Spaulding still changing lives after 150 yearsMarch 16, 2021
We’re grateful for the time and interest of Roberta Baker, reporter for the Laconia Daily Sun, who recently visited and wrote a fantastic feature story about our work and its positive impact on children and families. An excerpt of the article is below, but you can click here to view the full multi-page article on the Laconia Daily Sun’s website or click here to view the article as a printable PDF.
NORTHFIELD — The children dictated or printed messages on placemats they made for staff appreciation week at Spaulding Academy and Family Services – a residence and school for young people ages 4 to 21 with neurological handicaps or heart-breaking histories of trauma, or both.
“Thank you for all that you have done and for letting me live here.” “Thank you always being there for me and understanding me when nobody would.” “Thank you for taking care of me and taking me swimming and other stuff.”
Their hand-lettered drawings, encased in plastic, are a feast of gratitude for years spent with more companionship, playtime, guidance and safety than many had ever experienced.
“You saved my life,” Pat Goulet of Manchester told Garrett Lavallee, his favorite mentor and teacher at Spaulding, when he came back to visit. At age 13, Goulet was expelled from public school in Manchester for constant fighting and was referred to what was then Spaulding Youth Center by the juvenile justice system.
“I was always bigger than everybody. I was always getting into trouble. I was a punk, if you will,” said Goulet. Now almost 30, he has a career in manufacturing, a hobby racing cars, and a son about to turn seven, who helps Goulet tinker on the ’87 Chevy Monte Carlo he races at New England Dragway. “I trust Garrett with my life,” Goulet said.
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