WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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good works "a platform for growth that is having tremendous impact" to couch." Wanting to be catalysts for change, the partners recognized that their unique ognize the special issues surrounding this approach would require its own 501(c)3 organization. In 2009 they launched UnitedStates4Kids. vulnerable population and building a broadly UnitedStates4Kids is affiliated with three direct service organizations involved in key facets of based support system. child homelessness. The national nonprofit Share Our Strength connects children with nutritious Schoen and Whalen knew where to turn. food through its No Kid Hungry campaign. Health Leads (formerly Project HEALTH) places They approached Joseph Moore, president of undergraduate volunteers in clinics and hospitals where doctors can prescribe food, housing, or Lesley University, with a proposal to create a other non-medical needs and volunteers guide homeless children and families to appropriate college level curriculum dealing with child resources. In addition to operating three full-time daycare centers in Greater Boston, Horizons homelessness. He jumped on board and, with for Homeless Children places volunteers in family homeless shelters throughout Massachusetts leadership from Lesley undergraduate dean to provide young children with enrichment and parents with training workshops. Mary Coleman, Lesley launched the Child As their work evolved, Schoen and Whalen became increasingly aware that most teachers and Homelessness in Massachusetts Initiative with professionals who work with young children don't know the unique needs of homeless children support from the Schoen Family Foundation. ages 0-6. "You can teach kids with disabilities without specific training but how much more In 2011 Lesley offered a pilot seminar course effective you can be with training and support. It's the same for homeless kids," Whalen says. for upperclassmen that brought lecturers They decided they could have greater impact if they shifted focus to helping professionals rec- from disciplines including child development, social work, and public policy and created student internship opportunities. The initiative established a national conversation (that will occur for five years) on child homelessness. Inaugural lecturer Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff is a nationally recognized expert in early childhood development from the Harvard School of Public Health and chairman of the committee that produced the landmark report From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Lesley will offer a pilot course in child homelessness in the summer of 2013, laying We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 3 further groundwork for developing undergraduate and graduate level credits and continuing education units, the first formal education on child homelessness in the United States. Lesley offers online courses through 129 programs in 40 states, so the 142

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