Caledonia & Southern Essex Regional Council Recap – May 2018

Dawn Powers
Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Regional Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




Regional Council Meetings: At our April 23rd BBF Regional Council meeting, we invited Emily Carrier, the DCF-Family Services District (FSD) Director. She presented information on Family Services, mandated reporting, and current data for children in custody in our region. We discussed different regional initiatives supporting at risk families including Strengthening Families, Safe Babies, Treatment Court, and support from our local FSD office even when children are not in custody. Substance abuse issues continue to be a primary reason for young children coming into custody. Supporting families in recovery is currently a priority topic for our BBF Regional Council and will be part of our discussions in May.

At our May 21st council meeting, we will review our current regional action plan and begin to identify next year’s priorities.

On June 18th, we will celebrate our year’s accomplishments and report out on our BBF Direct Service activities. In addition, we will discuss the process for next year’s direct service programming.

Professional Development: BBF collaborated with Shelburne Farms to bring a high quality professional development opportunity to our region. This day long training was held on April 14th at the Fairbanks Museum in St Johnsbury. It was called ‘Cultivating Farm to Early Childhood (FTEC)’. It was an opportunity for early care professionals to expand their personal and professional knowledge and experience related to Farm to Early Childhood programming. The training was designed for hands on learning – some of these activities included pickling, taste testing, and wool felting. Participants were also encouraged to strengthen local connections with farmers and other food system experts to foster their program practices. We had 23 participants attend this enriching professional development opportunity.

The FTEC programming is an initiative supported by Vermont FEED, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets, and the A.D. Henderson Foundation. Thank you for allowing us to collaborate and bring this great opportunity to our region!

Montshire Museum of Science Community Trip – BBF, Help Me Grow, and the Lyndon and St. Johnsbury Promise Communities sponsored a community event for families with young children in Caledonia/ Southern Essex. The trip took place Saturday, May 19th at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont. Sponsors paid for admission for the day and Warm Welcome annual memberships for eligible families. The community trip promoted social connections for families, highlighted the importance of learning through play, and created an opportunity for these young learners to discover early childhood science in this amazing learning environment that supports a child’s natural desire to explore, discover and wonder about science and the world around them. Resources on child development were shared with all participants. Families needing transportation had access to bus services for the trip. Over 60 individuals attended!

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