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Archive for the ‘Family engagement’ Category

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Please spread the word: The Massachusetts Partnership for Infants and Toddlers (MPIT) is releasing its family survey.

The partnership wants to hear from families about what they need and want to support their infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.

As we’ve blogged, the partnership is a collaboration of organizations, facilitated by Strategies for Children, and we hope the family survey will “improve infants’ and toddlers’ access to high-quality programs and services and create more positive experiences that meet families’ needs and expectations.”

The English version of the survey is here.

And the Spanish version is posted here.

Please share the survey links, or, post a flyer about the survey in a location in your program where families will see it. They can scan the QR code with their smart phone to go directly to the survey. (more…)

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Click on this image for more of David Jacobson’s First 10 slides.

 

“This is a school that engages and supports families years before their children enter kindergarten. The principal introduces herself as the principal of a birth-through-fifth-grade school, and here’s how she sums up Sandoz’s mindset: ‘From the moment you walk in that door all the way through our fifth grade classroom, from our home visiting families of our youngest children in the neighborhood — they all learn here.’ ”

“Sandoz does this through home visiting of children ages zero to three, through parent-child interaction groups with young children and their families, and by connecting these families to health and social services.”

— David Jacobson, principal researcher and technical advisor at the Education Development Center and director of the First 10 initiative, speaking in a webinar sponsored by the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists, October 17, 2019

The webinar explores “the implications for state policy of the recent study, ‘All Children Learn and Thrive: Building First 10 Schools and Communities.’ This report looks at innovative schools and communities that combine alignment across early childhood and elementary education and care (children’s first 10 years) with family engagement and social services.”

The webinar also featured:

Laura Bornfreund, New America’s Director of Early and Elementary Education Policy, who moderated an expert panel that included:

Samantha Aigner-Treworgy, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Elliot Regenstein, Partner, Forsight Law and Policy Advisors, and

Brett Walker, P-3 Alignment Specialist, Early Learning Division, Oregon Department of Education

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Children in five cities are going to be exposed to a lot more words.

That’s because Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded these cities — Birmingham, Ala., Detroit, Mich., Hartford, Conn., Louisville, Ky., and Virginia Beach, Va. — a combined $12 million over three years to replicate Providence Talks.

Providence Talks – “the first-ever Grand Prize Winner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge,” according to a Bloomberg press release – is a language-rich early education initiative that equips children with recording devices that track the words children hear and use each day.

The initiative has had “promising results, helping thousands of young children increase their language development. Today, we’re glad to help five new cities adapt the program and work to achieve similar progress,” Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and the 108th Mayor of New York City, says in the press release. (more…)

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During the summer months, young children who are homeless benefit from high-quality pre-K programs.

“Universal pre-K has been a gift to many Boston families,” the Boston Herald reports. “But for homeless and poor families, the end of the school year can be a burden that poses a difficult hardship.”

Without summertime pre-K, these children may not have anywhere to go during the day.

Fortunately, the local nonprofit Horizons for Homeless Children offers summertime opportunities.

The Herald tells the story of how one young mother, Itzamarie Torres, and her two sons, have relied on Horizons, saying of Torres:

“The 23-year-old single mom was pregnant and living in a shelter with her toddler son. It was a scary time, but she soon found housing, got a job, moved into an apartment and is now earning her GED at Roxbury Community College.

“She’s grateful for Horizons for Homeless Children, a nonprofit that runs three year-round early education centers in Roxbury, Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, and the stability it gives to her sons, Ayden, 4, and Adrian, 2.

“ ‘It’s wonderful. As a single mom, it’s very helpful,’ said Torres, who is happy the center is open in the summer. ‘I wouldn’t be able to work or go to school or do the things that I am doing now to further myself because I wouldn’t have anybody to watch them.’ ” (more…)

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Sometimes helping children, means helping their parents.

That’s what Roca, Inc., does. A nonprofit organization founded in Chelsea in 1988, Roca disrupts “the cycle of incarceration and poverty.”

Its approach? Relentless outreach.

That used to include a home-visiting program. But in 2012, Roca decided to take a more intensive approach with young moms who, its website says, are “not ready, willing and able to participate in work, school and traditional parenting and home visiting programs.”

“They have a history of intergeneration trauma,” Sunindiya Bhalla says of these mothers. “They have high ACES,” adverse childhood experiences, “and their children have high ACES.” Bhalla is Roca’s chief of 2Gen Strategy & Programming.

The Moms and children that Roca helps may be dealing with violence, trauma, gang involvement, or drug and alcohol use. Some have dropped out of high school. Some have limited English skills or no work history. Often, Bhalla says, no one is teaching these mothers how to be parents. (more…)

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Sally Fuller

Contrary to what you may have heard, Sally Fuller has not completely retired.

Strategies for Children is excited to announce that Fuller, a long-time colleague and friend, has joined our board.

“I have such tremendous respect for what Strategies has done and continues to do,” Fuller told us recently.

As we’ve blogged before, Fuller worked for the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, where she started in 2005 as the project direct for Cherish Every Child, the foundation’s early childhood initiative.

“The Davis family cares deeply about education. That’s their overarching commitment,” Fuller explains. “They knew Margaret Blood,” the founder of Strategies for Children, “and they brought Margaret to Springfield to work with them.”

The Davis Foundation came to sum up its intentions in a single question, Fuller says: “How can we work together to put children at the center of the community’s agenda?”

“That’s how the Cherish Every Child initiative was started at the foundation, and they needed someone to work full time, so that’s why I went there.”

Fuller, the foundation, and community partners across Springfield worked on expanding early education opportunities and on ensuring that more of the city’s children could read proficiently by the third grade.

“We know from a childhood development standpoint how critical that was,” Fuller says of herself and John Davis (a senior director at the foundation), who had looked at the data and seen that only one third of Springfield’s children could read at grade level by the end of third grade. “We started to do this before it became fashionable. The National Campaign for Grade Level Reading started a year after we did. So, I can very honestly say that we were building the plane as we were flying it.” (more…)

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Why change an organization’s name?

To better share its impact.

That’s why the Parent-Child Home Program has changed its name to ParentChild+.

“People often focused on only one aspect of what we do, early literacy. But our staff, participating families, and program communities know we are so much more,” Sarah Walzer, CEO of ParentChild,+ says of the name change, which was made in April.

The bigger picture is that the organization “uses education to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families. We engage early in life and help toddlers, their parents, and their family child care providers access a path to possibility,” according to its website.

Walzer notes, “Our wonderful network of partners across the country and around the world have engaged with tens of thousands of children and families, working together to transform their lives.” (more…)

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