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Devereux MA/RI clinician shares remote learning tips during Department of Revenue presentation

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Massachusetts and Rhode Island Therapeutic Day School Clinician Jessica Kemp, Ph.D., NCSP, recently offered tips to help parents engage children in remote instruction during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Diversity Council.

Kemp was asked to participate in the presentation as a result of her experience helping students, families and caregivers embrace online learning during COVID-19.

“I want to thank the Department of Revenue for the opportunity to participate in this panel discussion,” said Kemp. “I have been hearing from many students and families that they are ‘running on empty.’ I hope this presentation provided validation that they are not in this alone, and offered some go-to tips they can use to ‘reboot’ and more effectively manage some of the stressors associated with learning and working from home.”

Staying focused, motivated

During the presentation, Kemp shared the following strategies to help students stay focused and motivated to complete their schoolwork:

  • Adjust expectations: Recognize that during the traditional, in-person school day, students are not working 100 percent of the time – this also applies to remote learning.
  • Use “first-then” statements: Motivate children to complete tasks by using statements such as, “First, finish your math class, and then, we can make snacks together and play a game.” Or, “First, finish your reading assignment, and then you can use your tablet.”
  • Identify roadblocks: Determine what is preventing a student from completing a task. Are they having trouble understanding a new skill? Are they bored? Do they need to move around?
  • Encourage fidgeting: Provide children with putty, playdough or a squishy ball to help them relieve stress or anxiety.
  • Set timers: Let students see how much time they have left in class or to complete work.
  • Take breaks: Take at least three “brain breaks” per day (e.g., go for a walk; draw/color; play a game) with your child, and encourage him or her to ask for a break, if needed.
  • Create a fun, relaxed atmosphere: Help students update their at-home classroom space with items such as aromatherapy diffusers, fun pens, colorful sticky notes or a poster to make the area more inviting.

Facilitating student success

Kemp also discussed ways to promote socialization, while social distancing; cope with changes in school schedules; set boundaries; manage stress; support youth with special needs; and help students adapt to appearing on camera.

“I have always been passionate about capacity building. As a school psychologist, I am often focused on how I can best support families and caregivers, as they are the ones with the children a majority of the time,” Kemp explained. “My goal is to not only build skills with individual students, but to help families establish routines and systems that they can integrate into their daily lives to facilitate their students’ success.”

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

Photo caption 1: Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Therapeutic Day School Clinician Jessica Kemp, Ph.D., NCSP, recently offered tips to help parents engage children in remote instruction during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Diversity Council.

Hire better with Back Pocket Resources!

Back Pocket Resources is pleased to announce the redesign of its service offerings to better serve small business leaders as their companies grow. Based on numerous conversations with business leaders, we have developed a framework for better hiring with new workshops and training programs in addition to our consulting services.

We believe that there are people behind every business’s success and teach our clients our comprehensive holistic approach to productive hiring. Getting the right people is easily one of the biggest challenges that businesses face, and 99% of people have a horror story of working with the wrong person and know what a negative impact that can have. Hiring a new employee is a sign of growth, and should be cause for celebration, but inefficient and outdated practices can make the process unpleasant for everyone involved. There is a better way, and Back Pocket Resources is ready to help your company learn it.

At Back Pocket Resources, we believe hiring is broken. Our belief is based on almost two decades of staffing and recruiting experience working with some of the biggest brands in the world. Nobody can deny that hiring is the most important thing that a business has to do. The growth and success of the company is tied directly to having the right people in the room.

Hiring is not just about writing a job description and interviewing, but in preparing the path for new employees to be successful. You can hire the perfect person into the wrong team or environment and they will never become productive. We help business leaders stop the frustration of wasting time and money on bad and outdated hiring practices. Instead, we directly impact the bottom line by providing the resources to improve the team’s effectiveness, through improved employee engagement, experience, and retention.

Hire better with Back Pocket Resources!

Be Wise and Plan for YOUR Financial Future

If the events of the past 12 months have taught the world anything, then the message should have been to leave absolutely nothing to chance. Life has a funny (and not so funny) way of changing instantly. Adapting to those problems can make the difference between either getting away unscathed or being buried beneath the rubble. The pandemic has given everyone a valuable resource to consider planning ahead in their lives, be it on a professional, personal, or any other level.

That extends to the future. While few people possess a crystal ball and can correctly predict with any certainty, the coronavirus has proven to be a catalyst for change. Financial wellness went to the forefront of the discussion because of the pandemic. People who may not have a clue about their retirement accounts or what other benefits they are eligible for were suddenly forced to take action. In many cases, the public may have been unaware of services available to help navigate them through this path. For those who may be lost in the woods, there is a beacon of light in the form of a nonprofit organization that helps those needing a financial life raft.

The Foundation for Financial Education (F3E) serves to help people with money-related issues and concerns. The Foundation offers virtual seminars that are easy to implement and attendees can gain access to no-cost, high-value financial education training.

Nicholas Pacheco, who serves as the Rhode Island Director of Operations for F3E, said there is a lot of financial information out there that may easily confuse most people. As an educator, Pacheco’s job is to provide people with financial education in simple terms so they can make informed decisions impacting their day-to-day finances and beyond.

“We specialize in helping any type of business—big, small, or in between—that has questions or concerns about various financial topics that impact their lives,” Pacheco said. “As an accredited 501c(3) organization, the Foundation helps to improve employee productivity and morale, reduce HR costs, and provide unbiased financial education and guidance. There is no cost to either the employer or to the employee to either host or attend any of our seminars. They are mostly done virtually to adhere to social distancing rules.”

There are numerous topics for companies to become more immersed with. Such courses range from advanced Social Security planning, asset preservation workshops, maximizing one’s investments post-pandemic, benefits for federal employees, and addressing risks like identity theft and taxation. All of these and the other seminars offer either company-wide or one-to-one support, Pacheco said.

Some other topics taught by Pacheco and the Foundation include:

• 10 Steps to Financial Freedom…among the topics in this portal are creating a budget, getting out of debt, and finding your “money view.”
• Estate Planning…dealing with death and estate taxes, preparing wills and trust, and learning about probate and its relationship with your estate.
• Planned Giving…learning the differences between a one-time gift and an ongoing gift, the tax ramifications to a family and the estate, and using a charitable trust or charitable strategies for planned giving.

These are several of the dozens of seminars and subjects the Foundation provides information about. The programs can be tailored to fit any specific needs or concerns, said Pacheco.

“The Foundation looks to be an educational resource for all things that affect the health and well-being of the people we serve,” he said. “This is a Foundation that services businesses and individuals across the country, so their network of national resources is very strong. In this industry, there are not many opportunities to give back. This is one of those chances to do that and make a difference.”

Pacheco said his involvement with the Foundation spans several years but he has been serving people for twenty years. He cites his wanting to “pay it forward” and having other people learn from his knowledge within the industry are intangible rewards for participating in this endeavor.

As with many of the hot topics concerning money and financial stability, Pacheco invites anyone who is interested to attend a no-cost seminar on “Maximizing Social Security in Uncertain Times,” on Wednesday, March 24, beginning at 6:30 pm. This event will help attendees with claiming strategies, discuss how to maximize their pension including claiming strategies, the impact of IRA withdrawals, and taxation of benefits. Details for the event may be found by emailing him at the address below.

The Foundation for Financial Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading financial literacy by providing free educational resources directly to the public. Founded as a result of an urgent need to eliminate financial illiteracy, F3E has helped thousands of individuals become more fiscally fit by understanding financial pitfalls that they may encounter in their everyday lives.

For additional information about the project or to schedule a meeting with Nicholas Pacheco, please contact him either by email at or call him at 401-314-4100

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

Karen Dalton overcame obstacles to help military Veterans at her facility.

The pandemic has brought on many challenges on professional and personal levels. Business is conducted much differently than it was at this time last year. Not being able to see loved ones or attend large social gatherings such as either sporting events or concerts has made fundraising for non-profits more of a challenge.

Now, what if on top of that, you served your country and have little or no support system in place to control those demons? There are active and retired military personnel who fall under those sad categories that don’t know where to turn or who to ask for help. However, there is a place these heroes can go to get back on their feet and have a new lease on life.

The Dare To Dream Ranch, located on 12 Snagwood Road in Foster, is a 501 © (3) nonprofit organization on a 11-acre facility that offers alternative therapy programs to service members, Veterans and their families. Founder and Executive Vice President Karen Dalton said the purpose of the Ranch is providing outlets to build up their ability to become productive. The end game is empowering their clients to live productive, meaningful lives.

“These Veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and other challenges from their time serving,” she said. “They had mission, purpose, structure, and comradery in their lives in what they were doing. Now that they are back to civilian life, many can’t make the smooth transition from one life to another. Being on the Ranch gives them a sense of purpose while giving them a second chance to make a difference.

“I know what it’s like to be in this situation, so I understand what these Veterans are going through.

She grew up as the daughter to a Marine dad who suffered from anger management issues. Her first husband also dealt with anger management issues that affected Dalton’s emotional and physical health. Her goal is to break the cycle by utilizing alternative therapy programs that helped her, and programs that have helped others.

Now, Dalton has the Ranch to help others going through tough times. The facility has many programs to help with mission, purpose, structure and comradery. For those who may not have a place to stay, the Ranch will start to offer an opportunity to work there in exchange for a place a stay as availability allows. This enables them to save money to purchase their own home, she said.

Among the activities provided at The Ranch include equine-facilitated coaching, woodworking, fly fishing, beekeeping and gardening, among others. Dalton herself utilized gardening, working with horses, time in nature and surrounding herself with positive like minded individuals to help overcome her emotional and physical health challenges and now wants to use these to help others.

“Nobody has to go through this ordeal alone. That is a major reason why this Ranch is critical to the health and wellbeing of those who kept the rest of us safe. They don’t want a hand out; just some way of contributing and feeling better about themselves and being a part of something more,” she said.

One of the best things coming out of the last 12 months is the incoming contributions to support the Ranch. Dalton said did not have as many volunteers but were able to raise their largest amount ever. However, they want to raise $5 million to purchase more land, build a gift store, and make other renovations to help more people.

One of the ways they hope to reach their goal is the 401Gives Challenge. Happening on April 1st and sponsored by The United Way of Rhode Island, the organization that raises $50,000 first will receive a matching $50K from the Rhode Island Foundation. It’s a one-day, 24 hour event to raise money for various organizations and charities. Dalton said that money would do a lot of good.

Starting at 6:00 AM on April 1, anyone may donate at:

“Without question, we are all facing a different kind of world,” she said. “What these Veterans have seen and done should never be forgotten. We should make a concerted effort to ensure that every Veteran and their family receives the care and help they need. Our Ranch works to accomplish those goals.”

For anyone interested in helping out in terms of contributing or volunteering, please call Karen at (401) 919-2059 or email her at

More details about the Ranch may be found by visiting their website at

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