Village Voices
Network members' voices bring good news and share highlights from
around our community. 
“Just remember the world is not a playground but a classroom. Life is not a holiday but an education. One eternal lesson for us all: to teach us how better we should love.” - Barbara Jordan, former US Representative and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Village Voices
On Monday April 11th, our co-hosted monthly Network Connection Meeting with Union of Minority Neighborhoods, the YMCA of Greater Boston, and Vital Village Networks was Pathways to Advocacy - Continuing the Conversation from Black Advocacy Day. Together, we discussed what practicing systemic advocacy looks like, as well as needed resources and action steps to further the conversation and priorities around collective advocacy in our communities and Black families.

Additionally, Kristin McSwain, Senior Advisor to Mayor Michelle Wu and Director of the Office of Early Childhood joined our Network Meet-up lead by Vital Village Network Community Champion and Village Strategist of Boston leader Marisa Luse, to explore the city's goal of "Creating a one-stop shop for enrollment and access to early education and childcare programs by building an accessible, multilingual portal".

Thank you to our co-hosts, partners, and community resident leaders who co-created a powerful space together and uplifted opportunities for civic engagement across Boston!
This year marks the 5th Annual May Mental Health Awareness Campaign with the Vital Village Networks! Community leaders and network partners have been paving the way for local innovations and collaborations that uplift mental health across the network and throughout our neighborhoods since 2018.

The Mental Health Committee invites you to vote on this year’s theme, join the next planning meeting, and/or share mental health related events and resources that you want the Village to uplift during May!
April Awareness: Autism, Child Abuse Prevention, and National Fair Housing
Autism Awareness
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition which varies for each individual and exists on a wide spectrum of severity. Medical literature states that about 47% of adults and 45% percent of children with autism have gastrointestinal symptoms, which is only one of many comorbidities, which can include insomnia, hearing and vision issues, and seizures. Children and adults with autism require different degrees of care and support depending on each individual. Check out resources for support children and adults who live with autism.
Child Abuse Prevention
Childhood abuse can take many forms and often constitutes Adverse Childhood Experiences that can severely impact not only the child, but the entire family and future generations.

However, Positive Childhood Experiences also have a profound effect on children's lives. Not only do they create more stable and close-knit families, but children are set up to succeed from the beginning and any long-term harm from previous ACEs may be prevented. Check out tips for creating nurturing positive experiences.
Fair Housing
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 is designed to prevent housing discrimination. What does that look like and what does housing discrimination include?

No one can be discriminated against due to: race, national origin, sexual orientation or gender, marital status, disability, family status (pregnancy, for example), religion

And this is to name a few! To find out more about your rights as a resident or your duties as a landlord, click the button below. If you're interested in the history of fair housing rights, you can click to see this flyer!
Network Events
Connect with Vital Village Network at these upcoming events. Click
event to RSVP or learn more.
May 9th, 5:30-7:30pm
Please register and save the date for our next Network Connection Meeting focused on Mental Health. Efforts will be co-hosted by the Mental Health Committee. Stay tuned for more details and read more about the committee's mission below.

The Mental Health Committee is community-led and aims to be diverse in ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds as well as in education, age, and experience. We bring our strengths together to actively listen to, learn from, engage with, and transform our community to destigmatize mental illness and promote positive mental health and well-being. Through providing opportunities to belong, access to resources, and education, we will help to create a beloved, safe, and resilient community.
Vital Village Networks is now recruiting AmeriCorps Vista Members!

The AmeriCorps VISTA service member would serve as one of three Community Mobilization Coordinators and partner with community stakeholders from schools, health centers, social service, legal advocacy, and community-based organizations.
StreedCred is also recruiting AmeriCorps Vista Members!
Our Partners at StreetCred are in search of an Americorps VISTA member to design, scale our program and create a plan for sustainability! Read more about the role here and apply below.
Community Events
Join Vital Village Network partners and other community organizations at these upcoming events. Click event to RSVP or learn more.
April 18th-22nd, 2022
Highland Street Foundation is pleased to partner with the following organizations to provide free opportunities during April school vacation week. Please note that some of these activities require advance registration on a first-come, first-served basis and have limited capacity. Please visit individual websites to view COVID protocols. If you need additional information or have questions, please email Brian McNulty. See flyer for more details.
Children's Mental Health Campaign
In order to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to mental health services for children and families, Massachusetts policy makers requested a report highlighting family and youth voices and experiences with accessing mental health services in the Massachusetts Communities most impacted by the pandemic. The Children's Mental Health Campaign will be holding a series of Listening Sessions to gather YOUTH and PARENT voices and experiences with accessing mental health services in the MA communities most impacted by the pandemic. Click HERE to learn more about this amazing opportunity to be heard!
Thursday, April 21st
12:00- 4:00PM EST
The Peer Leadership Institute is happy to kick off our 1st annual Health Summit! We are excited to announce that our Voice of the Youth Health Summit will be held in person on April 21st 12pm-4pm. Register Here.

This event is an opportunity to provide a space for teens to share their voice and enhance their skills around decision making, boundaries, substance use, and risky behaviors.

This is a great opportunity for youth to be engaged during April Vacation week!
July 5th, 2022 - August 12th, 2022
10am - 4pm throughout the week
Youth will be signing-up to participate in a 6-week Summer program. Each Youth that is hired will be scheduled to work from 10am-4pm from Monday-Friday, for a total of 25 hours per week. Youth earn $14.25 per hour and are paid every two weeks throughout their employment experience. 

Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 18, BPS students, available to work during the dates and times above, and must be legally permitted to work in the United States.

Apply here! Applications are still being accepted.
July 11, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Times vary day-by-day
The Everyday AI workshop will be a free, immersive 2-week, virtual program, led by MIT and STEAM Ahead Facilitators. The workshop will feature hands-on and computer-based activities on a variety of AI concepts. Students will experience using machine learning to make predictions, investigate bias in machine learning applications, use generative adversarial networks to create novel works of art, and learn how to recognize the AI we interact with daily and in the world around us. Learn more and apply here!
The Adult Education Program at MJE includes: Workforce Readiness workshops and career coaching; Health Equity & Community Wellness workshops, wellness coaching and resources, and referrals to community services. The point of contact is Vanessa Cordero and the application is available here.
Boston Public Library Events for Children and Adults

Tuesday, April 19
2:00 - 3:30pm EST
If you are called upon to care for a loved one, practically the first thing you will hear is “make sure to take care of yourself.” Practical “how-to’s” are rarely part of this kindhearted advice. Join Katie McInnis-Dittrich, social worker, educator, and author, for a discussion of what caring for yourself really means, including how to find concrete ways to balance the demands of caregiving with your needs for self-care, so self-care doesn’t become just another burden. She will also outline how friends and community organizations can offer meaningful help and support.

Times and dates vary, check calendar for more details.
If you are interested in yoga, you are in luck! The Boston Public Library is hosting a variety of yoga events on different dates and different times, so you are likely to find a time that fits any schedule. These sessions are in person at Adams St, Fields Corner, & West End. Check out their official calendar for more details.

Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 20
10:30 - 11:30am, 12:30 - 1:30pm, 2:30 - 3:30pm, 3:00 - 4:00pm
Come to any of SIX different branch libraries during April vacation week to sing along in English and Spanish with the Latin Grammy-winning music duo 123 Andrés! The catchy songs in this lively, immersive outdoor concert will get the whole family dancing and learning together. Check out this calendar for more details on registration, location, and time.

Earth Day Puppet Making Workshop
Friday, April 22
10:30 - 11:30am
In honor of Earth Day and School Vacation Week BPL are excited to welcome Charlotte Dore of Rosalita's Puppets at Uphams Corner. She will be leading an amazing puppet making workshop. BPL will supply the materials and you will bring your imagination to create some wonderful puppets. Learn more here!
Check out more community events on our Website and Facebook.

Check out job, volunteer, and grant opportunities available in our
Free Wi-Fi Routers Available from the Boston Public Library

The Office of Housing Stability is partnering with the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Boston Public Library (BPL) to provide residents who need internet service with a free wi-fi router.

The wi-fi routers can be used to connect to the internet using a cell phone without using data, or with laptops or tablets. BPL will also be able to provide free Chromebooks when funding is allocated.

To sign up, you will need to follow the instructions below:
  • You will need an active and accessible email account. If you do not have an email account, you can sign up for a free Gmail account at
  • You will need a Boston Public Library card number. If you do not have a BPL card/number, you may sign up for an e-card at
  • Once you have your email and library card, go to to complete the request for a router and/or Chromebook.
  • Pick up your router at the Office of Housing Stability, located at 43 Hawkins Street. Call (617) 635-0328 or email for more information.
If you do not have access to a device to complete the above steps, you may use a computer at a Boston Public Library.

The routers will have free connectivity at least until the end of June 2023 and are anticipated for longer. Act quickly! These devices are limited in number!

After receiving devices, sign up for free computer and technology classes at or call (617) 859-2323.
The Family Mobility Program Coordinator will be primarily responsible for coordinating and supporting Family Mobility initiatives that move families towards economic independence (i.e., Job Readiness Workshops, parenting supports, coaching). This role requires a high level of autonomy, great attention to detail, and comfort with providing 1:1 support to parents and families in our community. Please reach out to Ella Zimbalist with any questions! 

This position will bring the voice of those with lived child welfare experience into program planning and implementation to improve outcomes for the children and families engaged in the Safe Babies Court TeamTM (SBCT) approach. Parent Leaders will engage in up to 10 hours per week of consulting and will be compensated at $35/hour. If you are a parent with lived-experience in child welfare and are interested in being a parent leader, please complete this Interest Form.

The Domestic Violence (DV) Advocate provides a range of domestic violence victim services to both patients and employees of Boston Medical Center, as well as consultation with those working to support victims and survivors of abuse. The Advocate participates in multi-disciplinary, cross-departmental case reviews, training, and other institutional initiatives to improve the health care and employer response to domestic violence. See more here.

Under the guidance of the Program Manager and the support of the Community Engagement and Communications Director, this position works to improve equitable access to nutritious food with respect to affordability, physical accessibility, educational awareness, and cultural appropriateness. The Project Coordinator will provide training, communications, and support the Program Manager with outreach materials and outreach plan development. See more here!

The Employee Family Support Manager is a permanent position supporting resiliency in families of BPHC employees. The primary responsibilities include identifying, responding to, and following-up on needs among BPHC employees related to caregiving for dependents, including early education and care, before and after school programs, online learning supports, adult day programs, and personal care attendants. In addition to care coordination for specific employee families, the Manager will identify and implement innovative solutions to resolve barriers and increase employee family resiliency. See more here!

The scope of work for this internship will include supporting two community initiatives - OFJ’s Community Grant program and the Boston Food Access Council Mayor’s Food Access Agenda. This position is ideal for someone interested in learning from community partners who do food access work across Boston. This intern will work closely with the Deputy Director of the Office of Food Justice but may be asked to contribute to other work in the office. See more here!

Leah Wing (Co-Founder of Social Justice Mediation Program/ UMass) is developing the Kapok app to improve efficiency and communication among medical responders working in disaster situations. Leah is looking to bring on a Program Manager (5-6 hrs per week) and a Mobile App Developer (5-10 hrs per week) who can help finalize and deploy the app.
Program Managers will lead a team of student developers and are required to have programming knowledge with Flutter and either Javascript, Java, Python, C or C++ Node.js.
Program Developers are required to have experience with Flutter and Dart; object-oriented programming languages; programming for Android or iOS; Firebase; and experience with remote data via REST and JSON.

If you are interested, please contact Leah Wing or for more info. 
Resource Connector
Learn more about resources relevant to children and families in our community from our community.
Resources to Tackle the Upcoming Tax Season Deadline:
A coalition consisting of the Shah Foundation, Mass Law Reform, Children's Healthwatch, MASSCAP, Greater Boston Legal Services and Boston Tax Help Coalition launched, a simplified website in 6 languages that helps people in Massachusetts learn about what tax returns they could get and where to find free help doing so. Click here to learn more!
Did you make under $58,000 in 2021? Then you may be eligible for free tax help from ABCD! Please see further eligibility requirements, necessary materials, and details on how to make an appointment on their website. You can also click here for their flyer with more information.
It is tax season, and our friends at StreetCred at Boston Medical Center use IRS-certified tax preparers to help you file for FREE. Please go to or text “TAX” to 833-528-0207 for more information! Services are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole.
StreetCred also offers other financial services, including 529 college savings accounts and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Visit for more information!
You can click here for their flyer and to see more information as well.
COVID-19 Resources:
Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5-11 access safety information and coming soon locations, hours, and website links for vaccinations.

Vital Village’s COVID-19 Resource Map regularly updated with descriptions, contact info, locations, hours, and website links for important basic family needs.

Protected Together sharing information safety information about vaccines

Find COVID-19 Testing Near You find your nearest testing site, including many with walk-in availability at Regular COVID-19 testing, both when sick and asymptomatic, can help prevent community spread of the virus, so we appreciate you taking advantage of these opportunities!
For Children and Caregivers:

Boston Children’s Museum Sign-Up for Weekly Activity Emails to receive fun activities you can use to enrich and support children at home, as well as articles and podcasts., is a family friendly website designed for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts who are worried about their child’s mental health. Is your kid just being a kid, or is their behavior something to worry about? If so, what are the next steps you can take? HandHold will help you figure that out.

Sitters for Scholars, our volunteers are prepared to provide high-quality babysitting in person for children while parents pursue their education. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve students and families. To maintain the safest environment, both sitters and parents will be required to be vaccinated and boosted, and all individuals, including children two years and up, will also be required to wear a mask. You can sign up here, or see more information here.

Find your ideal therapist of color and boost your wellness journey with content written by and for people of color. 

Scoop on the Stats
Explore data from across the United States
An Act Investing in the Future of Our Health focuses on a variety of issues relating to different aspects of healthcare and health administration. Some components were developed pre-pandemic when the bill was originally proposed, but COVID-19 has shed light on a variety of other structural challenges which are included in the current iteration of this legislation. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders stated:

"For far too long, primary and behavioral health care have not been at the forefront of our health care system. This legislation is patient-focused, with proposed policies that prioritize the physical and mental health care of all of our residents for years to come.”

The bill increasing expenditures on primary care and behavioral health by 30% over the next 3 years, as well as increasing accountability for drug manufacturers, manage surprise billing protections for some Out of Network Services, as well as improve and modernize the way we administer healthcare.
One of the bill's focus areas is telehealth and how technology can be leveraged to provide better care to patients. The bill directs the Center for Health Information Analysis to conduct research on the healthcare workforce so that we know the demographics, retention, turnover, and satisfaction rates of those who serve the patients. The bill also renders telehealth services without limitations to location or setting, thus widening the services that a physician can administer to a wider array of patients. Lastly, proposals in the bill will change the way that information is exchanged within healthcare systems to make patient access and care coordination smoother.

Sharing Technology
Explore technology related to child and family well-being.
The UPDATED Abundance Boston Food Access App 3.0.2 is now available! Abundance empowers Boston residents to easily access affordable, high-quality food resources. Download the FREE app today!
The COVID-19 Resource Map now has updated addresses and hours of over 90 locations in Boston currently provide free breakfast, lunch or dinner for youth, and 10 free community fridges open to the public 24/7.
Too Good to Go is a mobile app where restaurants, groceries, and cafes can post discounted meals or "surprise bags" that may otherwise go to waste. People can reserve foods and rate the meals through the app. The goal is to address food waste, support local businesses, and to make sure everyone has access to high quality food. You can download the iOS version or the Android version.
Update! CONtexts: Community Resources on Health & Nearby Fun Promotes positive outcomes for caregivers and children ages 0-5 by sharing resources through a FREE text service and interactive map. CONtexts is temporarily under construction until further notice. Please see our social media for resources.
Seeking Community Voice!
Are you interested in receiving this newsletter in Spanish?
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Community Voice/Voz de la Comunidad
We Did it Together!
Collective actions and investments.
Our Mission

Vital Village is a network of residents and agencies committed to maximizing child, family, and community wellbeing.
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