Valley Early Childhood Regional Council’s mission is to coordinate and promote early care and education throughout the Valley region by engaging families to ensure that all children enter school ready to learn and succeed. This past year the Council has worked together on the Valley Community Health Improvement Plan to start the discussion about behavioral health in schools. This topic was the focus of our Read Across the Valley event, which was unfortunately canceled due to COVID. The Council has been very active and continued meeting throughout the year. We are also excited to welcome our new Ansonia School Readiness liaison and have her work with our communities!
Youth Committee: Before Covid-19, the Youth Committee was poised to start incorporating important concepts like equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) as well as the full Council’s Focus of Work guidelines into our monthly discussions as well as expanding the Youth Resource Guide. However, once the pandemic began, the committee’s work was put on hold starting in March.
In July, we started meeting regularly once again, but responding to the pandemic became front and center. All member agencies of the Youth Committee were feeling the impact of the virus on our core services and it forced us to respond in new and inventive ways. Some worked, some didn’t, but the monthly meetings gave us the space to share those stories. They also allowed us to share strategies to start working with youth safely again, even in person. As we moved into the fall, we were able to start readdressing EDI and how we and our agencies have responded. In 2021, we will continue these important discussions as we continue navigating these uncertain times.
Food Security Task Force was an essential component in the COVID-19 public health emergency response, providing food relief & supports throughout the Valley region. In our continued efforts to research the issues of hunger and access to healthy food, we successfully launched the Bozzutos Healthy Foods Distribution Initiative – as well as the formal adoption of Nutrition Guidelines to promote best practices in supporting wellness at food pantries. In our ongoing advocacy and community engagement, we published a media toolkit which resulted in the achievement of televised & social media coverage toward increased awareness and support of the Task Force’s work. We continue to collect and report data on food distribution – as well as update and distribute resource documents regarding local food resources available to households in need.
Communications Committee: Works to refine the core messages used as a resource network for Valley non- profit health and human service organizations.
Senior Services Council – Valley Council for Health and Human Services: The mission of the Senior Services Council (SSC) is to enhance the quality of life for people over 60 years of age living in the greater Valley Area by being a centralized resource of senior living information, education, support, and advocacy.