Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018
Catherine Flynn, the executive director of child care services at the Merrimack Valley YMCA, will be honored at the 5th Annual Children’s Champion Award Ceremony April 4 at the Methuen YMCA.
The Children’s Champion Award is given out annually by a coalition of Merrimack Valley non-profit organizations to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution locally in child abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and/or child advocacy.
“Cathy has worked tirelessly to help and protect children throughout the Merrimack Valley. She is a true champion in the fight against child abuse and serves as an inspiration in the community,’’ said Evelyn Friedman, executive director of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.
The ceremony, to be held at 8 a.m. April 4, at 129 Haverhill Street, is held in partnership with GLCAC’s Michael B. Christensen Community & Family Support Center, The Exchange Clubs of the Merrimack Valley and the Merrimack Valley YMCA.
In her role at the YMCA, Flynn oversees the toddler, preschool and school-age programs in Boxford, Andover, Lawrence and Methuen. She also supervises a summer learning loss prevention program at the Leahy School in Lawrence, as well as the Early Learning Readiness Parent/Child Literacy Program the Methuen YMCA and Imajine That in Lawrence.
Flynn has spearheaded several programs aimed at fighting hunger and promoting healthy living, including a backpack program at the Lawrence YMCA last year. The program provides staples such as tuna, bread, yogurt and pasta to students and families for healthy meals and snacks on the weekend.
Flynn is also a Stewards of Children Darkness to Light facilitator, educating teachers, firefighters, parents, college students and community members on the prevention of child sexual abuse. Over the past 10 years, she has trained more than 2,000 individuals.
GLCAC is a multi-faceted social services agency that assisted 32,648 individuals in 2017 through a range of programs including early childhood education, fuel assistance, WIC nutrition assistance, immigration services, lead poisoning prevention, child abuse prevention, English-language lessons, and consumer protection.
GLCAC’s Michael B. Christensen Community and Family Support Center holds numerous programs in the community aimed at preventing child abuse including parenting skills training, home visits, and a parenting through recovery program.