Caledonia & Southern Essex Regional Council Recap – July 2018
Regional Council Meetings:
On May 21, 2018, sixteen BBF Regional Council members reviewed our current BBF Regional Action plan for Caledonia/ Southern Essex (August 2017) and identified strategies and priorities for next year beginning July 1, 2018. These include:
- Promote, support and create high-quality child care/early childhood services in our region
- Parents can access knowledge regarding social/emotional health, developmental milestones, nutrition and community resources
- Children and families are supported during transition to preschool/ kindergarten
- Work collaboratively with community partners to increase supports for pregnant women/ parents/ guardians with substance abuse issues /and in recovery and family support efforts.
On June 18, 2018, our council meeting was dedicated to BBF Direct Service grantee and council report outs. The activities included data on parent education opportunities; community events; preschool and kindergarten transition activities; early literacy promotion and bookmobile services; supervised family visits; tobacco prevention services; professional development and our Welcome Baby bag initiative.
July 2018: no council meeting
Promise Communities: Both of our Promise Communities have been very successful and have become valuable resources to families in our region.
In Lyndon, the Lyndon Promise Community launched their ‘All Things website’ on June 29, 2018. Please check out the new site by visiting: http://allthingslyndon.com/
In addition, the All Things Lyndon (ATL) Promise Community Resource Coordinator is collaborating with Cobleigh Public library to host a Family Fun Friday series that have included a ‘Lights and Sounds’ event and a ‘Messy Play’ event. These events have brought in hundreds of children and adults to share in engaging activities that promote learning through play, parent-child attachment, and social connections. BBF was able to support this initiative and promote healthy food by providing gift certificates for participating families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the local Farmers Market.
In addition, BBF, ATL, Powers Park and Little Dippers Doodle Child Care center are hosting an end of year Summer Block Party with other community partners on August 10, 2018. This event will be a fun, free family event for families in our region. Dinner, children’s activities, resources and free swim are all part of the evening fun to celebrate summer and promote school readiness.
In St. Johnsbury, the Family Place continues to offer play groups, resources and support to families, case consultation and parent education opportunities. Most recently, they hosted a father’s group. The Gathering of the Fathers group began on May 1, Tuesday night and went seven-weeks, ending on June 12, 2018. The program was limited to twelve participants over seven-weeks. The group followed an open discussion format and they watched in 20-minute increments the film, The Mask You Hid Behind, a documentary about masculinity in modern day America. The participants all reported satisfaction with the program and asked for additional opportunities for fathers. BBF provided support for meals at the weekly groups.