“What do we tell our children?” Our clients and community have been asking us this question and trying to understand its meaning after the unanticipated results of our national election. Many members of our community — women; immigrants; people of color; Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities; LGBTQ people; people with disabilities — felt directly threatened by the words spoken during this election season. Fear exists of what might happen now.
It’s that spooky, ghostly, ghouling time of year. Booo!
It’s time to turn on your imagination and turn off the lights. To pull out the chest of miscellaneous hats and masks and start up the sewing machine. Halloween is a fun holiday for the whole family and a fantastic way to spend time with your family and neighbors. To me, it’s one of the greatest acts of community engagement we have each year.
The Prevention Center is a special place to so many families. It’s a safe base, a refuge for support and learning. It’s also special for the folks that work here; we have some real gems. Molly is, and has always been, one of those gems. Molly is not only our go-to resource for parenting education, she’s also a trusted source of support and friendship to us staff members throughout each week.The clients rave about her parenting groups, and much of the Prevention Center’s success with parents has to do with Molly’s engaging and supportive style. I’ve learned so much working with Molly over the years, and I feel blessed to call her a colleague.
Gabriella raised her hand and asked to speak with Ms. Brianna privately. At the end of the lesson, outside the 5th grade classroom in the elementary school hallway, Gabriella asked whether it was okay that her parents touched her private body parts, the parts that her swimsuit cover. Ms. Brianna reminded Gabriella of the differences between a safe and unsafe touch. Gabriella nodded with understanding and started talking about how uncomfortable she felt at home, and how much she disliked being touched by her parents.
Collecting and using data is one of the ways we improve our programs to help families and children. As one of two Data Managers at the Prevention Center, I have had the privilege of working closely with our staff who support families, empower children, and educate our community. Many of our findings are very positive — for example, more than 75% of families who are at high-risk for child abuse who receive individualized services, demonstrate improvement in family functioning after working with us for at least three months. However, analyzing our data also raised some good questions:
I met Joe by happenstance on the shore of the Eel River. As we discussed tubing and whether or not there were eels in the river, I came to learn that Joe is a Bay Area native who’s passionate about teaching San Francisco’s children. Since that first introduction, I have come to be inspired by Joe’s passion for children, for ensuring their education reaches beyond the books and believing that his job is to be their teacher and their advocate — making sure each student has that one caring adult. Here’s to the lucky youngsters who have Mr. Siedman this new school year.
Delia Ehrlich was a passionate philanthropist. The Prevention Center was among the numerous causes that she supported through her membership in the Auxiliary. Delia facilitated numerous fundraisers and grants in support of the Children’s Snack Time program, as well as, the Holiday Toy Program. She was a stalwart supporter of the Annual Luncheon.
Roxanna began slapping her hands against her legs. Quickly without any further prompting, the squirmy third graders settled and followed suit. Two slaps on the thighs, two pats on the head, two claps, all the while singing “Never Touch a Gun.” The class repeated the jingle several times before Roxanna moved the children on to discussing when it is, and when it’s not, appropriate to call 911. Roxanna is one of the Prevention Center’s community educators.