Putting Children First has had the good fortune to work with some of the leaders in child safety in Massachuetts. Here is what these leaders and advocates thought of working with Barbara Brunelli and Putting Children First:
I spent an entire career in law enforcement and public safety, as a state and federal prosecutor at the highest levels. As a prosecutor I personally handled and was involved in supervising hundreds of child emotional, physical and sexual abuse cases. As the former District Attorney of Middlesex County from 2007-2013, I was very involved in the school systems of Middlesex County, creating and running preventative and preemptive intervention programs that addressed child abuse. A clear priority for me throughout my career has been the protection of our young people. I know from experience that child abuse is oftentimes the result of failures of adults who are responsible for keeping our kids safe. Heightening awareness and engaging in intervention and prevention programs, like “Putting Children First”, is a necessary approach in attempting to curb abuse of our most precious investment – our children. I have known Barbara Brunelli since I was a child, and have worked with her administratively in youth sports organizations. I know her to be a wonderful mother and committed civic minded member of our community. Her commitment to youth is unquestionably tireless and passionate.
Gerard T. Leone, Jr- Former Middlesex County District Attorney
As the athletic director and head football coach at Franklin High School I have worked closely with Barbara Brunelli over a period of over 12 years as her sons moved through our various sports programs.She was the Co-President of the Franklin Gridiron Club, Vice President of the Lacrosse Booster Organization, an active member of the basketball booster group and still continues to oversee the alumni fundraising for our football scholarship program. She is an exceptionally detail oriented organizer. Regardless of what needed to be done during a season she was the person that made everything happen- she did it all. I am quite grateful that she was there to take care of the many “little things” that I could not. She certainly is knowledgeable of high school and youth sports and has experienced much of the organizational process behind them. I am certain by blending her professional expertise with her knowledge of the ins and outs of youth sports organizations will result in a successful outcome.
Brad Sidwell - Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Franklin High School
As a school resource officer and 20 year police veteran, I did not hesitate to send my child to the “Putting Children First” program offered in my community. I was quite impressed with the amount of knowledge and information offered, all in an age appropriate, non-threatening manner. The child protection message must be interwoven into every aspect of a child’s life, so eventually it will be just as normal to them as learning how to cross a street. Anytime parents can receive support to help keep their children safe, it is always a win-win situation for both children and communities.
Eric Cusson-Franklin Police Department
"Leveraging her expertise, Barbara has helped our organization develop a formalized, five layer safety program, including training courses and conduct guidelines for over 200 players and over 30 coaches in an effort to protect the children of our program and increase awareness. Her pragmatic approach, collaborative style and modern examples have elicited positive feedback from our coaches, players and parents. We feel strongly that our ongoing partnership with Barbara yields benefits to our parish, our program and our community that far outweigh the reasonable cost of her service."
Dave Benoit, Director of Player Safety for St. Mary's CYO Basketball in Franklin, MA
Barbara Brunelli is currently a Level IV Instructor Development Trainer for the Municipal Police Training Committee. She has been training our trainers in the new program for the past two years and is considered one of our top trainers. Her knowledge and delivery of instructor skills is phenomenal and the ease that she presents her training comes across in the evaluations from her student trainers who feel very comfortable in her classrooms. Her commitment to the program and all her students is evident every time she is in front of the classroom with her enthusiasm and her expertise. Barbara is always well prepared, a team player, open to new ideas, and a pleasure to work with.
Dori-Ann Ference-Instructor Development Coordinator Programs & Standards Municipal Police Training Committee
I have always said to both my children, that I think it is always a good thing to hear about safety issues, both with regards to keepimg their bodies safe,as well as how to make safe choices for themselves and those around them.But not just from us their parents but from other respected adults who care for them. Having them attend the presentations offered by Putting Children First provided perfect reinforcement to our family discussions.
Karen Depaolo- Parent and Former Assistant High School Principal
If I had to speak about Barbara Brunelli I would mention that she is a professional. She takes the time to research her topics and be up to date on every aspect. She is a nurturing instructor who truly not only cares about the topic that she teaches but the students she imparts knowledge to and guides. Barbara is always available to assist those in need, whether it is a fellow instructor or a student. For me it is an honor to be able to teach with Barbara. She makes the classroom a joy to walk into. It is her pride and professionalism that make her a true instructor.
Sgt. Frank Eldridge, Newton Police Dept.
Implementing Putting Children First in our Religious Education Program was the best decision we ever made! Mandated by the Archdiocese to provide the safety program "Protecting God's Children" to our students, our volunteer CCD teachers were uncomfortable discussingthe subject matter.For the last three years, Putting Children First has provided us with a comprehensive, age appropriate, professional curriculum that not only covers the material we are mandated to teach, but much,much more! It is highly interactive and informative. Our children thoroughly enjoy it and feedback from parents is very positive. I highly recommend this program!
Karen Ackles- Director of Religious Education, St. Mary Parish, Franklin, MA