The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

December 11, 2012

Funding flows to new program that helps get children on track



One success story is Daniel Mayotte and Coty Royark. They spoke at a news conference Tuesday at South Central College about their history with drug addiction. The couple, in fact, met at a chemical dependency support meeting.

Mayotte said he’s been in an out of prison. Royark said she’d gotten pregnant at 15 and gave her baby up for adoption.

Now they’re older. And they’ve got a new child, Destine.

“They helped show us games to play with him,” Royark said. “He was a little behind in walking, clapping. Now Destine (who is 1) looks forward to our meetings.”

Freitag said she’s been working with people who come in and need just one visit and others, like Mayotte and Royark, who need follow-up visits.

“Families are stressed,” she said, “and they don’t know what’s out there in the community. ... They just want somebody to talk to and tell their story to, someone they feel comfortable with and they can help.”

Freitag says she hopes the program grows and becomes a staple in the realm of services new families can access.

So does Bowman.

“For those families whose children aren't developing on target, that's devastating,” she said. “That really is one of the reasons that a few years ago we asked, ‘What can we do to change those outcomes, have kids be born healthy and get them on track?’”

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