Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council (BBF SAC)

Meeting Minutes

May 19th 1:30-4:00

600 Blair Park, Suite 306, Williston, VT


Present: Ben Allen, Robin Stromgren, Mary Smit, Breena Holmes, Betsy Rathbun-Gunn, Rebecca Holcombe, Dave Yacavone


By phone: Eddie Gale, Becky Raymond


Absent: Harry Chen, Doug Racine, Kevin Mullin, David Zuckerman, Bill Frank, Tim Volk, Mark Sustic, Mary Burns


Community Partners/Guests:  Julianne Nickerson, Loli Berard, Robyn Freedner-Maguire, Lindsey DesLauriers, Caprice Hover, Jan Krantz, Reeva Murphy, Matt Levin


Staff:  Julie Coffey, Katie Mobbs



Call to Order and Welcome

Julie Coffey called the meeting to order at 1:42pm and welcomed all in attendance. A special welcome to new Council member Mary Smit, an update from Julie that David Young will be a new Council member starting in June.


Consent Agenda

We did not have a quorum to vote on passing previous months Council meeting notes therefore they were not voted on. We will have to vote on February, March and April notes at the June 23rd Council meeting.


Building Bright Futures Early Childhood Data Reporting System Project Presentation by Dave Lapointe

This presentation had to be postponed due to lack of projector.


Let’s Grow Kids! Campaign Update by Robyn Freedner-Maguire

The campaign committee has put together a calendar of community events they will be attending that covers through next year; this will be launched on June 1st. There will be 2 items being emphasized:


  1. Piece on early education and development
  2. Piece on partnerships- funded and collaborations


On May 29th the campaign will hand out a statewide map of who they need to reach out to. June 12th will be the launch of the ambassador training; the intent of this training is to reach rotary clubs, board meetings, staff meetings etc. wherever they can go to get the message out. The campaign to date has attended 10 events throughout the state. There will be a power point presentation available for the State Council meeting on June 23rd which will include a video launch.


Rutland Regional Presentation by Jan Krantz and Caprice Hover

Regional Council was started in 2009 with 4-5 people consistently around the table, now there are 20 members. Majority of the members are home care providers and there is amazing collaboration with the Rutland Council. The Legislature representation in Rutland is quite strong.




Events for 2013-2014

  • October 2013- Representatives from the Rutland Parent Child Center, Head Start and Rutland Central Supervisory Union attended the Governor’s Summit
  • November 2013- Legislative breakfast held, sponsored by the Parent Child Center, Vermont Achievement Center and partnering with BBF
  • January 2014- Early Childhood Action Planning Community Forum held co-sponsored by the Rutland and Addison BBF Councils
  • January 2014- Rutland region began Welcome Baby Bag pilot program; 20 bags were delivered to new moms by a Lactation Consultant
  • February 2014- Chamber of Commerce mixer in Rutland, sponsored by the Rutland Parent Child Center in partnership with BBF
  • March 2014- Welcome Baby Tea, held at the Rutland Free Library. Unfortunately no families attended the event but they came away with a learning experience
  • April 2014- Annual Baby Shower, sponsored by the Health Department and the Breastfeeding Coalition. Over 30 adults attended
  • April 2014- Month of the Young Child, community art displays set up in Brandon and Rutland by area businesses
  • May 2014- Community Fun Day in Castleton, community event for families, BBF participated in




Legislation Wrap-Up Details by Early Childhood Alliance members Lindsey DesLauriers and Matt Levin

The Alliance began the session with a comprehensive priority legislative agenda including:


  • Passage of H.270, the Prekindergarten bill
  • Increased investment in the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP)
  • Greater investments into the STARS program
  • Expansion of the accessibility of strengthening family grants
  • Increased access to training and workforce development programs


Recent toddler death in Winooski: implications for BBF and role of network

Julie asked the question of Dave Yacavone; “what can Building Bright Futures do for Department of Children and Families that can help protect our children?”


  • Work with families so they do not come into protective services
  • Look at what Vermont can do as a state for help strengthen families
  • Need more aggressive engagement strategies
  • Building Bright Futures Regional Coordinators need to have tool kits to address situations that may come up in the communities they live and work in
  • Need to work to ensure every family is ready for kindergarten, not just the child- Focus on the whole family
  • Regional Councils should hold some community discussions about this tragedy, people are hungry for information but have no idea what to do if they see something concerning



  • Work begins soon to complete the final touches on the Statewide Early Childhood Action Plan
  • 2013 NIEER PreK report has just been released and will be highlighted at the June Council meeting
  • The proposed FY15 budget and revised FY14 budget will be presented at the June meeting
  • Regions Manager, Finance Manager, Data Coordinator and Data Analyst positions have all been hired with tentative start dates in June/July
  • Regional Council interviews have begun


Next Meeting- Monday June 23rd 1:30-4

Vermont Family Network

600 Blair Park, Suite 204

Williston, VT