Children's Information Services 
November 2014 Newsletter
NAMI Basics News


The August teacher-training weekend drew six people from around the state. Bergen County sent three trainees: Rachel Hersey, Lola Jordan and Lori Persons. Karen Kupfer trained from Greater Monmouth and Carole McBride came from Morris and Joanne Schiebler from Somerset. The class continues to meet with the trainers, Carol McGough and Linda vanMelis, monthly with plans for a spring 2015 statewide meeting of Basics' teachers for education, support - and fun!


The NAMI NJ Parents Helping Parents lecture series in Morris County will host Martha Brecher, parent advocate, in November and Patricia Dow and Fern Weis, parent educators in January 2015.


Basics continues to flourish with classes in Camden, Mercer, Somerset and Sussex this fall. Plans are underway for classes in Greater Monmouth, Bergen and Morris in early 2015. We are interested in expanding the program to educate professionals; kindly contact Carol McGough for more information. 

Children's Mental Health News

Book Clubs

At the Child Development Center, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, parents and teachers meet quarterly to discuss books they have chosen to assist in answering parent's questions about early childhood. DeJong and Burton explain the logistics of this program in the NAEYC journal, Young Children.  


The article provides helpful information about starting/maintaining a successful book club collaboration as well as tips for including diverse families. The authors share benefits of this collaboration in their conclusion:


We are most gratified when we hear parents say that the early childhood program is a home away from home, where they can learn and grow as a result of a healthy exchange of ideas on issues important to them and their children. Teachers and directors experience greater job satisfaction because when problems arise that need to be discussed with families, they are easier to overcome.


DeJong, L., & M.W. Burton. 2013. "Book Clubs Strengthen Family-Teacher Partnerships and Build Community." Young Children 68 (5): 62-67.



Reach Out and Read

"Makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care so that children grow up with books and a love of reading." During checkups, the doctors hand out free books and leaflets promoting bedtime stories - and, in effect, "prescribe" reading to the child. Go to for more information and to donate and volunteer.



- Children's Information Services has a number of copies of Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World, by Johann Christoph Arnold. Contact Carol McGough for a free copy.


- Each New Jersey county has a Family Support Organization (FSO). While their existence is well-known, anecdotal reports from executive directors around the state indicate that their services are not fully utilized. Their mission is identical to NAMI's - support, educate and advocate. Family Partners of Morris and Sussex offers a typical example of the range of services with support groups for youth, parents and grandparents and educational workshops for parents and caregivers. Go to for a complete listing.


- Each school district in New Jersey, by state mandate, has a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Many are active advocates for children with special needs and their parents. The members hold informal orientation for parents new to the special education process. Most meet on a regular basis and keep parents up-to-date on events and issues in special education. Call/email your local district for contact information.

This quarterly Children's eNewsletter facilitated by Carol McGough, Coordinator of NAMINJ Children's Information Services, include news of NAMI Basics Education Program in New Jersey, as well as information about research and services for children and their families affected by mental illness. Send comments and suggestions to Carol at  





For more information about
NAMI Basics in NJ, contact
Carol McGough
Program Coordinator
at (973) 680-1603 or
NAMI NEW JERSEY / 1562 Route 130 / North Brunswick, New Jersey 08902 / 732-940-0991