United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

Posted on April 27, 2017

Brain Building in Progress campaign honors six local communities for supporting early childhood development

Senate President Stan Rosenberg (center), EEC Commissioner Tom Weber (left) and United Way’s Mike Durkin (right) present a “Brain Builder” Award to Barbara Black of Northampton.

BOSTON – Senate President Stan Rosenberg joined Tom Weber, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and United Way President Michael K. Durkin to honor six communities today for their efforts to raise public awareness of the importance of young children’s healthy development and learning.  The Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) programs in Newton, Sandwich, Hamilton Wenham, Leominster, Northampton and North Adams received a “Brain Builder Award” at a State House event co-hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and United Way, leaders of the state’s Brain Building in Progress campaign. The event was co-sponsored by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Alice Peisch.

The six communities were honored for the “brain building” efforts of their Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) programs, by providing resources for parents and caregivers and enriching activities that help foster the healthy development of young children.  Organizations honored by EEC, United Way and state legislators today were: Newton Community Partnerships for Families and Children, CFCE of Hamilton-Wenham and Manchester, Project Apples in Leominster, Sandwich Partnership for Families, The Family Center in the Berkshires and the Northampton/Hadley Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Network.

“Meaningful adult engagement with children supports healthy brain development, which, in turn, dramatically strengthens children’s ability to learn,” said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber.  “Everyone in the community can play an important role in supporting ‘brain building’ and helping to provide a strong future for our children and our Commonwealth.”

“Research continues to indicate the strong return on investment in early childhood,” said Michael K. Durkin, United Way President and CEO. “By giving a strong start to our youngest citizens, we create a stronger, more prosperous future for all. The power of this partnership is all of us coming together to give parents the resources they need to ensure the educational success of young children.”

The event is being held during Brain Building in Progress Week, which is April 24-28. Across the Commonwealth, 68 cities and towns are joining the Brain Building in Progress campaign to recognize the importance of young children’s healthy development and learning by hosting 75 community-based events throughout the month.  Governor Charles Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have signed a proclamation declaring April 24-28 as “Brain Building in Progress Week” in Massachusetts, celebrating the importance of enriching and engaging environments that offer learning opportunities for young children.

The Brain Building in Progress campaign, which is based upon the latest science and research on early childhood development, aims to raise awareness of the critical importance of fostering the cognitive, social and emotional development of young children by emphasizing its future impact on the economic prosperity of everyone in Massachusetts. For more information about Brain Building in Progress and to view the campaign’s website, visit www.brainbuildinginprogress.org.