SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

December 6, 2021 | Issue 8 (View newsletter as webpage)

Important News

Inclusive Schools Week image

Celebrating Inclusive Schools Week

Inclusive Schools Week is celebrated the first week of December each year. It’s a time to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of teachers, administrators, students, and parents in making their schools more inclusive.

This year, the Inclusive Schools Week’s theme is “Rebuilding our Inclusive Community Together.” 

Join us in celebrating Inclusive Schools Week December 6-12, 2021!

Download free resources here that make celebrating Inclusive Schools Week easy! 

Also check out SPAN's

recent workshop recording

 "Using a Strength-Based Approach to Inclusion" here.


Family Voices Anti-Racism Toolkit

As the Family Voices Affiliate Organization for New Jersey, and the state's Family to Family Health Information Center, SPAN is pleased to share information on the:

Family Voices' Anti-Racism Toolkit Website Link

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Click here to learn more about SPAN's Family to Family Health Information Center.

Logo and seal for the State of New Jersey

Murphy Administration Provides Additional Funding for School-Linked Services to Ensure Service Availability for Students Struggling with Back-to-School Stress

The Department of Children and Families continues to monitor an increase in the need for emotional and behavioral supports for students returning to the classroom this school year. In September, the Administration launched a website (link) dedicated to support parents, youth, and teachers with resources addressing student mental health.

The additional funds will support work within designated school districts to empower students who may be struggling as a result of the emotional or social effects of the pandemic. 

Funds will enhance the current array of provided services, such as:

  • learning support
  • mental health counseling
  • employment counseling
  • substance abuse prevention
  • suicide prevention
  • pregnancy prevention

COVID-19 Vaccines for School-Aged Children:

What Parents and Families Should Know

Virtual Town Hall

Thursday, December 9, 2021

8:00 to 9:00 pm ET

U.S. Dept. of Education logo

The intended audience is parents and family engagement practitioners. We encourage you to promote this session widely to your parent networks.


As another step in providing a safe in-school experience for students, children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive vaccinations specifically formulated for young children. NAFSCE and the U.S. Department of Education, CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics will review the latest research and information so parents are able to make the best decision they can around vaccinating their children. 


Panelists will address questions, such as:

  • How was the vaccine developed?
  • How many children participated in the study for approval?
  • Will my child(ren) be safe taking the vaccine?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Should my child(ren) get the vaccine?
  • Where can I take my child to get the vaccine?


Parents and practitioners are invited to submit questions about the vaccine on the registration form. Register Here

Regional Atlantic Laboratory logo

Engaging New Jersey Families in Learning and Development during Prekindergarten and Kindergarten

Strong partnerships between adults at home and school can help families feel empowered to engage in and support the learning and teaching happening at school. These partnerships are crucial in the early years, when children acquire foundational skills in literacy, math, and social-emotional behavior that prepare them for life-long success.

Learn more about critical components of high quality family-school partnerships:

  • Relationship Building
  • Communication
  • Hands On Support

View the entire Fact Sheet Here

Upcoming Events

See what's happening this month

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them. Check out our Event Calendar (link) for details and registration links.

Upcoming Events include (links):

And more (link)!

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Sister to Sister Community Doulas of Essex County Logo

Bias at Root of

Maternal Health Crisis

Real bias training for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals involved in reproductive health. Helping women to optimize their health before they become pregnant. Better engagement with the faith community on maternal and infant health initiatives.

These were among the recommendations participants shared during first lady Tammy Murphy’s 4th Annual Nurture NJ Black Maternal and Infant Health Leadership Summit. New Jersey has struggled with one of the nation’s highest maternal mortality rates and massive racial disparities and Murphy said Black mothers are seven times more likely to die from childbirth-related causes than white mothers in this state.

The Nurture NJ campaign developed a formal plan in early 2021 that identified nine areas (link) of opportunity to improve birth outcomes in New Jersey.

The current state budget includes new money to extend Medicaid coverage for pregnant individuals for a full year after they deliver and expand access to doula care. It also funds the launch of a universal home-visit program (link) for new moms, something that has been shown to reduce post-partum depression, maternal mortality and emergency care costs.

Read the full article here

Learn more about SPAN's Sister to Sister Community Doulas of Essex County Program Here

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

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