in honor of the great martin luther king, jr.
25 years of strengthening Massachusetts families
[text on screen] The eyes of a child
[Voiceover] Suzin Bartley, Executive Director of Children’s Trust
When you look into a child’s eyes, you see such hope, you see such promise, and you see a child really wanting to trust.
[Children’s Trust logo on screen]
Cheryl Vines, Vice President of The Family Center, Inc.
I believe in the work of Children’s Trust because unfortunately in my time I’ve seen a lot of broken families. And I’ve seen a lot of broken parents and often these parents are the product of broken homes themselves, and the cycle continues. I’ve been around long enough where I’ve seen the children grow up and also go on to raise further broken families. I believe in this work because we are making a difference.
Edward N. Bailey, M.D., MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center
We’ve learned very well over the past 3 decades that it’s the home environment that is so critical to kids. Society in general hasn’t made parenting and family and children’s needs and rights the priority some of us would like it to be.
You learn how to parent by being parented. Sometimes that’s good; sometimes that’s bad. Parents play such an important role that I want to make sure they know how to do it well.
Hector Lopez-Camacho, Vice President, State Street Global Services
The Children’s Trust is an organization that provides resources to families to really at the end of the day help those that are most vulnerable, which are children.
Senator Stephen M. Brewer, Chairman of Senate Committee on Ways & Means
When you save the life of a child, you save the world. Every child, these children under Massachusetts law, are going to be going into schools with everyone else’s children. We have 965,000 kids in public schools in Massachusetts on this day. They need to have an opportunity, if they’re given this opportunity to begin at the starting line with everyone else, they can grow. They can fulfill promises. And that’s something that we want for our children as well.
Roy E. Belson, Superintendent, Medford Public Schools
There are students who come to our schools who have incredible amounts of education before they arrive. They have large vocabularies and they have been exposed to many things. And, there are other students who come to our schools who don’t have those advantages. And by giving our students and our families an opportunity to grow and develop through these kinds of programs we close that preparation gap and enable them to participate in more equal footing as they enter the schools.
Our biggest program is called Healthy Families. It’s a home visiting program for 1st time teen parents, 20 and under. It works… it picks up those parents prenatally. We’re about 59% that are picked up prenatally, and works with them until the time the child turns 3. You can’t give a child back their childhood. Zero-to-three is when the bulk of the brain develops.
Edward N. Bailey, M.D.
Early brain development is really extremely important and a critical time in a child’s life. So to entertain that child, to read to the child, to educate that child when the brain is still plastic is critically important.
David E. Sullivan, District Attorney, Northwestern District Attorney’s Office
Children’s Trust really has an impact beyond just a family and the kids that are in a family. It really has an impact on the whole community. The fact that kids are growing up in healthy households means that that family is going to be a great contributor to the community. And the community is not going to have to react to abuse and neglect or to an educational situation where they haven’t had that head start.
Roy E. Belson
Our partnership with the Children’s Trust has gone back 15 years. The Children’s Trust has enabled us to develop programs that have made a difference in the lives of over 25,000 families. We certainly believe that the kind of supports that they’ve given us in helping us to teach parents to avoid child neglect or child abuse, to strengthen parenting skills, to develop the capacity that parents have to become real partners in the educational process is incredible.
People are excited to see their kids thrive, and Children’s Trust provides the opportunity for parents to make that happen.
So should we be celebrating? Absolutely. We should be celebrating the lives of children that will never know who we are. And they don’t need to. But we know that we’ve had an impact on thousands upon thousands of young children and their parents who live a very different life, who have a very different skill set because we’ve been here. If that’s not worth celebrating than I don’t know what is.