December 2012 Newsletter
In This Issue
Committee and Task Force Meeting Summaries
Upcoming Meetings
Links of Interest
Spark New Hampshire's website is  Visit it today for up-to-date information about the great work Spark NH is doing to improve early childhood in New Hampshire!
Get Involved!
If you are interested in being involved in Spark NH, please contact
Director Laura Milliken at
Spark NH 
2 Delta Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Tel: (603) 226-7900
Fax: (603) 226-7290
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Dear Friend of Spark NH,



I am very excited about the recent kick-off of Spark 

NH's planning process for a comprehensive, 

coordinated plan for early childhood in NH.  Spark NH

has contracted with consultants from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University 

of North Carolina to help us lead the creation of the 

plan.  With the advice of the Spark NH Policy 

Committee, our consultants gathered approximately 20 strategic plans related to early childhood in New Hampshire.  They sorted these by infrastructure 

functions (Data, Policy and Planning, Professional Development, Governance and Accountability, Public Awareness, Quality and Funding).  We invited representatives of all the plans and some 

representatives of Spark NH Committees to participate 

in a day-long planning event to begin to define and prioritize what we would like to see in a comprehensive strategic plan for early childhood in New Hampshire.  

The event was well attended and participants brought great energy to the work.  The Policy Committee will be working on the next steps in the process which will certainly include the participation of stakeholders from every level and sector of the early childhood system.  A draft plan will be completed in late Spring 2013 and 

final revisions will be completed by August 2013.


This work is central to Spark NH's mission to provide leadership that promotes a comprehensive, 

coordinated, sustainable early childhood system that achieves positive outcomes for young children and families, investing in a solid future for the Granite 



Other Spark NH committees are doing equally transformative work, and as I attend their meetings and watch their energy I am convinced that Spark NH will 

make a real difference.


 Respectfully submitted,


Laura Milliken,

Director, Spark NH


"Alone we can do so little; together we can do 

 so much." 

- Helen Keller


Committee and Task Force Meeting Summaries 


Executive Committee Meeting - November 13, 2013

The Committee debriefed the last Council meeting.  They approved the revised budget.  A request for funding from the Work Force & Professional Development Committee was approved.  The internal, draft Positioning Statement was endorsed.  An annual report will be submitted to the Governor's Office in addition to the request for a new Executive Order that includes the three Project LAUNCH Council Member positions.  Discussions around the November 14 Strategic Planning meeting and a Council Strategic Plan took place.  The group set November's agenda and looked ahead to January's meeting which will include a legislative update and Evaluation Committee presentation on the survey findings.  


Communications and Public Awareness Committee- November 1, 2012

The NH Leaders Meeting on October 26 was dynamic and engaging. A business and education round table is forming and Tom Raffio has indicated he would like an early childhood person at the table. The committee discussed the possibility of adding family engagement through public service announcements, and established organizations currently serving families with young children. The group reviewed the draft PowerPoint about SPARK. It has come to light that navigating the referral system is not easy for physicians and families. We agree that SPARK can be the resource to make these connections as part of overall mission and purpose.

Executive Committee Request-Approve $5,000 for printing costs for marketing materials


Data Committee- November 5, 2012
Community Health Institute is continuing to work on the needs assessment and will be presenting an update at the next Data Committee meeting.  There was discussion of using the needs assessment to create social media ready info-graphics in the future.  The group discussed its work plan: updating dates and reconsidering objectives. The group will pick up this work at the next meeting if time allows.  Tricia needs to step down as Chair, though she will stay involved with the committee.  She asked for volunteers to Chair the group.


SASID Task Force- November 5, 2012
The group decided that currently it is not feasible to go forward with the SASID pilot project.  Due to capacity and resource issues at DOE, DHHS and Spark NH, the project cannot be supported at this time.  The group discussed how to build on the work the task force has done.  The group would like to create a blueprint for how a longitudinal data project might be done in the future.  It was suggested that a consultant be hired to write a report.  


Evaluation Committee- November 2, 2012

The Evaluation Committee reviewed the Council Member Survey results, which will be distributed in early October. Discussion of the findings and how to best summarize the results occurred. The results of the survey will be presented to the council at the January meeting.  The Committee also discussed the current and future role of the Evaluation Committee and Spark NH's Evaluation Consultant, Peter Antal.  In the future, the Committee would like to look more broadly at the scope of work of Spark NH. 


Workforce and Professional Development Committee- October 26, 2012
The Workforce and Professional Development Committee reviewed the initial web page draft for the Professional Opportunities, Trainings and Links (PORTAL) page that will be housed in the Spark NH website.  There are concerns about how to manage the process if we were to implement this.  We may request support as part of the Spark Sustainability Plan.  Both the training and job opportunity section of the PORTAL will be organized by topics and searchable by key words.  The committee also continued its work on the Higher Education Inventory Project Charter For Early Childhood Family Support and Health Care Fields.


Upcoming Meetings 

Meetings are held at 2 Delta Drive in Concord NH unless otherwise noted.


December Meetings:

Note: There will not be a Spark NH Council meeting in December.



Monday, December 3, 2:00 - 4:00...................Data Committee (and every first Monday)


Thursday, December 6, 10:00 - 12:00 ............Communications Committee (and every

                            first Thursday)  

Tuesday, December 11, 9:00 - 10:30...............Policy Committee (and every 

                            second Tuesday)  

Wednesday, December 12, 1:00 - 3:00............Family Partnership and Engagement Task

                     Force (and every second Wednesday)  

Tuesday, December 18, 1:00 - 3:00..................Quality Committee (and every third


Wednesday, December 19, 9:00 - 11:00...........CCDF Federal Plan Task Force (and every

       third Wednesday) Room 468, Brown

              Building, State office Campus


January Meetings:

Thursday, January 3, 10:00 - 12:00...................Communications Committee (and every 

                                                    first Thursday)

Friday, January 4, 2:00 - 4:00............................Evaluation Committee (and every first 


Monday, January 7, 2:00 - 4:00.........................Data Committee (and every first 


Tuesday, January 8, 9:00 - 10:30.......................Policy Committee (and every second 


Tuesday, January 8, 11:30 - 1:30.......................Executive Committee (and every second 


Wednesday, January 9, 1:00 - 2:30....................Family Partnership and Engagement 

                               Task Force (and every third Wednesday)

Tuesday, January 15, 1:00 - 3:00........................Quality Committee (and every third 


Wednesday, January 16, 1:00 - 3:00...................CCDF Federal Plan Task Force (and 

                                       every third Wednesday)

Thursday, January 24, 8:30 - 11:00.....................Monthly Spark NH Council Meeting 

                               (and every fourth Thursday)

Friday, January 25, 9:00 - 11:00...........................Workforce and Professional 

          Development Committee (and every 

  fourth Friday)


Links of Interest 


Upcoming Events:

Feel Rich Moms Contest:  This contest is sponsored by text4baby, a free service that sends expectant families text messages about prenatal health, baby health, parenting and more; you can become enrolled in the contest by signing up for text4baby.  One lucky mom will be selected to win the grand prize of a personal lullaby for her baby sung by Grammy-nominated multi-platinum R&B artist Tyrese and produced by 40x Platinum, Grammy Award winning producer and Co-Founder of Feel Rich, Quincy Jones III (QD3).  First runner-up mom will be selected to receive a year's supply of Johnson's Baby products, courtesy of text4baby's Founding Sponsor Johnson & Johnson.  Visit the text4baby website to learn more about the contest and this free service!
"Is It Sensory or Is It Behavioral?"
The Early Education and Intervention Network of NH
January 7, 2013 6:00 - 8:00 pm
$15 eein members, $20 for non-members
"This workshop will provide information which can be used to assist in analyzing and addressing sensory and emotional/behavioral issues in early childhood settings. Various resources and tools will be discussed which can be used to effectively sort through these differences."  To register, visit
"Foundations and Framing: Understanding the Tools and Materials for Building a Healthy Brain!"
The Early Education and Intervention Network of NH
February 5, 2013 6:30 - 8:30 pm
$15 eein members, $20 non-members
"The development of the brain begins in utero and continues throughout the life span, the most critical period of brain development occurs when children are very young. 

Come discover exciting and fun strategies that enhance brain development through movement, music and understanding of the effects of both positive and negative early experiences on brain development." To register visit


Fall/Winter Early Childhood Development and Literacy Workshops:

UNH Institute on Disability

Professional Development Center, 56 Old Suncook Road, Concord, NH

$65.00 registration fee per workshop.

Sponsored by the National Center on Inclusive Education, three different workshops on Literacy and Social Emotional Development, Literacy Interventions and Child Development are offered at various dates and times.  For more information, call (603) 228-2084.  To register, go to


Articles of Interest:


The Common Core State Standards: Caution and Opportunity for Early Childhood Education As of fall 2012, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. The development and adoption of these standards has drawn a great deal of debate in both the K-12 and early education fields. As states adopting the Core standards are moving towards implementation, the 

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed
this paper to provide a frame for this ongoing dialogue.
Let's Get Fiscal: The Cliff, the Compromise and You-  SparkAction's blog on what sequestration, and its alternatives, would mean for the future of children and youth.  
National Baby Facts: Infants, Toddlers and Their Families in the United StatesZERO TO THREE's recent release, National Baby Facts, tells the story of how the youngest children in the United States are faring. Many babies start life already behind because they are born too soon or too small. Infants and toddlers live disproportionately in low-income and poor families. More than a few face instability in their living situations or child care arrangements. National Baby Facts gives you the facts on the invaluable supports and services. 
Reconsidering the Marshmallow Test-  This article discusses a new twist on the old marshmallow self-control study, carried out by the University of Rochester.  The study shows how important high-quality, reliable adult interactions are.  
Childhood Trauma and It's Effect on Healthy Development- Authored by the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, this brief defines trauma and uses a developmental perspective to discuss its prevalence and effect on young children, school-aged children, and adolescents. With this knowledge, schools, communities, parents, caregivers, and all those serving children and families can begin to identify children and youth who may be affected by trauma and help them cope and develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
Children with Disabilities: State-Level Data From the American Community Survey- Children with physical or mental disabilities are a very diverse group, and many face challenges. This research brief presents data for the U.S. and all states on the number and percentage of children (ages birth through 17) who were identified as having at least one disability by the responsible adult in the household responding to the American Community
NH DHHS Injury Prevention ProgramThe Injury Prevention Program's (IPP) mission is to reduce death and disabilities that result from intentional and unintentional injuries.  The IPP: Provides training and technical assistance to professionals and the public; promotes and implements prevention programs that work, evaluates the impact of these activities. Click here to view the press release.