EAST BOSTON FAMILY ENGAGEMENT NETWORK
The East Boston Family Engagement Network (EBFEN) is a longstanding group of agencies, led by Gloria DeVine, who continue to work together to offer programs, services for families and leadership opportunities for parents. We are the largest collaborative group advocating for children and families in East Boston. Some of our new partners this year include UCB (Union Capital Boston), MSPCC (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). This grant focus continues to reach out especially to families who are not connected to services already.
We currently have 11 Parent Partners and are proud to have the largest and most diverse group of Parent Partners in the city. The countries represented by the parents are: Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, Peru, El Salvador, Morocco, Malaysia, Vietnam, France and Algeria. They are a wonderful group who work collaboratively and have built strong relationships with each other. They embrace each other’s cultures and beliefs, and love to share and learn from each other.
We continue to work with Parents, providing them with leadership opportunities, to elevate them within the community. We continue our strong partnerships with The Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, WIC, East Boston Head Start, EBYMCA, Little Folks, Nurtury, and BPS. These relationships are crucial to the success in providing our parents and families leadership opportunities which help them to become strong community leaders.
Our Parent Partners are a busy group and do a variety of different activities. They produce and distribute a monthly calendar of activities for families, highlighting family friendly activities in East Boston. Other activities include Welcome Baby Visits, Ages & Stages Screenings for children up to 5 years old, Baby Play Group as well as Multicultural Days, Book Swaps and assist in the yearly Kindergarten Parade! Our Parent Partners are volunteers, who receive a small stipend for their participation.
Other examples of our work:
East Boston has the largest cohort of trained Read Boston Parent Literacy Leaders, with languages in English, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish. UPDATE: Our Parent Partners have held over 10 workshops for families in four different languages!
The second Flash Rhyme Mob, a city wide Flash Mob, was held with over 350 children from East Boston this year! UPDATE: This years Flash Rhyme Mob had one location, at the Library. There were 357 children in attendance!
Provided 30 ASQ Screenings (Ages & Stages Questionnaires) for children ages 0-5.
Held Arabic Cultural Day/El Salvador Festival/Three Kings Day Festival
Held a successful three part workshop with the YWCA on Women’s Wellness
Held a Health & Wellness Fair with over 200 people in attendance at the EBSC
Tutoring newcomers in English
Two Parent Partners wrote and received a grant for Arabic Family Book Club
Provided over 30 Welcome Baby Visits
Parent Partner hosts a Spanish Literacy Class every Friday at EBSC
Produce Monthly Calendar for Families reaching over 1000 families each month
2 Additional Parents trained and added to the cohort of trainers through Read Boston for literacy workshops for families
Participated in Advocacy for families at the State House
Participated in Childcare Advocacy at the State House
Also to note:
The East Boston Family Engagement Network is currently in year three of a grant from the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH), through the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), which will end August 15th, 2017. We have made great strides working on two initiatives: Smoke Free Housing and Active Transit. We continue to have 6 Healthy Community Champions, all sharing the work of both initiatives. Around Active Transit, our HCC’s have signed up over 150 people for subsidized Hubway Membership! We have a walking group, exercise group, and successfully helped to start the Peace Walks in East Boston. On Smoke Free Housing, the Team has passed out over 6000 pieces of materials to support people who choose to go smoke free in their homes; landlords tip sheets to go smoke free; how to quit smoking; and the effects of smoking on the smoker and the family. We have a presence at the East Boston Farmers Market, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center bi-weekly, as well as numerous community events.