Springfield Regional Council Recap – July 2017
The Springfield Area Building Bright Futures identified providing opportunities to support events that bring families together in the community in order to build informal connections between families, community members and providers as a priority this past year. In doing so, the council has participated in, supported, and/or promoted a variety of events throughout the year. However, in May the council took the lead on a new event combining fun, engaging activities with targeted information on childhood development.
Family Fun Day was created along with many partners including schools, churches, art organizations, Vermont Department of Health, libraries, the local gym, substance abuse organizations, community health team, and many others. This event provided a space for caregivers to participate in facilitated activities (including yoga, tumble time, art, STEM activities with the library, cooking with kids, as well as more) that were developmentally appropriate. As families participated, those leading the activities were able to talk to caregivers about why these activities are important, how they help the child develop and how they could replicate them in their homes. There was also a free healthy lunch, raffle and transportation from surrounding communities to help break down barriers for participation. The participants were asked to fill out a survey, which showed a very high satisfaction and learning something new for this event and the desire for more of these kinds of activities. Not only was this event a success in terms of family participation but also in creating an environment of collaboration across a wide variety of sectors and a desire to work together on more of these events.
The Springfield Area BBF council has also has been adjusting to the change in the coordination support services to the region from Building Bright Futures. The council has used this shift to discuss the core functions of the council, how to continue the most important work of the council and how to best support each other. The council has also seen this as an opportunity to potentially create more collaboration with the Northern Windsor and Orange County BBF council creating a larger impact. The council has taken all of these changes in stride; with understanding of the situation BBF is in and is looking at this as an opportunity for council growth.