Tag: success by 6

Celebrate Juneteenth with your neighbors

Juneteenth (June 19) is a day of celebration and recognition of the end of chattel slavery in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to inform enslaved Black Americans of their freedom — more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The following year ⁠— and every year thereafter ⁠— June 19th has been a celebration of freedom in the Black community in Texas and beyond.  At United Way for Greater Austin, we will be closing our office on Friday, June 18 in recognition of Juneteenth. We invite you to join us and your neighbors in celebrating this day of freedom. Here are 7 ways to Live United and celebrate Juneteenth this year: 1. Learn more about the history of Juneteenth (virtual) The history of Juneteenth is something that is not often taught in schools. Take some time to learn more about the significance of this day. Here’s an informative article from VOX, a list of books for people of all ages, and a short video from History.  2. Attend “Juneteenth 2021: Stay Black and Live Vol.2” (in-person and virtual) This city-wide Juneteenth festival is presented by Six Square, CarverMuseumATX, and the Black Austin Coalition, in partnership with Jump On It, the Austin Area Urban League, Austin Justice Coalition, and the Greater East Austin Youth Association. This day-long celebration kicks off with a parade at 10 am and ends at 9 pm with a fireworks display. 3. Take a self-guided tour through […]

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Read United: 10 age-appropriate books that reflect the LGBTQIA+ community

Did you know that having at least 20 age-appropriate books in the home can improve a child’s educational success? The Greater Austin Reading Coalition and Success By Six Coalition – convened by United Way for Greater Austin – want to make sure that all local children and families have access to books that illustrate a diversity of backgrounds and cultures. This June marks the 51st celebration of Pride Month — a month where we uplift, celebrate, and support the LGBTQIA+ community. United Way is excited to celebrate this month with all of our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.  In honor of Pride Month, here are 10 age-appropriate books that reflect the LGBTQIA+ community to help raise awareness about different types of families, what it means to be LGBTQIA+, and promote inclusivity. Many of these titles are available to check out at your local library or in audio form on YouTube. Top 5 board books for babies to toddlers: (ages 0-4) 1.”Love Makes a Family” by Sophie Beer 2. “My Two Moms and Me” by Michael Joosten, illustrated by Izak Zenou 3. “Peanut Goes for the Gold”  Jonathan Van Ness, illustrated by Gillian Reid 4. “Baby’s First Words” by Christiane Engel 5. “And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and Henry Cole   Top 5 books for young readers: (K- 4th) 1. “Julian is a Mermaid” by Jessica Love 2. “I am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas 3. “Pride: The Story of Harvey […]

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Parents, here are 5 things to do before going back to child care

Going back to work will be different for everyone, including people who work in child care. Because of COVID-19, teachers have changed how they care for and educate children to follow new health and safety standards. Parents, here are 5 tips to get ready for going back to care outside the home. 1. Practice wearing your mask at home Early childhood teachers are asked to think about wearing masks while caring for children. Seeing people in masks and wearing a mask may be difficult for many young children. You can help your child adjust to this by: Practice wearing masks at home, and taking them on and off. Let your child touch and hold your mask before you put it on. Talk about why we wear masks in simple terms like: wearing a mask helps keep people from getting sick because it covers their nose and mouth. Children learn through play, so include masks in silly “peek-a-boo” games or in pretend play – or make little paper masks for your child’s stuffed animals or dolls. Make children’s masks individual and unique for them. Allow your child to ask questions and express their feelings. Note: Masks should NOT be worn by children under age 2. Read more guidance from Austin Public Health here. 2. Understand tuition and fees Since March, you may have paid a part of child care fees even if your program was closed. This may seem unfair, but it helps keep your child’s spot at the center and […]

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United Way ATX helps launch the Success By 6 Coalition Strategic Plan

United Way for Greater Austin Launches 2019-2023 “Success By 6” Strategic Plan Every day, an average of 38 babies are born in the Austin area. The Success By 6 (SX6) Coalition is working to ensure that each of these 38 brand-new Texans have an equal opportunity to thrive. SX6 is a coalition of child and family advocates – providers, parents, policymakers, civic leaders, philanthropists, business leaders and early childhood experts – working together on a community plan that reflects our collective wisdom and amplifies our collective voice. On Wednesday, April 24, 2019 the SX6 Coalition will launch the next iteration of our community’s strategic plan and lay out their strategies and goals for the next 2,000 days. From 7:15 – 9 a.m. civic leaders, including Mayor Steve Adler, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Council Member Kathie Tovo, early childhood education experts, policymakers and more will gather to celebrate the hard work and collaboration that went into creating the plan. Attendees will hear a keynote from The University of Texas System Chancellor James B. Milliken over breakfast at the University of Texas Club. Why a 2,000-day journey? Because research has proven that the first five years of a child’s life strongly influence the rest. Ninety percent of brain development happens within the 2,000 days from birth to Kindergarten, so an early childhood full of rich experiences is essential for happy, healthy children who are ready to succeed in school and life. For the past seven years, SX6 has led this strategic plan [formerly […]

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Get access to FREE food for kids this summer

“When school lets out for summer, millions of children lose access to school breakfast and lunch and are at risk of going hungry. Our summer meal programs work to make sure that doesn’t happen.” -USDA Food & Nutrition Service Did you know that 1 in 4 Austin, TX households are food insecure? Access to basic needs is a fundamental right, and United Way for Greater Austin is proud of the work our 2-1-1 Navigation team plays in ensuring that families have access to resources like nutritious, affordable food all year round. During the school year many families rely on the free breakfast and lunch program that is offered for qualifying families through the public school system. That benefit is not available when the school year ends, so funders and providers are coming together to ensure there is access to food available during these summer months. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is offered throughout the state of Texas. In the Greater Austin area our 2-1-1 Navigation team works hard to make sure families have accurate, up-to-date information on which locations in their area are offering food, and when. The SFSP program partners offer FREE food throughout the state to: · All children, 18 and under, no questions asked. · To individuals 19 years and older who have a mental or physical disability, and participate during the school year in a public or private non-profit school program. There are no other qualifications to receive the free meals. The program runs from […]

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Community Partner Spotlight: Mainspring Schools

Since opening its doors in 1941, Mainspring Schools has been a best-in-class nonprofit preschool that works to eliminate the early childhood school readiness gap. Their mission is “to deliver the highest quality early education and care to Austin’s most economically disadvantaged children – along with services so each child and parent have tools for success in school and life.” With a mission like that and its dedication to providing high-quality, innovative, and researched based services to all children, Mainspring serves as a model for early childhood centers in Austin and beyond. As the backbone organization for early childhood in Austin/Travis County, United Way supports more than 20 childcare centers serving children from low-income families. Mainspring envisions a future in Austin in which all students have an equal opportunity to start school with the skills, support and wellness to compete and succeed in school and life. “We firmly believe that you have to start early to build a strong foundation for at-risk kids. If you get the first years right, the path to success is clearer for our children,” says Jason Gindele, Executive Director for Mainspring. Gindele’s says of his team that they “often say, facetiously, that [their] mission is to get rid of all other charities. That’s obviously not true, but [they] do believe that if you get the first years of a child’s life right, it can prevent so many issues down the road that require the attention of our society.” In Travis County, 42 percent of children under […]

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Community Partner Spotlight: Todos Juntos, Everyone is Family

Nestled on the East Side of Austin, Texas, Todos Juntos has been changing lives one family at a time for 10 years. Founder and Executive Director, Christina Collazo, has been a “Catalyst for Change” long before she was nominated for this year’s Mission Capital Award. Collazo began implementing a 2Gen (also known as Dual Gen) approach in her work a decade ago before it became the buzz-word it is today. She saw the value in raising families out of poverty through an intergenerational approach. Her vision took her out of the classroom, and into the non-profit sector where she has built an organization from the ground up. Amidst many hardships she faced along the way, she never balked in the face of adversity. “Christina Collazo is a pioneer who understood [the complex problem of intergenerational poverty] and saw its solution. She intuitively saw the link between outcomes for children and outcomes for their parents,” Sue Carpenter, Chief Programs Officer for United Way for Greater Austin said. “Many of the students at the predominately Latino high school in Austin where she worked were reading below grade level, and their parents, eager to engage and support their children, struggled to overcome language barriers and low-education levels themselves. For Christina, it was the stereotypical light bulb moment. If only she could reach the entire family earlier when the return on investment was so much greater and pair language and skills training for parents with high-high quality early education for their children.” Collazo’s solution […]

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In Good Hands, From Day One

It’s not news to us that Austin is growing at an astounding rate, with more than 150 people moving here daily. But there are other challenges that come with rapid growth, besides the traffic. A large number of those newcomers are moving here for job opportunities, and often early in their careers. This strong flow of young transplants means that many people living in Austin are far from their traditional support structures such as family and friends. When they start their own families in Austin, they’re unlikely to have access to the helpful community they’re used to leaning on.

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MENTAL HEALTH & MIGRANT CHILDREN

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS Our School Readiness Action Plan (SRAP) provides a strategic and data-driven roadmap to making sure our community, parents, caregivers and educators are ready and prepared to support the mental and physical health and development of our children. Our SRAP goals include ensuring that all children receive early and regular developmental screenings, have access to basic needs and mental health services as well as increasing the number of family-serving agencies that are trauma-informed. Ninety percent of the brain develops by age five and a child’s mental health is the most important aspect of their social and cognitive development. Research shows that the earliest years of life can set the stage for lifelong mental health outcomes. “Early childhood trauma has been associated with reduced size of the brain cortex. This area of the brain is responsible for many complex functions including memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thinking, language and consciousness. These events may affect IQ and the ability to regulate emotions, and the child may become more fearful.” National Alliance on Mental Illness research shows that early intervention and treatment can minimize and prevent the loss of critical developmental delays. The more the community is prepared to identify, evaluate and, if necessary, treat the mental health of our children, the less we have to spend on healthcare, involve the juvenile and criminal justice system and fight to keep children from dropping out of school.   WHAT IT MEANS FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN TOXIC STRESS Doctors Concerned About ‘Irreparable Harm’ To Separated […]

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Día de los Niños 2017

As part of Project HOPES, our Success By 6 Outreach Coordinator, Marilyn Manzo, led the second annual Día de los Niños event in congruence with Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event was held at Allan Elementary on April 29, 2017 and generated more than 150 referrals for early childhood programs. More than 300 attendees enjoyed a petting zoo, free face painting, healthy snacks donated by HEB & Community Sync, music, and developmentally appropriate activities. In addition, more than 100 developmentally appropriate books were given away for free to families during the event. Family Support Network and School Readiness Action Plan participants included: AVANCE, Any Baby Can, BookSpring, The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, Communities in Schools, Vela, Mama Sana, Vroom, YMCA, Child Inc., Si Se Puede, and the Austin Public Library. The implementation, planning, and outreach for the event was truly a group effort that contributed to the success of the event. See all event photos here!   

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