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CYFC Monthly

CYFC Monthly — August 2015

Back to School at Bruce Vento

Sara Langworthy, Extension Educator — Children, Youth & Family Consortium

Most stores have had their “Back to School” sections stocked for weeks now — a reminder that summer is winding down. As it does, we want to tell you what’s happening with students headed back to school at Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul.

Those of you who subscribe to our project blog know about the many exciting things happening at the school, but for those of you who haven’t been following along, here are top four things you should know.

The Basics

With generous support from an Extension Issue Area Grant, CYFC is engaging in a “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners” partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul’s Greater East Side neighborhood to develop engaging learning environments, increase access to healthy foods, and build positive community-school connections. Never heard of Bruce Vento Elementary School? Click here for a short video overview of the school and its strengths and challenges.

Sketch of calming roomVolunteers to Paint Calming Room

Volunteers will paint the Bruce Vento school’s calming room so it’s ready for use by the time school starts. The calming room provides a place for students to go to regulate their emotions and prevent behavioral outbursts. Two U of M College of Design students Emily Devore and Rachel Grothe received Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program funds to work with CYFC staff to complete a design for the calming room (see graphics). Read more about their work here.

School-Community Garden a Success

schoolThe school-community garden has been a success, with a steady stream of visitors over the summer months. The St. Paul Police Department has provided strong support for this effort, with Officer Cindy Rost inviting neighborhood youth to help harvest vegetables from the garden. Read more about Officer Rost’s experience here.

Thanks to Officer Rost and others, participation in the school-community garden has been good this summer. But many neighborhood residents don’t know about the garden yet. As a result, CYFC staff members plan to partner with parents, teachers, and students this fall to increase awareness of the garden so participation goes up next spring.

You Can Help!

As a part of the U of M Alumni Association’s Day of Service on Saturday, September 19, from 9 a.m. to noon, we’re looking for volunteers to help us clean up some of the gardens and landscaping around the school. All are welcome! Sign up by emailing Judy Myers at

Consortium News

Creating Accountable Communities for Health 2015 — Conference: Advancing an Integrative Approach to Community, Health and Well-being

Sponsor: Commons Health and several co-sponsors
Dates: September 9-10, 2015
Location: Duluth, MN
Cost: $150
Credit: 12 continuing education hours
Communities across the country have identified mental health and obesity as some of their most important health needs. CYFC staff and Extension Health and Nutrition staff will participate in this event and serve as panel members, facilitators, etc. We look forward to joining others throughout the Midwest and nationally to address the connected issues of obesity and mental health and explore place-based approaches to health and well-being. Learn more and register here.

Register now for the next Lessons from the Field!

Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-Being of Children When Parenting Apart — Conference
Sponsor: University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development — Children, Youth & Family Consortium
Date: October 22, 2015
Cost: $25-$50
Location: Minneapolis U of M McNamara Alumni Center and live web stream
This year's Lessons from the Field conference, “Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-Being of Children When Parenting Apart,” features two nationally known research and practice professionals: Kathryn Edin, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and James McHale, Ph.D., director of the Family Study Center at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg. Edin’s studies on poverty have influenced research, practice, and policy; McHale is the nation's leading researcher on coparenting dynamics in diverse family systems. Joining them will be four panelists from Minnesota who will help participants:

Attend in person at the McNamara Alumni Center or watch on the web. Register here. Want to WIN A FREE REGISTRATION? Take a few minutes to read then evaluate the most recent issue of the Children's Mental Health eReview. You will then be entered to win free registration.

Attachment Matters: Raising the Bar for Child Well-Being — Conference

Sponsor: Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh)
Dates: September 24-27, 2015
Cost: $75-$520
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children will host a conference for parents and professionals from across North America to learn from one another and receive cutting-edge training from leading speakers in the field of trauma and attachment. University of Minnesota Extension is a co-sponsor of this conference, and CYFC staff Sara Langworthy, Cari Michaels, and Judy Myers will be presenting on CYFC's work creating trauma-sensitive contexts through community partnerships. Find more information and register here.

University & Community Announcements

Community-based Participatory Research — Course
Sponsor: University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Dates: September 14 – December 19, 2015
Cost: Free for community practitioners or regular tuition for graduate students
Credit: 2 academic credits or certificate of completion
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Susan Gust, Community Development Consultant, and Cathy Jordan, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, invite graduate students and community practitioners to discover how community-based participatory research can add to their understanding and inform how they address health and social disparities. Learn the purposes and applications of partnership formation and maintenance, issues of power, trust, race, class, social justice and more. Learn about the course here.

Effective Screening and Referral Processes for Depression in Adolescents — Presentation
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Date: September 10, 2015
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Nimi Singh, M.D., M.P.H., University of Minnesota, will discuss an integrated interdisciplinary approach to promoting mental health in adolescents and skills to evaluate their mental health. She will also demonstrate the process of effective adolescent screening and referral. Learn more and register here. [no longer active]

Back to School: Strategies for Working with Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders — Webinar
Sponsor: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS)
Date: August 25, 2015
Cost: Free or $25 for continuing education credit
Location: Online
Charlene Myklebust, Psy.D., will present strategies for working with students with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). This event is designed for those with a basic understanding of FASD. Register here.

Nature Heals: Nature-Based Therapies Research — Symposium
Sponsors: University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Dates: October 1, 2015
Cost: $165
Location: Chaska, MN
Clinicians, policy makers, urban designers, engineers, architects, scientists and other professionals interested in the experiential application of nature-based therapies research are invited to this symposium. Explore this topic through lectures and question-and-answer time with a panel of experts. Register here.

Child Maltreatment: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective on the Role of Trauma and Neglect in Psychopathology — Workshop
Sponsor: Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
Date: September 29, 2015
Location: Hopkins, MN
Cost: $159
Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., will lead this introductory-level workshop to help you understand the effects of trauma and neglect from a neurodevelopmental perspective. You will also learn the signs and symptoms of trauma and neglect in children, as well as new strategies for care, program development, and policy related to developmental trauma. Learn more and register here.

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