September eNews

Donor Spotlight
This month, we heard from Tonyel Edwards, Ed.D.,  Program Officer,  with the Houston Endowment. The Houston Endowment " partners with others in the nonprofit, public and private sectors to improve quality of life for the residents of greater Houston." As First3Years' presence expands in Houston, we are humbled by the gracious support provided by the Houston Endowment.  Keep reading to learn more about what makes the Houston Endowment and First3Years partnership so special.

First3Years: Dr. Edwards, Why did you get involved with us here at First3Years?
Dr. Edwards: "Here in Houston, we are fortunate to have a variety of organizations that focus on early childhood education. We also have hospital systems that ensure the young children in their care get a strong start. However, there are many other systems that come into contact with our youngest Houstonians - from child welfare to criminal justice and nutrition programs - that do not specialize in this population. First3Years offers the expertise to help their programs and policies support infants' and toddlers' early brain development."
First3Years: In your opinion, what is the most important work that we do?
Dr. Edwards: " First3Years' ability to serve as a consistent, knowledgeable voice across multiple sectors to ensure that all programs and policies developed are aligned with best practices for infants and toddlers is invaluable."
First3Years: How does First3Years uniquely contribute to the community? 
Dr. Edwards: " First3Years brings a unique ability to influence positive outcomes in systems-level work through its access and understanding of current research and best practices to better ensure our infants and toddlers are well-supported."
First3Years: What do you hope we will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
Dr. Edwards: "Short term, First3Years is building relationships in order to be an active partner across the many collaborative efforts underway in the greater Houston area. Longer term, we hope that all systems and processes impacting infants and toddlers will be designed according to research-based best practices."
First3Years: Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration?
Dr. Edwards: "I have eleven nieces and nephews living in the Houston area and dozens of students I taught during my time as a fourth grade teacher. My students have now gotten older, and I have recently learned that one of them is a parent. It is important to me that my future children, my nieces and nephews and the future children of my students live in a community that is supportive of their optimal growth and development."
First3Years: Anything else you would like to share?
Dr. Edwards:  "I always leave conversations with Sadie inspired about what is possible in infant toddler development and the importance of family connections.  I am so grateful for her and her team's passion and commitment to this work ."

Thank you Dr. Edwards for your kind words and support!
North Texas Giving Day

Let's show the world how North Texas gives back by making this the most impactful Giving Day ever.

* Donate on 9.20.18 or schedule your gift starting 9.10.18
* Tell your friends why you give with the hashtag #NTxGivingDay
The Award Goes To...
Congratulations to Judge Bonnie Hellums, the 2018 T. Berry Brazelton, MD, Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award recipient!

Judge Bonnie Hellums, career has been based on helping people better their lives from the beginning. She became a certified alcohol and drug counselor and worked in prevention by helping children who were exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero. After 18 years in the university setting, she earned a law degree and practiced family law for 10 years. She ran for family court judge and served for 20 years (1994 - 2014) in the 247th District Family Court before retiring.

As the Family Court judge she was able to assist parents in understanding how their actions impact their young children. Judge Hellums started the first (and only) Family Drug Court in Harris County and incorporated the Infants and Toddlers Court as well. This was established because Judge Hellums realized the damage being done to families and children because of substance use/abuse. The Family Drug Court works to keep families together while parents seek treatment for substance abuse in an effort to minimize the impact on young children in the family.

Judge Hellums has been an advocate for infants and toddlers for more than 25 years and continues to do so in her retirement. She is most proud of the work she has done in coordination with the child welfare system and the Infants and Toddlers Court to help young children have a safe environment while experiencing family transitions. She served on the Supreme Court's Permanent Judicial Commission on  Children Youth and Families for 8 years. She is trained in Trauma Informed Care and is designated as one of nine to serve on the Texas Department of Family Protective Services Advisory Board.  Beginning in September she will serve as a visiting judge for the Child Protective Court in Harris County until December.

Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award Conference
September 21, 2018
8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
United Way Houston | 50 Waugh Dr.  Houston, TX

Join us for First3Years' 2018 IMH Advocacy Award Conference taking place in Houston on September 21st.  We are honored to have Dr. Joshua Sparrow present the 2018  T . Berry Brazelton, M.D., Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award

For more information or to register click  here


Want to know more about Parent Expertise? 
J oshua Sparrow, Director of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, will speak on early childhood development issues within the context of community and culture. When working with parents it is critical that providers understand the value of parent expertise when it comes to child development. Dr. Sparrow, will highlight the many interactions with parents where practitioners can support and acknowledge strengths.


Can childhood curiosity close the school readiness gap?
  Dr. Prachi Shah, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Specialist,  will discuss her research on the topic of early childhood curiosity and how caregivers can promote school readiness through children's naturally curious interactions. Dr. Shah's work shows a potential closing of the school readiness gap by incorporating targeting interactions with young children that revolve around curiosity. She will discuss two simple rules for families, practitioners & young children which foster healthy growth and development, be safe, be kind.


Want to find out how you can influence the 2019 Legislative Agenda?  
Marcellina Melvin, Director of Program Implementation for Child and Family Policy at The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, will close the conference with information about transforming behavioral health systems across Texas.

Par-Tee For Babies
2nd Annual Par-Tee For Babies

Join us on Monday, October 1, 2018 at Timarron Country Club in Southlake, TX for the 2nd Annual Par-Tee for Babies. The day's activities start at 10:30 AM with registration and tee practice with lunch to follow. This scramble-style tournament will begin with a 1:00 PM shotgun start. The tournament concludes with a Cocktail and Awards Reception.

To Register a Player or a Team click HERE!
 for more information on becoming a sponsor!

For questions about the event, sponsorship or registration, please contact Ashley Borthick
Upcoming Trainings
September Webinars
Strong Families for Stronger Schools and Communities
Schools, caregivers, and the community working together can promote the health, wellbeing, and learning of all children. Join us as we discuss the powerful impact that results from collaboration between families, schools and the community.

September 17 | 12:00 PM
September 20 | 2:00 PM


October Webinars
Early Childhood Attachment Milestones and Capacity for Readiness
Attachment is the emotional connection formed by wordless communication between an infant and their primary caretaker. Join us this month as we discuss the how the caregiver-child relationship impacts school readiness.

October 16 | 2:00 PM
October 19 | 2:00 PM


October Safe Babies
Feeding the Intrauterine Drug Exposed Infant
Drug-exposed infants require more feeding supports than other infants. This two-hour training has been developed to increase foster parents' knowledge of feeding the drug-exposed infant.

October 11 | 9:00 AM

Thank you to our proud sponsors!
Stay Connected