Mansfield Advocates for Children (MAC) is an Early Childhood Collaborative made up of:
- Early Childhood Experts
- Town Leadership
- Community members invested in the well being of children birth through eight years old in Mansfield, CT.
MAC works at both the policy level and the programming level to help all of Mansfield’s children be healthy, successful learners whose families are connected to the community. That means that we:
- Identify barriers to achieving these goals (e.g., the public transportation routes and lack thereof make it difficult for families to reach the library)
- Meet with local office holders/professionals who can effect change (e.g., the local transit authority and town engineer to let them know our concerns and suggest ideas)
- Host programs to address these concerns
MAC also proudly serves as an advisory council to the Mansfield Town Council on issues of early childhood, and as the Mansfield School Readiness Council.
What have we done so far?
As a collaborative, MAC has created connections and partnerships that didn’t exist before.
- Public school and private school educators and administrators are now working together on shared initiatives and a common agenda.
- Directors of private child care centers are connected to each other through the work of MAC.
- Home care providers are supported in efforts to improve the quality of care in Mansfield.
- Parents and families have a community-based collaborative partner and an organized hub for resources, information, and early childhood advocacy
MAC has supported and coordinated many programs and opportunities for Mansfield families. Some examples include:
- Advocating for, planning, and raising money for a highly accessible community playground near the Mansfield Community Center;
- Planning and working with UConn volunteers to host Conversation Club, a one hour program on weekends to help young English Language Learners build language skills and friendships;
- Distributing JOY tickets (Jorgensen Outreach for Youth) to area families;
- Supporting the EHHD initiative 95210, which promotes healthy habits for children and families;
- Supporting the story kit project at the public library;
- Sponsoring the One Book Project in conjunction with local preschools and the public library;
- Facilitating a Community Conversation to discuss issues important to parents in Mansfield;
- Organizing yearly 5k fun runs for children and their families;
- Playing a central role in the effort to create full day kindergarten in Mansfield.
These additional established partnerships make it possible to reach out to more families throughout Mansfield, than could otherwise be possible:
- Eastern Highlands Health District (EHHD)
- UConn Work-Life Committee
- UConn Child Development Faculty and Staff
- Mansfield Human Services
- Mansfield Public Library