Harambee For Galveston’s Youngest Citizens

Purpose

Our purpose is to strengthen the appeal of evidence-based Incredible Years and other multi-session, group-based, baby brain building programs and resources for families with children ages 0 to 3 with special attention to neurological development using culturally relevant and culturally appropriate engagement for families with Black Galveston children between the ages of 0 to 3. We have a unique moment to evaluate a culturally responsive community-led strategy in recruitment and implementation for group-based, multi-session, baby brain building programs and resources for families with children ages 0 to 3 to achieve the outcome of fair and equitable opportunity to attain their full health potential.

Project Summary

The primary goal of Harambee for Galveston’s Youngest Citizens is to address the well-documented racial disparities experienced by our community’s Black families with children ages 0 to 3 by building the capacity of our community leaders to “pull together” in helping parents promote early childhood brain development through group-based multi-session programs and become better prepared  advocates and leaders in giving the community’s Black infants the best chance at a healthy life. The project is a 24-month collaborative effort of Galveston’s Black community leaders, family support provider organizations, and families with Galveston’d Black children ages 0 to 3.

Interest Form

Complete the form below if you are interested in more information about joining in this work with us.

Parents and caregivers of Black children ages 0 – 3 will be compensated $30/hour for their time dedicated to attending classes and providing feedback to our team as we “pull together” for our youngest citizens.

Fill in this form for more information

Baby Learning Resources

Partners

3rd Coast R&D
DePelchin
Family Service Center
Nia Cultural Center
Pregnancy Help Center
Rosenberg Library
SMART Family Literacy
God’s Kingdom & Restoration Ministries*
UpBring (Headstart)*
Fanfare! Lutheran Music Academy
*Moody Methodist Church
*Galveston ISD
NAACP
GISD ECD
City Council Member
Baby Stewart Foundation
Galveston Urban Ministries
God’s Kingdom Restoration Ministries
Family Service Center Fatherhood Program
The Future is US
Fanfare Lutheran Music Academy
Third Coast R&D
Boys & Girls Club

Harambee Events

Events content here

Expectations

Expectation content here

Background

Our estimates of the need for additional support to build brains and nurture healthy development in early childhood were built by applying predictors in the research literature to census data for our community. The literature shows certain subpopulations, particularly the economically and educationally disadvantaged and members of ethno-racial groups including African Americans and Hispanics, are at disproportionate risk for cognitive
delays and disabilities. Gestational and birth characteristics, including low birth weight and preterm delivery, have strong associations with low cognitive functioning at 9 months. But socio-demographic factors are stronger predictors of cognitive delay at 24 months. Other longitudinal studies link cognitive delays and behavior problems in early childhood to parenting and ethno-racial disparities in home routines. Although our city is property wealthy, it is low-income populated (20% poverty vs 6% in League City), lower-educated (29% of persons 25+ with bachelor’s degree vs 47% in League City) and has a larger African American population (17% vs 9% in League City). Our estimate, therefore, is that by the time they are 3 years old more than half of our island children lack foundational skills whereas more than half of League City’s children likely have attained foundational skills that are above average.

Extended Summary

The primary goal of Harambee for Galveston’s Youngest Citizens is to address the well-documented racial disparities experienced by our community’s Black families with children ages 0 to 3 by building the capacity of our community leaders to “pull together” in helping parents promote early childhood brain development through group-based multi-session programs and become better prepared advocates and leaders in giving the community’s Black infants the best chance at a healthy life.

The project is a 24-month collaborative effort of Galveston’s Black community leaders, family support provider organizations, and families with Black Galveston children ages 0 to 3. Family support providers have expressed and demonstrated a commitment to diverse, equitable, and inclusive programming and program delivery to meet the needs of the whole community, but presently lack the social networks and experience to effectively and meaningfully engage Black families.

Local community leaders with existing relationships with Black families of children ages 0 to 3 will leverage their networks to engage through outreach

  1. informing the Black community about the importance of early childhood brain development and the benefits of accessing locally available early childhood brain-building support, and
  2. enlisting Black parents, grandparents, and guardians as paid consultants to enroll and participate in available group-based multi-session support programs, provide feedback on their experience in the program, and participate in shared decision making on how programs can be improved to increase appeal and cultural relevance.

 

In turn, committed family support program providers will share leadership with parents in utilizing the feedback to improve group-based multi-session programming to better recognize norms, values, demographic trends, and experi nces influenced by cultural, economic, social, political and historical contexts relevant to Galveston’s Black citizens. This collaborative work will allow for more inclusive and culturally informed programming and program delivery that is better suited to reach, enroll, retain, and serve Black caregivers in local family support programming to the benefit of infants and toddlers. Engaging historically overlooked Black families as leaders in promoting a culture of positive parent-child attachment, bonding, and serve-and-return promotes healthy brain development during the critical first 1000 days of the child’s life.

Success of this project is foundational to the work of addressing racial disparities in well-being of children, families, and communities. The Harambee approach will build on Nia Cultural Center’s deep roots in Galveston Island to establish an annually renewable, culturally relevant, self-sustaining social network of Black community leaders. This is to maintain a two-way exchange between program providers and program consumers that successfully supports at least 100 of the community’s Black families with children ages 0 to 3 annually in developing improved knowledge and beliefs about infant behavior. Additionally this aims to increase practice of positive parent-child interactions as early as possible in the first 1000 days of the child’s life and expand local capacity to build brains, save lives, and prosper communities.