Nurturing the Spirit of Family

The warm weather of late June acts like a beacon to my family; it draws us Up North for our annual 4th of July camping trip.   As a family, we have been migrating to the serene northwest part of Michigan for the last ten years.  Fishing, hiking, dune climbing, and playing in the sand and surf fill our days while campfires, s'mores, stargazing and family stories complete the nights.

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Tips for a Seasoned Parent Cafe Host

Parent Cafes are a great way for parents to strengthen their families. For those seasoned in hosting Parent Cafes, it can become mechanical over time. Sarita Sashington, our Strategic Relationships Manager and Senionr Trainer, shares with us that the process is important, and each piece serves a purpose in helping both hosts and participants enjoy and benefit from the experience.

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Improving Engagement by Prioritizing “Human” and “Service” Over Paperwork

Eligibility. Intake. Paperwork. “It’s our policy.” I have had been involved in personally and heard through others, of numerous situations recently highlighting the ways our human services systems prioritize the needs of the system and its workers — us — over the needs of the people we serve. How our policies and procedures from the outset create barriers to access and inadvertently add to the suffering of people in need.

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A Season of Change: Summer

As of last week, we here in the western hemisphere, have entered one of my favorite seasons: Summer. This is a time of sunshine, beach trips, pool parties and making traditions. Summer is a time of growth. The ground is fertile, new growth is popping up, and we stockpile all the things needed for the coming winter. It’s a time of preparation. We have an opportunity to prepare ourselves, as well, in this season.

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Strategic Planning: Wrapping Up and Realizing Our Dreams

From last November through May, Be Strong Families completed the second phase of our strategic planning process based in appreciative inquiry, focused on the Dream. In this phase, we build on the Discovery phase, and use those strengths to form the positive core that launches us into our preferred future. Beginning on November 13, 2018, staff, board members, parent leaders, and partners convened in Pasadena to kick off the process.

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COMING TOGETHER TO NAVIGATE THE LARGER WORLD OF PARENTING

At precisely 2:30 p.m. on Sunday May 19th, I took my seat along side my family at The Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri and eagerly waited for the graduation ceremony to begin.  As the college graduates began to fill the arena, one by one, I caught a glimpse of my son in his cap and gown and my heart swelled with pride and joy.  But when the moment came for him to march across the stage and receive his diploma, pride and joy took a back seat; almost instantly I exhaled a sigh of relief.

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Beauty: An Essential Ingredient for Well-being

Be Strong Families staff has been on a 6-month long self-care journey sharing our reflections, and commitments related to improving our personal vitality. Our Journey to Vitality work-site wellness program, which addresses 7 domains of vitality (Physical, Spiritual, Environmental, Financial, Emotional/Mental and Social), has been a great way to get to know and support one another and to practice a wide-range of self-care habits to boost our overall well-being.

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Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Parent Cafés in California

As the creators of the Parent Cafés, Be Strong Families is excited to announce that the California Department of Education recently added “expanding parental knowledge of child development through Parent Cafés” as one of the top strategies under their nearly $11 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B—5), previously announced on January 16, 2019. This announcement follows the inauguration of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as California’s first Surgeon General. We are longtime admirers of Dr. Burke Harris’s work, including her 2015 TED Talk, “How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.”

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