Opening a family resource center where both parents and children can come and engage in meaningful programs in a relaxing, welcoming space, has been a dream in the making. As mothers passionate about supporting parents and improving the well-being of children and families, we are thrilled to bring The Firefly Center to the Farmington Valley.
We believe that being mindful and intentional about building good relationships within our families and with ourselves is something that can be overlooked in our fast-paced world. Our goal is to provide a comfortable gathering space for conversations about parenting and family life, and to offer children and parents opportunities to explore the benefits of enriching workshops and programs. Read about us in the Avon and Simsbury News! Thank you for joining us on our journey to light the way for parents and kids!
Jane Costello, co-Director of The Firefly Center, is also the founder of Blueprint Parenting, a business that she began in 2009 out of a passion for sharing parenting ideas and skills with others. A mom to three school-aged boys, Jane completed the Love and Logic® Institute’s Facilitator Training Program in Denver, Colorado in order to formally begin sharing philosophies and techniques from the Becoming a Love and Logic Parent® curriculum and from the Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun™ program. The Love and Logic parenting approach is recognized by school-based and professionals that work with children, nationally and worldwide. Over 1 million copies of their books are in print!
To date, Jane has taught hundreds of parents with children from tots to teens how to reduce power struggles with their children, gain cooperation, while reducing whining and arguing. Jane teaches parents how to hold kids accountable for their mistakes and how to guide them to solve their own problems. Parents learn how to establish effective chore and allowance systems and how to improve morning, meal-time and evening routines. In the end, parents feel more confident in their parenting skills and more optimistic in their quest to raise happy, responsible, resourceful and respectful children.
To learn more about Blueprint Parenting, Click Here.
Karin Lefranc, co-Director of The Firefly Center, loves to teach children. She teaches fun manners classes from High Tea & Etiquette to Please Pass the Table Manners. Karin grew up in England so she knows a thing or two about a good cup of tea. Last year she became certified through Next Generation Kids Yoga as a kids yoga teacher. She is learning how to teach mindful awareness to children through the Inner Kids Program. The New ABCs – Attention, Balance & Compassion are taught through games, activities, instruction and sharing to develop: (1) Awareness of inner experience (awareness of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations); (2) Awareness of outer experience (awareness of other people, places and things); and (3) Awareness of both together without blending the two.
Karin just published a children’s picture book. A Quest for Good Manners, a Mom’s Choice Award Gold Recipient, teaches young readers why it matters to be polite. Sometimes her four children—three girls and a boy—need to go on their own quest to find good manners, but they usually find them by the end of dinner.
To learn more, Click Here
Firefly Teacher Profiles
Childbirth Education Workshops
Karen Bayne is a birth doula and childbirth educator and founder of Gentle Balance Birth. She lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and three boys. Karen is an active member of the Green River Doula Network. As a doula, she has been nurturing mothers, their partners and new babies since 2003. When she’s not working with clients, she might be found writing about birth on her Gentle Balance Birth blog, reading, cooking, gardening, knitting, or running around with her boys.
Karen holds a BA in Women’s Studies and Classical Language from Trinity College and has an extensive list of credentials as a childbirth educator including: Share: Compassionate Caregiving,October 2010, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton MA * Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Labor, August 2010 with midwife Michelle L’Esperance, Amherst MA * Partners In Perinatal Health Conference, May 2010, Boston MA * Choices in Childbirth Seminar, 2008, with Henci Goer, author of the Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven CT * Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator Training, 2006, Childbirth and Postpartum Association (CAPPA), Boston, MA * Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine of MA General Hospital, Relaxation Response Training, 2004, Farmington CT * Birth Doula Training, 2003, Doulas of North America (DONA), Hartford, CT.
Carolyn Clement, owner/educator of Kindermusik with Carolyn first discovered the joy of Kindermusik in a class with her own toddler in 1995. She was licensed as a Kindermusik Educator and began teaching in 1996. Carolyn taught at Pro Musica Studio and then Musical Steps before launching her own program in Simsbury, Connecticut in January of 2008. She currently teaches families with children ages newborn through seven years old the joys of music.
A lifelong singer, Carolyn directs the Training Choir at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, Connecticut, where she also is a cantor and sings in the St. Gregory Choir. She has performed with the Theatre Guild of Simsbury, and is an active school and community volunteer. She has served as “Mentor Mom” for a local mothers‘ group and is actively involved in the Professional Kindermusik Educators‘ Organization. Carolyn and her husband, Paul Gilmore, have three children, ages 18, 15, and 11, who are graduates of the Kindermusik program and all perform in various vocal ensembles, theater companies, and instrumental and choral groups.
A Nebraskan who has lived in Connecticut since 1988, Carolyn graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University, where she studied psychology, sang in the University Choir, and appeared in various theatrical productions.
Peter Fontaine, EMT, BLS-I
Family & Friends® CPR - Infant, Child & Adult
Peter Fontaine is an EMT and Certified American Heart Association Instructor. Program information may also be found here: American Heart Association
Family Yoga & Children’s Rainbow Yoga
Laura Friday is passionate about bringing yoga, music and healthy lifestyles to everyone. Formerly she owned, directed and taught at Pro Musica, a music school for all ages in Simsbury. Laura holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and has studied piano and flute for over 40 years. In 2005 she became a faculty member at Renbrook School where she is the music and movement specialist for the beginning school and staff accompanist for the school choruses. A large part of her Renbrook curriculum is based on yoga breathing, intentional movement and mindfulness. Laura has taught yoga to all age groups and holds certificates for teaching yoga to children from Yoga Education and Next Generation Yoga. Laura is also licensed and trained in Kindermusik and Musikgarten, two well-known early childhood music organizations.
Jill loves teaching and watching people progress both mentally and physically through yoga. She started teaching aerobics, step, kickboxing and water aerobics about 16 years ago. Just over ten years ago, she decided to focus on teaching yoga. She loves how breath and movement are linked in yoga and reminds us that we are all connected on some level. For example, we all breathe the same air and share the sun’s warmth and light. Jill enjoys using humor throughout class to help students feel comfortable and at ease.
In October of 2010, Jill completed the Next Generation Yoga for Kids training at Enlightened Way. Jill is is also trained in prenatal yoga, creative yoga and movement for children, and has also trained with Shiva Rae. In addition, Jill has worked as a Registered Dietician at Crestfield and Fenwood Manor in Manchester, for nearly eight years.
Mondays for Moms
Debbie Johnson has her bachelor’s degree in English and her Master’s degree in education. She has received her Family Development Credential from the UCONN School of Family Studies and is a member of the Connecticut Parent Education Network. Her passion for parent education began 20 years ago when she became involved in local elementary and middle schools. She believes that parents want and need support as they raise their children. In her work at two area hospitals, as a parent educator, she has given numerous classes on positive parenting issues. Debbie is able to use her educational background and personal experiences as a parent to empower other parents struggling to raise happy, healthy children.
Parenting Education Programs, LLC
Creative Writing Workshop
Lori Miller Kase has been a freelance writer for the past 25 years. She has been published in a wide variety of national and local magazines and newspapers, including Hartford Magazine, Parents, Vogue, Reader’s Digest, Self, Ladies Home Journal, and The New York Times. Lori received a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University, and recently completed a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies at Wesleyan University, with a focus on fiction writing. As a former chair of both the Simsbury Schools Cultural Enrichment Committee and Tootin’ Hills Elementary School’s Curriculum Enrichment Committee, Lori has helped bring many arts programs to elementary school children in Simsbury and believes that the creative arts should be an integral part of education. She volunteered for many years in her children’s elementary school classrooms, helping students with their writing, and as a literacy volunteer, reading to at-risk preschoolers. She loves sharing her passion for reading and writing with kids. Lori lives in Simsbury with her husband and two children and is currently working on a book of short stories that explore the relationships between parents and their children.