It was a wonderful turnout at the groundbreaking ceremony for 2 new cottages that will be built on the Laura Baker Campus. Even the weather cooperated! Congratulations and thank you to all that have made this possible, your unwavering support is greatly appreciated.
Sunday, March 15th was an extraordinary day at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. The Laura Baker Choir performed, Laura Baker’s photo exhibit titled A Day in the Life was on display and Northfield Girl Scouts were handing out coffee and cookies as a way of saying thanks.
The choir, under the direction of Jennifer Pelletier and Maggie Scheppman, performed classics such as Amazing Grace and We Shall Overcome.
A Day in the Life photography exhibit, done in partnership with St. Olaf photography students, is a distinctive series of portraits that show what a day in the life of people with disabilities is like. The exhibit will be on display at St. John’s through March 23rd.
Northfield Girl Scouts handed out coffee and Girl Scout cookies as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to St. John’s for donating space for Girl Scout Troop meetings and Council Events.
Thank you St. John’s for hosting the Laura Baker Choir and A Day in the Life photography exhibit. It was truly a memorable day.
Laura Baker held our annual Dinner Theater on February 25th and this year’s theme was Sparkle & Shine. It was a evening filled with fine dining, good friends and great entertainment. Thank you to Agnes a Cappella for providing entertainment. Thank you also to all staff, volunteers and our clients, who made this evening a success!
Sandi Gerdes, Executive Director, recently was a guest columnist in the Northfield News. You can read the article entitled “Fair pay for elder care, fair pay for the disabled.” This article and the letter below is being sent to all parents & guardians of LBSA clients. We also ask you to read the article, letter and contact your legislator to increase staff pay rates for workers who provide personal care for the disabled. Your participation can make a difference!
Dear Staff Members,
I hope you will get the chance to read the Op-Ed piece in the Northfield News, “Fair pay for elder care, fair pay for the disabled”.
When the State Legislature resumes on Feb. 25, our lawmakers will again address how much to pay workers who provide personal care for the disabled as well as the elderly.
The two have not been treated equally. When the state raised pay 5% for nursing home workers in August, pay for workers in disability care got back a mere 0.5%. It wasn’t even a raise: It was faint restoration of the 1.5% in compensation that was cut in 2012.
Back in 2008, nursing care got a 5% raise; disability care got only 2%. Lawmakers keep compounding the disparity.
Legislators have a chance now to close the gap. This is a crucial time for advocates of the disabled to speak up.
Will you consider asking state leaders to give a raise to those who care for the disabled?
Please ask your legislators to increase pay rates for services for the disabled, during this legislative session.
You can use this note as a [starting point/template] for your own message.
You can include this link to the Northfield News piece.
Below is a list of contact information for legislators, including yours.
Minnesota can afford this. There is enough for all of us.
Thank you for your continued support.
Direct your comments to:
Gov. Mark Dayton
Office of the Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Sen. Kevin Dahle
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Capitol, Room 317
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
Rep. David Bly
559 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Live outside Northfield? Find state legislators for your area here: http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/
In the spirit of building connections with all people through creative acts and fun enjoyment, the LBSA Artist in Residence Program encourages you to experience some free Minnesota Awesome, with the 2014 Art Shanty Projects, weekends through February, in White Bear Lake, MN. A great way to add some variety and humor to this cold season!
The Laura Baker choir, along with many other community ensembles, performed at the annual “Arts for Martin” celebration on January 17 at Arcadia Charter School. This is a community gathering honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through music, dance, theater and poetry. The choir sang an Israeli folksong, “Let There Be Peace”. The song proclaims: “Hands together, stand as one, circling the world in peace and love. Brothers, sisters, all are we. Join in our song: Let there be peace.” The evening ended in a group drumming experience, which is also pictured here. Special thanks to Bob Gregory-Bjorklund for inviting us again this year!
The First United Church of Christ in Northfield (300 Union Street) is hosting this year’s Christmas service. Families, clients, and staff are invited to join us for what is always a beautiful and meaningful service! Refreshments to follow.Merry Christmas from all of us at Laura Baker Services!
Thank you to all that turned out on Saturday, December 7th to show support for the mission of LBSA. The Gala was a wonderful evening full of singing, drumming and giving. Thank you also to all of the donors, volunteers, staff and clients that made this event possible.
2013-2014 Holiday Artwork
Client & Staff Collaborations
In this season of darkness and light, the artwork on Laura Baker Services Association holiday cards arrives out of moments of client and support staff collaboration. The card images include colorful brushwork, iPad drawings, and a patchwork sculpture from Laura Baker’s Saturday Art Workshops. Seeing beyond the images, you will find the significant people and spirit of Laura Baker Services. Long-rooted in the our local community, LBSA and the Art Workshops welcome everyone, and clients and staff share equally in humor, conversation, and in the process of creating compelling works of art.
During workshop set-up, assisting staff take part in conversations exploring community building ideas and intended outcomes, and then serve as creative guides for clients and other staff. LBSA’s Art Workshop is unique amongst many ICF facilities and provides a space for staff to help foster an experiential learning environment, built around creative expression.
SEE the full-size images, by clicking on each of the above pictures.
For both clients and staff, and whether you are a person who likes to participate by getting her hands dirty or by reaching others with his presence, the workshop offers a place to develop a deeper sense of mutual regard – and to further refine one’s own professional skills. For new employees, longtime clients, and people who have worked at Laura Baker for years – the Art Workshop offers a structured, yet relaxed setting for communal growth. Looking toward the next gathering as one workshop ends, the time shared forms lasting impressions and can lead to new ways for engaging with each other in the future.
Have a Wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!