Posts filed under ‘Get Involved’

Give the gift of books and reading!

Here at ReadBoston, we distribute over 100,000 books to kids in programs throughout Boston. While most of the books we provide are new, many of them are gently used and provided to schools, homeless shelters and preschools to replenish their libraries. In order to provide these books to the very deserving kids that read them, we rely on donations from the community. Schools, businesses, and universities often host book drives for us throughout the year, but there’s an even easier way for YOU to donate new or gently used books to ReadBoston.

We know it’s hard to part with books you love, but just think, your favorite copy of Goodnight Moon or Caps for Sale might continue to bring joy to a child in Boston. Donate these beloved books to ReadBoston through Swap.com. We’ve recently added tons of popular titles often requested by programs in the city.

Visit http://www.swap.com/classroom/readboston-boston-massachusetts-39/ to browse the titles that we need. And give your books a new life!

To learn more about ReadBoston, find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/readboston or follow us on Twitter @ReadBostonMA .

 

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December 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM Leave a comment

Stroll Into Summer with East Boston Children Thrive

Our go-to store for milk, eggs and just about anything we run out of last minute is a little bodega on our corner.  The owner knows our 3 year old and is great about including her in our transaction, whether it is just by asking her about her day or by asking her what color the lollipop he has given her is.  The owner also posts flyers about community events and tells us about things he’s heard of that he thinks may interest my family. 

 
East Boston Children Thrive, led by the Community Partnerships for Children East Boston neighborhood cluster, is highlighting these kind of family-friendly businesses and giving families a fun opportunity to meet each other in their Stroll Into Summer event this Saturday in East Boston.  Families are meeting at Bertulli Park in Central Square at 9 am on Saturday, June 11th for a stroll to 6 family-friendly businesses in their neighborhood.  There is a prize for the best decorated stroller and other family giveaways. 

East Boston Children Thrive engages families and businesses to support school readiness.

This unique event is just one way Boston Children Thrive is engaging businesses in supporting school readiness and helping parents build connections with each other and with their community.

 
I’ll post next week about how the event went.  In the meantime, if you know any East Boston families with young children, please spread the word about this event.  And if you have any creative ideas for how to engage the business community in supporting school readiness, please feel free to share that too.

June 8, 2011 at 10:10 AM 1 comment

A Marathon Starts with One Step

“The marathon is not really about the marathon, it’s about the shared struggle. And it’s not only the marathon, but the training.”
– Bill Buffum

Patriot’s Day is one of my favorite days in Boston. Since I was little, I have been watching the Boston Marathon each year, watching so many people run and run, fighting, pushing through and persevering no matter what to get to that finish line. You see complete strangers meeting, running together, helping each other, encouraging each other along, offering advice, physical support, or whatever it takes to keep moving forward.

As I watched this race yesterday, I resisted the urge to take up (and inevitably let slide) my own marathon training, but I also thought of how much this event reminded me of the work that is being done in Boston for young children and their families.

Last week at the Early Childhood Summit (hosted by Thrive in 5), we heard about moving forward, about putting action to our beliefs and to continuing to work for and advocate for this amazing resource that we have in the children of our city.

It struck me how important it is to find and talk to those unlikely supporters (the fellow runners who come from a different land), those who may not yet realize the importance of the work that is happening in early education. We want to help those people along, help them to understand the work that we do each day and the great reward that comes from it – just like crossing the finish line at 26.2 miles – there are so many children that offer such a great return to our community if we are willing to invest time and resources for them now.

In a town where there are so many child care providers, so many non-profit organizations, so many advocates, let’s be like those runners – everyone continuing to put one foot in front of another, helping each other along, and encouraging those who might be falling behind but are still in the race. We can create tangible action steps to get to the day when we can reach every child and make sure that no one knows what its like to lack resources or access to quality education. What is your first action step?

April 20, 2011 at 2:46 PM Leave a comment

Swap.com – How You Can Help Provide Boston Kids with High Quality Books

At ReadBoston, an important part of our work is providing Boston kids with access to high quality children’s books. In fact, each year, ReadBoston distributes over 50,000 brand new books to Boston kids through our summer Storymobile program alone. Access to books is one of the most important factors in developing the literacy skills necessary for school success. Research shows that low-income children have little access to high quality reading materials. There is about 10 times greater access to reading material in higher-income neighborhoods than in lower-income neighborhoods in an urban setting. Further, kids who read outside of school do better in school than those who do not. 

As a nonprofit, we rely on donations to provide Boston kids with access to high quality books. And, it just got easier to donate these books to ReadBoston! We’re partnering with Boston-based swap.com to get books to children most at risk of not reading on grade level by 4th grade. It is very simple. Check our list, print a mailing label and send it off. You get to have your book ‘re-used,’ ReadBoston has some budget relief and more kids will have more books. Click here to see how you can help!

March 9, 2011 at 2:33 PM Leave a comment

Free Training Series

Here are two Training Opportunities for professionals who provide services to children and families.  The trainings are hosted by the Children’s Trust Fund. Sign up for classes via our website:  www.mctf.org.

  
1. When Your Child Drives You Mad: Understanding and Managing Anger in Ourselves and Our Children: Samples from Parent Education Curricula – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Jan. 26, at Children’s Trust Fund, 55 Court St., 4th Flr, Boston.

Children can drive the most loving parents into periodic madness. Anger – a normal and inevitable part of any close relationship – can be damaging or instructive. Through a variety of activities, professionals in this workshop will identify hidden anger triggers and learn alternatives to explosions. The result: Parents can learn to discipline their children effectively with less guilt, more competence. Participants will also learn about resources to help stop aggression and angry outbursts in young children.
 
2. Parent/Child Communication: Helping Parents Use Books as Conversation Starters – 10:30 to 12:30, Feb. 9, at Codman Branch of the Boston Public Library, 690 Washington St., Boston

The Children’s Trust Fund’s library has a carefully chosen selection of books that can be used as are conversation starters for parents. This workshop introduces professionals to a wide range of children’s books that teach communication and problem-solving skills about sharing, getting lost, dealing with emotions and many other topics. Learn about these books and how to use them with families to teach moms and dads how to approach subjects in a fun and developmentally appropriate way.

To register for these trainings or to learn about upcoming events, please visit www.mctf.org.  And remember, if parents need information about raising their children, encourage them to visit www.OneToughJob.org.

January 6, 2011 at 12:36 PM Leave a comment

Self Regulation & School Readiness

Working for Thrive in 5 and being the mom of young child, my last 15 months has been a crash course in early childhood development.  One thing that has surprised me is just how much is involved in kids being “ready” for school.  A new aspect of school readiness I’ve learned a lot about recently is self regulation.  In fact, if you had asked me a few months ago what this term meant, I probably would have said something related to rules or order and left it at that.  It turns out, however, that self regulations skills – the ability to direct one’s feelings, thoughts and actions – are critical to build an early foundation for academic and social success. 

At Thrive in 5, we have been developing a partnership with an Initiative of the Children’s Hospital of Boston’s Department of Psychiatry to help raise awareness about the important link between self regulation skills and school readiness and what parents, caregivers and anyone involved in a child’s life can do to foster these skills in young children. 

If you want to learn more or join Children’s Hospital and Thrive in 5 in our effort to raise awareness and understanding about self regulation in young children, please feel free to contact me at Thrive in 5: katie.madrigal@thrivein5boston.org.

July 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM 1 comment

Children’s Trust Fund Launches New Campaign

It is so tempting to run into the bank while the baby sleeps in the car.  You got a great parking space, right in front, and it will only take five minutes to go to the ATM. 

Tempting?  Yes.  Good idea?  No.  We’re already reading articles in the newspaper about the dangers of children being left in the car while their parents or caregivers do an errand.  Left alone for even a short time, kids are in danger of dehydration, injury or even abduction. The Children’s Trust Fund has developed a campaign called Not Even For A Minute to remind parents never to leave a child in a vehicle. 

It is critical to convey this message.  “These really are good parents who love these kids who make a mistake that turns out to be fatal,” said David Strickland, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The government’s highway safety agency issued a consumer advisory this week that included a warning for parents not to leave children unattended in or near a vehicle.

Thirty seven children typically die each year from heat exhaustion in vehicles. A NHTSA report in June 2009, based on police reports, estimated that 27 children died in 2003-2004 from hyperthermia.

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CTF asked Suffolk University students to design posters conveying this important message.  The students presented three designs which will be printed and distributed to family serving agencies.  The Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles will also share the message in its satellite offices.

If your organization would like to display posters, contact John Iacoboni at john.iacoboni@state.ma.us.  

Other related links:

Hyperthermia deaths of children in vehicles: http://ggweather.com/heat/index.htm

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.gov/

Kids and Cars: http://www.kidsandcars.org/

Safe Kids USA: http://www.safekids.org/

July 1, 2010 at 11:37 AM Leave a comment

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