March 2021
In this issue:
  • We want your voice in our upcoming 2021 Status of the Child Report
  • A Call to Action from Equity Tallahassee Leon
  • Pop-Up Preschool Pilot
  • Partner Events and Announcements
This First Friday newsletter connects you with virtual resources and information to help you better serve families by connecting with one another in our shared mission to build a community where all children thrive.
EVENTS
March Professional Network
As Whole Child Leon prepares our comprehensive 2021 Status of the Child Report, we want the input of our Professional Network in identifying community issues and brainstorming solutions. We are soliciting your input in an easy-to-use and interactive format through Menti.com during our Professional Network Community Conversation, the first of which occurred at our February meeting. Attendee were able to respond live to questions discussing the top issues negatively impacting children in Leon County. They shared and ranked their top community issues and identified barriers to solutions. At our March 22 meeting, we will discuss solutions to these critical community issues.
Equity Tallahassee Leon
In 2019, Whole Child Leon hosted the first Community Conversation on Racial Equity. The Tallahassee community showed they wanted to continue this discussion with more in-depth conversations about race, equity, and social justice. Whole Child Leon was soon joined by The City of Tallahassee and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in their efforts. The committee grew to an engaged group of partners, including Leon County Schools, the Leon County Health Department and the Florida Public Relations Association. 
 
“Our goal is to ensure that our children are provided the support and resources they need to reach their full potential and that race and ethnicity are no longer predictors of life outcomes,” said Courtney Atkins, Executive Director of Whole Child Leon.
 
Now, Equity Tallahassee Leon's call to action, An Exchange of Perspectives, is underway. To participate, engage in a conversation with someone of a different racial, ethnic or cultural background from your own. Discuss your beliefs, values, upbringing and more to gain an understanding of someone else’s life and circumstances.
 
To provide a framework for these conversations, Equity Tallahassee Leon also announced the launch of its new website. The website is a place to exchange perspectives about racial issues, experiences and provides a place for others to learn about racial inequalities in the capital city. 
 
Submit any videos, photos and narrative highlighting the discussion you had to the website linked below or by posting to social media and tagging @EquityTLHLeon on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They could share your story on Equity Tallahassee Leon's social media, website, or at events designed to help further conversations focused on creating a more inclusive community.
Pop-Up Preschool
Nearly two-thirds of children in Leon County arriving at Title 1 schools for Kindergarten are unprepared. Whole Child Leon’s Early Childhood Education and Empowerment Workgroup seeks to support parents and their young children who reside in Title 1 neighborhoods where access to quality early learning programs is limited by providing a “Pop-Up Preschool” experience.

Whole Child Leon is partnering with the South City Foundation, The Sharing Tree’s Big Art Bus, Finacious and the H.A.N.D. Up Project to create a preschool on wheels to meet parents where they are and provide a two-generation learning experience. Parents are a child’s first teachers. We want to help provide the tools and education necessary to support their child’s development. 

The Pop-Up Preschool will bring age-appropriate, play-based learning and parent coaching into the neighborhood, so parents are empowered to participate and lead their child’s learning. Staff will connect parents and families to vital community resources based on their identified needs.

The Pop-Up Preschool will be taking place during Spring Break, March 15-18, in the Greater Bond and South City neighborhoods from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, visit www.wholechildleon.org

This Pop-Up Preschool will be the first of many we hope to host. Whole Child Leon and our Early Childhood Education and Empowerment Workgroup are committed to promoting kindergarten readiness in the Tallahassee community. 
WHAT'S GOT OUR ATTENTION
Are or have you been a breastfeeding parent?
Please take the survey below!
This workgroup has published a survey to identify the needs of those who are breastfeeding in Tallahassee and Leon County. This survey is looking to determine which businesses have been successful in enabling their customers and employees to breastfeed or express milk. It also asks respondents to identify what their employer has not provided them in order to properly breastfeed. To take the survey, click the link below. 



The Breastfeeding Policy Workgroup of Whole Child Leon has been diligently working to provide equitable access to breastfeeding for all parents, regardless of race. In the article recently published in the Tallahassee Democrat by workgroup member Jacquelyn Steele, Steele identifies the systemic issues preventing Black women from successfully breastfeeding their children. 
 
“For Black women, barriers to breastfeeding exist before the choice to have a baby begins.” Steele says. “Black women must have access to quality health care and the opportunity for economic prosperity to be able to breastfeed.” 

 
Move diversity on the board to the top of the list
By: Kelly Otte, Notes on Non Profits
"Diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, and others among board members, staff, and volunteers is essential in nonprofits for three reasons.  

  •  Diversity helps serve the needs of our community. Diversity among the people working in nonprofits helps ensure people being served are represented at the decision-making table. 
  • You can’t do a good job without proper representation and relationships between your organization and the community. The people who work and volunteer for the organization need to have multiple relationships with businesses, people, and institutions in our community. Lack of diversity in a wide range of forms means you are limiting the organization from having strong ties to all areas of the community. 
  • It’s the right thing to do. We live in a diverse community. If we expect to do the best we can for and with the multitude of people who benefit from our services, then we must do our best to represent the community."

WHAT WE'RE READING

"The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table" By Minda Harris

"My Own Words"
By Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"Little Dreamers - Visionary Women Around the World"
By Vashti Harrison
SAVE THE DATES
April 5-9, 2021 - VIRTUAL
2021 Children's Week Florida

May 1, 2021 - Casades Park
Kids Incorporated Kidsfest 2021

June 25, 2021 - Wesson School
Early Childhood Comprehensive Screening Day

August 2021
TLH Beer Fest
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Meet Our New Team Member
Danielle Brewer
Communications and Development Specialist

Danielle is a student at Florida State University in the College of Communication and Information. She will be graduating in April with her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Her previous experience in communications includes an internship with Connecting Everyone with Second Chances. She is passionate about systemic injustice, climate change and poverty. In her free time, she enjoys her hobbies, nature and being in the company of her loved ones. Danielle hopes her work with Whole Child Leon will promote needed change in the Tallahassee community.
The Virtual Early Childhood Developmental Screening hosted by Whole Child Leon will be taking place on April 23, 2021 from 8:30 to 11:30 am. This online screening will look for physical, social and emotional milestones in children 6 months to 5 years of age.
Florida Health Justice Project is asking for people to share their stories on how an expansion of Medicaid would benefit them. With an expansion of Medicaid, an additional 1.5 million Floridians could have health coverage. To submit your story, go to floridahealthstories.org/share-your-story.
Sesame Street In Communities Virtual Workshop
Sesame Street In Communities (SSIC) Virtual Workshop for Educators and Parents is brought to you by WFSU locally in Tallahassee and WGCU public media in Fort Meyers. In this workshop they will share SSIC resources to use in the classroom and home to help children ages 2-5. Topics include literacy, routines, and offering comfort. For Tallahassee participants, two in-service hours are available for early educators. Click the link for more information and to RSVP.

WFSU Workshop Info & RSVP
Job Board
We have a position open at Whole Child Leon.
Click on the links for more information.



Other positions open in the Community:





"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank
STAY ENGAGED.
We convene several workgroups, policy committees and action teams. If you want to get involved with one, contact us.
  • Early Childhood Education & Empowerment Committee
  • Breastfeeding Policy Workgroup
  • Community Screening Team
  • Children's Week TLH Planning Committee
Building a Community Where Everyone Works
Together to Make Sure All Children Thrive
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