets.

Child Advocates II is a local non-profit corporation which supports the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem program. Visit the GAL (www.gal2.org) and the CAII (https://gal2.org/about/child-advocates-ii) websites to learn more about the program and the organization and how you can help.

Reminder: CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids

Logo: CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids

If the holiday season only whet your appetite for delicious confections like cookies and cupcakes, then we have great news for you!

Child Advocates II is still looking for bakers, sponsors and guests for their CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids event on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Leon High School cafeteria.

With proceeds benefiting the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, CAII Cupcakes and Cookies for Kids is a friendly competition for amateur and professional bakers and an opportunity for the public to raise money for our program by sampling the various goods.

  • Bakers — enter as a contestant and prepare treats
  • Sponsors — pledge a sponsorship and receive benefits
  • Guests — purchase tickets of stamps to exchange for cupcakes and cookies

Special guest judges will be on hand to select winners from each category and award grand prizes for one cupcake and one cookie at each contestant level.

February 8th may not seem that close, but it will be here before you know it. The following deadlines are in place for the event.

  • Bakers — must enter as a contestant by Friday, January 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • Sponsors — must pledge a sponsorship by Friday, January 24, 2014
  • Guests — must purchase tickets online by Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tickets will be on sale at the event, but online purchases include a bonus.

Whether you want to sample the baked goods and buy some for home or participate as a contestant or sponsor, visit the event page now to learn all of the details and then purchase your entries and tickets online.