Volume 3, Issue 4; April 2016
In This Issue:

I.     Save the Date!
II.    Bright Spot
V.    Around the City
VI.   Research
VII.  Useful Tools
Save the Date:savedate
Upcoming Network Connection Meetings:
RSVP ahead of time by clicking on the date below:

When & Where: 6:00-8:00pm, Evans Seminar Room (Room 112A), Boston University Medical Campus. 72 East Concord St. Boston, MA, 02118

Dinne r, and pa rking validation for the 71 0 Alban y Garage will be provided.

90 Day Challenge Celebration!
Join Vital Village in celebrating the hard work and collaborations of the network during the Leadership Summit's 90 Day Challenge, as well as the 5 year anniversary of the Vital Village Network!

When & Where: Friday June 10th, 5:30-8:30pm. Merengue Restaurant - 160 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02119
Bright Spot:bright
Prescription for Exercise
Roxbury's own Whittier Street Health Center is showing what it means to think differently. Physicians at the Health Center are prescribing exercise to their patients through access to a non-profit gym in Dorchester for $10 a month, including free child care, classes and kids programs. Low-cost access to exercise is essential for the  population of community residents that suffer from chronic problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. Read the full article.
Praising Parents:praisingparents
This month we're celebrating an awesome parent from our own community, through this video provided by our partner, First Teacher. As they shared in their blog post, "Lillian's seemingly simple interactions with her son help make connections that will support his love of learning for the rest of this life." Through piquing his interest by throwing the ball, to encouraging him as he picks up the Lego, Lillian, as First Teacher puts it, "lights up his brain".

Have a video that you
 think would be perfect 
for next month's 
Praising Parents? 
Share it with us at
Around the Network:network
"You Matter" Workshop
Learn to lead and inspire your community with Mothers for Justice and Equality at their Personal Development and Leadership Workshops, where you can become a "2016 You Matter Graduate". Participants are  guided on a journey through self-exploration, community assessment, envisioning, and networking toward building stronger, safer communities.

Enroll now by contacting Mothers for Justice and Equality at (617)516-8086 or by email!

When: Session One on Tues. April 19th, 5-7pm. Session Two on Thurs. April 21st, 5-7pm
Where: Office of Mothers for Justice and Equality - 184 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA. 02119
Fathers and Parental Resilience Workshop
The Children's Trust's Fathers and Families Network Protective Factors Series works to increase family strengths. In this workshop, professionals who work with families learn how to help fathers manage stress effectively and understand how to comfort their children during stressful times. Participants will also learn how to identify problem solving skills that support fathers, how to build a dad's self-confidence, and help him increase his decision making capacity. This workshop will be p resented by Jeanine Fitzgerald, from the Fitzgerald Institute.

Contact Haji Shearer from Children's Trust for more information!

When: Friday April 22nd, 10am-12pm
Where: Children's Trust - 55 Court St. Boston, MA
Talk Read Play Day
Countdown to Kindergarten is working with our partners in education, childcare, the community and health care to distribute over 5000 pieces of information supporting parents of children birth-5 in their roles as their children's first teachers. They will also host synchronized Flash Rhyme Mobs all over the city where over 1000 kids will recite rhymes, songs and poems. 

Check out their website:

For more information, or to get involved, contact Josette Williams at (617)635-9288 or by email

When: Thursday, April 14th

POWER: A Blue Tie Gala
Join our partner Father's Uplift for an incredible evening of celebrating and fundraising for fathers and their families. The event will bring together caring and passionate community members and organizations, fathers and father figures, their children, and mentees, to fund raise for Boston's first residential/community safe haven for me n and families.The k eynote speaker will be  D r. Steve Perry, Founder of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, CT

Consider purchasing a t-shirt with the "This Dad Cares" logo shown above. All funds raised will go directly to Father's Uplift!

Click here to RSVP and purchase your tickets and/or sponsorship level

When: Thursday June 16th, 6-11pm
Where: The Lantana - 43 Scanlon Drive. Randolph, MA 02368
MFFC Moving For Life
Celebrate 10 years of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition with their annual Moving for Life event this June! The event will feature fun, food and fitness as MFFC continues to promote health, wellness, and an active lifestyle for the Mattapan community.

Save the date, and visit the MFFC website for updates on this incredible event!

When: Saturday, June 11th
Nelson Chair Roundtable - DSNI and BPI
Join the Nelson Chair Roundtable at Boston College for an in-depth examination on neighborhood-based collective impact through the Boston Promise Initiative (BPI) - a strategy led by the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

April 6th - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Showcase on impact through BPI partner presentations, and discussion on how these strategies together equal sustainable, whole community change.

April 7th - 9:00am - 2:00pm
Lessons learned from a visiting Promise Neighborhood, a demonstration on BPI impact in the Dudley Village Campus, and a discussion on funding sustainability.

Click here to learn more, and to register for the Roundtable!
Around the City: city
Parents of Purpose Support Group
Learn how to access resources, gain skills and tools and build lasting relationships with other parents! The Parents of Purpose Support group is for those who feel overwhelmed, and is open to all parents/guardians raising children with developmental disabilities, and academic challenges. Dinner and childcare provided.

If interested, click here or call (617)533-8133

When: Every 3rd Wednesday, 6-7:30pm (April 20th this month)
Where: Lena Park Community Center - 151 American Legion Hwy, Dorchester, MA 02124
3rd Annual Peace Rally
Celebration of National Youth Violence Prevention Week concludes with the City of Boston's 3rd Annual Peace Rally. The weeklong national education initiative to raise awareness and to educate Boston students, teachers, school administrators and staff, counselors, parents, and the public on effective ways to prevent or reduce youth violence begins on April 4th. The event features violence prevention themed contests (posters, poetry, and hip hop) for Boston youth to participate in with a celebration on April the 7th to honor the winners.
The event is free, and will be emceed by Jam'n 94.5 DJs.

When: Thursday April 7th, 5:30-7:30pm
Where: Reggie Lewis Center - 1350 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02120
GBLS CORI & Re-Entry Project
Since criminal records make it difficult to find a job or simply have a good life, Great Boston Legal Services (GBLS) offers free legal advice and representation to low income Boston residents. Attorneys will be available from GBLS at the 2 neighborhood locations below. Learn more !

When3rd Thursday of the month, 9am-12pm
Where: Roxbury Court (2nd Floor) - 85 Warren St. Roxbury, MA. 02119

When2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, 9am-12pm
Where: Dorchester Court (1st floor) - 510 Washington St. Dorchester, MA. 02124
Hike 4 Autism
Join Autism Sprinter and Hike4Life for a day of hiking trails, healthy food, food refreshments, community partnerships and connecting to other families who are sharing the same journey. Hike 4 Autism will incorporate a sensory trail experience to allow families and their loved ones affected by Autism to embrace nature and educate their child about life outside. Participation is free! Find tickets here.

For more info, contact Yahaira at [email protected] or Jerel at [email protected]

When: Sunday April 10, 12-4pm
Where: Houghtons Pond Recreation Area - 840 Hillside St. Milton, MA 02185

Boston Shines Neighborhood Cleanup
Spring is coming and once again it's time for Boston Shines! Kick off the season by breathing new life into our neighborhoods and making them beautiful! Neighborhood Cleanup will take place over three weekends, divided regionally to allow for the best use of resources. Roxbury, Mattapan and other nearby areas are scheduled for the 4th weekend in April!

Individuals, groups, and organizations are all welcome. Click here to register!

For more info, contact Ruth Georges from the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services at (617)635-2677 or by email!

Parent University Learning Conference
Parent University is an opportunity for parents to sharpen their skills as they work in one of life's most important and demanding roles. Sessions focus on child development, what children are learning in schools, advocacy, parent leadership and effective parenting skills. The Parent University Learning Conference is a great opportunity to learn more about how to support your child's learning. It is a free event for all City of Boston parents. Join them for a full day of learning!

For more info, call (617)635-7750 or visit their website!

When: Saturday April 9th, 8:30am-4pm
Where: Madison Park Technical Vocational High School - 75 Malcolm X Blvd, Roxbury, MA 02120
Summit on Race and Equity
Led by a collaborative of community residents, local organizations, and the City of Boston, the Summit on Race and Equity aims to launch an inclusive cross-sector regional network to advance racial equity and ensure opportunities for all. 
Make the time for your personal and professional development, and join a  powerful convening of leaders sharing local and national racial equity best practices and policies addressing structural racism. The summit will give you the tools to  develop policies and alternative structures that challenge unfair systems.

For more info, contact Julie Nelson at (206)816-5104 or by email!

When: May 16-17, 8am-5pm
Where: Northeastern University. Boston, MA

Research: Research
Too often, nonprofit workers are underpaid, undervalued, and overworked. The high level of burnout found  across the nonprofit sector can lead to excessive turnover, poor morale, and decreased work performance. As "nonprofit executive directors and leaders are burning out and leaving the sector in alarming numbers, emerging leaders are thinking twice about stepping into the breach". A 2008 study, conducted in part by and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, investigates the substantial barriers to strengthening the nonprofit leadership pipeline, and how we can work to overcome them.

Click HERE to read the full report!
Too ls:Tools
In recognizing the difficulty of this work, our need to take care of ourselves and each other becomes even more essential. Consistent practice of self care can help build personal and organizational capacity, and create sustainable ways of moving toward change. CompassPoint offers a self-care starter kit containing everything from doodles of cute critters with uplifting messages, to articles on the power of mindfulness, and  how to introduce self-care into your organization. 

Click HERE to find more resources for your own self-care starter kit!
The Scoop on Stats:stats
staying up to date with data measurement!
Parenting and Social Media
As organizations and residents working towards improving the health and well-being for children and families, it's important to recognize how mothers and fathers like to receive information and resources around parenting and child development. In their 2015 publication, PEW Research Institute explores the ways in which parents utilize social media for outreach and support, to such a degree that 59% of social-media-using parents reported coming across useful parenting information online in the past 30 days. When considering differences between genders, mothers were more than three times as likely as fathers to say they get social/emotional support on parenting issues through their social media networks. In contextualizing these findings, we need to consider the negative repercussions of what has become a societal norm: parents constantly being on their smart phones, distracted from interacting with their child. What can we learn from this data about how we approach communication with parents? How can we better work towards our goal of having parents who are both informed, and engaged with their children?

Learn more about how parents turn to social media 
for  parenting-related information and social support  HERE.
Stay Connected
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