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October 2022
There are more 'hello's' and 'goodbyes' in order here at the Collaboration for Early Childhood!

We say goodbye to Zach Rimkus, our Office Administrator since October 2019. For three years, Zach served as the point person for all aspect of office management and he was the driving force behind implementing the many moving parts of our annual Early Childhood Symposium. We will miss his calm, friendly, and unflappable demeanor here at the Collaboration, but we are happy for him as well. He will be moving to the west coast to pursue his passion: filmmaking and acting. 

In his stead, we welcome Lisa Jarvis to the Collab team as our Operations Coordinator! Join us in giving her a warm welcome. In fact, today is her very first day. Lisa has lived in Oak Park for over twenty years, and until recently served as the Fitness Manager at Winnetka Community House. She is looking forward to giving back and getting to know the Oak Park community in a new way as our Operations Coordinator.

We hope that you are taking time to breathe and enjoy the cooler weather and natural rhythms of the world all around you. It is a beautiful time of year. 
 
#WholeVillageWholeChild
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
Collaboration and Wonder Works Children's Museum Receive a Birth to Five Grant

The Collaboration will deepen its partnership with Wonder Works Children’s Museum to connect families to resources and strengthen early childhood care and education systems in Oak Park and neighboring communities.

We will share more about this exciting new initiative in which Wonder Works will step into the role of "Family Engagement Hub" soon!
Congratulations to Lenita Edgeworth!

Since 2016, Lenita Edgeworth has served as a Parent Educator in the Easterseals Partnering with Parents Home Visiting Program. She is also now the Collaboration's Intake Coordinator through our newest partnership with Easterseals. Lenita will be the first person you speak to when you contact the Collaboration offices about anything related to young children. Her deep knowledge of parent resources and child development makes her a perfect fit for this position. If you have a question, reach out! 
EARLY LEARNING
Reminder - Businesses and Non-Profits Licensed with the Village of Oak Park Can Receive up to $2,500 in PPE Reimbursements

Get reimbursed for masks, disinfectant, hand sanitizers, air purifiers, face shields, and other items related to COVID-19 safety supplies that you purchase between March 1, 2020 and December 31. If you are unsure if an item qualifies, please email Cameron Davis at the Village at cdavis@oak-park.us. The application can be found here.
Lead a Symposium Workshop this Year - Apply by October 7!

Maybe you've thought about doing this in past years, but never applied. Maybe this year's theme, Creativity, Curiosity, Caring, speaks to you. Maybe this is your year to apply! If you know someone who has knowledge to share and would be great at leading a workshop, give them a nudge. 

Application can be found here
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Oaktoberfest Fun! 

Oak Park knows how to make the most of fall! We have been very busy doing outreach at many, many fun fall events in Oak Park, including Oaktoberfest, hosted by Downtown Oak Park. A big shout-out to Gina and Ava (pictured above) and ALL our volunteers who came out and helped us spread the word about free resources available to families with young children in our community this season. 
Save the Date: Collab Council Meeting on 10/17

Dinner will be available starting at 6:00, and the meeting will commence at 6:30. Learn about our exciting new initiatives, ways to get involved, and the unveiling of our new Mission and Vision Statements that have been developed as part of our strategic planning process for your approval. Anyone interested in our work and the future of our children is welcome. RSVP here!
HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT
Physicians' Network Event, 10/25

Join us bright and early on October 25 for: Recognizing and Addressing Trauma and Related Mental Health Disorders in Young Children.

In this free workshop for pediatricians, family physicians, social workers, advanced practice nurses, and others who care for the health and well-being of children, increase your knowledge around trauma and related mental health disorders in young children.

Two New Informational Flyers

We have a new, snazzy developmental screening card that includes information about early intervention and early childhood special education. You can download it here. We also have a new card about speech development in young children. You can download that one here.

You can pick up hard-copies of these flyers at our office. Feel free to stop by! 

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation
The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation has put together a report consisting of data and the voices and findings from focus groups conducted last year with community members across the western suburbs. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about the well-being of our community. 

What the Community Foundation has confirmed through data and listening to the stories of those with lived experience as people of color is that race is the overwhelming, overarching determinant for access to education, healthcare, wealth, and stability. We were honored to help tell this story by contributing early childhood data to this report, and we urge you to read it. It helps to lay a ground work for where to focus our efforts as a community moving forward. 
October at a Glance:

October is Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month
September 15-October 15:
Hispanic Heritage Month! 
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