New Depot Program for 7th Grade Girls: ‘The Garden Club’ (Which Is Not a Garden Club)

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The Depot Youth Center’s new Wednesday afternoon program for girls in Grade 7, “The Garden Club,” isn’t actually about gardening but about nurturing yourself, according to the organization’s description:

“Empowering young girls to water their beauty within while equipping them with the tools to form healthy roots as they blossom into flourishing young ladies!” Amanda Mariano, assistant program director at the Depot, is the Garden Club facilitator. She said she hopes “each girl walks away truly feeling empowered and equipped to walk through their journey of life.”

The program will include a “Family Feedback Branch,” in which parents can communicate to Mariano any feedback from home which she can in turn emphasize in the curriculum and present to the group. ‘Water Yourself’ by Shannon Malkin Daniels
The six-week program is taken from the book Water Yourself by Shannon Malkin Daniels. “It’s such an honor to hear my book has inspired your program, the Garden Club,” Daniels told the Depot.

Choose Love Enrichment Program

Parents Can Register 7th, 8th Graders Now for One of 40 Seats in ‘Choose Love’ Enrichment Program at the Depot

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The Depot youth center is hosting an intensive program with a limited number of seats for 7th and 8th grade Darien students, teaching them “core competencies and skills, beyond academics, that can empower them to thrive emotionally, mentally, personally and socially,” according to an email sent out by the Depot. Called the “Jesse Lewis Choose Love Enrichment Program,” the twice-a-month workshops held Monday afternoons at the Depot will have two sessions, the first for 7th graders and the second for 8th graders, with sessions meeting at different times on Monday afternoons. In informational meeting for 7th and 8th graders and their parents will be held at 7 p.m., Sept. 9 at the Depot. The program is free (paid for by the Darien Foundation) and open to any student in either grade, but with limited spaces.

Health Fair poster image Depot 2019

Community Health Awareness Fair on Sunday, April 28 at the Depot

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SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), along with the Darien Police Association, will host a Community Health Awareness Fair, Sunday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For the kids, there will be a bouncy house, craft tables (including make your own slime), face painting and free handouts. Dance on the DL in the house with HIP-HOP! — an announcement from the Darien Depot Youth Center

Connecticut State Troopers will be looking for volunteers to demonstrate what happens in a crash. They will have two driving simulators with them. Fresh Green Light Driving School will have plenty of goggles to demonstrate what it’s like to drive under the influence.

Elizabeth Ortiz-Schwartz

Managing Kids’ Screen Time, Social Media Use — Talk for Parents on April 25

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What healthy media use looks like, setting up structure around screen time, and what problematic use might look like are the focus of a talk for parents on April 25 at the Depot Youth Center. — an announcement from the Depot Youth Center

The “Parent Talk” will take place from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m., will be given by Dr. Elizabeth Ortiz-Schwartz of Silver Hill Hospital. “Parent Talk” is an informal discussion that is part of the Depot’s Speaker Series. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to this Web page, since space is limited.

Image from Darien Depot for Ap23,19 talk on Resilience

Psychologist to Speak at Darien High About Building Your Child’s Resilience

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Your kids, like everyone else, will face challenges, setbacks, defeats and failures in school and later in life. As parents, you know you can’t prevent them all. In both childhood and adulthood, the better your sons and daughters are able to bounce back and cope with those circumstances, the less likely they are to turn to destructive behaviors, including substance abuse and risky sex. You can get advice about building resilience in your children from a psychologist, Suniya Luthar, who will speak at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 23 at Darien High School Auditorium. Her talk is titled “Youth in High Achieving Schools: Maximizing Resilience.” The event is presented by the Darien High School Parents Association and the Depot Youth Center.

The Depot

Presentation on Sex Education for Parents, April 4 at Depot Youth Center

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Depot Youth Center is hosting the presentation “Real Life. Real Talk. Sex Education for Parents and Caregivers,” on Thursday, April 4. The presentation, in partnership with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, place from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. at the Depot, 25 Heights Road. Seating is limited.

Jessica Feighan Darien Depot

What Parents Need to Know About Discussing Sexual Harrassment, Assault and the #MeToo Movement with Boys and Girls

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The conversation around the #MeToo Movement seems to sometimes pit boys against girls, men against women, and a good portion of boys and men aren’t quite sure where they fit into the conversation. Some may want to be part of change and not know how to get involved. A discussion for boys and men, girls and women about the issues surrounding the #MeToo Movement will take place Thursday, March 14, from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.

— an announcement from the Depot Youth Center

Others may be angry or frustrated with the way boys and men are clumped into a category that sheds a negative light. This could leave parents of sons and daughters struggling with how to have this conversation. In this discussion, we’re going to talk about strategies to bring everyone together as a school, neighborhood, community, etc.

What Darien’s Juvenile Review Board Is All About: Presentation Jan 24 at the Depot

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Parents are invited to a presentation about the Police Department’s Juvenile Review Board at 7:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Depot Youth Center, 25 Heights Road. — an announcement from the Depot Darien Youth Center

During a single year, an estimated 2.1 million youth under the age of 18 are arrested in the United States. Research has shown that many youths in the juvenile justice system are there for relatively minor offenses, have significant mental health issues, and end up in out-of-home placement or on probation by default.

Diversion programs are alternatives to initial or continued formal processing of youth in the juvenile court system. — If you’re going, please RSVP here. Please be sure to sign up as registration will be limited due to the nature of the topic.

Darien Depot Apres Ski Fashion Winter Fundraiser squarish thumbnail

Darien Depot Invites You to Its 1980s-Inspired ‘Après Ski’ Fashion Fundraiser on Feb 9

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Darien Depot’s staff, supporters and students invite you to come in from the cold and join them for an evening to celebrate and support the longest running teen center in the country, at the “Apres-Ski Fashion Fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 9. Come toast with friends for an Après Ski themed night of fun in your most festive 80’s-inspired ski fashion! Our amazing auction items are soon to be showcased here! — an announcement from Darien Depot

Can’t attend the event?

Darien Teens Tell Board of Selectmen About What They Get Out of the Depot Youth Center

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Learning the signs that someone might be suicidal, talking about problems (or anything) at Girls Night Out meetings, helping educate other teenagers about safety through the Students Against Destructive Decisions group, learning about mental illness, substance abuse, distracted driving, teen relationship violence. Those were the topics that nine Darien teenagers have been learning about at the Depot Youth Center, they told the Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting. 

During budget deliberations early this year, members of the Board of Selectmen said they thought it would be a good idea to hear more from the Depot and what services it provides to students. At the meeting on Monday, Nov. 26, Janice Marzano, the Depot’s executive director for programming, was present, but she let the girls speak for themselves. For some reason, every single one of the speakers were girls.

Rhea Bhat girl hit by pickup

Darien Student Talks About Getting Hit by Pickup Truck in Town — and What She’s Doing About It

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“Many of you may have heard — about two years ago a girl got hit by a pickup truck after trying to get off the late bus,” a school bus that had just let off students on the Post Road, Rhea Bhat, a Darien High School freshman recently told the Board of Selectmen. “That girl was me.” Bhat, a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions at the high school was one of nine high school girls who told the board at its Monday, Nov. 26 meeting what they do at the Depot—Darien Youth Center and how valuable that is to them. Bhat went on to talk about the incident, which was covered in news stories at the time, how she was affected by it since and what she’s doing, partly in SADD meetings at the Depot, to try to prevent others from driving distracted.

Babysitting course Darien Depot Facebook and home page

American Red Cross Babysitting Course Offered by Depot: Class Limited to 20

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The Depot Youth Center will once again be offering the American Red Cross Babysitters Training Course on Saturday, Feb. 2 and Saturday Feb. 23, 2019 but only for the first 20 sitters to enroll, so get your application in ASAP. — an announcement from the Depot Youth Center
This course is aimed at middle-school aged students ( 11 to 15 years old). Students will be certified by American Red Cross and receive certificates.

Robert DiRoma counselor in Darien

Recognizing Depression: Talk at Darien Depot With Robert DiRoma

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What are the signs and symptoms of depression? How can I help my child, relative or sibling? How do I protect myself while supporting a person suffering from depression? Answers to these questions and a discussion with adults on the topic of depression with teenagers will be presented by Robert DiRoma from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Depot Youth Center.

Emily Torchiana speaks on teen suicide, mental health

Talk for Teens, Parents on Teen’s Mental Illnesses, Suicide Attempt, Recovery from One Who Went Through It

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Emily Torchiana will speak about her personal experience with mental illnesses, a suicide attempt and her eventual recovery from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Darien Library Community Room. Torchiana educates students around the country sharing these personal experiences Her presentations help individuals, who are currently struggling, know they are not alone. — an announcement from The Depot, Darien Library and the YWCA of Darien/Norwalk, sponsors of the event. This program is open to all teens and their parents.