With the lighthouse overlooking the inlet, Jupiter Beach was the perfect location to convene the Stop Now and Plan Lead Facilitator training after so many long months without being together in person. The teams represented from all over the state never let the disruption of a global pandemic distract them from their duty to guide children and families towards better communication and deeper relationships. I am rarely at a loss for words, but I struggle to capture the power and energy of this group, and the hope they inspire for families navigating through hard times. It’s difficult to find an apt allusion for their esprit de corps. We celebrated hard-earned wins from the toughest year ever, set the course for an ambitious 2022, and worked together to solve issues great and small so that each team could return home stronger, smarter, and prepared to get the job done for Florida’s families in crisis. I’ll leave you with the following photos, set to a family reunion playlist, and I trust you will feel a bit of the SNAP magic.
Hastily snapped photo passing the Jupiter Lighthouse
Safety first was our motto along with the gracious considerations taken by our hosts at the Jupiter Beach Resort. COVID19 protocols and protections were welcome and evident throughout the facility as we nervously and excitedly returned to our first in-person event in many months.
Stormy skies couldn’t dampen our spirits. The rain held off enough for everyone to find time they needed to rest and recharge before and after our long days together in sessions.
We are grateful for the leadership and virtual participation of Dr. Leena K. Augimeri, Ph.D. and Nicola Slater of the Child Development Institute for joining us virtually to share exciting news about the expanding services for Stop Now and Plan programs to help families and youth beyond the classroom and current group settings.
Former DJJ Secretary and SNAP Advocate, Christy Daly-Brodeur and Florida Network President and CEO, Stacy Gromatski listen intently to participants’ ideas and feedback from the field for how to reach more families effectively and meet the growing demand for evidence-based, behavior models that keep children in school and out of trouble by helping them make better choices “in the moment.”
“Uncle Snappy” made a surprise appearance to thank the attendees for their incredible work during a most difficult time, pictured here with representatives from the Florida Network team.
Bonus gallery: “Lauren Hugs.”
If you attended this event and did not get an enthusiastic hug from Lauren Maldanado, then it was likely due to your own prudent precautions. This is but a sample of the many moments of joyous reunion that capture the spirit of the entire experience of finally stepping beyond the Zoom screen and celebrating our perseverance and resilience in maintaining the mission by any means necessary during our long struggle through COVID19. We recognize that struggle is not yet over, and we appreciate the collective responsibility of all who attended to keep each other safe and respect each other’s space as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
We are so proud to represent the agencies responsible for implementing Stop Now and Plan across the state of Florida, and watch our social media feeds for many more great photos from the event to come!