'Eat Dinner With Your Children Day' a hit with South Windsor families

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Thu., Oct. 3, 2013
Lizmarie Ortiz, Eric and Marielix Heredia, Amy and Darlene Rodriguez, Michael Holmes and Elijah Brisco were very happy to be a part of the celebration. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Lizmarie Ortiz, Eric and Marielix Heredia, Amy and Darlene Rodriguez, Michael Holmes and Elijah Brisco were very happy to be a part of the celebration. Photos by Lisa Stone.

South Windsor Youth and Family Services inspired families to eat dinner together on Sept. 27 at the Charles Enes Community Center.  Each family received a hot dinner that consisted of chicken parmesan, pasta, salad, bread and a dessert and beverage.  The goal for the evening was family unity.

Each table was offered games and playing cards. Extra large prop cards on the tables suggested discussion topics to start the families communicating with each other. “We used the cards for discussion ideas,” said Tammy Sullivan. “We are having such a great time.  I am really glad that we came here tonight. The kids are really enjoying this,” she said.

Steve and Tina Hyman took their son, Brenden, and his friend, Cooper, to the dinner. “We try to eat dinner at the table each night,” said Tina. “Life can get crazy with several different schedules, but we still try to eat together as a family. I think that is very important. I would say that we eat together at least 95 percent of the time.”

Lizmarie Ortiz said that she was thrilled to have the opportunity to have dinner with friends and family. “Our schedules are hectic,” said Ortiz. “We try to eat together, but sometimes it is just impossible to do that. When we do get to sit down to a meal together, it is very special to me. I wish we could do it all the time. That seems to be the time that everyone comes together and talks about their day and shares with each other. I love that.”

“This is a very special event,” said Denis Sheridan, director of human services. “This is our third year for this event, and each year it gets bigger and bigger.  I truly believe that families would be much better off if they ate dinner together each night. Statistics show that families that take time to eat dinner together are far less likely to indulge in substance abuse. This is when the parents find out what is going on in their children’s lives.” Sheridan was very pleased with the number of families who attended the dinner.

Along with Sheridan, the people responsible for the event are teen center supervisor Lori Caron, Ava Caron, teen center program supervisor Jo-Ann Ciccaglione, John Dean, Amy Plourde, Katie Jenkins, teen center supervisor Chris Jordan and youth counselor Eileen Adler.  “Everyone worked very hard to make this evening a complete success,” said Sheridan.


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