Northern Windsor & Orange Regional Council Recap – September 2017

Ellen Taetzsch
Northern Windsor, Orange and Springfield Regional Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




In the Northeast Kingdom the summer months are time for BBQs, the beach and spending time together in the glorious mountains and lakes that surround us. It’s not a time for too many meetings. It is a time for reflection on the work done in the previous year and for planning and prioritizing the work ahead. At the September meeting, the Regional Council took time to do exactly that.

A few of the highlights from the 2016/2017 year included:

  • Created Early Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (Early MTSS) Regional Implementation Team
  • Hosted a successful Dabble Day
  • Sponsored Trainings with Providers’ Association
  • Engaged many stakeholders in the conversation
  • Secured funding for community projects
  • Biggest Parade for the Young Child EVER!

A few of the priorities for 2017/2018 included:

  • To continue Early MTSS work
  • Distribute new and improved Welcome Baby Bags
  • Continue to develop community capacity and leadership
  • Support development of Community/Children’s gardens in communities
  • Create a system that supports parents’ options to include family leave and increase child care capacity
  • Continue to gather regularly to share information and coordinate

Re-thinking Welcome Baby Bags: In January the regional council developed three working groups to carry out the work of the regional action plan. One of these groups was focused on concrete supports for families in times of need. This group took on the project of reinventing the region’s Welcome Baby Bags initiative. This work group, chaired by the Maternal Child Health Coordinator with the department of health, grappled with questions like, what is enough information? What is too much information? What is actually useful to new parents? Where and when is the best place to give bags to parents? What resources (time, money, goodwill) are required to make all of this happen? At the September meeting, the new and improved Welcome Baby Bag was revealed and fine-tuned. It includes a hand knit hat, a board book with baby faces, toys to support child development, a Milestone Moments Booklet from Help Me Grow, and contact information for community resources. Members of the work group are eager to pilot a neighborhood based distribution network for these new bags in partnership with local churches and promise community teams. Stay tuned. Next summer we will let you know how it’s working.

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