"I've always loved the first day of school better than the last day of school. Firsts are best because they are beginnings." - Jenny Han 
New York Times #1 best-selling author
Village Voices
Network members' voices bring good news and share highlights from
around our community. 
If you are interested in our Spanish newsletter, feel free to press the button below to know more!

¡Si le interesa nuestro boletín en español, haga clic en el botón a continuación para saber más!
This year's theme is CRAFTING OUR LEGACY: Collaborative Action for Love, Liberation and Joy. This is a space where you can connect with resident leaders, organizers, and community-based organizations around the nation and reflect on our collective work promoting structural change.

Do you have a story of community leadership that you'd like to share with the Vital Village Community? We invite you to submit an abstract for our annual Vital Village Summit Poster Program on October 18th and 19th.

Please complete the abstract submission form by September 16 at 11:59pm EST
In partnership with Urban College of Boston, Vital Village Networks is accepting applications for scholarships to the Certificate in Community Leadership and Advocacy, a year-long, 9-credit, college-level certificate program that builds upon the capabilities of community leaders who are working to maximize child, family, and community wellbeing in Boston.

This certificate is for those who serve in formal and informal roles doing community organizing, policy change, or advocacy for children and families to prepare them to address the aspects of professional development in this field. Students will acquire tools and develop skills to serve as better advocates for children and families. Apply by August 19th at 11:59pm EST!
August is Breastfeeding Month and August 25-31 is
Black Breastfeeding Week
Don't Miss Virtual Family Paint Night!
Every Tuesday in August 
Free family art supplies provided!
Event Time: 6pm-8pm EST
Event Host: D. Legacy Pace Setters 
August is Immunization Awareness Month and the second week is Exercise with Your Child Week
Parents and caregivers play a large role in making exercise an accessible part of a child's life, be it by bringing them to a playground to exercise and socialize with their peers, to limiting screen time and ensuring that children have age-appropriate toys and tools that they can use to play with, such as bicycles with training wheels, if required, and helmets.
Vaccines are an important part of public health, and we each play an individual role in helping make our communities healthier. Vaccines work by helping us build our own immunity against certain diseases by introducing a weakened or dead version of the pathogen to our immune system. Thus, we already have the necessary antibodies to fully fight off or have a much weaker infection than we would without the vaccine.

However, not everyone can receive vaccines. We can protect them by developing herd immunity, which means that enough people must be vaccinated that the disease can no longer spread in the community.
Network Events
Connect with Vital Village Network at these upcoming events. Click
event to RSVP or learn more.
August 25th
1:00-2:30pm EST

Through the NOW Cooperative Design Lab Series in Spring 2021, NOW partnered with 15 community champions from across the country to embark on a journey of reimagining funding structures to center, honor, and uphold the values of local communities and coalitions. Through the application of human-centered design, participants worked together to identify barriers of traditional and current funding structures and explore alternative solutions.
Together, they developed a reflection guide that encourages funders and their potential partners to think intentionally about the goals and outcomes of their relationship, focused on a set of key Guiding Principles and Practices that build on elements of successful cooperative and collaborative structures.

Featured speakers:
  • Stephanie Waters, Child Development Resources, University of Alabama
  • Darnell Adams, Firebrand Coop
  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Vital Village Networks 

Visit the NOW Innovation Forum today at: https://www.networksofopportunity.org/

NOTA: Hay una línea en español disponible para los participantes que deseen escuchar interpretación en vivo durante el seminario web.
Data Storytelling Workshop

The next Data Storytelling workshop will be on August 25 (5:30pm-7pm): Data Collection + Storage and Program Evaluation. Click here to sign up. 
Each session is 90 minutes with the goal of building capacity to tell stories using data. 

For the second half of our August session, we are looking for 2 volunteers who'd like to receive constructive feedback from the group on their data story. You will have the opportunity to share your work with the group and help lead a roundtable discussion. You are welcome to present data work at any stage -- brainstorming ideas, sharing visuals or timelines -- whatever is most useful for you. If you're interested, please contact Milan.Chuttani@bmc.org
Wednesday, August 24
5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
This is a peer-led space focused on using cross-sector data to advance transportation justice and equity. Boston residents, transportation advocacy groups, and community-based organizations are all welcome to participate. Register here!

Tuesday, September 13
5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
This is a peer-led space focused on using cross-sector data to advance transportation justice and equity. Boston residents, transportation advocacy groups, and community-based organizations are all welcome to participate. Register here!
Community Events
Join Vital Village Network partners and other community organizations at these upcoming events. Click event to RSVP or learn more.
Through July and August
Varying times
The Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment is offering free financial coaching at the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment! The courses tackle a variety of topics, including Introduction to Financial Coaching and Credit Building Workshop, Homebuyer Readiness Workshops (available in Spanish), and Saving for College workshops, to name a few. To see the months ahead, read descriptions of the courses, and register, see the official calendar here.
Every Friday from July through September 2nd
6:00AM - 8:00PM EST

This program is an extension of the "Can We Talk? Community Conversations on Trauma and Healing" Program Hosted by the Roxbury YMCA, aimed specifically at youth.
If you are an adult interested in this program, you can join on Zoom on Thursdays. To learn more, please go here.

If you are a youth interested in participating in this program, please go here or view the flyer attached.
Starts August 28th
Register here: www.10dayglowup.com

Join the 10 Day Self-Care Glowup Challenge, organized by Black Girls Nutrition!
"Self-care is essential for our vitality. As Women of Color, we often take care of everyone else before taking care of ourselves. This is not sustainable for living a healthy, joy-filled life and you are worthy of everything you desire. The 10 Day #GlowUP Self-Care Challenge will EMPOWER you, help you RESET, GROUND you in the present, CONNECT you to other like-minded women, and TRANSFORM your life," writes BGN. If you are interested in joining this free challenge and receiving daily affirmations and intentions, inspirational messages, and self-care challenges, join this 10 day event!
Back to School Events!
Thursday, August 18
10am - 2pm
The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division is teaming up with Garden Neighborhood Charities—the philanthropic arm of the TD Garden—and The City of Boston for the 11th Annual “Back-to-School Distribution” on Thursday, August 18, 2022 at The Salvation Army’s Boston Kroc Center, 650 Dudley Street, Dorchester. Nearly 3,000 Boston-area youth and their families will enjoy giveaways and a fun, activity-filled afternoon with a special appearance by Blades from the Boston Bruins. Register here!

Thursday, August 25
2pm - 6pm
Serving people is the heart of One Boston Church! Come find us under the blue tent and banners during the End of Summer Celebration at the Curtis Hall Community Center. Register here!

Monday, August 29
4:00pm - 7:30pm
Sponsored by the BPL! A Pre-Labor Day concert presented by George Pearl of Pearl City Live Entertainment featuring artists SK & Ed, Luv Francois, Solo Unlimited, Frank Wilkins and Friends Band, and more! Sponsored by the Roxbury Branch of the Boston Public Library, Pearl City Live Entertainment and WWOC Radio. Learn more here!

Wednesday, September 14
4:00pm - 4:45pm
Sponsored by the BPL! We'll read back-to-school stories and make Duck Tape Ziploc Pencil Cases. Kids Club is best for children ages four and up and takes place on our outdoor terrace. Learn more here!

If you would like to donate materials or look into school readiness tips for the children in your life, feel free to check out the buttons below!
Check out more community events on our Website and Facebook.

Check out job, volunteer, and grant opportunities available in our
Technology Goes Home Scholarship /
Becas de Technology Goes Home
Are you interested in applying to a Scholarship through Technology Goes Home? If you have any questions or would like to apply, please email Amy Sanchez at Amainaris.Sanchez@bmc.org

¿Le interesaría solicitar la beca de Tech Goes Home? Si tiene preguntas o le gustaría recibir la solicitud, por favor mande un correo a Amy Sanchez a Amainaris.Sanchez@bmc.org
In an effort to continue supporting the reproductive wellness needs of women, Love Your Menses is pleased to offer a FREE 8-week postpartum education and support group for Black and Brown pregnant and postpartum individuals living in the Greater Boston area.
The postpartum recovery period is the time where a person recovers from the crucial changes that occurred to their body during the antenatal period to the delivery period. This time is very critical and necessary. Research has shown social support to be proven effective in helping mothers cope with psychological and physical stressors in the postpartum period. 

Our postpartum education and support group features:
  • Weekly educational sessions
  • Sister circles 
  • Group chats with postpartum doulas and OB/GYNs
  • Postpartum care packages and other giveaways
  • and MUCH MORE!
  • The Fall session program will take place from September 2022-November 2022.
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. 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 www.gmail.com.
  • 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 bpl.org/ecard.
  • Once you have your email and library card, go to bpl.org/long-term-lending 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 OHSIntake@boston.gov 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 www.bpl.org/computer-classes 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). 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. If you are a parent with lived-experience in child welfare and are interested in being a parent leader, please complete this Interest Form.

TSNE (tsne.org) is working to build a more just, equitable society of belonging. TSNE does this by providing capacity building services, consulting and training services, and operational support to hundreds of nonprofits, foundations, community-based groups, and others working for social change. As part of its work, TSNE is hiring for a cohort learning program manager. The starting salary is 85K and TSNE is looking to hire as soon as possible. Apply 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 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!

Boston immigrants who want to become leaders in the community can now apply for this opportunity through the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. Through a 12-week course, 20 selected residents will meet key City of Boston officials and learn how to effectively navigate local government. Ideal candidates are emerging leaders committed to advocating for their immigrant community. Register for a virtual information session on July 30 from 10-11 am; and apply by August 7. Learn 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 aleahwing@gmail.com or developer.kapok@gmail.com for more info. 

Youth Transitions Task Force
The Youth Transitions Task Force plans to continue the conversation around early college and career alongside our current work on dropout prevention and re-engagement integrations.
Please contact Inanna.Pickering@bostonpic.org if you would like to be added to the calendar invitations for our monthly meetings on Thursdays from 9:00-10:30am.
Resource Connector
Learn more about resources relevant to children and families in our community from our community.
City Offers Free Bluebikes Ahead of MBTA Orange Line Shutdown

Today Mayor Michelle Wu and Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge announced increased access to the City’s public bike share, Bluebikes, by offering free 30-day passes during the upcoming MBTA Orange Line shutdown. These bike share passes will be available to anyone, and provide an unlimited number of 45-minute trips at no cost. Bluebikes staff will be present at key Bluebikes stations in Boston to provide guaranteed access to bikes and Bluebikes parking. Passes will be available at bluebikes.com/join or in the Bluebikes mobile app.

The City of Boston offers many resources to residents interested in riding bikes, including videos about using Bluebikes. These resources can be found at boston.gov/boston-by-bike. Learn-to-bike classes for women and gender diverse adults are also available through mid-October. A schedule can be found at boston.gov/women-bike.
Free Adult English Classes for Career & College Readiness
September 2022 - June 2023

Community Choice Electricity provided by the City of Boston allows residents (renters and homeowners) to opt into 100% clean, renewable electricity through their normal utility provider while paying a lower rate. Similar programs are run through SomervilleCambridgeChelsea, and other MA cities.

Eversource is raising the cost of electricity from $0.15 to 0.17 per KwH for Boston residents on July 1. The Community Choice renewable electricity rates are 20-40% lower and are capped through December 2023.
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 boston.gov. 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.

HandholdMA.org, 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. 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
New! Children’s Mental Health Storytimes Map and Data Dashboard
The Children’s Mental Health Storytimes Map and Data Dashboard highlights both the positive impact of the Children’s Mental Health Storytimes program and areas to expand opportunities to maximize child, family, and well-being.

One innovation that emerged from the community-led May Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 was Children’s Mental Health Storytimes at Boston Public Library (BPL) branches. During the May Mental Health Awareness Month 2020, community leaders and the BPL children’s librarian’s modified and piloted offering the storytime virtually. The group collectively decided to continue offering these storytimes virtually in response to hearing families identify the need for virtual children’s programming related to social-emotional wellbeing during the pandemic.

The Children’s Mental Health Storytimes Map and Data Dashboard shows how a total of 122 children from across the United States have participated in storytimes since 2020. 74% of these children called in from Massachusetts, and of those in MA, 64% lived in the city of Boston. This map shows the number and ages of children as well as the zip codes, neighborhoods, and local BPL branches. Furthermore, this tool includes data visuals of program attendance, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) themes of storytimes, and our toolkit.

To expand Children’s Mental Health Storytimes reach, the subcommittee is using this tool to shape future outreach efforts, expanding storyteller volunteer and leadership opportunities, and themes. Check out the Map and Data Dashboard here and email Amainaris.Sanchez@bmc.org if you are interested in getting involved with the program!

A special thank you to Talia Feldscher, VVN Intern and MPH Candidate at Boston University; Milan Chuttani, VVN Data Analyst; and the Children’s Mental Health Storytimes families and storytellers!
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.
CONtexts aims to promote positive outcomes between caregivers and children by sharing weekly resources through a FREE text service and interactive resource sharing map. These resources are ideal for anyone working with or caregivers of children ages 0-5.
To subscribe, text KIDS to 844-806-0616
Language Justice
We Did it Together!
Collective actions and investments.
Thank you for championing our shared mission to expand a collective responsibility for all children
Our Mission

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