The River Center Mission
Strengthening individuals and families through parenting support and economic opportunity programs throughout the towns of the Eastern Monadnock Region.
The River Center Operating Principles
- Provides community access and offers a service to the community of the greater Contoocook Valley region.
- Adheres to a standard of care for how people will be treated when they visit, which includes welcoming all with respect and incorporating The River Center mission and goals outlined here.
- The River Center is a place for people of all ages and abilities. We help people to improve their lives by connecting them to local services and opportunities. We also encourage people to create new ways to support each other.
The River Center belongs to all of us. Representatives of organizations that are located at the Center and in surrounding towns are working together to provide information and services that are meaningful to community members of the Contoocook Valley.
Building on the New Hampshire tradition of neighbors helping neighbors.
Serving the following 14 Eastern Monadnock towns: Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Jaffrey, Mason, New Ipswich, Peterborough, Rindge, Sharon, and Temple.
The River Center Standard of Care
- We respect every individual who comes through our doors.
- We respect each individual’s right to privacy, choice and the ability to make their own decisions.
- We are truthful, conscientious, and considerate. We are aware of how our actions may impact others.
- Each River Center partner is an ambassador for The River Center. The community members who come here are our highest priority.
- We accept people for who they are and we do not discriminate on any basis.
The River Center Goals
Sustain and strengthen our community safety net.
Improve the economic outlook and well-being of community members.
Provide local support and advocacy opportunities to increase the self-sufficiency of individuals who experience a developmental disability, and their families.
Reduce child abuse and neglect, and increase positive family outcomes by providing support and education to parents of young children.
Promote citizen engagement in solutions to gaps in social services particularly in the areas of shelter, food, money management, and social isolation.
Board of Trustees
- Tom Weber - Chair, Peterborough, NH
- Frank Sterling - Vice Chair, Jaffrey, NH
- Tina Kriebel - Secretary, Peterborough, NH
Tina Kriebel is a resident of Peterborough with her husband Greg and 2 middle school-aged sons. She is a member of the Children and the Arts Committee, a member of the 1833 Society and is active in her children's schools. She enjoys crafts, hiking and traveling. She has been supporting The River Center since 2006, most recently serving as Board Secretary and grant-writing. "I think The River Center is an amazing asset to our community. It is based on the essential idea that as a local community we address local issues. I have found that my relationships with my children are stronger because of the work and reflection I have done in my parenting class at The River Center."
Kevin McElhinney, Treasurer, Brattleboro, VT
Kevin McElhinney has been the manager of the Lake Sunapee Bank branch in Peterborough since August of 2008. He is also a director of the Windy Row Learning Center, a Trustee of Monadnock Music and a member of the Monadnock Rotary Club. He teaches Sunday School in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he lives with his wife and their two teenage sons. In his spare time he reads, writes and plays baseball for the Brattleboro River Rats of the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League. As a banker, a parent and a former owner of a resume writing business, Kevin knows how vital the work of the River Center is to the people of the Monadnock Region.
- Patricia Martin - Rindge, NH
Pat is an active member of the Rindge Community. She serves as Chair for the Rindge Energy Commission, Assistant Treasurer for the Rindge Woman's Club, Secretary for Monadnock Energy Resource Initiative, and is a member of the Rindge Veterans Association and Advocates Building Lasting Equality New Hampshire (ABLE NH). Pat served in the US Air Force and the New Hampshire Air National Guard before graduating from UNH with a degree in Electrical Engineering. In mid-life she went back to school to study nursing at Saint Joseph's Hospital, graduating with an LPN. Pat began working as a nurse in Brain Injury at Crotched Mountain in Greenfield, but soon had the opportunity to marry her engineering experience with nursing by working in Assistive Technology. Pat is a self described "nerd" and enjoys studying technology and applying it to provide opportunities and resources that enrich our lives and make them more sustainable. Pat hopes to find avenues for helping people of all economic backgrounds reduce their energy bills via education and hands-on workshops through her work as a Board Member at The River Center. She also hopes to help The River Center build stronger connections with people in Rindge, people with disabilities, and with veterans and service members.
The River Center has roots dating back to the early 1990’s when The Parent Guidance Center and Families and Communities Together began to provide parenting and family support programs in the Eastern Monadnock Region. These two pioneering organizations merged in 2002 to form The Family Center of Greater Peterborough. The parenting and family support programs and services begun by these organizations continue at The River Center today. One principal founder and three senior staff members also continue to provide programming and board support in the new organization.
In 2002, the community supported a capital campaign to purchase 44 and 46 Concord Street in Peterborough, current home of The River Center and the local offices of other nonprofit organizations, including Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention, Southern New Hampshire Services (providing local fuel assistance), and MAPS Counseling Services The River Center has been an incubator for charitable programs and collaborations ever since.
In 2004, The River Center began its economic opportunities programs with financing from a six-year federal grant of an on-site partner, the Under One Roof project. This project asked local welfare officers and other community leaders what serious community needs remained unmet. This group identified three primary areas of need for assistance for local citizens of limited means or those experiencing a disability: to connect with local services in times of need (and before reaching a crisis), to find employment, and to manage their personal finances effectively. As a result, the Assisted Information and Referral program has been staffed by a specialist since 2005; the Money Matters program offering budgeting, money coaching and tax preparation has operated since 2007 (with the notable support of a dedicated volunteer network); and the Employment Resource Center, begun in 2008, recently became a vendor for the New Hampshire Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
The River Center brought together established, complimentary family support and economic opportunity programs tto provide comprehensive services to assist families and individuals of all economic means and abilities in the Eastern Monadnock region. The Center provides opportunities that assist people to overcome their challenges, to be great parents, and to take good care of themselves, their families and their community.
On January 20, 2010, the governing boards of two local charitable organizations, The Family Center of Greater Peterborough and The River Center, voted to merge into one organization to more effectively and efficiently deliver family support and economic opportunity programs and services to families and individuals of all abilities in the 14 towns of the Eastern Monadnock region. The merger was completed March 1st, 2010, with the help of legal and accounting services funded by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.