Collaborating vs. Aligning
View this email in your browser

Collaborating vs. Aligning


Collaboration is a term often used in creating social change.  How often have you been in a meeting where people say they are “collaborating” but it looks more like information sharing? There is a point and a purpose to information sharing but ultimately to create changes,  we want to take it to the next level - Alignment.  Alignment comes in many forms. For example, an organization shifting its strategies towards a common vision or a partnership is created with a non-traditional partner on an activity.

Because it takes coordinated, thoughtful efforts to align Bright Beginnings strategies, participants are looking at ways to enhance the way we currently work together.  In this newsletter, you’ll read about various examples of alignment: a local funder creating an opportunity open to Bright Beginnings CATs, the strong school district/city partnership in the CAT Spotlight from GonzalesWe’ve also included action items to advocate for early childhood locally, statewide, and at the national level from our February Policy Newsletter.

United Way Funding for CATs

When funders coordinate funding priorities around your Initiative, it is a substantial accomplishment of Collective Impact.  It displays how the culture and systems are moving towards alignment of a common vision.  Recently, United Way Monterey County (UWMC) has stepped up to prioritize early childhood development as one of their funding priorities.

In January 2017, the UWMC Board of Directors authorized the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to bolster collaborative action toward efforts that will increase access to quality, affordable early care, and education. Applications are open to Bright Beginnings Collaborative Action Team’s (CATs). The purpose of this grant is to increase access to quality childcare. Up to $100,000 of funding is available for award, with average awards expected in the $20,000 - $25,000 range.

The below timeline outlines key dates and activities related to this RFP:

  • Application Period: February 15 - April 14, 2017

  • Last Day to Submit Questions (phone or email): March 30, 2017

  • Proposals Due: April 14, 2017 by 3 p.m.

  • Review and Evaluation: April 17 - 21, 2017

  • Notification of Selection/Non-Selection: April 28, 2017 (expected)

  • Project Start/End Dates: May 1, 2017- May 1, 2018

Bright Beginnings is happy to offer any support or technical assistance to CATs considering applying.  For more information on details visit the United Way Website or click here, Bright Beginnings CAT Grants.

CAT Spotlight: Gonzales

Rene Mendez, Elizabeth Modena, and Michelle Slade are all integral members of the Bright Beginnings Gonzales Collaborative Action Team (CAT). Mendez works for the City of Gonzales as the City Manager, while Modena is the Superintendent for Gonzales Unified School District (GUSD), and Slade is the Gonzales CAT Facilitator who helps strategically with the partnership between the city and the education system.

For these leaders, an understanding that a partnership between the city and the school district would be a huge benefit started over a simple connection – lunch.

Click here to read the full Gonzales CAT Spotlight.

CAT events - Google Calendar

What are some great events you want early childhood champions to know about?  Interested in learning about upcoming Bright Beginnings CAT and Network meetings?  Events around the county to get involved with?  Want to post what you are doing so Bright Beginnings can help promote your event through our various channels?  Check out our Google Calendar and send an email to

  • The Greenfield Collaborative Action Team will host its second annual Kinder Family Festival for parents and families of 4 - 5 year olds on Wednesday, March 15th from 3pm to 7pm at Memorial Hall.  The festival will provide suggestions of family activities to do at home that boost a child’s readiness for kindergarten to:
    • Increase access, awareness and participation in activities and resources that improve children’s Kinder readiness;
    • Honor cultural identities by celebrating the assets and strengths to ultimately reinforce that parents and guardians are a child's first teachers
    • Provide wraparound services for families that may not be connected.

          We hope you will join us to prepare our children for
          success during their earliest years.  For more
          information and updates about the Kinder Family
          Festival, please visit: 
          Bright Beginnings Greenfield CAT webpage.

  • MPUSD is now registering TK and Kindergarten students for the 2017-2018 school year. Children who turn 5 between Dec 3, 2017 and March 1, 2018 are eligible to enroll in Transitional Kindergarten. Children who turn 5 between September 2, 2017 and Dec 2, 2017 are eligible to enroll in Kindergarten. More information can be found here:

  • MPUSD runs a FREE Play and Learn Playgroup for families with little ones ages 0 to 3 at the Cabrillo Family Resource Center, 1295 La Salle Ave, Seaside. Playgroups are held on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Register by calling 392-3456 or in person at a group.

  • MPUSD’s LCAP Community Engagement Dates have been announced for 2017. This is an important chance for community members to provide input about district priorities. It is a great opportunity for the Peninsula CAT to develop talking points that support our priority indicators and mobilize early learning advocates to participate in the meetings. Mark your calendars with the following dates:

News + Updates

Policy and Advocacy

Learn more about what is happening around early childhood policies by reading our latest Policy and Advocacy Newsletter: Now is the time for Action.

March is Read Aloud Month

March is Read Aloud Month.  In Monterey County 52% of parents with children entering kindergarten tell their children stories or engage them with books four or more days per week.  Read Aloud 15 Minutes has a host of resources for organizations and parents to encourage early literacy activities.  For instance, a Spring Reading Tracker chart for parents is helpful to mark off every day that they read a book with their child - Spring Reading Tracker: English or Spanish.  Stay connected with Bright Beginnings on social media for more materials to use and share.



Copyright © 2017 Bright Beginnings, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp