Archive for the ‘Facilities’ Category

Photo: Micaela Bedell For Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell For Strategies for Children

Early childhood is getting new attention from the 4th Annual Healthy People/Healthy Economy Report Card.

“The annual report card examines progress in 12 issue areas that can be linked to improvements in public health,” according to a news release from the Boston Foundation, a member of the Healthy People/Healthy Economy Coalition, which released the report.

“Research continues to show that high quality early childhood care and education not only prepare children for success in school, they create a foundation for good health over the course of a lifetime,” the report says, adding, “Children who receive good care and education in their preschool years gain as much as a full year of development and educational growth compared to children entering school without the benefit of early services.”

“Expanding early childhood education has been a key piece of education discussions this year, but we know its impact isn’t limited to academics,” Paul Grogan, president and CEO of the Boston Foundation, said in the news release. Grogan is also co-chair of the Healthy People/Healthy Economy Coalition. (more…)

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Photo: Courtesy of the City of Boston

Photo: Courtesy of the City of Boston

Here’s an exciting birth announcement from The City of Boston, the Boston Housing Authority, and Nurtury (formerly known as Associated Early Care and Education):

It’s a brand new building!

The Nurtury Learning Lab at Bromley-Heath

Serving children ages 0 to 8

20,000 square feet of classroom space

14,000 square feet of outdoor learning and play areas

LEED Gold Certification

Click here for the Facebook Pictures!

The new building had its ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. And Boston Mayor Marty Walsh helped out with the ceremonial scissors.

“The Nurtury Learning Lab, located at the Boston Housing Authority’s (BHA) Bromley-Heath public housing development in Jamaica Plain, will anchor a campus of services for children and families,” according to a press release. The building “integrates early education, family and community learning opportunities and support, and professional development activities for early educators throughout Boston and eastern Massachusetts.” (more…)

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The Boston Strong Tower. Photo: Courtesy of the Boston Public Schools.

The Boston Strong Tower. Photo: Courtesy of the Boston Public Schools.

“Dear Boston Public School Kindergarteners,” Mayor Marty Walsh wrote in a letter last February. Walsh introduced himself and added that as some of Boston’s “youngest and most important residents” the children had the right to share their opinions about the city.

Walsh went on to ask this question: “What suggestions do you have about construction in our city to make Boston a fairer and more interesting place for children?”

It’s easy to focus on how cute this request is, but at the heart of this letter is a meaningful invitation for children to be engaged young citizens.

“This is a big question so take your time in answering it. Talk to your classmates, your teachers, and your family. Do research to get ideas. Write your ideas and please make a model to help me understand your ideas better,” the mayor wrote, encouraging kindergarteners to engage in civic discussions. (more…)

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Photo: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

Photo: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

More than 200 people came to the Boston Children’s Museum last Thursday night to attend “Conversation with the Boston Mayoral Candidates – Early Childhood and Education: Closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps.”  Strategies for Children, Boston Children’s Museum, Thrive in 5 and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley cosponsored the event along with 31 other organizations.

Both candidates – City Councilor John Connolly and State Representative Marty Walsh — participated, each on stage separately. Candidates answered questions posed by the night’s moderator, WBZ political reporter Jon Keller, and from the audience, which included early educators, providers, pediatricians, college students, professors of higher education, teachers, advocates, and citizens.

As Carolyn Lyons, the president and CEO of Strategies for Children, explained to the audience in her introduction, the forum builds on the momentum that has been fueled by early education proposals from Governor Deval Patrick and other governors,  the Massachusetts legislature and President Obama’s bold proposal to expand preschool programs nationally.

The candidates were asked to come prepared to articulate their vision for Boston’s children and families and discuss what they would do for children and families should they become mayor. They responded by (more…)

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Mayor Logo

This Thursday, October 24, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., the Boston Children’s Museum hosts a Conversation with the Boston Mayoral Candidates. Jon Keller, WBZ-TV News’ Political Analyst will moderate the conversation.

To retain Boston’s status as an economic leader and hub of innovation in the years ahead, the next Mayor must improve educational outcomes for the city’s children. The achievement gap is evident long before children enter school, and we will not succeed in closing it unless we target resources to improve early learning and healthy child development.

Join us for a conversation with the two candidates running for Mayor and hear more about their vision for children and families in Boston.

This event is sponsored by: Boston Children’s Museum, Strategies for Children, Thrive in 5, and United Way of MA Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Co-sponsors to date include:  ABCD ● Associated Early Care and Education ● BOSTnet  ● Boston After School and Beyond ● Boston Association for the Education of Young Children ● Boston Children’s Hospital  ● Boston Opportunity Agenda ● Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester ● Catholic Charities of Boston  ● Cradles to Crayons ● The Children’s Trust ● Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative ● Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, Inc ● Families First Parenting Programs ● Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts   ● Family Service of Greater Boston ● Friends of the Children – Boston ● Generations Incorporated ● Horizons for Homeless Children ● Jumpstart ● MA Afterschool Partnership ● MA Association for Early Education and Care ● Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ● MA Kids Count ● MA Head Start Association ● Raising A Reader MA ● Reach Out and Read ● Room to Grow ● United South End Settlements ● Wheelock College

For more information, please contact tdosremedios@strategiesforchildren.org

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Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

The Children’s Investment Fund has been shepherding proposed legislation through the State House that would create bond funding to build or improve early childhood education (ECE) and out-of-school time (OST) spaces.

“The MA Legislature recently passed a bill authorizing bond financing for capital improvements,” the Fund said in a recent email. This is money that will go to nonprofit early childhood and afterschool centers. “While we continue working with a coalition of supporters to get the bill through the conference committee, signed and eventually funded, we want to help get projects ready for funding.”

A substantial need

As the Fund says on its website, “space matters: there is substantial research on the importance of the physical environment on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.”

The need is considerable, as the Fund found in a survey of ECE and OST programs located across the state. A report of this work – “Building an Infrastructure for Quality: An Inventory of Early Childhood Education and Out-of-School Time Facilities in Massachusetts” — sheds light on a host of problems, including ceiling holes, poor air quality, inadequate heating and cooling systems, and inadequate play spaces. An executive summary is available here. To download the full report register here.

We wrote about the Fund’s efforts last year and again this summer in June. (more…)

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Photo: Strategies for Children

Last month, Wheelock College hosted 150 people at the 8th Annual Community Dialogue on Early Education and Care. The theme was, “Raising Our Voices: The Power of Advocacy – The Time for Action is Now!”

Throughout the day, participants asked a common question: How can we get better at telling our story? Good answers came from elected officials, advocates and child care providers.

Advice from Elected Officials

During the morning session a panel of elected officials offered a range of advice for reaching out to government.

“We need people like you to come to the State House,” State Senator Sal N. DiDomenico (D – Everett), said in the conference’s first session.  “A lot of what I do in the State House is a reflection of what you tell me.”

One of the first lessons that Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley learned was “not to be self righteous.” She also called on advocates to tell the moral story about early childhood education and the economic story.

Don’t underestimate the power of aides, Pressley and DiDomenico added.  Talking to elected officials’ staff members and policy directors can have a powerful impact.

“If you’re a little intimidated,” to talk to legislators said State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke), “Find someone who is not.” And he added, “Invite us to your events.” (more…)

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