The Lakeland Family Resource Center has not only moved into their new facility, but the staff is entirely new, and you can feel the excitement as they put the finishing touches on their space in the old Spooner hospital building, which is becoming a micro-community in itself.

Renee Luell, Executive Director and Ryan Dunnigan, Outreach Coordinator, along with two of the five board members, Nikki Halverson and Louise Kolthoff are excited to welcome families to their new facility at 819 Ash Street. Louise even painted a beautiful mural for families to enjoy.

This intrepid organization has been connecting family generations since 1996 and with this new space, they're able to offer not only their tried and true programs, but offer several new additions in a newer facility.

On Mondays from 10a until noon, Discovery Sprouts is still happening, but now at a new time and day. This class gives the opportunity for parents/caregivers and children to enjoy time together while discovering and focusing on a different theme each week, such as kids in the kitchen, animal themes, art exploration, story time, songs, crafts and snacks.

Every Tuesday, from 10a to 11a, kids can participate in the new Fit Kids hour where parents and guardians are welcome to participate, or just sit back and watch.

This program is aimed at getting kids moving through activities like exercises, stretching, climbing, jumping and other games that engage the large motor skills. Bowling, tumbling and outdoor play along with songs will be included and this class has already started at the center. It's also free, as all the other classes are.

In addition to the Fit Kids program on Tuesday mornings, there is a second activity that day, this one held every third Tuesday at 8a. This program is held in conjunction with the American's with Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC) and it's for relatives as parents focusing on providing services to adults who have taken on the responsibility of parenting a relative child due to the absence of the parents. Unlike all the other programs of this non-profit organization where you can just drop in, The Relatives as Parents Program(RAP) needs a reservation. For more information and to register for RAP events please contact Jacquie Buchmann at 715-6354669

First Friends Playgroup has been completely updated and is now called The Kidz Club. This Wednesday morning time slot between 9a and 12p has been set aside for parents and children to engage in learning and playing together. Snacks are served, and this is a drop-in class that allows participates to come and go as needed.

Thursday between 10:30a to 11:15a, is set aside for Library Fun for Little Ones and is held at the Shell Lake Public Library. This program is geared to preschool age children; however, children of all ages are welcome.

A really great program, held every second Friday from 10:30a until 11:30a offers parents and guardians of special needs children the opportunity to attend a Sensory Friendly Story Time held at Lakeland Family Resource Center. This sensory-friendly storytime will offer a more adaptable story time along with rest and breaks areas, fidget toys, visuals and schedules along with specially selected books and an understanding environment. For more information on this class, call or email Angie at 715-635-2792 or to register.

Every third Friday from 10a until 11a, a new Inter-generational Play Group will offer learning and interaction between generations, with an invitation to Grandparents, parents and adults, some from Maple Ridge Care Center and any community members. Adults and Children will learn and interact through story time, activities, simple crafts and lots of conversation. This activity comes with snacks.

Renee Luell says “the sky is the limit” she is eager to make a difference in the community. Renee Luell and her staff Jacquie Buchmann and Ryan Dunnigan are responsible for these exciting programs. Renee Luell, a 1997 Spooner graduated with a degree in psychology from UW Stout. In 2016 she was hired as the Executive Director of the center, a job custom made for her, and she is also learning the exacting art of grant writing to supplement this grant and donation driven resource center.

Ryan Dunning, the new Program and Community Outreach Coordinator will be working on researching and implementing new programs for families along with strengthening existing programs at Lakeland. Ryan can use his knowledge and experience to help families and children in the community, being a licensed teacher, he has great things to offer.

Jacquie Buchmann is the new Family Programs Coordinator and Parent Educator. Her job will be to plan and lead weekly programs and events. Jacquie is a trained Parent Educator and Lakeland is excited to have her! For the past eight years, she's worked with children and families Camp Director. Jacquie’s hands-on training and compassion are a perfect fit for Lakeland.

Even though the center is already up and running, there will be a Grand Opening planned for the week of November 6 through November 11 at the new location and everyone is encouraged to drop in to tour the facility and meet the staff. Lots of fun things going on during Grand Opening Week.

  • Monday, Nov 6, come have coffee and donuts with the local Police Officers 9a-11a.
  • Tuesday, Nov 7, Business After Five and Ribbon Cutting.
  • Wednesday, Nov 8, Fire Safety with the Fire Department 10a-noon.
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, Pizza and a MOVIE 4:30p -7p.
  • Friday, Nov 1, FreeBee Friday, come fill bag from 10a-1p.
  • Saturday, Nov. 11, Kids Grand Opening.

Everyone is welcome, so stop in and check out the new Lakeland and say Hi. Meanwhile, “Screenagers” a film that explores the impact of screen time on youth and offers solutions on how we can help youth find balance will be shown at the Spooner High School auditorium on Tuesday, November 14 at 7p.

A free community meal is included with the movie at 6p and parents, grandparents, social service agencies and anyone with an interest are invited to attend. The movie begins at 7p.

And already on their calendar is a Visit from Santa on Saturday, December 2 from 9a until 12p and you are invited to bring your camera for photos and enjoy holiday refreshments and crafts. An adult must accompany all children and there is no pre-registration required.

Kind and caring individuals are always needed for their Mentoring Program where an adult is matched with a child that needs a relationship with an adult that cares. Background checks, and home visits are done to determine eligibility along with through interviews.

The reason the staff works so hard at Lakeland Family Resource Center is simple. It's because “Children don't come with instructions”. Lakeland Family’s Resource Centers Mission is to provide programs and services that build on family strengths through prevention, education, support and collaboration with other resources in the community. Lakeland is available to all families and children in Washburn County.

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