Youths Working on “Grinch” Project in DYS Gingerbread House Contest

With the help of a donation of surplus newspapers from The Republican newspaper in Springfield, youths from CHD’s Community Adolescent Treatment (CAT) program on Worthington Street are making a papier-mâché display based on The Grinch. When completed, this Seussian project will be entered into this month’s Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) Western Region gingerbread house contest.

“The kids picked the theme of The Grinch, so they’re working on building Whoville, with Mount Crumpit behind it, and everyone singing around the Christmas tree,” said CAT program director Theresa Murray. “They’re also making gingerbread houses that will surround this scene.”

Murray said CHD staff who have been instrumental in the project are Life and Career Coach Adam Brown, Clinical Director Jessica Jones, and Clinician Katie Sirois. Murray said the participants are extremely enthusiastic about the contest and want very much to win it. “They’re even utilizing a 3-D printer to create The Grinch and his dog,” she said.

Contest judging is on December 18, and submissions will be judged on originality, design, difficulty, youth involvement, and team effort.CAT helps young men aged 13 to 21 who are currently in DYS custody make a successful transition back to their family homes. They are provided with comprehensive services, including life skills groups, individual and family therapy, and pre-employment training. Once they return to the community, CAT links them and their families with various community supports and services.