Village Voices 
Network members' voices bring good news and share highlights from around our community.   

Innovations and Inspirations Night Highlight:
We hosted a special celebration where Vital Village Network Innovators shared their work to improve child wellbeing and reduce inequities. A huge thank you to our expos and speakers!

Dads + Advocacy = #Dadvocacy!
In June, the Boston Breastfeeding Coalition sparked the #Dadvocacy campaign to celebrate Father's Day and emphasize the importance of fathers supporting mothers during breastfeeding. Follow  the Facebook Page and use this Toolkit to share social media posts, resources, and community events for dads.

Congratulations, Yusuf!
Let's raise the roof for Yusuf Ali who was selected as Mattapan Square Main Streets' Volunteer of the Year award by the City of Boston. He was honored for his outstanding civic engagement by Mayor Marty Walsh on June 27, 2018 at the Main Trolley Awards.

Vital Village Network Survey! #TheVillageSays
Every other year Vital Village surveys our members to find out if we are reaching our goals as a Network. This valuable feedback from network members will guide our work in the coming years. Let us know how we're doing by completing the survey.  Unique survey links were sent to local network members on June 29.
Questions? Contact Erica Pike at or 617-414-3674.

Network Events
Connect with Vital Village Network at these upcoming events. Click event to RSVP or learn more.

National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week is on the horizon! Join and mobilize around the following events by the Boston Breastfeeding Coalition and Breast Powered. More details to come.
6:00-8:00pm @ BU School of Medicine, 72 E. Concord St.
Reconnect and celebrate the start of a new school year with the Vital Village Network. More details to come.

8:00-4:00pm @ The Kroc Corps Community Center (Salvation Army), 650 Dudley St.
Vital Village Network is excited to offer the Fifth Annual Leadership Summit. Reserve your spot todayMore information coming soon!

Community Events
Join Vital Village Network partners and other community organizations at these upcoming events. Click event to RSVP or learn more.
1:00-4:00pm @ Bruce C. Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St.
In honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the NAMI Dorchester/Mattapan/Roxbury affiliates host this community awareness event intended to provide opportunities for dialogue about the importance of mental health and self-care.

July 14: Mattapan Farmer's Market Opening Day!
10:00-1:00pm @ City Municipal Parking Lot #14, Corner of Cummins Highway and Fairway St.
Come out opening day for music, fresh food, and activities for all ages! WIC will be there for distributing WIC coupons that can be used all season at the Market. This is a Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition initiative.

10:00-3:00pm @ shared with selected attendees
Join the Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN) for a full day of interactive training for parents, professionals, providers, and educators to explore & co-design innovative family engagement practices. Spaces are limited.

2:30-4:30pm @ 1240 Massachusetts Ave.
CAN is a group of community residents, representatives from community-based organizations, healthcare, government, and other groups that are working together to reduce racial inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes in Boston through policy and community level changes.

August 3: BAYCSEW Meeting
12:00-1:30pm @ BPL Roslindale Branch, 4246 Washington St.
Join this open meeting for those who care for, serve, and support children ages 0-8. Boston Alliance for Young Children's Social Emotional Wellness (BAYCSEW) creates a collaborative space to bring together early childhood champions, both family members and professionals.
Check out job, volunteer, and grant opportunities available in our community.

Families First is a vibrant place to work that prides themselves in offering a multitude of exciting development opportunities for each member of their team. Their diverse and skilled staff members find a great deal of meaning and fulfillment in their work, and many have been with the organization for years-or even decades.

Are you interested in supporting students in your community? You can help by volunteering to become a Special Education Surrogate Parent (SESP) for a student in state care that requires special education supports and whose parents are unknown or unavailable. These children depend on SESPs to protect their legal right to a free and appropriate education. Visit the RTSC website to view the July orientation training schedule.

Apply for this grant to knock down barriers with KaBOOM! and create a playground for kids in your community this September in Boston.  If your organization or larger community is in need of a new playground, please email to learn more or apply!
Advocacy and Civic Engagement
Learn more about relevant child and family related topics in our community and how to take action.

Awareness: Family Separation on the United States Southern Border
  • What happened? The U.S. administration announced a "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration.
  • What does that mean? Every adult that illegally crosses the US-Mexico border will be prosecuted and jailed. In the past, the government has often made exceptions for people traveling with children. This new policy changes that, and separates adults from children once they cross the border illegally.
  • Why does this matter? The relationship with a parent or primary caregiver is critical to a child's sense of self, safety, and trust. Children may develop post-traumatic responses when separated from their caregiver. 
  • What is the latest update? At the end of June, an executive order was signed to end separation of families. This shows that the public and political pressure has worked. However there is more work to be done to prevent further trauma from separations and ensure family reunification.

Action Opportunities:
Resource Connector
Learn more about resources relevant to children and families in our community from our community.

Summer Resources for Children and Families
There are many free or low-cost programs around Boston that will prepare students for their upcoming school year. Check out these resources filled with free or low-cost programs:  Summer Resources and Activities Partner BPS, and  2018 BPS Summer Opportunities.

Immigration, Separation, and Childhood Trauma
Scoop on the Stats
Explore data related to child and family well-being.

The Vital Village Data Dashboard has mapped summer programs and activities for kids aged 0-6 years and kids 6+ on the Community Resources Map. Most of the mapped opportunities are free or low-cost!