April 2023 news & updates
April 6th, 2023
While we continue to explore the best ways to make our materials more linguistically inclusive, we are using Google Translate to provide a Spanish version of our newsletter.
We are excited to announce that we redesigned our Norwalk Data Dashboard—and created a comprehensive dashboard with targeted sections, various data sources, and visualizations.

In the past, we made specific dashboards for the community and our Initiatives. We redesigned these dashboards to include more data in an easy-to-read format centralized in one location. The updated design includes five sections: Norwalk Citywide Profile, Norwalk Public Schools District, Norwalk Early Childhood, Norwalk Youth Social Emotional Health, and Norwalk College & Workforce Readiness.
The thumbnails below represent each section within the Data Dashboard.
Norwalk ACTS’ Data Dashboard helps frame both the celebrations and challenges that the community is facing, and it is intended to help inform the community in developing solutions that drive equitable outcomes for young people and families.
MJ says, "Paul Schmitz shares inspiring stories, unique experiences, and practical examples about what it means to lead today. "Not everyone can lead in every context, but everyone has the capacity to step up, take responsibility, and work with others to progress on the issues they care about." This book is about leading communities and offers hope to build and engage diverse leadership to solve community problems."
The CT Data Collaborative is hosting a data conference on May 4, 2023. For this year's theme, Bridge The Data Gaps, sessions will focus on exploring data gaps that may be hindering your own work, as well as those that are keeping us as a state from creating a place where everyone can thrive. Our keynote speaker, Natalie Evans Harris, Executive Director of the Black Wealth Data Center, will discuss how we can seek to empower decision-makers with reliable data and to raise the national standard for data collection and accessibility, including an exploration of their comprehensive repository for Black wealth data. 
The newest DataHaven community wellbeing report was released last week. The report includes an analysis of data from their 2021 and 2022 Community Wellbeing Survey, as well as many other new data sources.

The Index is a core community indicators program of DataHaven, produced in partnership with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. It is a collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment for the towns served by Bridgeport Hospital, Danbury Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and Stamford Hospital.
Listen to the Advancing Equity Podcast on How to Use the New Racial Equity Toolkit.

The Racial Equity Toolkit supports backbone staff and partners to operationalize racial equity throughout their collective impact work. Through a mix of personal reflection exercises, conversations, and activities, this toolkit will help teams explore how centering racial equity can advance their strategies, build understanding, strengthen relationships, and support in reaching their collective goals.
You likely already know that Connecticut has one of the highest wealth gaps in the country. But did you know that Connecticut was the first state to enact a baby bonds program?

Baby bonds are $3,200 invested for each baby born in CT whose birth is covered by HUSKY. That money grows exponentially over time and can be used later to help level the playing field and creates new opportunities for homeownership, business creation, and educational attainment for low-income children.

The program is set to go into effect on July 1, 2023, but funding needs to be allocated from the state legislature. Take 5 minutes right now to contact your legislator and let them know you support Baby Bonds! If you take one legislative action this session, let this be the one!
CT Baby Bonds will set aside funds for each baby born in Connecticut whose birth was covered by HUSKY. The Office of the Treasurer will hold, manage, and invest those funds. Lawmakers must prioritize including funding for CT Baby Bonds in this year’s budget so that Connecticut can begin investing on behalf of our children, especially babies born into intergenerational poverty. Learn more at the CT Baby Bonds website.
On April 22nd the Connecticut Network for Children and Youth is hosting its annual conference focused on “Community Healing through Connections." A couple of the Norwalk ACTS Early Childhood Community Advocates will be co-leading a workshop. 

If you are interested in registering or learning more about the workshops, please click on the link for the Childhood Conversations: Together We Will 2023 conference!
Please note, The April 13th Early Childhood Family Meet-Up is canceled due to the NPS April vacation. The next Early Childhood Family Meet-Up will be on May 11 at 9 a.m. at the NPS Family Center!
Calling all parents of children 0-5! Do you know that SPARKLER is a FREE mobile app for Connecticut families, helping parents support children’s development from birth through 5?
We are one month away from celebrating Mental Health Month in May. Please save the NorWALK for Mental Health date on 5/6/23.

If your organization wants a table at the NorWALK event and/or would like to contribute to a community workshop during mental health month, please email our Director of Equity and Collaboration, Denique Weidema-Lewis, at dlewis@norwalkacts.org.
Suicide Prevention Training

Cohort 3: April 11, 13, 18, 2023 from 9:00 AM–10:30 AM CT
(Accepted applicants will only take part in one of these cohorts)
SafeSide Youth Services unites clinical, school, and community staff with a common language and framework. This program, based in the latest research, will equip you with a common ‘map’ of best practices in recovery-oriented suicide prevention. Although roles and responsibilities are different, everyone gains an understanding of the four core tasks of suicide prevention: Connect – Assess – Respond – Extend
Training cohorts work together through 4 hours of video-guided learning in 90-minute segments. All participants take away tactics, tips, and wording they can use immediately...then continue learning and skill development through optional monthly video calls and new updates and refreshers added throughout the year. E-mail Sarah McMinn to get more information!
The Norwalk Out of School Time Program Locator is a resource for families to find programs that meet the needs of their children. We aim to connect all Norwalk young people to year-round, meaningful out-of-school experiences. 

With summer program registration right around the corner, we are reaching out to make sure your program is added to the portal with the right information.
  • If your organization has programming for this Summer, please add your program by emailing info@norwalkacts.org.
  • If your organization has entered Fall/Winter/Spring or year-round program information - please double-check your entries on the Program Locator to ensure all information is accurate and current. Need to make changes? Please reply to info@norwalkacts.org with any changes that need to be made.