ACT: Raising Safe Kids
The ACT Raising Safe Kids Program is a national parent education program designed by the American Psychological Association as a childhood safety and primary violence prevention initiative. The ACT Boston Regional Office is based at Lemberg Children's Center at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.
Books for Children
Raise a reader.
According to The Children's Reading Foundation, reading aloud with your child for just 20 minutes a day strengthens relationships, encourages listening and language skills, promotes attention and curiosity, and establishes a strong reading foundation.
The lists of books are arranged by topic and were selected by our Lemberg Librarian.
Child Development and Education
Association for Behavioral Healthcare
The leading advocacy organization in Massachusetts' mental health and addiction services arena fighting for high-quality, community-based care for families and individuals with mental illness, addiction and substance-use disorders.
FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
A multidisciplinary institute at UNC-Chapel Hill dedicated to ensuring every child experiences a safe, healthy, and stimulating childhood. Studies important issues facing young children and their families.
The IRIS Center is a national center that aims to provide high-quality resources for college and university faculty and professional development providers about students with disabilities. IRIS seeks to obtain this goal by providing free, online, interactive training enhancements that translate research about the education of students with disabilities into practice.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Education
The website for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education boasts numerous helpful resources on important issues like: child development, education, nutrition, health and safety. Many of the resources are also offered in other languages, such as: Spanish, Khmer, Chinese, Haitian, and Portuguese.
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard
Drawing on the full breadth of intellectual resources available across Harvard University's graduate schools and affiliated hospitals, the Center generates, translates, and applies knowledge in the service of improving life outcomes for children in the United States and throughout the world.
Beyond Lemberg, these resources are essential for scholarships, other child care options and special needs.
Department of Early Education and Care
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care provides parents, providers, educators or community leaders with resources to help provide a strong foundation for the next generation
Includes numerous useful resources for parents such as a search tool for accredited child care programs and tips for everything from healthy eating to play time.
Offers a venue for compatible families and caregivers to connect, as well as listings for child care centers. Includes tools for getting a background check, setting up interviews, and paying caregivers.
A comprehensive collection of licensed childcare centers and home daycares in operation nationally, searchable by city, state or zip code.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Serves all the people in the Commonwealth, particularly the under served, and promotes healthy people, healthy families, healthy communities and healthy lifestyles.
Illness Information Factsheets
Download information on everything from bed bugs to West Nile virus and in between from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (most are offered in more than one language!).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Includes detailed information on diseases and conditions including how to identify and treat them, as well as additional resources on health issues from healthy living to global health.
Provides valuable health information, tools for managing health, and support to those who seek information.
Helping Children With Trauma
We are all deeply saddened by tragic events such as Sandy Hook Elementary School or the Boston Marathon Bombing. When faced with such a tragedy, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and frightened. For children, these events can be even more difficult to deal with. As difficult as it is, our role as adults is to reassure our young children that events like these are highly unlikely to occur in their school and that many things are done here to ensure their personal safety. We are here to keep them safe and engaged with each other in play. This is not to say that we should act as though nothing has happened. However it is important to present ourselves as confident in providing a safe home and school and that we can manage our own anxiety, sadness, and outrage. Children read our feelings and react.
We want to share with you some suggestions that others (in particular, our friend Diane Levin) have offered in the past, when having to speak with children about school shootings and tragic public events.
To summarize our approach:
In front of young children who know nothing about these events:
- Avoid bringing up the events when they are within listening range.
- We advise that you not turn on the TV or radio to find more details if your children are around.
- Ask them what they think happened or heard, and what it means for them?
- Respond to their statements and their concerns.
- Focus on their current level of safety in their school and home.
- When children ask about the injured? Try saying something like: "People who are injured are taken to hospitals and cared for by trained people."
- When asked what happens next for those effected? An answer might be: "There are lots of people who are trained as rescue workers, police, health care workers and mental health professionals to support those effected."
Below are links to help you continue to research how to best handle tragedy in your own family.
- Because the World is Dangerous Place: Helping Children Deal with Violence in the News by Diane E. Levin
- Guidelines for Helping Children Deal with News Violence by Diane E. Levine
- Talking About Tragic Events: for parents with elementary school children (from OneToughJob.org)
- American Psychological Association: Talking to Your Children about the Recent Spate of School Shootings
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Age Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
- Bagel with vegetable confetti: Spread a bagel with cream cheese, then finely dice sweet raw veggies like peppers and carrots. Sprinkle the veggies over the bagel.
- Cheese slices or cubes
- Chicken, cheese and crackers
- Cinnamon raisin bread with cream cheese
- Cold cuts
- Cooked dumplings
- Cottage cheese
- Dolma: stuffed grape leaves
- Fish sticks and fruit
- Grilled cheese on whole wheat bread
- Hummus, pita and/or veggies
- Mac and cheese
- Meatballs and rice pilaf
- Pizza: on an English muffin, homemade dough, other bread, leftover, etc.
- Red lentil soup
- Sliced avocado
- Soy nut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Steamed couscous, plain or add feta, beans, veggies, etc.
- Steamed veggies (throw some mixed frozen veggies in small container in the morning, will be thawed by lunch)
- String cheese
- Sushi rolls: crab meat, cucumber, avocado wrapped in rice or a flour tortilla. Cut into pieces and wrap it tightly. Use the same method for salmon or tuna salad.
- Sweet potato balls (microwave sweet potato, mash with butter, brown sugar, milk, then roll into bite-sized balls)
- Tofu cubes (from stir fry, or soft cook and coat with wheat germ, crushed cheerios, or crushes graham crackers)
- Vegetable soup
Snack and Dessert Ideas
- Cereal bars
- Dried fruits (Trader Joe's is a good place to go)
- Fig Newtons
- Fresh fruit: apples, pears, nectarines, bananas, grapes, etc. Good coated with wheat germ or crushed cornflakes.
- Rice cakes
- Yogurt (good with berries)
Looking for new dishes to make for or with your family? Check these sites out.
Anna Kreimer offers recipes that can help provide healthy lunches for children, including suggestions for picky eaters.
Anne's Dairy, Nut and Egg Free Recipes
Anne is a former Lemberg parent who offers some tasty recipes for children and adults.
WebMD explains why it is so important to spend time in the kitchen with your children, and how it get started.
Gluten Allergies And A Healthy Diet
An online guide detailing what exactly a gluten allergy is and how to eat healthy gluten free.
Created by a mom who recognizes the value of involving children in the kitchen
Music and movement contributes to the development of the whole child. Incorporate music into your daily routine — your child will thank you.
Celebrates the positive power of music in the lives of children by sharing songs, exchanging ideas and creating community.
Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA)
Seeks to promote the best practices in all areas of early childhood music and movement for the good of children, birth through age 7.
Online MIDIs and lyrics for children's songs, patriotic music, movies and musicals, older favorites and holiday sounds, maintained by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Service.
Lemberg's own Scott Kepnes' website offers funny, funky, folk-rock music and storytelling for kids and families.
Family Engagement and Children with Disabilities (pdf)
Federation for Children with Special Needs
Provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners and their communities.
Your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency keeps information on all licensed and licensed-exempt programs including child care centers, family child care providers, preschools, and out of school time programs. A search can be tailored to your specific need and consultation provided on how to look for quality child care. Additional data such as age-specific vacancies, special services, financial assistance options and parenting information is also available.
The Special Education Advocacy Center (SEAC)
Provides free legal services for low-income parents and caregivers of children with disabilities seeking to obtain appropriate educational services for their children
If you have questions, contact our special needs provider:
OTA Koomar Center: For many years Lemberg Children's Center has contracted to have support for educators with consultants from the OTA Koomar Center. OTA Koomar center in Newton near Waltham and Watertown provides screening, assessment, and direct services for children and adults.
Things To Do
Get up and get going!
Boston and the surrounding area offers hundreds of activities for children and families.
Wondering what to do today? tomorrow? next week? This site has grown to be the number-one web destination for family-oriented events, activities and resources in the Greater Boston and New England area.
TRUCE: Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment
TRUCE is an organization of educators who work to counteract the harmful impact of media and marketing on children. One of their goals is to provide children with toys and activities that promote healthy play and nonviolent behavior at home and school. Download one of their action guide (pdf).
Social Services and Child Behavioral Health Supports
- Find Help (national)
- Massachusetts Children's Behavioral Health Initiative
- The Advocates is a behavioral health clinic in Waltham serving children and their families.
- Massachusett Behavioral Health Help-line
- Massachusetts Community Health Centers
- Massachusetts Behavioral Health Tool Kit
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