Volume 3, Issue 6; June 2016
In This Issue:

I.     Save the Date!
II.    Bright Spot
V.    Around the City
VI.   Research
VII.  Useful Tools
Save the Date:savedate
Vital Village 5 Year Anniversary Celebration!
Join Vital Village in celebrating the hard work and collaborations of the network for the past  5 years. Get ready for an open mic, fun activities (for children and adults), giveaway s, special farewells, great food and even better company! Friends and family warmly welcomed.

When & Where: Friday June 10th, 5:30-8:30pm. Merengue Restaurant - 160 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02119

Train the Trainer:
Are you interested in bringing neighbors together to help advocate with and for each other? Make a difference in your community by completing a GRASP Advocacy 6-hour train-the-trainer seminar!

This training includes:
  • An introduction to GRASP Advocacy: a practical tool that breaks down advocacy into 5 key themes
  • Illustrations of How GRASP Advocacy can be used to move from discussion to action -- no matter how big or small the problem
  • Opportunities to practice using the GRASP tool based on real-life examples from the local community
  • Practice leading advocacy role-plays and exercises
  • Tips on how to lead peer-advocacy meetings using the GRASP tool as a unifying model
Train the Trainer will be held in July, dates TBD
Bright Spot:bright
Harvard School of Education Student Commencement Speech
"An injustice is telling them they are stars
Without acknowledging night that surrounds them.
Injustice is telling them education is the key
While you continue to change the locks."

Student Donovan Livingston graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education last week, delivering a powerful commencement speech that would shortly after go viral, and be seen by millions. Livingston addressed the audience with a spoken-word poem about the history of racism in education, and how his classmates, a new generation of educators, can strive to overcome the overwhelming racial inequities that still exist today.
Documentary on Restorative Justice in Boston
A mother is devastated by the murder of her son. Instead of being vengeful, she reaches out to her son's killers asking for atonement: "The only way you can make up for the life you stole is to live yours in a good way". The feature-length documentary film "The Circle: Stories of Murder and Justice" follows Janet Connors as this Boston community heals and "circles up" around diverting at-risk-youth from more violence  - turning pain and anger into positive community change. Click here to view the trailer!

Praising Parents:praisingparents
This month we're celebrating this awesome mom that supports and participates in her daughter's obvious love for dance, even while being pregnant! Watch this adorable duo work it!

Have a video that you
 think would be perfect 
for next month's 
Praising Parents? 
Share it with us at
Around the Network:network
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 fundraise 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
Special Education Training, in Spanish
This two-part training, conducted entirely in Spanish, offers an opportunity to learn about early intervention programs for children under 3 years old and how to refer children over 3 years old to local public schools for evaluations. It will also focus on how to partner with families to enhance the skills families need to be engaged in their children's education.

Open to anyone who provides care to a child ages 0 to 5 years old, including family, friends, neighbors, and licensed family childcare providers.  Dinner provided.

To RSVP, call Alyssa Lowell at 617-624-8074

When: Tuesdays June 7th & 21st,  5:30-8:00pm

Where: Project Hope, 1st Floor Community Room - 550 Dudley St. Roxbury, MA 02199.

Outdoor Exploring Playdate
Do you have children between the ages of birth and 5 years old? Join First Teacher for an outdoor exploring playdate that encourages children to interact with each other and with nature! Wear clothes that can get dirty.

Click here to RSVP!

When: Saturday June 4th, 11am-12:30pm
Where: Hawthorne Youth and Community Center - 9 Fulda St. Roxbury, MA 02119
MFFC 10th Anniversary & Mattapan Moving for Life
Join Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition in celebrating their 10th anniversary, as well as the joys of being active in Mattapan! Activities include family friendly walking and running, dance, yoga, music, stretching, healthy cooking demos, nutrition workshops, and more! There will be fun activities for kids, and free food, and giveaways! Residents of all ages are welcome. 

For more information, and to register, click here!

When: Saturday June 11th, 1-5pm
Where: Boston Nature Center - 500 Walk Hill St. Mattapan, MA 02126
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Family Event at BCM
Do you have a family member who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing? Join the Boston Children's Museum on June 25th for a special day of programs that are presented by Deaf performers and ASL interpreted KidStage programs! Deaf and Hard of Hearing visitors and their families can receive half-off admission if they pre-register online. 

Click here to register!

Schedule of Events
11am - Magic show by Deaf magician, Steve Weiner.
12pm - Family Circle
1:30pm - KidStage Show
2:30pm - Dance workshops by Deafblind dancer, Kerry Thompson

When: Saturday June 25th, starting at 11am
Where: Boston Children's Museum - 308 Congress St. Boston, MA 02210
Prayer & Rally Walk for Community Peace
In an effort to bring people closer together, further unite our whole community, and allow participants to experience a greater sense of unity, residents will gather on June 25th to mindfully walk together to build community and to bring awareness of the impact of violence in our communities. Please respect the intentions of organizers and participants and refrain from bringing signs or making divisive statements of any kind. 

For more information, email or call Pastor Marcos Cisterna at 617-602-6205.

When: Saturday June 25th, 10am
Start: 3134 Washington St. Roxbury, MA 02119
Finish: Mozart Park - Centre Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Around the City: city
Connecting Families: Health and Wellness Conference
Attend the South End Family Engagement Network's Health and Wellness Conference this June! There will be family Zumba, arts and crafts, literacy workshops, WIC financial literacy workshops, healthy food demonstrations, Ages & Stages Developmental Survey, and more! Breakfast and lunch provided.

To register, email or call Vivien Izuchi at 617-375-8143.

When: Saturday June 11th, 10am-2:30pm
Where: United South End Settlements Harriet Tubman House - 566 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA 02118
Boston Parks Family Fitness Session
Starting in June and continuing through the end of August, the Boston Parks Fitness Series is hosting weekly Family Fitness Sessions on Wednesdays. Have a fun day with your family, meet your neighbors, and get active at the same time!

Click here for more information!

When: Wednesdays June 8th - August 31st, 6:30pm
Where: Walker Playground - 5 Mildred Ave. Mattapan, MA 02126
Franklin Field Health Fair
The Boston Housing Authority and Rosie's Place are putting on a Health Fair this month! Come see all the health-related resources in your community and celebrate community health!

For more information, email or call Catherine Louis at 617-784-4841.

When: Friday June 24, 3pm-6pm
Where: Courtyard behind 70 Ames St. Dorchester
Codman Square Farmers Market
Come get fresh, locally grown food in your neighborhood! Fruits, veggies, meat, fish, bread, herbs, crafts, and more will be available at this year's Codman Square Farmers Market! Open EVERY Saturday this year! Some days will have picnics, entertainment, a walking group, and more!  AND you can use your EBT card and get up to $10 back in Bounty Bucks to use at the market!

When: Every Saturday June 18th - October 22nd, 10am-3pm
Where: Codman Commons - Corner of Washington and Talbot, Dorchester, MA
Dorchester Day 5K
Project D.E.E.P (Dorchester Educational Enrichment Program) and The Blarney Stone presents the Dorchester Day 5K! The r ace begins and ends at the Blarney Stone and runs down Dorchester Ave. towards Lower Mills and back along the same route.  Free T-Shirt for the first 50 entries received. Cookout, raffle and awards immediately following the race.

Click here for more information and to register!

Pre-Race Entry Fee
Adults: $30
Children <12yo: $15
Day of Race Entry Fee
Adults: $35
Children <12yo: $20

When: Sunday June 5th, Registration 11am, Shotgun Start 12pm
Where: Blarney Stone - 1505 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester, MA 02122
Community Baby Shower
Come out and enjoy the festivities, meet other families, and connect with information and resources to get your baby off to a bright start. Enjoy a light dinner, shop in a boutique of gently-used baby items, get a professional family photo and hear from other moms, health professionals and a other family support agencies on important infant safety and development topics! Each expectant and/or new mother will bring home a goody bag with items for your baby! 

When: Wednesday June 15th, 5-8pm
Where: Reggie Lewis Center Gymnasium - 1350 Tremont St. Roxbury, MA 02120
LEE Regional Strategy Team
Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership development organization dedicated to developing its members' leadership potential to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive an outstanding education. Within LEE, the Regional Strategy Team's responsibilities include researching our community's educational landscape, leading action campaigns, and building partnerships with residents and organizations with shared interests. Currently LEE is offering scholarships for parent leadership trainings!

Interested in learning more about the Regional Strategy Team? Click here to read about the role of a team member. For even more info, email or call Peter Newman at 773-965-1990.

Job Opportunity:  Commonwealth Corps at United South End Settlements
United South End Settlements (USES), in partnership with the Massachusetts Service Alliance, is hiring Family Support Coordinators through the Commonwealth Corps program, starting in August! The mission of USES is to build a strong community by improving the education, health, safety and economic security of low-income individuals and families in Boston's historic South End and Lower Roxbury. They are looking  for qualified people interested in experiencing a valuable and transformational year of supporting people struggling economically and academically.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so USES encourages applying before June 10th! 

Click here to read the full description of the position and learn how to apply!

Research: Research
"Pretend play allows the expression of both positive and negative feelings, and the modulation of affect, the ability to integrate emotion with cognition"

In considering the benefits of play on child development, research shows that pretend play, or "make believe" play, leads to a many cognitive benefits such as increases in language usage, divergent thinking, and expression of both positive and negative emotions. Further, as children gain practice in acting out different, imaginative roles, they build their capacity for empathy, communication, and creativity. These benefits suggest the importance of integrating "pretend play recess" into the regular school day, to accompany the "traditional, but no less important, forms for recess and play".

Click here  to read the full article!
Too ls:Tools
As part of their Healthy Communities Program, the CDC has developed a public health action guide for addressing community health inequities. The resource highlights examples of community   initiatives that have improved social  determinants of health, and the skills and approaches that were essential to their development and implementation. The workbook promotes an integrated community-, policy- and systems-level approach, which is reflected in its inclusion of a diverse range of expertise such as local  knowledge, social work, medicine, psychology, urban planning, and community  economic development.

Click here to access this CDC "Promoting Health Equity" Resource!
The Scoop on Stats:stats
staying up to date with data measurement!
In honor of Father's Day, this month's "Scoop on Stats" highlights data on our own community's perceptions on fatherhood. Last summer, Family Nurturing Center and Boston Public Health Commission's Father Friendly Initiative hosted "Fathers and Families Fun Day": a celebration of fatherhood with music, good food and many child-friendly fun activities. The bar graph above illustrates two indicators from a participant survey collected that day. Two parallel surveys were implemented, one for fathers and one for non-fathers, the questions differing with respect to their role. In one question, 80% of fathers (n=45) agreed that as a father, they receive support from other men. In contrast, 68% of non-fathers (n=76) believed that fathers receive support. As results from the second question indicate, nearly all non-fathers surveyed agreed that fathers should be as involved in a child's life as mothers, while for fathers, there were discrepant beliefs. On a positive note, 100% of fathers agreed that when all things considered, fatherhood was a highly rewarding experience. What do you think this data tells us about fathers in our communities? How can we better support fathers, and help facilitate their strong involvement in their children's lives?
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