Volume 3, Issue 9; September 2016
In This Issue:

I.     Save the Date!
II.    Bright Spot
III.   CONtexts
VI.   Around the City
VII.  Research
VIII. Useful Tools
Save the Date:savedate
Upcoming Network Connection Meetings:
RSVP ahead of time by clicking on the date below:

When: Evans Seminar Room (Room 112A), Boston University Medical Campus. 72 East Concord St. Boston, MA 02118

A meal and parking validation for the 710 Albany Garage will be provided.

3rd Annual Social Justice Mediation Institute (SJMI):
Are you interested in making a difference in your community?
Vital Village Network is hosting the 3rd annual SJMI! Participants who complete the 40-hour training will receive a certificate that designates them as a qualified mediator! This training is FREE and open to all adults (18+). These new mediation skills can be used not only at work, but also within your family and community. 

When: October 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 16th, from 9 am-5 pm
Where: Roxbury Innovation Center -  2300 Washington St, Boston, MA 02119

Leadership Summit 2016:
Mark your calendars, the 2016 Vital Village Leadership Summit has officially been scheduled for December 13th and 14th at The Nonprofit Center at 89 South St in Boston!

This September, Vital Village will be offering a new train-the-trainer session, in which participants can learn to serve as peer advocates. This particular session will focus on local child care options and the voucher application process. Think this sounds awesome? Email for more information or to get involved in the training!
Bright Spot:bright

BMC Baby Cafe opening soon!
Looking to bond with your child and new friends in a breastfeeding support group? Would you like to ask a lactation specialist and nurse your questions about breastfeeding? Visit the Baby Cafe, a safe space to learn and have fun together.
A BMC Baby Cafe will be opening September 13th in BMC Yawkey 5, Integrative Therapy Room! The Cafe will be open weekly from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Tuesdays. It will be held by Nurse Practitioner Shelia Lewis and qualified lactation specialists. 

* Looking forward- we hope to have additional breast-feeding support group at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Boston Children's Museum, and South End United Settlements soon! 
Countdown to Kindergarten

Over the month of August, Countdown to Kindergarten has  thrown some exciting Kindergarten Day parties in libraries across Boston. The K-days, for incoming kindergarteners and their families, offered the opportunity to meet new classmates, participat e in fun activities such as face-painting and art-by-numbers, and listen to a storyteller. We are very proud of and excited for our new kindergarteners !
D.W. Counts Down to Kindergarten!

Boston Children's Museum and Project Hope worked together to share the traveling play, D.W. Counts Down to Kindergarten!, with incoming children and their families on August 8th. This event brought neighbors together to talk about kindergarten, whether they were nervous, curious, or very, very excited. The play talked about typical day at kindergarten and gave the new students the chance to participate, even learning the Countdown to Kindergarten song and dance! After the play, some of the local museums gave away free passes in a raffle and students received backpacks with the supplies they'll need for a very special first day!
CONtexts: A free texting service on community resources and events! CONtexts

Vital Village is excited to offer a free texting service, in which users will receive information about community resources (Mondays), useful youth wellness tips (Wednesdays), and fun family activities (Fridays). To subscribe, please  text KIDS to  88588 . You can also join the Facebook page  here

To give feedback on what information you'd like to hear about or to share resources you know about, e-mail with the subject "CONtexts" or post on the Facebook page.
Praising Parents:praisingparents
"Do you remember when you used to beatbox me to sleep?" 
This month we're celebrating this awesome Dad-Daughter duo who love to beatbox. What are some fun and creative ways your family likes to spend time together?

Beatboxing Lesson from Father-Daughter Duo
Beatboxing Lesson from Father-Daughter Duo

Have a video that you
 think would be perfect 
for next month's 
Praising Parents? 
Share it with us at
Around the Network:network

Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition
Looking to learn about ways to support affordable and healthful food availability? Check out the Farmers Market and Healthy on the Block. Want to learn more about the Moving for Life initiative, including friendly walking groups, yoga, and dance? Join the coalition meeting on second Tuesdays!

When: Tuesday, September 13- 7 pm-9 pm
Where: Mildred Avenue Community Center- 5 Mildred Ave; Mattapan, MA

Project Hope Health Care Career Training Program
Interested in a health care career? The Community Partners in Health Professions is a 12-week job readiness training program emphasizing
academics, communication, and computer skills. Informational sessions will be held in September and October.

See attached CHCP flyer.

When: 9/2, 9/16, 10/7, 10/21 (9:30 am)
Where: 550 Dudley St; Roxbury, MA (corner of East Cottage and Dudley St)
Contact: 617-442-1880 x234
Dynamic Neighbors in Action
Looking to learn about healthful cooking and to connect with other awesome cooks? The DotWell Center will be hosting a cooking and nutrition class for patients 50+ with diabetes or prediabetes. Read from the ADA's meal planning tips and recipes here. Get ready to learn, have fun, and cook some delicious & nutritious food!

When: Tuesday, September 13- 9:30-11:30 am
Where: Conference Room A; Dorchester House Multi-Service Center- 1353 Dorchester Avenue; Dorchester, MA 02122 
Contact: Call Sophie Dover for more information at 617-822-8224 
Around the City: city
Road to Wellness 5k
Walk. Run. Have fun.
Enjoy walking or running in historic Roxbury with friends and family! Fitful fun!

For more information, see the website

When: Saturday, September 10th, 7 am
Where: Dimock Center, 55 Dimock St, Roxbury
ParkARTS Participatory Arts
This month, have fun with your child and family at an outdoor art lesson in your local park!

Watercolor Painting Workshop

When: Sunday September 18th, 12-2 pm
Where: Schoolmaster Hill- Dorchester

When: Sunday, September 25th, 12-2 pm
Where: Highland Park- Roxbury

Rockin' with Raptors
Do you enjoy hiking, wild raptors, and fun music? Come to Boston Nature Center to learn and play with your family! There will also be a cookout with cake and ice cream!

When: Saturday, September 24, 1-2 pm
Where: Boston Nature Center- 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan
Massachusetts Working on Wellness
LAST CHANCE: Up to $10,000 in seed funding for worksite wellness programs!
You are invited to join 
Working on Wellness a statewide worksite wellness movement. Working on Wellness  supports
Massachusetts employers in creating healthy workplaces by
 providing up to $10,000 in seed funding and offering expertise to help build a fun and effective wellness program that works for your organization.
Visit the  Working on Wellness website  to:
  •  Get information on worksite wellness benefits and what Working on Wellness offers
  • Register for an upcoming informational webinar
  • Apply to Working on Wellness by September 16th
Tilt-Down Fence- a public art installation
Tilt-Down Fence, a temporary urban stage set for Vietnamese water puppet shows and oral plays about immigrant experiences, is coming to Dorchester in early October (by the Fields Corner bus stop)!

The fence both represents the economic ladder and is a physical framework where people can come together and support one another. 

"symbolically speaks about the borders
and boundaries that the immigrant population has to break through + structure of placemaking"

BR+A+CE has met with Evelyn Darling, Nia Allen-Lee, and their youth groups to think about ways in which Tilt-Down Fence can best serve the Dorchester immigrant community. 

Read more  here.
Early Voting in Boston
The city of Boston will be hosting twenty-seven "one-day" early voting sites. "For the first time Boston will allow voters to cast their ballots early from October 24, 2016 through November 4, 2016 at 5:00 p.m., for the November 8 Election." This decision will allow city residents to vote at a time that is convenient for their work and family schedule. Read the full article on voting registration  HERE !  

Voting in your local and national elections is important for so many reasons, including making your voice heard!  Click here  to learn more about the importance of voting, and the voting process itself!

Research: Research
The article "An Essential Role for Pediatricians: Becoming Child Poverty Change Agents for a Lifetime" (April 2016) calls pediatricians to action, acknowledging the importance of providing not only scientific evidence in their care, but also a backbone of love and community. This love is necessary to serve as a change agent within a community, honoring the perspectives, knowledge, and experiences of its residents.

Click here  to read the full article!
Too ls:Tools
Interested in becoming a better facilitator? Want to create welcoming and safe environments? Looking to recruit and sustain participants? This workbook provides tools to evaluate your organization's sustainability and to plan for future recruitment.

Click here to see the Creating Welcoming Spaces Workbook from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute.
The Scoop on Stats:stats
staying up to date with data measurement!
Figure 1. Types of stress **
Looking at the potential of relationships to foster resilience
According to the Center on the Developing Child, "resilience transforms potentially toxic stress into tolerable stress" (p.1). **  Whereas toxic stress may have negative consequences for children later in life, tolerable stress allows children to develop coping mechanisms. Stress has the potential to impact gene expression, brain function (optimism and emotion regulation), and immune responses (protecting against illness). Building relationships, such as a parent-child or teacher-child relationship, strengthens a child's resilience, allowing them to experience tolerable rather than toxic stress** Read the full paper  here

*  Ellis, B (2011). "Differential Susceptibility to the Environment: an Evolutionary-Neurodevelopmental Theory." Development and Psychopathology, Cambridge University Press.
** Center on the Developing Child (2016). "Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience". Working Paper 13:
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
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