While COVID-19 definitely changed our plans for STEPS 2020, we decided the show must go on! This year was our first Virtual STEPS Event, and consisted of an array of mini-events spread throughout the week (August 24 – 27). We brought back all your favorite parts of our annual celebration including workshops, interactive resource fairs, inspiring keynotes, and of course….giveaways! And despite bringing the event online, we made sure that young parents found ways to support and connect with each other in this new virtual space.
To see who was at STEPS 2020 and learn more about the programming, you can view the workshops below!
Workshop Session 1
Tuesday, August 25 from Noon – 1:00pm
- “Music and Movement to Promote Literacy: Move and Groove to Your ABCs!” (Anna Adler Learning)
Young children (0-5 years) naturally connect with music, chanting, singing and movement. Music is joyful, and it promotes brain development. In this workshop, participants will learn research supporting the beneficial role of music and movement. Participants will increase their comfort and skill by diving into music and movement activities including singing, chanting, rhythm games, and movement activities. Using fun props including homemade instruments, scarves and other household items, participants will learn new ways support their children’s engagement.
- “Aren’t You Too Young to be a Parent?” Dealing with Confrontational Strangers and the Myths of Teenage Pregnancy (Jenna Vinsons—Professor and former teen mom)
People often claim that young parenthood is a “problem” because it leads to negative outcomes like poverty and dropping out of school. But do you know that many researchers do not think this is true? Do you know that some researchers argue that having babies at a young age actually improves the possibility for healthy outcomes for women born into poverty? Do you know that the highest rate of teen births actually happened in the 1950s when no one really talked about “teenage pregnancy” being a problem? Attend this session to learn myth-busting, empowering information about the so-called of teenage pregnancy problem. Then, participate in a critical discussion of the everyday comments young pregnant and parenting people receive. Participants will brainstorm creative and effective ways to deal with confrontational people in their everyday lives.
- Building your Own Personal Network of Opportunity (Union Capital Boston)
In this workshop we will take time to get to know each a little bit, which is the foundation for all community building, and learn about the Union Capital Boston Model. We will have an opportunity to practice sharing resources with each other and joining Union Capital Boston if interested.
- Infant Injury Prevention (Boston Children’s Hospital)
Program content includes: • Infant Safety ◦ Developmental Needs ◦ Safe Sleep ◦ Safe Feeding ◦ Positive Parenting • Car Seat Use • Family Safety ◦ Shaken Baby ◦ How to Calm a Crying Infant ◦ Family Safe Practices • Home Safety ◦ Creating a Safe Environment
- Poetry and Journaling (Mothers for Justice and Equality)
Participants will reflect on modern day poetry as well as write poetry which reflects their life, hopes and dreams. Participants will learn about different writing styles, different poets and explore their creative voice to tell their story!
Workshop Session 2
Wednesday, August 26 from 11:00am to Noon
- Healthy Relationships (Passageway, Brigham and Women’s Hospital)
Join Passageway for a dynamic conversation on healthy relationships! Through different activities and conversation, we aim to foster discussion around various behaviors within a relationship and identify them as healthy or unhealthy.”
- Got Conflict? Deal with Conflict Effectively: Tools for your Toolbox (Community Dispute Settlement Center)
This workshop will help young parents examine what happens to people in conflict and identify strategies for positive conflict engagement. It will be interactive and draw from the group’s real life experiences. They will polish up their skills and add a new tool or two to their toolbox.
- Take Charge of Your Health: The Center for Community Wellness Healthy Lifestyle Program (Center for Community Wellness)
The Healthy Lifestyle Program is a 6-month program designed specifically for those who want to take charge of their health and wellbeing. Over the course of twelve, 2-hour seminars, you will learn how to build healthy behaviors through a combination of individual and group exercises. This workshop will provide an overview of the HLP program as well as some information on the CCW. In particular, we will introduce the first topic of behavior change– values and commitments. Participants are given ~10 minutes to identify their current core values based on how they spend their time, money, and energy. Then they determine if there is a gap between their expectation and current reality of holding health and wellness as core values. This program is designed to help take people from contemplation to preparation and action. We then transition to focus on this concept of a healthy lifestyle, explain what this concept looks like, and where it comes from. Wellness has become a booming industry rife with its own gimmicks, misinformation, and snake oil salesmen. Wellness is an industry that is currently distinct from traditional health care. Going forward, we need to bring some of the same standards and rigor to the wellness industry to help consumers/patients determine what is appropriate for them in their own, unique health journey.
- Developmental SPICES of Life (Family Nurturing Center)
Meeting our needs and the needs of our children. Helping children get their needs met is one of the primary responsibilities of parenting and can assist in healthy development and understanding empathy. Learn 6 core values and skills you can nurture in every child: Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creativity, Emotional & Spiritual.
- Breastfeeding and Baby Café in My Community
Do you want to know how to support your family member during pregnancy and after delivery? When Breastfeeding becomes a concern of not enough milk, Am I enough for my child? We can provide to support to Feel Confident to share with your family how and why breastfeeding is Important to you.
Resource Fair 1
Monday, August 24th from Noon – 1:00 PM
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA)
- ABCD Head Start & Early Head Start Children’s Services
- Cambridge Family and Children’s services
Resource Fair 2
Wednesday, August 26th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM
- Mothers for Justice and Equality
- Endicott College
- ABCD Energy Services
- Community Dispute Settlement Center, Inc.
Resource Fair 3
Thursday August 27th from 11:00 AM – Noon
- Stronger Generations
- Family & Children’s Service
- Union Capital Boston
- Center for Community Wellness