Network Connector, Volume 2, Issue 6; August 2015

 Network Connector Newsletter | Volume 2, Issue 6; August 2015
Dear Renee,
"We can do more together because parents and families are powerful!!" - Dinah Shepherd and Maritza Ortiz Bennett, First Teacher 

 Upcoming Network Connection Meetings:
RSVP ahead of time by clicking on the dates below!

All upcoming Network Connection Meetings will be from 6-8pm in the FGH Building, Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118
*Childcare and dinner will be provided
**October 13th - Tentative Tuesday Network Meeting Date
Social Justice Mediation Institute
October 10-12, 17 &18, 2015
The Social Justice Mediation Certification is back! The certification enables participants to assess and diffuse conflict through a social justice lens. Email us to learn more!
2nd Vital Village Leadership Summit, 2015
December 8 & 9
Don't miss this opportunity to develop new skills and strengthen your network! Learn more here.
Welcoming New Vital Village Team Members

We are happy to announce the arrival of two new members to the Vital Village team! 

New Project Manager Kymberly Byrd has a background in macro social work and public health and began working with Vital Village formally in January as the Research and Evaluation Coordinator. She is extremely excited about expanding her role at vital village. Kymberly looks forward to supporting your efforts to transform your communities and showing the world the beauty of the neighborhoods where we work, play, and live!
New AmeriCorps VISTA Jessica Faraj is a recent graduate from Brown University where she studied Health and Human Biology with a specific track in Community Health. Throughout undergrad she was heavily involved in substance use and trauma-related efforts. She is excited to be joining the Vital Village and looks forward to learning from our community and being of service to the people within it!  


More on the Social Justice Mediation Institute (SJMI):   
Are you interested in making a difference in your community? Vital Village Network's Peer-Advocate Action Roundtable (PAR) is sponsoring its second annual SJMI and invites you to sign up to be a trained social justice mediator

Mediation is a conflict resolution process used in a variety of settings that can be an effective way to address disagreements, improve communication, and learn to appreciate different points of view.

By completing the required 40-hours of training, participants will not only receive a mediation certificate but also learn how to use mediation skills to help reduce conflict and improve their neighborhoods, community, and empower themselves with new skills. 

When: October 10-12, 17 & 18
Where: Orchard Gardens Conference Room 

Please RSVP: HERE    
Bright Spots:
Return of the Side-By-Side Community Circle

The community circle is back and will meet every Monday evening from 6-8:30 at The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry on 10 Putnam St in Roxbury, MA. The meetings will generally follow the pattern below:

  • 6:00 - 7:00 PM:  People gather informally to share a meal together and then discuss events and community issues. (There will be no access to the kitchen, so people are welcome to bring something to share if convenient.)
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM:  The candlelight Circle is held. After a brief ritual burning of sage, people take turns with the "Talking Stick."
The Side-by-Side Community Circle is open to ALL, new faces and old! Please contact Bob David at 617-780-5062 if you have any questions.
New Parent Advisory Opportunity!
Are you a new mom interested in meeting other moms in your community? Join this free parent advisory drop-in group for mothers of infants to receive endless parenting support!
Notes from the 90 Day Challenge:
Vital Village Network Male Engagement Meeting:
Our next meeting will be:
When: Wednesday, August 12th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Location: Online Conference Call 
If you would like to discuss how you can incorporate male engagement into your work or contribute to existing projects,
send us an email for meeting information.
Around The Network:
Annual Multicultural Festival: One Community Many Dreams

DSNI's Multicultural Festival is back for Summer 2015! Do not miss out on this great event to spend quality time with your family and celebrate the beautiful diversity in our communities!
Father Family Fun Day

Our partner Father Friendly Initiative will be bringing back the annualFathers, Family, Fun Day event! Although Father's day has past, that does not mean we should stop celebrating fatherhood and family in our community! This collaborative effort by multiple State, City, and community partners and organizations brings families a fun day, filled with enriching activities to promote fatherhood involvement and raise awareness about community resources! 

When: 12-4 PM September 19th, 2015
Where: Harambee Park / Franklin Field
     15 Talbot Ave
Getting Ready for Kindergarten with Countdown To Kindergarten!
Do you work with young kids getting ready to start school this September? Are your own kids getting ready to begin school? It can certainly be challenging and stressful to think of all the things you need to do to get children ready and well-prepared for school...Good thing our partner organization, Countdown to Kindergarten has the city of Boston covered in this department! 
Join Countdown to Kindergarten this August at multiple events to help guide children and parents get ready for kindergarten. First up the will be hosting the 2015 Kindergarten Day Parties being held at different times and locations. Look Here for a list of scheduled events and find the location nearest to you!
Then, at the end of the month, will be Countdown to Kindergarten's 16th Annual Citywide Kindergarten Celebration from 4:30 - 7:30 PM on Monday, August 31st at the
Boston Children's Museum

These events are open and FREE to all new kindergartners attending Boston Public Schools and their families. To participate, kindergartners need to wear the yellow "I'm going to Kindergarten" t-shirt and be accompanied by an adult with proof of their BPS Kindergarten registration. T-shirts can be found at your local Boston Public Library!
In This Issue

Dates to Remember:
Quick Links
Vital Village Website
Send us an email
From The Blog:
The Raising of America: Improving Student Outcomes from Outside the Classroom
Vital Village Emerging Leaderand third-year medical student at Boston University, Genevieve Guyolreflects on how her experiences as aTeach for America member have shaped her approach to preventing adverse health outcome and promoting well-being as a medical student and future doctor. Read her blog here on the Teach For America website. 
Guyol discusses how she is excited for the documentary series, The Raising of America, which features parents, researchers, and professionals from different fields talk about how we can use early childhood education to promote children's beginnings. The documentary features Boston Medical Center and our very own founder and pediatrician, Dr. Renee Boynton-JarrettPreview the series here! 
Around The City:
Boston Creates
Boston Creates has released a survey to find out what YOU think about the citywide cultural planning process.  Paul Revere Award by the od and the Future of America a preview is available here
Useful Tools:
Crisis Text Line is a free cell phone text messaging service, developed by, that provides emotional support and resource referrals for anyone experiencing any type of crisis. This SMS hotline is staffed by trained crisis counselors who are available 24/7 to meet individual needs. Taking this initiative one step further, CTL has also launched "Crisis Trends," a free online platform that aims to visualize crisis data. By providing this information, CTL hopes to increase awareness around the crises Americans are facing today. Visit Crisis Trends here
Parenting Resource: Zero-to-Three's Positive Parenting Approaches
There is a lot of research on early child development, but parents and providers are often left wondering what they can actually DO to better nurture children! Zero-to-Three's tip sheets, brochures, and podcasts provide parents and caregivers with concrete ideas and strategies to support positive parenting approaches! Browse Resources on Positive Parenting Approaches Here 
Vital Village will be hosting socioemotional learning and engagement activities at the BMC bWell Center on Tuesdays from 2-4pm.
Many New Mothers Report No Physician Advice on Infant Sleep Position and Breastfeeding 
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a study surveying more than a 1000 new mothers about the infant care advice they received from different sources. According to the study, many new mothers do not receive advice from physicians on aspect of infant care, including breastfeeding, sleep position, immunization and pacifier use.  Read the full story here.
PCBD Checklist for Youth: A new assessment tool for grieving youth
Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder (PCBD), a syndrome of grieving, has been a relatively unstudied diagnosis. Researchers at UCLA and UTHealth, however, are hoping to change this with their recent development of the "PCBD Checklist for Youth," the first ever PCBD assessment tool for grieving youth.  Read the report here.
Vital Village Network | |
88 East Newton St.
Vose Hall, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118