Orleans & Northern Essex Regional Council Recap – May 2018
Regional Council Meetings: At our May 7th BBF Regional Council meeting, we had a presentation on the Help Me Grow (HMG) system from Elizabeth Gilman, HMG Child Development Specialist, and Lauren Smith, UDS Registry Coordinator. Information was shared on the different components of this system, including the child development specialist services, developmental screening registry, professional development opportunities, community outreach efforts and how best to utilize this resource to enhance our existing community services/ assets.
At our June 4th BBF Regional Council Meeting, we will be celebrating our accomplishments of this past year and setting priorities for next year while identifying strategies in our action plan to accomplish these goals.
BBF Welcome Baby Bag Initiative: After several years of not having a Welcome Baby bag program, this initiative has been reinvigorated though a collaboration with BBF and Vermont Department of Health (VDH)– Newport District Office. We will begin with two pilot projects at local pediatric offices- North Country Pediatrics and Border Pediatrics. The bags will include a handful of resources including Help Me Grow information, board books, and infant toys to promote child development and early literacy. These bags will be distributed at a child’s first well visit -approximately 2 weeks after birth. BBF and VDH will monitor feedback from parents and the pediatricians to ensure the information meets the needs of families and we will adjust the contents of the bags accordingly.
Dabble Day: Our Annual Dabble Day was held on April 7th at the Coventry School. Dabble Day is a fun-filled, resource-rich day for young children birth to eight years old and their families. It was sponsored by Building Bright Futures in collaboration with community partners. We had 31 community partners participate representing 24 different programs/agencies in our region. We had a total of 232 children and adults join us for the event to explore in arts and crafts, bubbles, messy play, and sensory activities. In addition, we distributed high-quality board books and paperbacks to children in attendance to promote early literacy as well as shared many resources with families including information on WIC, CIS and HMG.
Parade of the Young Child: On May 3rd, BBF, North Country Supervisory Union and the town of Newport sponsored an event to celebrate young children in our community. Agencies and families came together to march in a parade from Gardner Park to the Newport Municipal Building where the event concluded with fun activities for the children, ice cream, and a free book supported by BBF and Help Me Grow. Despite rainy weather, hundreds of children and adults marched down main street celebrating children and families. A fun event for all!