Family Resource Center (FRC)

Family Resource Center

In 1991, in partnership with the Bridge Family Center, The Charter Oak Academy established the Family Resource Center to support the healthy development of families in the community.  The Family Resource Center offers an integrated system of family support services that enhance parenting, promote family involvement with the schools, and help children to succeed academically, socially and emotionally.

Deborah Zipkin, M.S., has been the Director of the Family Resource Center at Charter Oak Academy since 1994.  Prior to her work at the FRC, Deborah directed a parenting center in New York and spent many years both teaching and developing curriculum in the filed of early childhood education.  All staff members of the FRC, including the certified parent educator, youth counselor, family therapist and administrative assistant, work as a team to help families build strong relationships with the school and nurture the healthy development of their children.

The Family Resource Center at Charter Oak Academy has been selected as a "School of the 21st Century-National Demonstration Site" by the Yale University Bush Center for Child Development.  In September 1999, the Family Resource Center was selected by Working Mother Magazine as one of the ten best programs in the country for working parents.

The Family Resource Center currently offers satellite programs at two other West Hartford schools: Florence E. Smith School of Science and Technology, and Whiting Lane School.

Programs for School Age Children

  • After school enrichment classes

  • Leadership Through Swimming classes

  • Field Trips

  • Theater group

  • Peer support groups

  • Life skills and Project Adventure style activities

  • Recess programs

  • Summer programs

  • KIDS - Kids in Divorce and Separation group

Programs for Parents and Caregivers

  • Parenting education workshops

  • English and high school equivalency classes in collaboration with West Hartford Adult Education

  • People Empowering People parent leadership training

  • The Wisdom Circle peer group for grandparents

  • Lending Library

  • Training and support for home and center based child-care providers

  • CPR and first aid training

  • Child-care referrals

  • Family therapy

  • Ongoing parenting support groups

  • Access to school readiness scholarship information and support

Programs for Young Children

  • Good Times/Good Talks drop-in playgroups

  • Home visits using the Parents As Teachers curriculum

  • Book and toy lending library

  • Saturday programs

  • Family literacy activities

  • Special events


The Bridge Family Center, Inc.

1022 Farmington Avenue

West Hartford, CT 06107

Tel.: (860) 521-8035

Fax: (860) 521-8036

Executive Director: Margaret A. Hann