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September 2022
For those of you who were not able to say hello at our Open House last week, we would like to introduce you to Laura Crawford, our Interim Executive Director (pictured above, right). For some of you, this may be a reintroduction. You may know her from her community involvement at Irving Elementary School or the South East Oak Park Community Organization (SEOPCO). You may have bumped into her picking up a snack at one of our neighboring cafes on her way to our office on S. Oak Park Ave. But if you aren't familiar with Laura, here are three fun-facts about her:

1. She has been involved with the Collaboration for Early Childhood since 2013. 
2. She has three cats. 
3. She has worked in the field of early childhood for 25 years.

And if you didn't hear the news on social media and announced on our website, Shannon Ellison has stepped into a new role here at the Collaboration. Read more about that below. Stay tuned for more staff updates and introductions in the coming months!
 
#WholeVillageWholeChild
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Thank You for Stopping by Our Open House Last Week!

It was so wonderful to have meaningful conversations about the work that each and every one of you are doing and to share a physical space with you. We felt invigorated and inspired. And thank you for helping to send-off John to the next chapter of his career.
The Collaboration Partners with Easterseals to Connect Families to Community Resources

Easterseals will now serve as a helpful guide to anyone who contacts the Collaboration for Early Childhood, comprehensively connecting them to community resources. Learn more here
HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT
Congratulations to Shannon Ellison!

On August 15, Shannon Ellison moved from Manager of Health & Development to Director of Programs and Contracts here at the Collaboration. As part of the leadership team, Shannon oversees the Family Engagement, Health & Development, and Early Learning content areas of the Collaboration’s program work. She is also the point-person for all of the agency’s contracts. Hiring for a Child Development and Health Partnership Coordinator is underway.
Speech and Language Milestones

Parents and caregivers are often curious about what to expect and watch for as their child starts to communicate and use language.

In fact, the most common questions we receive here at the Collaboration are about whether children are developing age-appropriate language. If you are wondering about when you might expect your child to achieve certain language milestones, you are not alone. Read more here.

EARLY LEARNING
Mark Your Calendars for the 2023 Early Childhood Symposium on February 25 

The professional development committee has been hard at work planning for the 2023 Early Childhood Symposium. The theme is Creativity, Curiosity, Caring. We are thrilled to return to an in-person format this year so that our early childhood community can connect around the these three C’s. We hope you'll join us. We will share more in the coming months. 

Lead a Symposium Workshop this Year

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. Stay tuned for the link to apply in future communications and on our social media
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
¡Programa para Padres de Niños de 2 a 5 Años!

There is still space for the Chicago Parent Program Spanish Language cohort! The program begins on Thursday, September 15. Please share with your networks. Aprende más.
Dads & Donuts, September 10

Calling all Dads! On Saturday morning, drop by to say hi, mingle with other dads over donuts and coffee, and play with your children at Taylor Park.

This is a great way to expand your network and for your kids to make new friends, too. 
See more Events in the Families First | La Familia Primero Newsletter
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: OPRF Softball Team
Shout-out to Coach Coughlin and the four members of the OPRF high school softball team who assembled 100 Baby Bundles last week! And thank you to Oak Park Bank for hosting the event and for providing pizza and drinks. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. 

Baby Bundles are totes filled with goodies and resources for new and expecting parents in our community. They are completely free.  If you know someone who is expecting or has a new baby, sign them up for a bundle here or share the link
September at a Glance:

September is Baby Safety Month 
September 15-October 15:
Hispanic Heritage Month! 
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