Volume 3, Issue 3; March 2016
In This Issue:

I.      Save the Date!
II.     Bright Spot
III.    Praising Parents
VI.    90-Day Challenge
VII.   Research
VIII.  Useful Tools
Save the Date:savedate
March Network Connection Meeting: #bettertogether
As we know, transparency is one of the core components of effective collaboration. While celebrating success sustains us on our journey, collective problem solving is essential for addressing the complex challenges that confront us. Join us for a working meeting to share ideas, obtain feedback, and foster deeper collaboration. Boston's Children's Museum will be presenting on their 90 Day Challenge and how their efforts to increase community engagement transformed their organizational culture. If you are also interested in presenting, please e-mail Kymberly at

RSVP by clicking on the date below:

When & Where: 6:00-8:00pm. FGH Building, Boston Medical Center. 820 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118. Childcare, dinner, and parking validation for the 710 Albany Garage will be provided.
Bright Spot:bright
Trauma Education Program Offered by Roxbury Presbyterian Church
"The stories encompass a breadth of human experience such as loss of a loved one after a long illness, job loss, homelessness, addiction and recovery, trauma from gun violence, abuse, as well as stories of strength, inspiration and healing."

Every month, Roxbury Presbyterian Church offers The Cory Johnson Trauma Education Program: a compassionate, safe space in which people who have been through trauma
 have the opportunity to share their stories, learn about the impact of trauma, and give and receive support for all they are going through. The entry point for this dialogue is simply a
 question: "Can we talk?", that leads to the remarkable phenomenon of mutual healing. One participant says, "You hear another person pressing on, and you realize, it can be done, it's possible, so you don't give up. When your story is out in the open, you can begin to heal."

Read more about the Church's Trauma Education Program  HERE!
Praising Parents: parent
Last month we introduced this exciting new segment to our newsletter to help remind you of, and celebrate all the awesome parents out there. Particularly as community residents and agencies working towards better outcomes for children and families, we are often inundated with information and opinions on parent engagement, the do's and don't's of parenting, poor parental decisions, etc. As a network we hope to shift our attention instead to sensational parents, and the wonderful, every-day interactions they have with their kids, through videos like this one.

Have a video that you
 think would be perfect 
for next month's 
Praising Parents? 
Share it with us  at
Around the Network:network
Read to Succeed: Library Family Fun
Raising A Reader MA is hosting a series of themed Family Fun Days in different libraries near you! This free festival for families will feature books, games and family activities- all health and nutrition themed! Learn about healthy eating, eat your science project, and more. Earn cool prizes and enjoy fun for all family members, all while learning about the magic of sharing books at home! Each child who attends will receive a free book to take home and practice new reading skills! Learn more at the event's facebook page!

When: Thursday March 24, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: BPL Parker Hill Branch - 1497 Tremont St. Roxbury, MA

For more info, contact Tara Haughney at (617)314-5895
Summer Youth Organizer Jobs at DSNI
Do you know any motivated, hard-working and creative youth (ages 15-18) who want to create change in their community? Encourage them to consider working this summer at DSNI! Apply for the position at on SUCCESSLINK, complete your profile and choose DSNI as one of your choices!

Applications are due by March 20th, 2016

For more information, email Derrikka Gillenwater or call her at (617)442-9670 x140
BCM Affordable Family Fun on Friday
The South End Community Health Center is starting a breastfeeding support group and they want your input on what an ideal breastfeeding group would look like for you! All pregnant, new and experienced parents or guardians are welcome, including those who are currently breastfeeding. They will be using your feedback to help shape the structure and content of their breastfeeding group, to best support you and your family's breastfeeding needs! Every attendee will be provided a complimentary dinner and a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables from Fresh Truck.

Call (857)206-7560 or email to register!

When: Monday March 7, 4-6pm
Where: South End Community Health Center (2nd floor Glasstop room) - 1601 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
" Circles of Care" Training for Providers and Survivors of Homicide, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault
Circles by design promote mutual support, inspiration and healing through story-telling processes, which give voice to survivors of violence and trauma. The workshop will be largely experiential in nature, and focus on the key elements, concepts and flow of the Circle Process as well as the role of the "Keeper" of the Circle. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the power of the Circle, and understand the variety of settings in which it may be used in their personal and professional lives. The training asks that participants commit to attending all 3 days of this free, powerful training.

For questions and to register, email your name, phone number and email address to Janet Connors. Deadline to register is Friday, March 25th.

When: April 6, 7 and 8. 10am-2pm
Where: Grove Hall Library - 41 Geneva Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02121
Assess your Child's Development with First Teacher
Want to learn about your child's development? First Teacher invites families with children from 1 month to 4 years of age to attend an event focused on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ can help you learn about your child's development in communication skills, gross motor skills, and social skills. Those who attend will receive a free book, and countless resources!

To make an appointment or for more information, contact Maritza Ortiz through email or at (617)833-7156. Maritza speaks both English and Spanish! 

When: Saturday March 5th, 12:30-1:30pm
Where: First Teacher Office - 221 Blue Hill Ave.

Come by the First Teacher Office just before this event for a PLAY DATE with other kids and parents (11am-12:30pm)!!
Domestic Violence Training
Boston Medical Center's  Domestic Violence Program works to improve and coordinate the hospital's response to domestic violence through
* Training and education for providers, community groups, students, and more;
* Consultation and technical assistance on many types of practice improvement and research projects;
* Direct advocacy services for victims and survivors;
* Referrals to community resources for all family members affected by domestic violence.
To learn more or to request a training for your organization or agency, please  emailJoanne Timmons or call 617-414-7734.

Around the City: city
Vine St Community Center Robotics Program
Introduce children to engineering concepts using LEGO Robotics at the Vine Street Community Center every Friday afternoon! Kids will gain experience in designing, building, operating, and programming robotic devices to solve problems. The program is designed to inspire them to take a stronger interest in STEM.

When: Feb 26 - Apr 29, Fridays 3:30-5:00pm
Where: 339 Dudley St. Roxbury, MA 02118

For more info, contact Willie Skinner at (617)635-1285 or Adreene Law at (617)968-3653 x103.
Minority Black Business Exposition
Minority Business Expo is launching their 3rd annual Minority Business Expo! The Expo will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and building of professional relationships within the Boston minority business community.  Join them in this dynamic one day event to present your business, exchange ideas, expand your network of contacts, or to simply support local business! The day will consist of keynote speakers, workshops, networking and much more...

When: Saturday, March 5th, 12-5pm
Where: 15 Talbot Ave. Boston, MA 02125

To RSVP, click here!
4th Annual Got Peace? Basketball Tournament
This month, check out Boston's BIGGEST Field Trip, the 4th Annual Got Peace? Basketball Tournament: a fun-filled day for all ages featuring 4 tournaments for different age groups.The theme for the tournament this year is Alternatives to Violence. There will also be a Kids Corner for younger children with Face Painting, Balloon Art and the Boston Fire Department's obstacle course. From 11am-2pm, find assistance in your future goals through the Get Connected Career/College/Resource Fair. Check out the Facebook Event here!

When: Saturday March 12, 10am-5pm
Where: Reggie Lewis Track & Field Center

Watch the Public Service Announcement below! 

New Food Co-Op in Dorchester
The Dorchester Community Food Co-op is an initiative to build a community and worker-owned cooperative market that provides economic opportunity and healthy affordable food. The Co-op will be a community asset, providing space for education and cultural activities, and will be a dynamic center for healthy eating and sustainable living that celebrates the rich diversity of Dorchester. 

Read more on the Co-op plans HERE!
Notes from the 90-Day Challenge: challenge
Thank you to those who participated in the inspiring 90-Day challenge call we had on February 17th. As a result of the call:

* One of our partners shared how their 90-Day Challenge to increase community engagement has led to a shift in their organizational culture. Their efforts have inspired conversations on race, class, cultural humility, and other important topics!

We are eager to support you during your 90-Day Challenge and hope that you will join us for the LAST call on Wednesday, March 2nd from 12 pm-1pm. Call in at (855)708-2424. Next, enter 43816 followed by the # key.

March 8th marks Day 90
of our challenge!
Research: Research
"Living through adversity, be it endemic to your environment or an acute negative event, doesn't guarantee that you'll suffer going forward. What matters is whether that adversity becomes traumatizing."

Resilience, though commonly referred to as an inherent part of one's character, has ultimately presented itself as a set of skills that can be taught. Psychologists have found that several elements predicted resilience in children, namely psychological disposition, an internal locus of control, and good luck in having been able to form a strong mentorship with a supportive adult. Further epidemiological study reveals that exposure to potentially traumatic events does not necessarily predict later functioning. Instead, lasting effects are dependent on how an individual emotionally construes the event, as traumatic, or as a challenging opportunity for growth.

Click on the link to read the full article on " How People Learn to Become Resilient"!
Too ls:Tools
Are you looking to make your efforts on social media more successful? This article shares several straightforward tips to help you achieve a heightened degree of social media engagement, Facebook shares, and Twitter likes! One of the most powerful ways to reach out to your social media audience is through posts that invite conversation. "This is one of the most streamlined and effective ways to open up your social media platforms for two-way communication, which is a surefire way to solidify your social media relationships." Another strategy for more effective communication is through re-posting and re-tweeting your best, or most important, content. By doing so, you will amplify your message, and increase its number of newsfeed appearances.

To read more about how you can improve your own social media posts, click HERE!

The Scoop on Stats:stats
staying up to date with data measurement!
2nd Iteration of the VVN Data Postcard - Civic Engagment
Over the course of the summer, the Vital Village Core Team surveyed the BMC Pediatric Waiting Room on their level of neighborhood engagement, understanding the positive health implications of being connected to a supportive environment. The 3 focus areas of the survey were social cohesion, collective efficacy, and civic engagement. Following the conclusion of this survey, the Core Team reflected on how BMC parents and caregivers are heavily pursued as survey participants, yet are rarely introduced to the results. In consequence of our desire to build a more reciprocal relationship with this over-surveyed population, we designed and are currently distributing a "data postcard" illustrating the information collected on neighborhood engagement. By sharing the postcard with parents and caregivers in an interactive, accessible manner, we create a dialogue on neighborhood engagement and connectivity, and ultimately will be able to enhance our data measures with human narrative.  Many network partners helped us revise and improve our first iteration of the postcard, and shown in this month's "Scoop on Stats" is our next iteration, focusing on civic engagement. Personally or professionally, what do you do to participate in your neighborhood? How can we better work together as a network to empower residents to make a difference in their own neighborhoods?
Stay Connected
88 East Newton St. · Vose Hall, 5th Floor ·  Boston, MA · · 617.414.3674