AOK Logo  P.O. Box 8477 ~ New Haven, CT 06530 ~ 203-772-2294 ~ All Our Kin's website ~ All Our Kin's blog 

December 2012

Happy Holidays!  2012 has been an especially dynamic and exciting year for All Our Kin, as we expanded our many programs to new communities across Connecticut.  Bridgeport has welcomed our hands-on educational training and entrepreneurial training with open arms.  In Norwalk, we launched a new series named "Growing Healthy Children." In this series, providers learn strategies for raising children who feel good about being healthy. 

In New Haven our focus has been on both literacy and health.  In October, world-renowned literacy coach Diane Frankenstein led a "conversational reading" workshop for our providers in New Haven.  Early this month, she returned for a follow-up workshop at which providers and the parents of the children they care for learned new strategies together.  Our organic garden pilot project was hugely successful, and will be expanded in the coming year thanks to a grant from Stratton Faxon Trial Lawyers.  See "News from All Our Kin" to learn more.

None of these wonderful program offerings would have been possible without your generosity.  Ensuring that all children have the foundation they need to succeed is a community effort, and you are an integral part of the process.  Your support for All Our Kin makes it possible for children to have the high-quality learning experiences they need and deserve; furnishes working parents with more child care options; and empowers caregivers with the skills and resources they need to move out of poverty and open successful child care businesses.  We cannot thank you enough for your role in making this important work possible.

We look forward to continuing our work in the coming year, as we strive to provide our communities' women and children with the tools they need for a lifetime of success.

All our best for a joyous holiday and a happy New Year,
Jessica and Janna

Donate Now!
Every dollar makes twice the difference. 

When you support All Our Kin this holiday season, your gift to caregivers, children, and families  will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000, thanks to the generosity of the TK Foundation.


News from All Our Kin
All Our Kin has been getting a lot of attention recently!  Zero to Three featured us in a policy paper as an organization providing "the services and supports that research has found to be critical to improving the quality of [family child] care." Click here to read their policy recommendations (see page eight for their mention of All Our Kin).

Jessica and Janna were honored recipients of The International Alliance for Women's (TIAW) 2012 "World of Difference 100 Award," recognizing leaders across the globe whose work advances the economic empowerment of women.  To know more, read our blog post about the honor.

As a runner-up in the Stratton Faxon Community Builder Contest, we were awarded $25,000 to plant organic gardens in the backyards of family child care providers.  Thank you to everyone who voted for our project! Click here to read more about this recognition.
Provider spotlight: Juan and Felicitas

This month, All Our Kin was fortunate enough bring Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, the Early Childhood Planning Director for Connecticut, to visit the programs of family child care providers. Dr. Jones-Taylor was appointed by Governor Malloy to create a plan for a coordinated, statewide birth-to-eight early care and education system. We were thrilled that Dr. Jones-Taylor looked to us to connect her with family child care programs where she could observe high quality care in action. With great pride, we brought her to All Our Kin providers who we feel epitomize quality and exemplify how family child care can meet and exceed the needs of children and families from a diverse range of communities.


Our first visit was to a family that has been working with All Our Kin for nearly ten years. When Felicitas first came to All Our Kin, she was caring for a few children in her family's tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Over the past nine years, All Our Kin has supported Felicitas as both she and her husband Juan obtained family child care licenses and worked to bring their double program to extraordinary levels of quality. Recently, Juan and Felicitas fulfilled a dream by moving to a two-family home with space devoted exclusively to their two incredible programs that serve children from a range of backgrounds and income levels.


When we walked into Juan and Felicitas' house, we did not just walk into a child care program. We walked into a real-life map of New Haven! Cereal boxes were arranged in a grid in the front room with labels such as "Day care," "Library," and "Casa de Samuel." On the window sill were smaller scale dioramas of streets with stop signs and traffic lights. As Felicitas explained, the children are in the middle of a unit about maps and transportation. In between songs and activities, Felicitas, All Our Kin staffer Tanya Michaelson, and Dr. Jones-Taylor discussed the many milestones that Felicitas achieved while developing her program, as well as her dreams for the future. "I have big plans for the backyard," explained Felicitas. "There are always ways we can improve!"


Upstairs in the infant and toddler program, Juan and his assistant, his daughter Monica, greeted us along with smiling infants, one and two year olds. Though at vastly different stages of development, each child participated and was active in his or her own way as Juan held up a toy snake and asked, "Where is the snake's tongue?" "Where are the snake's hands?" "Where are the snake's feet?" After singing a song in English, an outgoing two-year-old started asking several questions in Spanish, emphasizing his requests with sign language. "Trilingual," Dr. Jones-Taylor remarked, "This program is amazing."


We have long known that Juan, Felicitas, and their programs are amazing, and we're so pleased that Dr. Jones-Taylor now knows it, too!