October news & updates
October 15, 2021| Issue 9
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with a Gallery Walk at State of Our Children
Registration is now open for State of Our Children
Join us for the 9th Annual State of Our Children event happening in-person on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 9am – 11am at the Memorial Art Gallery. This year’s theme is the Road to Educational Renewal.

We will be combining our 10th anniversary with the report card release. To maintain the health and safety of all guests, we will be offering a timed entry schedule. Guests with last names A-L are invited to join us at 9am. Guests with the last names M-Z are invited to join us at 10am. View of the gallery walk celebrating our 10th anniversary will be limited to one hour.

If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor, please complete the sponsorship form here.
Youth and Family Engagement
Parent Leaders rock session at StriveTogether Convening  
The 2021 Cradle to Career Convening kicked off with more than 900 difference makers at the national convening. Network members from across the country joined the virtual conference where we heard from Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer-prize winning author and ethnographer, Heather McGhee, author and distinguished senior fellow of Demos, Maria Hinojosa, Emmy-winning journalist and Julian Castro, former local and federal policymaker.

On Tuesday, October 5th, PECAN parent leaders presented Parents ARE the Solution: Creating CoPOWERment. This session focused on the ways in which partnerships can work toward CoPOWERment solutions in creating decision-making spaces and shifting power to parents, while building capacity. Participants walked away with tools and resources to develop a process that engages families and community. Over 100 network members attended and had the opportunity to hear directly from Rochester parents regarding best practices for implementing parent voice and centering parents via leadership roles. 
Adventure Course Grand Opening 
The Fall Extravaganza saw nearly 330 people at the grand opening of the Adventure Course. Connected Communities, in collaboration with several community partners, hosted an amazing event that had activities including REC on the Move, pumpkin painting, line dancing, balloon art, GROW bus tours and screenings, and a plaque dedication. 

Additionally, several resources were available to the community such as financial assistance for those experiencing housing challenges and other budgetary needs. We are also proud to announce that 76 people received the COVID-19 vaccination.  

As we roll out our Wildly Important Goal to reach families and gather input to identify the essential elements of a successful return to school, we collected feedback from parents to glean how to best support their child. We invite you to participate in this goal by reading the Family Engagement Toolkit to help you do your part to ensure student success. 

On October 16th, we invite you back to Grand Ave Park for a follow up event and opportunity to receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This event will be a health fair, coupled with a continued celebration of the new Adventure Course. All are encouraged to attend.
The Youth Leadership Coalition goes to Baltimore 
On September 17th, the inaugural team of Youth Leadership Coalition (YLC) trainers embarked upon a journey to certify their leadership as YLC trainers. The Family and Community Engagement team, in collaboration with Anthony Jordan, RCSD Youth Council Partnership, traveled to Baltimore, MD for a two-day training experience.  

The Youth Leadership Coalition is ROC the Future's first youth-led collective impact table, and is designed to support youth leaders actively engaging in youth development programing.  

YLC trainers participated in an 8-hour training with topics focused on:  
  • Activating your voice
  • Mastering communication and the language of leadership 
  • Practicing the role of the facilitator

On Saturday October 16, a new cohort of youth leaders will start with the support of the SpreadKarma Team.
October PECAN Meeting
Register for the October PECAN meeting on Thursday, October 21 from 6pm - 7pm where we will discuss school safety: challenges & solutions. Dr. Kelli Briggs and Khadijah Muhammad from the Rochester City School District will be in attendance.

Each parent/guardian attending will receive a $25 stipend for participating.
Farewell, Stephanie
Thank you for a job well done
Fall is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future, and it is in this regard that ROC the Future wishes the fondest farewell to our Director of Research and Analytics, Stephanie Townsend.

Stephanie announced her departure from ROC the Future in mid-September, and the bar could not be set higher for her successor. Through high-level efficiency and attention to detail, Stephanie has supported the partnership by integrating, managing, analyzing research and data to ensure that ROC the Future’s strategies and systems change work use best practices and an evidence-based approach. She has been a mentor to new employees, a facilitator of expanded thinking and learning, and a leader on several RTF projects. Her efforts over the past 2½ years have been integral to the work of our Backbone, Conveners, and the overall success of ROC the Future, and her unique insights and perspectives will be missed by the entire team.

The heaviness of this announcement is lessened by the knowledge that Stephanie will not be going very far. In fact, she is transitioning to our recent host organization and current ROC the Future Convener, The Children’s Agenda! TCA will benefit from Stephanie’s talents and expertise that she’ll bring to their policy work, and we look forward to future alignment opportunities—such as our Wildly Important Goal—where we can once again come together for the benefit of Rochester’s children. To us, Stephanie’s transition feels less like a departure and more like to a return to a home base familiar to us all.

We thank you, Stephanie, for your support for ROC the Future in our journey and wish you much success in your new role at TCA, and look forward to continued joint efforts to support Rochester’s children and families!
Upcoming Events
Overcoming: The State of Black Healing

The years 2020-2021 have been a time of loss, grief, collective pain, and significant life changes for so many of us. It is especially important during these times that we all prioritize our mental health and wellness.
We are Overcoming! Join us on Saturday, November 6th (1p EST) for our 2nd Annual Black Mental Wellness Virtual Conference, Overcoming: The State of Black Healing. We will discuss our joys, struggles, and how to protect our mental health during these stressful times.
  • Early registration tickets ($20) available until October 15, 2021
  • Student tickets ($15)
  • Group tickets available. Please email: info@BlackMentalWellness.com
Training for Infant and Early Childhood Health Professionals 

The Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC: 0-5) by the Mary Ellen Institute will be held at Nazareth College on November 8, 2021, from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

This workshop is grounded in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health concepts and open to a multidisciplinary audience including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, music and art therapists, nurses, pediatricians, psychologists, students, community members, etc.

Continuing education credits are available for SLPs, SWs, OTs and LCATS. Trainers are certified by ZERO TO THREE.
Parent Resources
Youth mental health and well-being in the midst of COVID-19: Click here to learn ways to improve mental health literacy for middle- and high-school aged youth in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.

“Spending quality time together is the first - and most important - step toward establishing a great family support system”: October Assets

Student Survey Provides Support for Integrated Magnet Schools: Great Schools for All (GS4A) has published the analysis of a collaborative survey of students in Monroe County Schools to discuss the current – and historic – racial and economic segregation in Monroe County.