Coalition receives funding from The Chartrand Family Fund for group parenting classes

Sep 22, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

ChartrandFamilyFund_logoThe Healthy Start Coalition received a two-year grant from The Chartrand Family Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida to provide group parenting classes for families with new babies. The Coalition will utilize the evidence-based CenteringParenting model program to provide support and give new parents the confidence and understanding to help their child’s health and development.

The CenteringParenting model brings 6-8 moms, partners, support people and their same-age infants together for approximately two years for group classes with their health care providers and other parents who are experiencing similar things at the same time. The classes include discussions and interactive activities on topics like attachment, safe sleep, breastfeeding, nutrition, early literacy, development and safety. Parents engage in their baby’s care: tracking growth and development, immunizations and oral health.

The Centering model allows for parents to spend additional time with a provider, which creates an opportunity to screen for developmental milestones and mental health concerns, leading to earlier intervention and referrals. The CenteringParenting program will complement the Coalition’s existing group prenatal care classes provided at the Magnolia Project.

The Chartrand Family established this Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida in 2012 to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that do work the family has supported over many years, connect with others who are doing similar work, and to expand opportunities for local collaboration, The Chartrand Family has a long history of philanthropy in the community. Their Fund focuses on early childhood education, K-12 public education reform, and social and emotional mental health for children and youth.


Fatherhood PRIDE hosts Back to School event for community

Aug 14, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Parents and students received support and education to prepare for the new school year at IMG_0996Fatherhood PRIDE’s Back to School event on August 12. Fatherhood PRIDE, an initiative of the Healthy Start Coalition, works with local fathers to help them best engage with their children to ensure all babies are born healthy and reach their first birthday.

Hosted at Platinum Cutts Barbershop, students who attended the event were given backpacks filled with essentials for the first day, discounted haircuts and the encouragement to have a great and successful school year.

IMG_0901Community partners from UF Health Jacksonville, Legal Shield and the Women’s Center were in attendance and passed out information about their programs to provide additional support to families. Healthy Families Jacksonville and Healthy Start, both initiatives of the Coalition, were also in attendance.

Fathers play a pivotal part in a child’s development. The Coalition’s Fatherhood PRIDE program works to keep fathers in Northeast Florida engaged, present and accounted for so their children survive and thrive.

Fatherhood PRIDE: Keeping dad in the game for success

Aug 2, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Fathers play a pivotal part in a child’s development. New evidence shows that children with early father involvement are more likely to be and stay healthy. The Coalition’s Fatherhood PRIDE program works to keep fathers in Northeast Florida engaged, present and accounted for so their children survive and thrive.iStock_000016287227Large

An active male role in the early stages of babies’ development produced better performance in cognitive test by the age of two according to a new study by research teams from Oxford University, King’s College and College London. Dads have a more stimulating and rigorous style of encouragement, which in return leads to a child exploring more on their own and in return could lead to quicker cognitive development.

There has been a proven positive link between involved fathers and higher test scores, whether the child was a boy or girl, according to the study. The Fatherhood PRIDE program works to get fathers involved with their children during pregnancy. The program offers a Boot Camp for New Dads course that prepares new fathers to take care of a baby. Dads-to-be learn from dads who have successfully Love you, Dadtransitioned into fatherhood. Other courses offered include 24/7 Dad, Inside Out Dad and Mom as Gateway. Fatherhood PRIDE also works with dads to help them find employment, further their education, understand how to manage their finances and much more.

The role that a father plays in their children’s lives is important. If you know a father that could benefit from Fatherhood PRIDE services, please fill out the referral form and enroll today. Fathers can also refer themselves by completing this form.

2nd Annual Fatherhood Barbecue Competition

Jun 28, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Fatherhood PRIDE, an initiative of the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, hosted its 2nd Annual Fatherhood Barbeque Competition June 17. The competition began in 2016, as a way for fathers to bond with their children. Fathers play a critical role in a child’s development. Studies show that children with early father involvement are more likely to be healthy and stay healthy. Men have an innate desire to protect, care and provide for children. The 2nd Annual Fatherhood Barbecue Competition provided the perfect platform to do so.

The barbecue kicked off at 7:30 a.m. as fathers and their children begin to slow cook their beef brisket, dry rub their ribs and season their chicken.

As fathers and their children grilled, the parking lot filled with over 100 participants and community leaders taking part in the festivities. Children enjoyed crafts and face painting, while partner agencies provided information on their services.

On the heels of Father’s Day, the barbecue competition provided a family-friendly atmosphere that allowed fathers to bond with their children and community members to be exposed to local services while raising awareness about infant mortality.


Mother of the Month: May 2017

Jun 1, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  2 comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition would like to congratulate Keandra Simmons on being selected as the May Mother of the Month.

Keandra, a mother of one and participant of the Magnolia Project, was nominated by her case manager, Anna Matthews.

“I nominated Keandra as the mother of the month because of how much she has grown this past year,” Anna said. “She is truly a great mother who loves her son, and wants to give him the life that she didn’t have.”

Keandra grew up in Jacksonville, where as a child she witnessed her mother be domestically abused.

“I just remember him (her mom’s boyfriend) hitting her and kicking her,” Keandra said. “I told myself that I would never allow myself to go through that or allow my children to go through that dramatic experience.”

When Keandra found out that she was pregnant at the age of 17, she quickly reached out for assistance from the Magnolia Project. Since joining the Magnolia Project, Keandra has become more independent and capable of providing for her son. She has found employment, housing and has big plans for the future.

“I plan to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and then go back to school to hopefully become a nurse,” Keandra said.

On behalf of the Coalition and our Mother of the Month sponsor, Nothing Bunt Cakes, we would like to congratulate Keandra on being chosen as the Mother of the Month.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Mother/Father of the Month, click here.