CFVI is proud to support the participation of the USVI in the WE COUNT! Campaign, with the goal of ensuring that children and families know how important it is that they are represented in the population count. Those of us concerned with tracking and improving the well-being of our children and families face a challenge in the US Virgin Islands. Unlike the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the decennial census is the only federally funded guaranteed source of demographic data for the Territory. Therefore, the census plays a critical role in determining the distribution of public resources and representation.
An accurate count is critical to promoting equity for communities across the nation. CFVI is committed to participating in national initiatives such as the We Count! Campaign, to ensure representation of the Territory’s unique political and legal status. Recognizing the significant differences in census structure in the USVI compared to other jurisdictions, CFVI advocated for customization of this guide, and appreciate that the WE COUNT! partners were supportive of this goal.
We Count! A 2020 Census Counting Book, which features engaging stories about and illustrations of families living in the United States, is meant to be read aloud to young children so they can learn to count.
Learn more at wecountkids.org and look out for WE COUNT! books being distributed by our community partners in Arabic, English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.
We are pleased to announce a three-year commitment to offer the Ready4K platform to families in the Territory! Developed by educational researchers, Ready4K is an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text message.
Each week, parents and caregivers receive three texts (one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) that consist of fun facts and easy tips on how to promote their child’s development by building on existing family routines – such as pointing out letters on the cereal box at breakfast, counting the number of steps as you walk to the car or bus, or making feeling faces in the mirror after you brush your teeth. The Ready4K curriculum covers the whole child from birth through 4th grade and is available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.
Getting started is easy. Simply text the code CFVI to 70138 to start receiving messages today.
By entering your cell phone number you agree to enroll into the program and receive ParentPowered text messages from 70138. While there is no cost for enrolling, data and message rates may apply. You can cancel the text messages at any time by texting STOP to 70138.
Text4baby is an educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB).Text4baby was developed to help more pregnant women and new moms get information about caring for their health and giving their babies the best possible start in life. Weekly text messages focus on topics critical to maternal and child health: immunizations, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, birth defects prevention, oral health and safe sleep. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services.
How text4baby Works
Register online here or from your cell phone. When using your cell phone text the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to the number 511411. Once registered, you will receive free text messages each week timed to your due date or baby’s date of birth.
Born Learning is a national public engagement campaign, developed by the Ad Council and made available by the United Way International, designed to help parents, caregivers and communities create early learning opportunities for young children. It focuses on awareness, education and action. CFVI launched Born Learning in the USVI.
- Born Learning Kids Basics booklets were distributed to 60 pregnant teens by nurses at the 4 public high schools. They provide a wealth of information for new moms about caring for their baby including: schedules of well-child visits, feeding, sleeping habits, and connecting with one’s baby.
- 600 Born Learning Play Books, which give parents ideas of ways to interact and play with their children, were distributed through the WIC Program (a federally funded nutrition program for pregnant women and their children from birth to 5 years).
- Born Learning Trails were installed at Magens Bay, Winston Raymo playground in Hospital Ground, Lindbergh Bay Park, Altona Lagoon and Al McBean recreational complex. They are designed to provide suggestions for activities that parents can do with their young child.
- Born Learning Workshops, which focus on how children learn and the importance of high quality early childhood experiences, have been presented to child care providers and parents throughout the territory at 10 centers and events.
For more information about the Born Learning program, visit www.bornlearning.org
Early Childhood Advisory Committee
In response to the need to improve coordination and collaboration among public and private entities focused on the care and education of young children, the federal government mandated the creation of state early childhood advisory councils through the Improving Head Start Act of 2007. Through Executive Order #440-2008, Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. established the Virgin Islands Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) as a standing committee of the Children and Families Council and pursuant to the Improving Head Start Act of 2007 on June 2, 2008. Membership of the ECAC included representatives from public and private agencies involved in activities and/or services or with an interest in the welfare of young children and families. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands was designated to coordinate the activities of the ECAC.