Village Voices 
Network members' voices are heard bringing good news and sharing highlights from around our community.


April Network Connection Meeting Highlight:

April's meeting focused on creating sustainable ways to strengthen the support networks within our families and communities. Attendees participated in a discussion that highlighted the importance of community supports, male engagement, and advocating for systems change.  A big thank  you to our co-hosts: BMC Birth Sisters , Boston Breastfeeding Coalition , and 365 Dad .

At this month's meeting, we celebrate May as mental health month by focusing on child and family mental health awareness. RSVP or join us by clicking on some of the relevant resources, events, and information below!  

Boston Breastfeeding Coalition Team Awarded Community Connections  Award at MIT Hack-a-thon April 27-29:
After participating in the Make the Breast Pump not Suck Hack-a-thon, Boston Breastfeeding Coalition Members, Waetie Sanaa Cooper Burnette, Dominique Bellegarde, and Jenny Weaver, were awarded the Community Connections award from Ameda, a breast pump company, for seeking to foster community and support around breastfeeding including one-to-one and one-to-many support, as well as fostering connections in the breastfeeding community from providers to parents.

Throughout the weekend, the Coalition team along with industry experts, parents, professionals, and change-makers from around the country, collaboratively developed a vision for Black Breastfeeding Week events this August and creating clear pathways for women of color in Boston to become professional lactation consultants. See photos from the weekend and read more on our Facebook page. Look out for upcoming opportunities to get involved! 

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

Celebrate Mental Health Month: 10 Days for Child and Family Wellness
You are invited to celebrate  National Mental Health Month by attending events or following along on social media for  mental health resources, wellness activities and opportunities for civic engagement. See updates at, s hare our information, or post your own with our hashtag!  #4mind4bodyBOS

May 14th: Let's Talk About Mental Health
@ Boston Medical Center, 72 E. Concord Building
Vital Village Network Connection Meeting highlighting how Vital Village members are advocating  and promoting mental health and wellness for Boston communities

5:00pm-8pm @ Bruce Bolling Building, 2300 Washington Street
Join the Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network in partnership with Vital Village and Boston Public Schools (BPS) will co-host an interactive mind body and soul expo offering activities and meaningful discussions for educators, providers, youth, parents, and families to unpack the impact of trauma.  If you are interested in volunteering, leading a wellness activity or tabling to showcase your services on May 17th please complete this form and Julia Meija will follow up with you.

Community Events
Join Vital Village Network partners and other community organizations at these upcoming events that celebrate National Mental Health Month

6:30pm-11:30pm @1276 Main Street, West Concord, MA 01742
This experiential workshop will explore integrating mindfulness into our w ork as  educators, playful and engagi ng mindfulness practices with our students and  colleagues.

2:00pm-5:00pm @445 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301 
Whats on your mind Inc. invites you to discuss mental health and get connec ted  to resources in a fun and safe environment.

May 19: NAMI W alks
9:00am-1:00pm @Artesani Park, Boston, MA 02135
Join the National Alliance on Metal I llness for their  largest
f undraiser of the year. The money raised helps NAMI Mass provide educational programs, support grou ps, grassroots advocacy, and the NAMI Mass Compass, our resource helpline. With your help, all of these programs are offered free of charge to participants.

May 21:This Is My Brave Boston
7:00-9:00pm @The Dane Estate at Pine Manor College,400 Heath St, Boston, MA 02135 
We're all affected by mental health issues. It's time to shine a light on a subject we don't no
rmally talk about, but should! Join This Is My Brave and help change the conversation.

12-4pm @ Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
How do you identify emotions? How do you calm down when you are upset? Families and children are invited to learn about how one can develop positive social-emotional skills and coping skills!
Check out job, volunteer, and learning opportunities available in our community.

Nominate a Champion for CPLANs June Award Night. Nominations close May 4th!   
Join CPLAN as they recognize and celebrate individuals who share the goal of disrupting the status quo in education to provide every child with a well rounded, high quality educational experience. 

Playworks AmeriCorps Coaching Position (Service Position)Playworks AmeriCorps members create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills by organizing games during and after school.

Education and Career Advisor (Paid Position) at ABCD
ABCD is hiring an Education and Career adviser. Provide one-on-one advising to students to help them overcome the linguistic and educational barriers that stand in their way of skills development, job promotions, or further education. 

Managing Director (Paid Position) at  Boston School Finder
The Managing Director will help to manage the development of Boston School Finder, focused on web applications, operations, and long-term viability a nd strategy. To apply, please send  resume and cover letter  to  with "Managing Director" as subject line. 
Resource Connector
Learn more about resources relevant to children and families in our community from our community. 
The early intervention program is designed to enable parents and other caregivers to realistically assess the child's developmental needs, incorporate educational and therapeutic strategies into daily routines and utilize available community resources.
Fathers Uplift and 365 Dad share a mission of ensuring fathers arou nd our  community are equip with the best parenting knowledge. This program meets every Wednesday from 6:00pm-8:30pm at   230 Center street in Dorchester.

Navigating the mental healthcare system can be complicated- NAMI Compass can help individuals and families affected by mental health issues find their way to the appropriate resources. 

The Power of Parenting is Families First's most comprehensive program ever-offering free interactive, skills-based parenting education and support over sixteen weeks. Learn about stages of development, discipline strategies, and feeling more positive and confident as a parent. 

Scoop on the Stats
Explore data related to child and family well-being in our community.
School-based mental health research by Cook et al. (2015), published on School Psychology Quarterly, reinforced that Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) were both able to improve student's overall mental health. In addition, their intervention on 4th and 5th grade elementary school children, suggested that a blended approach, by integrating both programs, would introduce additive effects on mental health outcomes. Their study implicated the importance of more complicated and comprehensive universal prevention strategies that school should employ.  

Mayor Martin Walsh has recently acted in support of these findings, redirecting 24 million dollars to behavioral supports in Boston schools. Check out the  full article!