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BY5 September 2016 Newsletter
carrie@muncieby5.org
Welcome, Gretchen!
GretchenJoin us in welcoming intern Gretchen Marshall, a new addition to the BY5 team. Gretchen, a Child Development and Family Studies major at Ball State University, will work with BY5 for to complete requirements for her practicum over the course of the fall semester. Her major, as well as her experience working at Angels on High daycare, will provide a great perspective as she works on literacy initiatives as well as other initiatives relating to families and young children.
 
Why did she choose BY5 for her practicum? Gretchen says: “After learning about BY5 and their work…I just knew this was the place to gain experience for my internship…I hope to make an impact and gain as much knowledge and experience as I can from working within Delaware County and with BY5.”
More from Ball State
VroomBesides BY5’s intern, Gretchen, another group of Ball State students will be joining forces with BY5 this semester. The students, from an FCS 403 class, will perform research on the topic of how BY5 can best reach families with Vroom marketing materials. Vroom, an organization largely supported by the Bezos Foundation, provides materials to families that help them recognize when their behavior is stimulating their child’s brain in a positive way.
 
By working together with the Ball State students, BY5 hopes to reach more families and give them access to relevant, meaningful information about their child’s brain development. “We received a grant for access to these amazing resources for families in our community,” says Director Carrie Bale. “So, rather than distribute them and hope for the best, we are working a ‘Vroom Activation Plan’ to help guide our dissemination strategy and provide a feedback loop to see if the materials are beneficial for families. The students will create a plan that will help us meet our target.”
 
We’ll provide more updates on this exciting collaboration as they become available.
Delaware County is ALL IN 4 Prek!
Tuhey Pool was the place to be on August 9 when 545 people joined BY5 and Early Learning Indiana for a lively day of swimming, free ice cream, and story times with Ready Set Readers. A handful of community organizations, such as Huffer CCR&R, Appletree Childcare, and IU Safe Kids, also had information booths at the event.
 
The response from families and providers present at the event was overwhelmingly positive. Families enjoyed the opportunity to engage in a fun activity with their children, and also got the opportunity to provide feedback to Early Learning Indiana about their own Pre-K experiences.
 
The event was part of a larger promotion for “ALL-IN for Pre-K,” a state-wide campaign made up of Hoosier families, community advocates, and business leaders working together to expand access to high-quality pre-school.
 
For more information about ALL-IN, visit: http://www.allin4prek.com/
Family Navigators: Huge Growth, Huge Opportunities
BY5’s Family Navigators Program has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception.
 
For those unfamiliar with the program, the Family Navigators program was started with the goal of making sure that a family could find help and information about community resources no matter where they were. “We found that many
providers, while doing great work in their own sector—healthcare, education, neighborhood leadership—often weren’t getting opportunities to communicate with people outside of their own sphere of expertise,” says Marissa Rose, Family Navigators coordinator. “As a result, their ability to help families locate resources they personally weren’t familiar with remained limited. The Family Navigators program is working to eliminate that problem by providing networking opportunities to help community members better support the families they come into contact with.”
 
Many providers see the value in this service. Since the program’s rollout in March 2016, the Family Navigators program has recruited nearly 130 people, representing diverse sectors throughout the community. The Navigators meet quarterly—the next meeting will be September 20th at Open Door—and have access to several online means of communication in between face-to-face meetings.  BY5 is still looking to recruit Navigators. If you are
interested, or have additional questions about the program, reach out to Marissa Rose at marissa@muncieby5.org to schedule a 30-minute training.
Meridian Health Services, Ambassador of BY5
Today, we’re spotlighting Meridian Health Services, a member of the BY5 Network at the Ambassador Level. Ambassadors work as advocates and champions for early childhood issues, as well as investing in BY5 monetarily. Meridian has been instrumental in advancing many of BY5’s goals, and has been especially helpful in providing health care perspectives to BY5’s work. Here are a few ways Meridian has contributed to the community and supported BY5’s work:
  • Collaboratively Creating Early Childhood Behavioral Support System
  • Trained 55 staff to be BY5 Family Navigators
  • 5 Meridian staff serve on 3 BY5 task forces
  • Provided resources and support for BY5’s Universal Screening fest
  • Host regional Early Evaluation Hub for developmental screening
  • Built a Little Free Library at the Suzanne Gresham Center
Thanks to Meridian for all you do, not only with BY5, but for the community, too!
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