Help Me Grow Supporters

Listed below are the people across Connecticut who have sent letters to their state legislators in support of restoring state funding for Help Me Grow, and their comments in support of the program.

Want to add your name? Click below to send your letter in support of restoring state funding for Help Me Grow.

Listing of Help Me Grow Supporters*
First Last City Comment
Angela Richards Milford

As a healthcare worker, the importance of the Help Me Grow program cannot be put into words. I implore you to reconsider dropping state funding for this much needed program who helps the children of CT directly.

Tasha Armstrong Manchester

Please think about these helpless children who don't and may never understand their differences.

Cindy Praisner Colchester

Prevention and early intervention are much more cost effective than remediation!

Karen Wiechnicki Windsor

It is important to assist our children for a stronger Connecticut

Corina Bellone Uncasville

I was part of this coalition in Norwich last year. I had the opportunity to reach hundreds of people through our public events to spread the word about this program. We held multiple cafes which I was one of the parents that lead these events. They were outstanding. The feedback from the parents that attended said we should have more events like this. They became more informed about services and the community they live in, they made new friends and utilized the birth to 5 screenings that we held throughout the next 7 months. This should be a permanent program to help parents.

Aedra Jones Hartford

As an early educator and hopefully one day a parent, it is important to me that services like Help Me Grow remain available and accessible. When we act early to support the developmental needs of young children, we are not only providing a service, we are securing the future. Children with varying developmental abilities can grow to be self-sufficient contributors to our local and global economies with the right supports. Without specialized programs like Help Me Grow, our state’s youngest and most vulnerable residents may have their needs overlooked and their potential stifled. The information gained by parents through Help Me Grow provides a platform for life long advocacy and parental involvement, something this is so valuable to academic and future career success of future generations. Please review budget restraints and reconsider eliminating state funding to this program. CT’s future innovators & economic contributors are worth the investment. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Kaitlyn Kasimer-Colon West Hartford

As a mother and a Birth to Three provider, I have found the Help Me Grow program to be valuable on both personal and professional levels. Personally, although I specialize in early intervention, I appreciate having the developmental monitoring and recommendations for my son to be able to share with my husband, as well as our families and caregivers. Professionally, it is a valuable resource to be able to recommend for families of children who do not qualify for direct services (or who exit from services) due to age appropriate skills. Given that at some point in development, the parents of these children had concerns, the Help Me Grow program is helpful in providing comfort via developmental monitoring.

Auria Roque NEW HAVEN

This is an important part of networking so we can provide information to parents that are not aware of the services we provide.

Roya Mahaba Windsor Locks

There has been way too many budget cuts that serve individuals and families all throughout Connecticut with mental health or other related needs. Budget cuts should be done wisely and these cuts are not wise to do. I am a Case Manager and I see the impact these kinds of programs have for our clients. Please continue with funding such programs.

Patricia Martineck Tolland

I am in full support of the Help Me Grow program, as a birth to three provider I have routinely referred children to this program. The program is extraordinarily helpful for those children who fall in mild delay or low normal ranges in standardized testing who do not meet the eligiblility criteria for Ct Birth to Three system. Help Me Grow keeps parents on track with their child's development and is a useful tool to screen for developmental delay. It would be a huge compromise to our children's health and well being to lose a program of this nature and quality. We depend on multi level catchment system to achieve high levels of success with our act children. I expect no compromise on our standards for children.

Nicole Rumpf Portland

As a Birth to Three provider I know we are limited to providing services to children only with significant needs. When a child has delays not significant enough for eligibility we need to give the family resources so that their delays do not continue to grow. Help Me Grow has been that valuable resource and has helped so many children and families in this state.

Caridad Garcia Bridgeport

Please, don't cut this funding, Our children need it! Thank You!

Melissa Samperi Meriden

I am a Developmental Therapist with B-3.

Mark A. Greenstein, MD West Hartford

As someone who has worked for and with families with children with differences for many years, who has taught decades of physicians and who has served the State for free for years, I ask you to consider the "return on investment' that Help Me Grow offers all of us in CT. It is a program emulated in many places. It was created to help maximize benefit to families with children who needed help and it's loss would be something we cannot replace.

Barbara Curto Mystic

It's important for all families and children to have the support they need to ready their child for school.

Susan Dunn West Hartford

Investing in our children now pays dividends in the future.

Kathleen calio south windsor

Eliminating funds for Help Me Grow would be a great disservice to at risk children.

Diana Lamenzo Newington

As an early childhood educator I rely on help me grow for family engagement and knowledge.

Heidi Maderia Canterbury

Help Me Grow has impacted the social, emotional and developmental screening of children 0-5, and without this children would not get critically needed intervention at the earliest age- which is critical for proper brain development. Thank you!

Marcia Hughes East Windsor

I work at the Center for Social Research at the University of Hartford and have been involved in independent evaluation and research on Help Me Grow since 2007.

Since the inception of Help Me Grow, first as a pilot program in Hartford in 1997, then as a statewide initiative in 2002, and now a national model (, thousands of parents in CT needing help with their child have called Help Me Grow. Young children with behavioral and developmental problems and their families often have multiple needs. However, service delivery and interventions often focus on single problems and operate in isolation from each other. Families have problems understanding the roles of the different agencies and ultimately are confused about what services are available and become frustrated trying to access them. Many times their needs are not adequately addressed. When parents call Help Me Grow, the phone is answered by one of six care coordinators who have a broad knowledge base of child development issues, available resources and services, agency and professional roles, and where to find information. The role of the care coordinator is to help families navigate service systems and connect them to needed program resources. They collaborate with a range of professionals across service sectors and ensure that access to and delivery of service from different agencies is coordinated. They provide parents with information on where to call, who to speak to, what questions to ask and, whenever necessary, will assist with completing application packages.

In 2012 the Center for Social Research recruited families who called Help Me Grow to participate in a phone interview (Hughes, Joslyn, Wojton, O’Reilly, & Dworkin, 2016). We evaluated the effect of Help Me Grow on child progress and family functioning (based on a Protective Factors Framework, see Center for the Study of Social Policy Web site,
Overall, the parents we spoke with had a better understanding of service systems and programs and how to access them and had more knowledge of their child’s development. As a result, family circumstances and parent-child relationships improved as in many cases did the child’s behavior, and parents felt better able to cope with their situation. Some parents needed help with complex issues or problems while others needed practical information or guidance on their child’s development. Many families reported on the benefits of being connected to services such as the Ages & Stages Child Developmental Monitoring Program, and to support groups with other parents of children with similar needs. Families who called under stress, sometimes in crisis, were able to gain access to necessary help. By enhancing child and parenting behaviors and patterns of family interactions, there are long-term, cumulative, protective effects on the child’s developmental trajectory.

In sum, given 1) the need for Help Me Grow, 2) the evidence of short and long term positive impact that Help Me Grow has on children’s healthy development and family well-being, and 3) the establishment of Help Me Grow as a national model for effectively facilitating collaboration and coordination across early childhood programs, I respectively state that removing funds for Help Me Grow is misguided and urgently request that you support keeping it in the State budget.

Please feel free to contact me if there are any questions. Thank you.

Patricia Santos Bridgeport

I work for a nonprofit human service organization and over the years I have seen how much the Help Me Grow program has benefited the parents and children in our community.

Andrea Tafur Norwalk

Help Me Grow has helped me connect many families to resources in the community.

Anamilena Moreno Norwalk

I am currently working as a home visitor with the Parents At Teachers program. The Help Me Grow program is one of our most beneficial resources for families to receive the help their children need, in order to support their development, if it is delayed. Many families rely on this campaign as well, due to their financial situations, in order for their children to receive the services they need. Please keep in mind how much this resource helps prevent future delays in our children's education. With your services, we are currently trying to minimize the gap of any types of delays with the children of our future.

Jill Rabideau Fairfield

I am a speech pathologist and have been working with children in the birth to three system for 18 years. It would be a shame to lose funding for this program. Treating children when they are younger is more effective then waiting until they are older. Many children when treated earlier, no longer need services after they are 3. When you wait too long other problems can develop. Please consider the youth of our community for they are the future!

Maria Rodriguez Hartford

This service is well needed for families and their children.

Maria Moreno Norwalk

Help me Grow has impacted my life and the ones that I have been working for these many years in the education field. I have seen many children getting succeed and achieve their goals because of this program. To serve our community, we need to have resources and places where families and children can solve the issues they are living with and connect them to the best services that they can afford.

Sheryl McDonough Wethersfield

I am a social worker and have worked with young children and families for close to 30 years. Help Me Grow is of critical importance to families who feel that their child may have a delay, but aren't sure what to do or where to go for support. Help Me Grow helps us to catch developmental delays during the most critical time - early childhood. This is when intervention is most successful. Please restore HMG!

Yolanda Cuadrado Bridgeport


Chelsea Galioto Trumbull

As a Birth to Three special educator, I see first hand how beneficial screening programs liked Help Me Grow are for children and their families. The earlier children are identified with any sort of developmental delay, the better able providers are to assist families.

Sandra Phair Torrington

As a parents of 5 kids, 3 having special needs & also being a grandparents to 3 special needs kids under 5 year's old.Birth to Three made a big impact in our lives and was able to give my children a great jump start in life and connect this to other services when they transitioned out to get ready for school. My grandchildren and now receiving services from birth to three and their families depend on this. We are constantly using in accessing 211 info line. We have used to 11 info line for the last 20 years of Our and continue to use it. From housing to Food Bank. Or applying for food stamps or insurance. Do not take away funding or support from these programs they are a great need to everyone at some point in their lives.

Deborah Brennan Darien

As a nonprofit consultant, we know that money invested early in children's lives is critical to their healthy futures. It is incredibly short-sighted to cut funding in this important and valuable initiative.

Virginia Rodriguez New Haven

This program has helped many families in the community.

Jessica Mercado New Haven

Please Restore State Funding for Help me grow.

Isabel Almeida Sandy Hook

We need your leadership on this issue! Please restore state funding for Help Me Grow in Connecticut.

Evelyn Leon New Haven

Thanks for your time and consideration

Ann Carlson Middletown

This program is needed by so many children,to prevent delays in learning and growth. Also to promote good self esteem.

Jennifer Lano Simsbury

As a early intervention provider (Speech Language Pathologist) for years and now a first time parent, I have recommended Help Me Grow to so many families and have now registered my own daughter as well. This program offers an invaluable service to the families of CT, one which helps to lessen the cost later to the state by granting access to early intervention services, when warranted. While some facets within the program might be able to be modified (paid postage stamps, online forms versus paper, screening forms not being hand scored) the intent and mission of the program has the best intentions of CT youth and future adults at heart. For the good of the community, please reconsider restoring funding for this service that so many of us appareciate and need. Thank you.

Maria Dynia Wethersfield  
MaLisa Blasini Waterburt

Please continue funding Help Me Grow Program to continue efforts in building and promoting children's healthy development.

John Noonan Wallingford

We count on our elected representatives to make good investments with our money. This is a good investment with a high rate of return. It is not only the humane and compassionate response to an obvious need, but it also makes sound fiscal sense. Please support Help Me Grow permanently.

Marie Blain Putnam

Hello a program like this helped my children when they were younger. One of my children was found to have some delays before going to school so this program got him the services he needed to be up to speed with the other children before he entered school.

Lauren Kittle Bristol

Thank you for considering this issue. We know that your time is precious, but so are the needs of the children who gain access to services through Help Me Grow.

Beau Anderson West Hartford

Please maintain funding for Help Me Grow in Connecticut. We cannot afford to lose this program.

Deb DeRocher Wethersfield

Russ & Paul, The Help Me Grow program helps families diagnose disabilities in kids 0 - 5 years old. If this program was cut, these families would not have any advocacy. I see the work that the care coordinators do on a daily basis. Please fight to restore funding to the program for the people of our state.
thank you

Marijane Carey Hamden

I have been working in the maternal and child health field for over 30 years and have had the privilege to help craft and implement CT’s Help Me Grow system. Over the last 15 years I have watched it quietly and efficiently empower families and help them successfully negotiate complex and fragmented delivery systems. For many families Help Me Grow makes a difference in understanding their children’s needs and linking them to services. It is significant to note that the CT Help Me Grow system serves as a model for replication in 25 states throughout the country. I sincerely hope the HMG budget is restored.

Kahlil Smith East Hartford

This is an important service for Connecticut families.

Kevin Sowa Coventry

I have a nephew who was helped immensely with this program and I also received the ages and stages questionnaires for my daughter and found it very helpful! Please don't cut this important resource!!

Ruth Chamberlain Middletown

Please restore state funding for Help Me Grow. It is so important in supporting children's healthy development.

Maria I Rodriguez Hartford

Help me Grow is much needed for families in CT.

Jeanette Baker Bristol

Too often children with mental health or developmental problems go unnoticed and untreated that is why early detection and intervention for young children is important.

Gerald Calnen Enfield

As a retired pediatrician, I can attest to the value of HELP ME GROW in promoting developmental and behavioral health for infants, toddlers and young children. The return on this modest investment, in comparison to that which obtains for delayed interventions, is enormous. In the long run, Connecticut will pay a great deal more for later services than it will by continuing its support of HELP ME GROW.

Barbara Turgeon Glastonbury

Without the education and information learned from this program lots of families would not realize that their kids aren't developing appropriately. The earlier a deficit is recognized the better the outcome for the child.

Karen Sylvester Lebanon

We need to address developmental and behavioral health issues early. This is vital program for the care coordination of our children, families and caregivers.

Casandra Lehr Hartford

Casandra Lehr

Shirley Caro Hartford

I enrolled my daughter for the ages and stages questionnaires through the help me grow program. My husband who was a first time parent found it fun and easy to understand what milestones our daughter should be working on. I was meticulous about making time to complete the questionnaires with my child because it allowed us to spend time together "playing" while I completed it. I wish I had known about it with my older children. I have referred numerous friends and relatives to the help me grow program for information and connection to services when questions arose around their children's behavior and issues at daycare and preschool with very positive results.

Peg Molina New Milford

Dear Bill,
This is a great program and early detection of learning/developmental issues can make or break a child's success in later life. Please find a better way to solve our fiscal problems! Many thanks-- Peg Molina

Ann Pean West Hartford

This funding is so critical to some of the most vulnerable children in our community. As the demands to succeed in school grow, we need to be able to identify and assist those with developmental and behavioral needs as early as possible. Please vote to restore state funding to Help Me Grow - in the long run, it will help us all grow and prosper as communities and a state.

Noreen Velez Norwalk


Theresa Peterson Torrington

Please do not eliminate the help me grow program. Its important for the growth of all our children.

Debora Gonzalez Stamford

Please re-think in this decision, you put in risk our kits our families our community.

Kelly Lentz Guilford

Studies show that early intervention is more cost effective!!! Not to mention the most humane - giving children tools and skills for success.

Mary Kate Locke Milford

Every day, Help Me Grow helps families to become connected to critical services to support the health and development of their children. Help Me Grow helps to create better outcomes for the children of Connecticut and strengthen and stabilize families.

Donna Brainard Milford

Being a home based daycare provider I have seen first hand how the birth to 3 program helps. This program greatly helps developmentally delayed children overcome their delays. This is turn gives children confidence to succeed and not have issues when they enter school. It also sets up the children that cant overcome delays due to neurological or leaning disabilities to get the help they need in the school system without experiencing any transition issues. It would be a terrible loss to this state to lose the funding for this program. It is imperative to keep it going.

Kristen MacLeod South Windham

Please do not cut the funding for this important service! The development of our children should one of the government's first priorities, and providing this assistance in today's society is imperative.

Ashika Brinkley Wethersfield

Please restore State Funding for Help Me Grow

Casey Levene Redding

Help Me Grow is a resource we should not toss away, please consider to restore the funding to the final state budget.

Heather Spada Coventry

Help Me Grow is essential and makes fiscal sense. Thousands of families, as well as providers of services for young children, have already benefited since its inception. This proven model of prevention, intervention and connection to resources is a sought-out nation wide - with its founding and ongoing technical support housed right here in CT. It would be a great shame to lose it.

Susan Colby Berlin

Please restore funding for Help Me Grow, a critical service for young children and their families. Help Me Grow serves approximately 10,000 families across the state annually by providing developmental screenings and connections to services when needed. It serves as a safety net for families whose children do not qualify for programs such as Birth to Three or Preschool Special Education. This program is relatively inexpensive (223,500/year) for the amount of support it provides to children and families in CT. Please restore this valuable service. Thank you.

Kareena DuPlessis Willimantic

Please restore funding for Help Me Grow. Help Me Grow is a cost effective program that supports families by providing them the opportunity to understand and monitor their child's development, and if concerns are identified, helps to connect their child to needed services, Help Me Grow empowers families to find services that will help their child develop healthy and happy and as optimally as possible. Early intervention prevents later more costly services for children. Approximately 10,000 families are served through Help Me Grow annually. Please save Help Me Grow!!

Erika DuPlessis Ashford

Important to me as a teacher, a parent, an advocate for children & families, and a citizen who wants their state to stay great!

Kate Quigley Windsor

Please restore funding for this valuable program.

Stephanie Lorek New Haven

As a mother and an employee of a nonprofit that works with young children, i know first hand that this is a program with far-reaching effects for our youngest and most vulnerable children. We know that the early years are the most effective in terms of successful interventions. Don't balance the budget by cutting our children short!

Yazmin Iglesias Stamford

I have personally witnessed how much programs like Help Me grow are needed in our state, through my work and through experience with my family and friends. These programs should be the LAST programs that are cut. Our children should be the priority always!

Susan Dunn West Hartford

Invest in our children now for better outcomes in the future!

Annie Scully Niantic

Help Me Grow is a vital resource for children and their families. Please restore funding to a nationally recognized system that successfully serves approximately 10,000 families each year. Thank you.

Maureen Myers Bridgeport

To lose HMG would be an injustice to parents, providers and mostly children.

Elman Rodriguez Bridgeport

Please provide the funding necessary to keep these program accessible for families our children deeply need them.

Natalie Vieira Wolcott

As someone who works in the field of early care and education, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of investment in the first few years of a child's life. Eliminating initiatives like Help Me Grow will cost the state far more than it will save. Failing to connect children and parents to early intervention services creates more costly problems that will need to be addressed later on. As you deliberate the final state budget, I urge you to restore funding for Help Me Grow.

Paul Dworkin West Hartford

I led the original pilot study in Hartford from 1997-2002 that resulted in the statewide dissemination of Help Me Grow as a program of the Children's Trust Fund. I am the Founding Director of the Help Me Grow National Center at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. We are currently supporting 28 states seeking to replicate Help Me Grow. Support for Help Me Grow is critical so that Connecticut may ensure the healthy development of our children, provide support for our vulnerable families, and continue to serve as a role model and inspiration for the country.

Allison Joslyn Griswold

Kevin and Heather- please support continuation of funding for Help Me Grow. This program offers families connection to important resources for optimal child development. They are connected to Ages and Stages Questionnaire that monitors child development as an example. Without HMG in CT, linkages to programs will be more difficult to connect families to appropriate services. So many children need this resource! Thank you.

Theresa Baylock New Britain

These children deserve our help to grow up mentally and physically healthy! Please continue funding, these children are our future!

Than you!

Tanya Barrett West Hartford

Please restore funding for Help Me Grow. Help Me Grow is an essential service for Connecticut parents and professionals looking for help with their children's developmental concerns. Many parents don't know what to expect from there child developmentally or what to do if there is a concern. Help Me Grow provides the tools for parents to understand and monitor their child's development and get them connected with appropriate community services, if needed. When we catch concerns early and intervene early;children have the best chance at achieving their optimal development. Every child should have this chance.

Carol Peltier West Hartford,

I am a provider with one of the Deaf Specialty programs in the state Birth to Three system. If children do not qualify for services in the Birth to Three system, Help Me Grow can provide valuable resources and supports to families whose children may only fall increasingly behind without such appropriate supports. In addition, once children age out of Birth to Three, there are no guarantees that child will be eligible for services in the Public School system. Again, Help Me Grow can provide the guidance needed by families to support their children to Kindergarten-ready levels of performance. Please, seriously consider restoring funding for this vital program for the children of Connecticut.

Jan Josephson Berlin

Please restore funding for Help Me Grow, a critical service for young children and their families. Help Me Grow serves approximately 10,000 families across the state annually by providing developmental screenings and connections to services when needed. It serves as a safety net for families whose children do not qualify for programs such as Birth to Three or Preschool Special Education. This program is relatively inexpensive (223,500/year) for the amount of support it provides to children and families in CT. Please restore this valuable service. Thank you

Elaine Strickland Newington

These children deserve to get the assistance and resources they need to become the most they can be.

Diana Nieves New Haven

As a mother and single parent of three disabled children, there aren't enough words to express the need for this program. There are other necessary cuts that could be made. Please allow our family to prosper. These cuts would eliminate that possibility. Isn't the world bad enough?

Roger Scully Niantic

Our Connecticut families need Help Me Grow. Please restore funding.

Richard Porth West Hartford

Help Me Grow serves thousands of children and families across Connecticut, promoting early screening and referral when the need is identified for help with developmental, social and emotional concerns. Help Me Grow, which began in Connecticut and is now replicated in 27 states, is a system that helps coordinate all the various components of early childhood development supports...

kim velez new haven

we need help

Linda Goodman New Haven

As a clinical social worker in New Haven, I have seen how important it is for parents to have access to Help Me Grow. Early identification and services for children with learning, physical and behavioral challenges is a wise investment for not only the future of these children but for all of us in the State of Connecticut.

Christine Trasko norwich

children need all the resources they can get, especially in this poor economy

Susan Young Bridgeport

As a parent of a child diagnosed with developmental delay, cutting this program would be detrimental to all needed families throughout the State of Connecticut.

Flora Murphy Hartford

As a mental health clinician working with young children and a parent this program is an incredibly essential service for the children of this state and a resource I use to support my work with the most vulnerable population in this state. I urge you to support the health and development of our children, they depend on you.

Jessica Herlihy Norwalk

We need preventative and early detection measures in place to avoid more expensive and more intense problems down the road.

Jessica Reho Waterbury

As an agency who uses the Ages and Stages Questionnaire I can attest to what a great tool it is to detect developmental delays early on. Since not all parents have the opportunity to participate in programs offered by places like the Family Resource Centers where their child would receive the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, I feel like the Help Me Grow program is a wonderful asset to parents. Please don't take away this tool from families who truly rely on it. Thank you!

Karl Epple Bethel

As one of the Founding Members of the United Way of CT, and Board Chair Emeritus, I nave been supportive of the Help Me Grow program since its inception. The program fills the gap in other child care services in CT, addressing the critical needs of those children and families that need it most through a most effective delivery system, 211 Child Development Service.
I encourage you to maintain funding for this key service.

Kathy Hayes N.Franklin

Dear Mr Murphy...Birth to 6 services are especially important with the rise in autism. Services are vital to kids and parents

Sylvia Henderson Windsor


Susan Tomasso Higganum

I work at 2-1-1 and I see every day how the HMG programs helps families in Connecticut. We want our children to be able to succeed and without this program, they will fall between the cracks.

John Noonan Wallingford

For many reasons, Help Me Grow is a good investment of our tax dollars. Please support programs that are an investment in the growth, potential, health, and wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens.

Tasha Armstrong Manchester

This is important to me because I have a child with Autism who is 5 years old and I'm still struggling to get him the education he needs but I would love to that he and other children get the help.

Pamela Fox East Haven

As a RN it is very important to me that everyone receives the best possible care.

Alyssa Torres Middletown

Please do not take funding from this incredible program. Our children and families needs this program!

Julie Rivera WTBY


Diane Scully Niantic

I work as an occupational therapist in the Old Saybrook School System and cannot say enough about the importance of developmental screening and early intervention. Families that have been referred to Help Me Grow and used the Ages and Stages questionnaire are more aware of their child's developmental needs and as a result their children are more successful when they enter the classroom. Eliminating funding for this important program would be a tragedy.

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