Meeting survey results: How are we doing?

At the end of every monthly Family Advisory Board (FAB) and Provider Action Team (PAT) meeting, we survey our participants with the Reality Check to make sure we are serving them well, staying true to our values, and working collaboratively towards our goals. We use the results of these surveys to monitor our progress and in our planning and decision-making, and we report back to our stakeholders at the beginning of every meeting on them.

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PAT, FABDavid Harrington
February 2019 - FAB Meeting #10

During February’s FAB meeting, members spent time identifying numerous examples of people, places, events, cultures, and history that could be learned about in a Family Co-Op, and expressed different ways that the narrative about Brownsville would be remixed if they were telling it.

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David Harrington
February 2019 - PAT Meeting #8

As with the FAB, PAT members responded personally to the experiences of discrimination and inequity, as well as the desire to “Lift Off”, as articulated in Donovan Livingston’s spoken word graduation speech. These experiences should inform the work UB does, including the way it approaches data and evaluation.

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David Harrington
January 2019 - PAT Meeting #7

It’s not every day in collective decision-making that you get to introduce a possibility, discuss it, and make a decision about it all in the same day. That’s what UB’s PAT did at its rescheduled January 2019 meeting. We were lucky to have a visit from Abe Fernandez of Children’s Aid Society and South Bronx Rising Together to help us discuss the possibility of join the Strive Together national network of collective impact organizations. Attendees overwhelmingly voted to join for the chance to tap into this country-wide effort.

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David Harrington
January 2019 - FAB Meeting #9

It was all about aspirations and outcomes to start 2019. After revisiting their prior expectations for the FAB and UB and their 2019 expectations, FAB members gathered in small groups to continue the work from our last meeting. This was the final step in four-part series of meetings that began with a conversation about what needs to change to enable children to “Lift off” in Brownsville, and culminated in a set of measurable outcomes that can be used to evaluate UB’s progress and the state of early childhood development in Brownsville.

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FABDavid Harrington
December 2018 - FAB Meeting #8

A potluck is a meal to which everyone contributes a dish, and our December FAB meeting was both a literal and a metaphorical potluck. FAB members brought the food to our final 2018 meeting, and we relied upon everyone’s contributions to the process of identifying outcomes that extend from our Theory of Change. For example, if FAB members want every child to be on track to read by age 5, UB and its collaborators may be able to identify specific ways to evaluate whether that is happening.

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FABDavid Harrington
December 2018 - PAT Meeting #6

Our final meeting of 2018 involved a deep and detailed small and large group discussion of United for Brownsville’s Theory of Change. PAT members helped us edit the text, adding to and expanding upon FAB contributions. The next step in the process will be to identify measurable outcomes that will help us know whether or not UB is achieving the changes laid out in the ToC.

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PATDavid Harrington
November 2018 - FAB Meeting #7

We immersed ourselves more deeply in the work of editing our theory of change in November. The meeting began with a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation about equity that picked up on some of the conversations from the November PAT meeting. That conversation then informed our small-group and FAB-wide conversations about the Theory of Change, which included line by line responses and edits to that important document.

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FABDavid Harrington
November 2018 - PAT Meeting #5

What is equality? What is equity? What is justice? And how do we incorporate these terms in a meaningful way into our work? We spent much of our November meeting thinking of how our projects relate to equity and trying to understand better what UB needs to do to ensure that it is looking at all of its work with an equity lens.

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PATDavid Harrington
October 2018 - FAB Meeting #6

3 … 2… 1… What changes need to happen to enable young children in Brownsville to lift off? We spent our October FAB meeting beginning to answer this question as part of our process of co-creating UB’s theory of change with community members and service providers. From the ToC, UB will identify measurable outcomes, and these outcomes will be used in our evaluation plan. In other words, UB will know if it is doing its job if it is helping young children lift off the way their parents and caregivers would like them to.

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FABDavid Harrington
October 2018 - PAT Meeting #4

During our October meeting, the PAT had a meaningful conversation about its values and goals, including its commitment to equity and collaboration. This was one of the most inspiring, challenging, and important conversations we have had to date, and it really set the tone for changing the way we work together.

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PATDavid Harrington
September 2018 - FAB Meeting #5

The September meeting benefitted from the presence and participation of representatives from two key partners for the planning of Discover Together: Brownsville. Scholastic Education has been an invaluable planning partners and instrumental in our thinking about how to implement programs that respond to community strengths and which will achieve real results, particularly a Family Co-Op model that we would like to implement in Brownsville. Similarly, Too Small to Fail brings experience transforming everyday spaces like supermarkets and laundromats into learning experiences for children and families alike, which we would like to adopt in our Learning Landscapes project.

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FABDavid Harrington
September 2018 - PAT Meeting #3

Goals, goals, and more goals. At our third PAT meeting, we took a longer-term planning approach and sketched out how we thought the next 6 months should proceed for our Discover Together: Brownsville projects. It was exciting and enlightening to think about our work and the future so concretely and objectively, and to do this through collaboration.

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PATDavid Harrington
August 2018 - FAB Meeting #4

At the August FAB meeting, we spent the majority of our time in breakout groups for the three Discover Together: Brownsville (DTB) projects. This was the first FAB meeting after the PAT had been able to review the DTB projects, and so the FAB were able to refine their own ideas about how to proceed with project planning as well as elaborate on the contributions made by the PAT.

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FABDavid Harrington
August 2018 - PAT Meeting #2

It was only meeting two, but we took the “United” in United for Brownsville seriously. With the permission and enthusiasm of both the FAB and the PAT, we decided at that all PAT meetings starting with August would be open to any FAB members who were available to attend. Because PAT meetings happen during the work week and FAB meetings happen after work, one of our ongoing challenges will be how to continue to unite both leadership groups, but we’re off to a good start.

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PATDavid Harrington
July 2018 - FAB Meeting #3

In July, UB got down to business even though it was vacation season. We delved deeply into Discover Together: Brownsville, a three-part proposal for activities to launch in Brownsville that stemmed from conversations UB has had with families, service providers, and potential partners, such as Scholastic Education.

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FABDavid Harrington
June 2018 - PAT Meeting #1

In many ways, the first Provider Action Team meeting was our coming out party to professionals in Brownsville. We had met many folks one-on-one and in smaller information sessions, but this was our first opportunity to convene a group of over 20 participants and begin building a community.

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PATDavid Harrington
June 2018 - FAB Meeting #2 - Retreat

The FAB’s second meeting was a powerful and productive family retreat at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Over half a day, we focused on team and community-building and setting expectations for our work. We met for breakfast and carried on past lunch while children played and learned in the museum.

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FABDavid Harrington
May 2018 - FAB Meeting #1

At our very first FAB meeting , we celebrated coming together as a group, set group norms, reviewed the recruiting process and a Leadership Council meeting that some FAB members had attended, and looked forward to what to expect next.

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FABDavid Harrington