The Springfield Area Regional Council has continued to use council meeting times to learn about community resources, share ideas and events, and discuss impacts to children and families. Recently the council learned more about Vermont 211. We learned about the call center and its role in the community, the importance of keeping information within the system up to date and the relationship that 211 has with the Help Me Grow Call Center. We explored the website, looked at data and learned how it can be used and tailored to our needs.
At another council meeting we also discussed supports available in the community for kinship care. We learned about a kinship care group occurring monthly at Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, discussed some of the needs that families have, and discussed ways we could be more inclusive of these caregivers’ needs.
We have continued our effort on the Same Page Initiative with preschool and kindergarten teacher pairs, supporting the dialogue between the two. We have also decided to focus more on our family and community engagement this year. We have partnered with Springfield Town Library to kick off 1,000 Books before Kindergarten and work on using similar language at story times as those seen in preschool and kindergarten. We also hosted a Family Fall Festival with developmentally appropriate activities such as pumpkin painting, playdough, games and lots of information as well as some fun including glow in the dark temporary tattoos and s’mores. At the event we had the option for those interested in participating in a developmental screening. The planning team is working on creating professional development opportunities and continue building partnerships. The council will continue to work on folding developmental education into existing activities and interactions.