Volume 2, Issue 10; December 2015
In This Issue:

I.      Save the Date!
II.     Volunteer Opportunity  
III.    Bright Spots
V.    Around the City
VI.   Research
VII.  Useful Tools
Save the Date:savedate
The Vital Village Network's 2015 Leadership Summit
Together for our Children's Tomorrow

Are you working in a challenging environment that requires flexibility, adaptation, leadership and collaboration? Are you working to promote childhood wellbeing through engagement with families, early childhood education, maternal and child health, or community advocacy? If so, The Vital Village Network's 2015 Leadership Summit is for you!

Day #1: December 8th from 10:30am-3pm
Intensive ½ Day Workshop on Adaptive Leadership for Equity
An intensive small-group workshop for those seeking to build capacity to lead during times of change. You will leave this workshop with several key tools and strategies to share with your partners and take your innovations from "growing pains" to success.
CLICK HERE to r egister for Day 1 of the Leadership Summit.

Day #2: December 9th from 8:30am - 4:30pm
Community Led Resilience: A New Agenda for Child Equity & Wellbeing
A full day summit with powerful presentations, workshops, panel discussions and breakout sessions led by our outstanding community partners. Learn essential skills to build collaboration and capacity, strengthen community resilience, and achieve greater impact in your work to promote health and wellbeing for children, families and communities. The summit will conclude with the launch of Vital Village's 90-Day Challenge. Keynote Presentation by Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Boston, Atiya Martin, PhD.
CLICK HERE to register for Day 2 of the Leadership Summit.

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Last Network Connection Meeting of the Year:

RSVP ahead of time by clicking on the date:  Monday, December 14th

When & Where: 6:00-8:00pm, FGH Building, Harrison  Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118
Childcare, dinner, and parking validation for the 710 Albany Garage will be provided.
Volunteer Opportunity:Volunteer
Father's Uplift Winter Fun Event Needs Volunteers
Our partner Father's Uplift is hosting a holiday event for the single fathers and families they support, and they need Network help!

They will need volunteers to: serve food, set up, cleanup, wrap toys, donations, help secure toys for children, and help with entertainment and activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Faimara to sign up!

When: Friday Dec. 18, 5:30-8:30pm
Where: 23 Vernon St, Roxbury, MA

Bright Spots:bright
"Neena has done amazing and important work in helping children 
who witness violence begin to address that trauma, feel safe, and trust adults again" - Matt Stone, Executive 
Director of Youth Villages MA

Child Witness to Violence Program Director Dr. Neena McConnico was honored last month with Massachusetts Youth Village's Women of Excellence Award. Nominated by Boston Medical Center, Neena has made incredible contributions to early intervention and advocacy for children traumatized by violence, giving a voice to those are otherwise dis-empowered. Congratulations, Neena!  Read the full article HERE !
Around the Network:network
Boston Public School Registrations 
& Information Sessions

High School Showcase:
Explore all your high school options under 1 roof.
When: Thursday, Dec. 3,  5:00-7:30pm
Where: BPS Central Office,  Bruce C. Bolling Building
Showcase in Our Schools:
All BPS early education, elementary, middle and K-8 schools will be open for tours and more on this special Saturday.
When: Saturday, Dec. 5,  9am-1pm
Where: At the schools!
School Preview Days:
All BPS schools, pre-kindergarten through high school, will schedule tours. Visit any of our Welcome Centers or check online for a schedule.
Registration Dates:
First registration period for kindergarten, grade 6 and grade 9: Jan. 4-29, 2016. First registration period for all other grades: Feb. 3 - March 18, 2016

Planning to register in January? Attend a BPS School Choice and Registration Information Session near you! Nineteen sessions will be held in November and December, all across Boston. Click here to check out the schedule!
"We Say We Care About Kids. Do We Mean it?"
- Blog Post by Renee Boynton-Jarrett
In this blog post, Renee takes a closer look at the discrepancy between how we claim to value our country's children, and how few resources we invest in providing them with early care and enrichment opportunities. Further, she sheds light on the impact of experiences on biology, needed policy changes, and her role in the new 5-part documentary series: The Raising of AmericaRead the full blog post here !

First Teacher Play Date
First Teacher is hosting a holiday themed play date the first Saturday of December! The activities will focus on building words and number sense with the kids, as they build gingerbread houses, cars, and more. Wear clothes that can get messy!

RSVP by email, or text (617)435-0042

When: Saturday Dec. 5, 11am-12:30pm
Where: First Teacher Office, 221 Blue Hill Ave.
Research on Trauma-Informed Group Well-Child Care
Vital Village Emerging Leader and Kraft Fellow in Community Health Leadership Lauren Graber, MD presented our research on trauma-informed group well-child care (GWCC) at the Family Medicine Education Consortium Annual Meeting and the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL in October. The qualitative results suggested that "trauma-informed GWCC supports the primary prevention of childhood adversity and toxic stress by creating connections between parents, helping families understand and identify toxic stress, and teaching reflective parenting and anger management skills that mitigate stressors."
Around the City: city
Let's Change Our Story
The Young Men's Action Group invites all young men of Boston Public Schools to join them for a day full of conversations, friendship and workshops as they create a long term plan for academic success, for all their brothers and sisters. Co-Hosted by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color and Sociedad Latina.

For more info,contact

When: Saturday, December 12th 10am-2pm
Where: BPS Central Office, Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St, Roxbury
The Nutcracker
Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre is offering three daytime performances of its professional production of *The Nutcracker* for school groups. These performances are a wonderful opportunity to introduce young people to the performing arts through an engaging, accessible, and fun production. Learn more.

When: December 16, 17 and 18. Performance Time: 10am
WhereThe Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Rd, Dorchester
Project STEP - FOCUS
The FOCUS program aims to introduce Kindergarten and K2 students from underrepresented communities to the study of music at an early age. The program provides high-quality beginning music instruction combined with demonstrations of many types of music and instruments. FOCUS II provides early instrumental training for children interested in playing classical stringed instruments.

For questions on Project Step or the FOCUS Program, call (617)267-5777 or email
Research: Research
Currently the United States is the only country in the world that has not adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child: a landmark treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. Countries that ratified have been bound to uphold the treaty's commitments, and the positive influence of their involvement is clear. On the other hand, the US has higher infant mortality rates, higher rates of children living in poverty, lower math scores, and fewer care-giving support for working parents. While ratifying the treaty is not an automatic fix to poor living conditions and lacking opportunities for children, the action serves to build a foundation for future critical policy changes. Read the full article here
Too ls:Tools
Did you know that Facebook and Twitter followers increased by 40% in the past year? Social media is growing rapidly, offering non-profits and other agencies an avenue to share updates and events, as well as to self-measure community engagement. Being that many of us have limited time and resources, we struggle to find time to handle social media. This makes it all the more important that we use sites like Facebook and Twitter effectively. Studies show that attaching a photo or video to a post, or prompting your audience with a question, are near surefire ways to increase your number of likes, comments, and shares. Click here  to learn more about how to use social media to better promote your organization! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page, where they give you 29 no-cost, simple strategies that you can implement today!
The Scoop on Stats:stats
staying up to date with data measurement!
Percentage of Families Whose Employment 
is Affected by Access to Childcare
Access to childcare, particularly for young children, is essential for working parents or caregivers. However, in the state of Massachusetts, 19% of families' employment is affected by access to childcare: the 3rd worst percentage across all states in the country (National Survey of Children's Health, 2011-2012). The high cost burden and lack of availability of childcare proves further oppressive for non-traditional families and racial minorities. Childcare access affects the employment of 22.4% of Hispanic or Latino families, and 23.6% of Black or African American families. These stark inequities, though upsetting, come at no surprise to some, seeing as the average cost of infant to 4-year-old childcare in Boston is over $29,000 yearly: 192% of the annual salary of a full-time worker paid minimum wage (Economic Policy Institute, 2015). Lack of access to high-quality early childhood care inhibits a child's long-term intellectual and socio-emotional development, presenting a particularly pressing health crisis for marginalized communities. What are your thoughts? What can we do as community agencies to help support our residents?

Read the recent Economic Policy Institute brief on childcare costs HERE.
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