- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)48
- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says copsí good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
Other than the sign on North Sprigg Street, most people don't know much about Cottonwood Children's Residential Treatment Center or what it does. Recently, the center celebrated receiving accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Martha Cassel, the facility's administrator, described the recognition as the "gold standard."
The center's young residents are there because of their mental-health issues and behavioral problems. Their parents know what the center does, how it provides structure and guidance and learning. At the center, children who would otherwise be unable to cope in normal school settings have opportunities to learn and ask questions and develop skills.
One guest speaker who spent a couple of hours with the youngsters and Cottonwood staff members described the experience as "one of the most amazing two hours I've ever had with children." The students were bright, inquisitive and, thanks to careful coaching, well-mannered and orderly.
Staff members at Cottonwood know what the center does. They are dedicated to helping troubled youngsters overcome their difficulties. It takes special people to cope with these youths, and Cottonwood staff members do it with the right mix of grace and firmness.
What makes the new accreditation extra-special is the fact that just a couple of short years ago the center was about to be closed due to lack of state funding. But the staff, parents and local legislators rallied on Cottonwood's behalf to keep it open.
For the 32 children who benefit from Cottonwood, having the facility is good. Having an accredited facility is even better. Congratulations to everyone who made it possible.