In February 2014, BBK Collaborative member Youth Service Bureau (YSB) organized activities each day for students and their families during the school break. The fun activities, held in the Center for Health and Healing, aimed to support continued learning and engagement for Iron Triangle youth.
“Love – For Our Families and Communities” was the theme for the February Family Enrichment Night, hosted by the BBK Backbone team. Parents and children demonstrated their creative and artistic skills, creating homemade valentines for their loved ones. Families also acknowledged and celebrated Black History Month by incorporating inspirational quotes by Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. that promote peaceful community change.
BBK Collaborative was excited to support BBK Zone students by attending the West Contra Costa County Education Fair, held February 1st, 2014 at the Richmond Public Library. The Education Fair was a community event for organizations and families to come together and discuss educational opportunities for Richmond youth. It included opportunities to apply to safe schools, enroll in fun, low-cost youth programs, and ask questions. There were also artistic performances by students, door prizes, and free giveaways.
In January, Iron Triangle families had the opportunity to spend some fun and exciting time with their children during an all-expenses paid trip to the Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley. Over two dozen parents, children, and BBK Early Childhood Learning and Development Team staff members interacted through exciting and engaging activities for a day of fun and learning. We also promoted healthy living by walking to and from BART together!
BBK Collaborative member Pogo Park busily prepared for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service at the Richmond Greenway. The Day of Service event, held January 20, 2014, was a collaborative project with the Friends of the Richmond Greenway. It was a great day to enjoy food and music outside, celebrate, participate in volunteer projects, and even pick peppermint on the Greenway!
In January, the Community Services Bureau hosted the monthly Family Enrichment Night with a theme of “Emotional Expression through Language”. Families interacted with one another and demonstrated their creative and artistic energy and skill by creating puppets and telling stories together. Eight people attended this month’s event and in the evaluation, 100% of participants agreed that they planned to ask their child(ren) about their feelings. One parent stated, “I used to think that kids wouldn’t like talking about feelings. They do!”
As part of its multi-agency effort to support families living in Central Richmond, the BBK Collaborative is committed to ensuring that families have digital literacy skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century.
In the summer of 2013, the Collaborative’s Digital Literacy Working Group surveyed 469 Richmond residents about their technology needs. Our survey inquired whether residents have ready access to computers and the internet and assessed what residents were able to do online. The Working Group also hosted three focus groups to better understand the most common challenges residents encounter in using digital technologies. Together, these research efforts help paint a picture of current digital literacy needs in the BBK Zone.
The Collaborative has published the findings of this research in a new report titled Community Connections: A Roadmap for Advancing Digital Literacy and Access in Richmond’s Iron Triangle. In addition to a detailed look at our findings, the report also contains recommendations on how to improve access and digital literacy in Central Richmond, and lessons from digital literacy efforts in other communities.
Our most important findings:
Get the full picture and learn more about how we can help improve access and build digital literacy skills in the Iron Triangle by downloading the report here (PDF).
- One in three residents (67%) does not have access to the internet at home. The cost of internet service and limited digital literacy are the primary barriers to home internet access.
- Two out of five residents do not own a working computer. Residents are increasingly using new devices to get online, but mobile phone and tablet use trails behind the rest of California.
- Residents who want internet access outside the home have few options within the BBK Zone. Computer stations at the library are a valuable resource for Richmond residents, but overstretched space and staff capacity limit what residents are able to do online.
- An estimated half of BBK Zone residents are regular computer and internet users. However, few residents are using the internet to access government resources, find health information, or visit school websites.
- An estimated one in three residents uses computers infrequently, or not at all. These residents may not know how to type, use email, open internet browsers, or search for information online.
On December 18, 2013, BBK Collaborative and Iron Triangle families celebrated the holiday season with a community potluck at the Center for Health and Healing. Santa Claus made a special appearance at the dinner and the event also included community building exercises, story time, holiday songs, and fun arts and crafts activities for children and families. It was a great evening with wonderful opportunities to build relationships as 78 people, including 47 children, attended the holiday party!
In December, the Early Childhood Mental Health Programs hosted a holiday celebration for the monthly Family Enrichment Night. Activities included sing-alongs and craft time. Families created jingle bell bracelets to take home at the end of the evening. There were 19 people present for this month’s Family Enrichment Night.
On November 25th, Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative facilitated a conversation with Iron Triangle residents and Adam Taylor, from the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Twelve parents attended the event, a meeting that emerged through “Empowered Parents, Informed Educators”, in response to the safety concerns voiced by parents of elementary school students. The successful discussion provided the opportunity to address the important topics of bullying and violence within schools.
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