Felicidades to the Hispanic Health Council: An Honorable Mention Winner of the Let’s Move Video Challenge
The Hispanic Health Council won an honorable mention in the Let’s Move Communities on the Move Video Challenge, which invited faith and community leaders to share their stories about their efforts to promote wellness and solve the problem of childhood obesity in their communities. The First Lady encouraged participating organizations to create videos that showcased programs related to Let’s Move Faith and Communities that were creative, effective, sustainable, replicable and inspirational.
The Hispanic Health Council is based in Hartford, CT and their mission is to improve the health and social well-being of Latinos and other diverse communities. The Hispanic Health Council opened its doors in 1978 to help bridge the gaps of economic and social conditions such as poverty, racism, language barriers, and lack of access to medical care. These social injustices produced excessive disease, death, disability and dissatisfaction among Latinos. The Hispanic Health Council is a resource for all of these Latino residents and they are a catalyst for change in hopes they will someday close the health care gap between minorities and non-minorities in their community.
Hispanic Health Council’s video, “Puppets & Peers… on the Move to Prevent Childhood Obesity”, highlights three of its signature programs that together promote the three themes of the video challenge: promoting healthy food choices, promoting physical activity and promoting access to high-quality food.
Also featured is Breastfeeding: Heritage and Pride, a nationally recognized evidence-based peer counseling program operated in partnership with Hartford Hospital, and replicated at Yale New Haven Hospital WIC Program. Breastfeeding: Heritage and Pride improves breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among low-income mothers and babies through prenatal and post-partum education and support provided in homes, hospitals, WIC offices and other settings.
The third featured program is SNAP Outreach, which helps eligible community members learn about the benefits of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps), and helps them to apply for the program.
The “Communities on the Move Video Challenge” Honorable Mention prize includes an invitation to the White House to meet the First Lady Michelle Obama and having their video featured on the Let’s Move website.
For more information visit Hispanic Health Council
Read the Hispanic Health Council Press Release: Hispanic Health Council: An Honorable Mention Winner of the Let’s Move Video Challenge.
Read the White House Press Release: First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Winners of Let’s Move! Video Challenge.
Report Released on Relationship Education for Middle School Students
In effort to decrease the number of women who experience physical and sexual assault in relationships, a diverse group that includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and federal lawmakers are educating Middle School students about healthy relationships before they start dating. The Violence Against Women Act has announced that the eligibility age for dating violence education and service programs is now as young as 11.
New York Times reporter Jan Hoffman explored middle school programs working to stop dating violence. She focused on Start Strong Idaho, one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships grantees, which targets 11- to 14-year-olds and engages the entire community in innovative ways to promote healthy relationships and stop dating violence and abuse before it starts.
Their intervention efforts include event like the “ChalkHeart” competition where poetry written by students was submitted and distributed themed around relationships, equality and respect. The goal is to teach students what a healthy relationship means and encourage parents and caring adults to intentionally engage with their student’s on these intimate topics so they do not experience or become victim to physical dating violence.
In Southern California, Soledad Enrichment Action, Inc. (SEA) Education Centers provide high-risk youth alternative schooling and programs to prevent youth involvement in gangs, drugs and violence. “By the time we receive the youth in our program, around 80% of them have been or known a close relative or friend that has been a victim or an abuser of dating violence or sexual assault. Sadly for many of these youth, they consider this the norm. Some even glorify it because of what they see on television and in the movies with sport stars and music icons that they admire. It will be to a great benefit to start teaching the youth about lasting and healthy relationships before they reach high school and start dating,” says Martin Bautista, Executive Director of SEA’s Community Support Services Organization.
For more information and the complete New York Times article, read: A Warning to Teenagers Before they Start Dating .
For more information on Soledad Enrichment Action, INC. (SEA) visit their website.
Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the Blue Shield of California Foundation and Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund).
FuturoNow Dads Speak Out
The FuturoNow Family Strengthening Initiative: Fatherhood Project (FSIFP) is a community-centered program addressing the responsible fatherhood needs of primarily low-income Hispanics in a four-county region of Southern California (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties). The Hispanic population living in these counties is facing high rates of poverty and unemployment. Rising divorce rates, increasing numbers of births to single teen mothers, and increasing numbers of children being raised in single parent homes are also significant problems for the population served by FuturoNow.
Launched earlier this year, FSIFP have already begun to see the overwhelming impact in the lives of many fathers and their families. Here are a few stories highlighting the first six months of the grant.
1. Dad’s Increased Awareness of Spousal Needs – A participant’s wife commented to the FuturoNow Team that in the past years she had to always accommodate her husband’s needs. She stated that whether she happened to be ill or not, she still had to wake up early in the morning to prepare his lunch and coffee before he left to work at 4am. She said that something really surprising happened this last time when she happened to be sick with a cold. Her husband stopped her from getting out of bed because she was ill. He took care of his own needs and allowed her to stay in bed so she could get better. She thanked the advocate for the program that her husband is participating in as she sees how her husband is becoming more sensitive and aware of her needs.
2. Dad Moves From Gang to Nurturer – A dad who was involved in the gang life has indicated that as a result of the FuturoNow Fatherhood Program, he is building up the self-worth of his children. The dad comes from a Machista family culture where a positive father/son nurturing environment was not a top priority. He has been incarcerated and since he is been out, he wants to change his family culture. Now he looks to be a nurturing dad focusing on the small things. He tells his children that he is very proud of them (a girl 8 and a boy 4) and that he is happy to be their father. This dad also mentioned that he is beginning to dedicate a night every two weeks for a date with his wife. He also started doing other small things. For example, he gives a kiss to his wife when he drops her off to work. His son has witnessed this and is now asking his dad for a kiss for himself. This is something that the dad has never done.
3. Dads Consider Increased Commitment – Some unmarried fathers have shared with the Facilitators/Advocates that they are seriously considering getting married. They have learned and seen, through the classes, the positive benefits and impact that marriage can have on their health, their children’s lives, and their spousal relationship.
4. Teen Dad Takes Step Towards A New Start - As a result of serving as an intern with a FuturoNow partner, a young man has spoken with his child’s mother and asked her if they can have a fresh start. He asked her to tell him what is that he needs to change to make himself a better person for their relationship. He also decided to enroll into school for the upcoming summer session.
Way to Go Dads!
FuturoNow Fatherhood Project’s Community and Faith-based organizational partners include Avenues of Hope, KidWorks, KingdomCauses Bellflower, Solidarity, Youth Speak Collective, Taller San Jose, San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, and Good Soil Industries. House of Ruth works closely with the project to address domestic violence and child maltreatment issues.
For more information on the FuturoNow Fatherhood Project, click here.
Happy Father’s Day!
The Role of Community and Faith-Based Organizations in Improving Maternal/Child Health and Breastfeeding in the Latino Community
Hispanic health experts, researchers, and community-based leaders from around the country are gathering June 12-13 in Washington DC to develop recommendations for a national demonstration project that utilizes the strengths of faith and community based organizations to improve maternal and child health within the Hispanic community. The maternal health “Solutions Dialogue” is being hosted by the National Alliance for Hispanic Families, Urban Strategies, and the Center for New Communities, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Low-income, minority groups experience a higher prevalence of health problems. Recognizing that many of the health challenges such as diabetes, asthma, obesity, and chronic disease stem from behaviors and practices established early in life, even as early as the pre-natal stage, prevention, and wellness strategies could positively impact the Hispanic population.
“As Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of our nation, it is imperative to our country’s vitality that we employ an all-hands-on-deck approach to improving the health and well-being of our Hispanic families early in their formation,” says Dr. Lorena Gonzalez, Urban Strategies National Director of Hispanic Initiatives.
The specific objectives of the two-day “Solutions Dialogue” are to:
- Develop a common understanding of maternal/child health needs — especially breastfeeding — within the Latino community
- Identify the role of community and faith-based organizations in Latino maternal health
- Identify barriers faced by community and faith-based organizations in addressing maternal/child health in Hispanic communities
- Develop strategies to encourage effective participation of community and faith-based organizations in delivering maternal/child health services to Latino communities.
Engaging the Talents of Latino Students for Higher Education
The United States has understood the great need to improve Latino college completion in order to retain international competitiveness. For that reason, Excelencia in Education released 50 separate research-based fact sheets detailing current status of college among Latinos in each state.
The expectation is that state, institutional, and community leaders across America will be empowered to use state information to engage the talents of Latino students and advance student success in higher education to make the states and our country stronger. Each fact sheet includes state-level data on the population, representation among K through 12 students, educational attainment of adults, multiple measures of equity gaps in degree attainment, and examples of promising practices across the country for improving Latino college completion.
To access the factsheets, click here. For the complete article, Excelencia in Education releases new research on Latino college completion in each of 50 states to inform action, and information on the trends that emerged from Excelencia’s research, please click here.
Our Children Deserve the Best
On Thursday, April 19, the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, announced that they are releasing funding opportunities for 97 Head Start service areas across the country.
HHS has implemented new regulations and criteria to ensure that programs are providing the highest quality services to children and families by mandating that Head Start grantees that fail to meet rigorous quality benchmarks compete for continued federal funding.
Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, director of the Office of Head Start, said the first goal of Head Start is to “put our nation’s low-income children on a road to school readiness. We’re keeping our commitment to America’s children and holding programs accountable for their services. Our children deserve the best early education services today in order to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
The funding opportunity announcements will be released in two groups. Grantees were placed into each group based on the month their program year funding begins. This process will allow for planning transitions at natural breaks in services, minimizing disruptions to children, families and staff. Funding opportunity announcements for the first group of service areas are currently open to all eligible organizations available and applicants have 90 days to submit their Head Start grant proposals online through www.Grants.gov. An additional 100 funding opportunity announcements for the second group will be available in May.
This is a great opportunity for organizations that target our Hispanic communities to apply and compete for this available funding in order to make a greater impact in the lives of our Hispanic children and families.
For more information on the Office of Head Start visit http://transition.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs or log onto Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center at http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc. HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Become A Grant Reviewer
Government agencies continue to seek eligible individuals to serve as grant reviewers to evaluate funding applications. Grant reviewers are selected for their expertise in a given area, and work with other members of a panel to produce thorough and comprehensive evaluations of grant proposals.
Not only does this service benefit government agencies, it allows panel members to gain an understanding of grant preparation and the award process.
Department of Education
DOE’s Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) is seeking individuals to serve as peer reviewers for the FY 2012 Investing in Innovation grant competition. The link below provides information on applying. All applications must be received by Wednesday, March 21, 2012 to be considered for the 2012 competition.
Administration for Children & Families: Children’s Bureau
ACF’s Children’s Bureau is building a diverse, national pool of peer reviewers to participate in the title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews (on-site reviews of state child welfare agencies). Selected peer reviewers will serve as members of teams comprising federal and state agency staff.
Administration for Children & Families: Head Start
ACF’s Office of Head Start continues to seek eligible candidates to serve on peer review panels. Although February 27 was the initial deadline for 2012 reviewer applications, officials there say they continue to assess applications for expertise applicable to various grant requests.
NAHF Letter to Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon, Administration for Children and Families
Download National Alliance for Hispanic Families’ letter to Acting Assistant Secretary George Sheldon, Administration for Children and Families by clicking here.
Cecilia Muñoz Appointed To New White House Post
by Lorena Gonzalez
The National Alliance for Hispanic Families congratulates Ceclia Muñoz on her new post as Director of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council. Ms. Muñoz has served as the White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and has been at the forefront of the President’s effort to reform the nation’s immigration policies. President Obama applauds her for doing an “extraordinary job working on behalf of middle class families.”
While we know Ms. Muñoz will serve all Americans in her new position, we are thankful to know she understands the unique and acute struggles and challenges faced by our Latino community. Her job will not be easy, but we look forward to supporting her, and wish her every success.
Click here to read the news story from the White House’s website.
Dr. Luis Zayas Takes New Post at The University of Texas at Austin
by Lorena Gonzalez
Our friend and colleague, Dr. Luis Zayas, joined The University of Texas at Austin last week as its new Dean of the School of Social Work. We wish him luck as he begins this new facet of his career. Dr. Zayas takes with him a fresh perspective on social work as well as a real understanding of the Latino community and its culture. He calls this new post the “highlight” of his career, and the University of Texas Provost, Steven Leslie, says his “appointment will bring great leadership and recognition to our School of Social Work and to the university.” The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System, and is ranked in the top 25 among American research universities.
Dr. Zayas will continue as the chairman of the NAHF research committee, where he has been able to confirm through his studies the importance of families within the Hispanic community. In recently published research on Latina suicide, for example, he offered a model for understanding and working with young Latinas and their families to reduce suicide attempts.
Dr. Zayas leaves the Washington University in St. Louis where he was the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor of Social Work at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, as well as the director of the Center for Latino Family Research.
Also, a note on funding opportunities from the Office of Head Start:
Upcoming Early Head Start and Head Start grant opportunities can now be found at by clicking here.