As a new volunteer for Cope, I’m very excited to be a part of a new committee called Community Outreach & Advocacy, comprised of Cope staff and volunteers. Community Outreach and Advocacy’s priorities will be planning and discussing how we can best reach the population we serve, researching current legislation and how it affects the children in our community, and connecting and communicating with friends of Cope via newsletter, blog and e-blasts. One of the challenges the CO&A team faces is how to reach families all class and ethnic backgrounds, as well as determining which legislative changes to push for that would most benefit our community’s children. In addition to our usual focus to educate the community during Child Abuse Prevention month in April, the committee will start with one or two projects to get behind. I’m thrilled to be part of this new committee and am looking forward to the things we will accomplish together!
By Jennifer Sunseri, Online Organizing Intern, Cope Community Outreach & Advocacy Committee
Like many communities in California, one of the major divisions in our community lies along Spanish-speaking and English-speaking lines. However, unique to others, we are working to bridge this divide by supporting the startup of a fully bilingual community website, Somosnapa.org. Cope Family Center’s work is focused on strengthening families and nurturing the social fabric of the community so parents get the support they need to raise their children. Family isolation is a key risk factor in the incidence of child abuse, so we feel that it’s important to overcome divisions and bring people together.
Modeled after the Berkeley Parents Network, Somosnapa.org seeks to provide community information to parents and a space for information to be exchanged across cultural and language barriers. This promotes equal access to information and the exchange of ideas, which enhances our ability to solve problems collectively. Somosnapa.org is about parents working together to raise their children, having a place to talk about the unique joys and challenges of doing so in the Napa Valley.
A website itself won’t break down cultural and language barriers, but it’s a tool that can help us get closer to our vision of all children having the opportunity to reach their full potential. With volunteer support we will be able to bring the community together to use this tool. As well as building content on the website and troubleshooting technical challenges, we need people willing to reach out to individuals and community organizations to promote use of the website. Contact Aimee at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
By Aimee Inglis, Community Engagement Program Manager