Hamden’s Partnership for Young Children Annual Meeting
By Barbara Vita —
Hamden’s Partnership for Young Children held its Annual Meeting on November 18, 2019. It was very well attended by representatives and elected officials from the school and city, as well as highly valued members of the Partnership. It was a morning of learning, networking, and fun.
Hamden’s Partnership for Young Children is clearly an integral part of its community. It is an organization that the City of Hamden recognizes as a critical resource to help ensure the success of children and adults in their community.
Hamden has a very active Family Resource Center. Hamden’s Superintendent of Schools, Jody Goeler recalled how he had participated in the Parents as Teachers curriculum when his children were young. He clearly understood the benefits of parent education as well as the connection of early childhood programs to the long-term, overall success of a child’s education. Also on the program was Jennifer Heath, President & CEO of the United Way of Greater New Haven. Her presentation, Helping Children by Supporting Adults; The Role of Executive Function was very helpful and informative.
Ms. Heath’s presentation based on the Harvard report from the Center on the Developing Child “Building Core Capabilities for Life” centered around the Five Core Life Skills that an emotionally healthy adult should possess:
1. Planning: Being able to make plans, carry them out, and set and meet goals;
2. Focus: Concentrating on what’s most important at any given time;
3. Self-control: Having the ability to control how we respond to our emo-tions and stressful situations;
4. Awareness: Noticing people and situations around us and how we all fit into the picture, and;
5. Flexibility: Being able to adapt to changing situations.
She explained the best ways for practitioners to work with adults and parents who have been affected by toxic stress. Our work with children and families is holistic. If parents don’t have the skills to successfully regulate themselves and manage day-to-day tasks, they will find it very challenging to raise a child. That is why individual coaching as well as programs like Parents as Teachers is so important in the transformation of lives — it breaks the debilitating effects of toxic stress that arise from poverty, violence, and abuse. With the one-on-one relationships that are formed from parent educators, parents are able to learn and grow in ways that not only benefit themselves, but their children as well. If you would like to explore this topic further please click here.