WAKEFIELD — Executive Director Margie Daniels is pleased to share that Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth (MPY) hosted five webinars last week, reaching approximately 3,000 educators on key topics relating to the behavioral and mental health needs of students amid COVID-19.
MPY began hosting remote workshops on March 24 after halting its planned in-person conferences due to COVID-19. With school facilities throughout Massachusetts closed due to the virus, MPY swiftly adapted and moved its programming online to offer educators resources to reach out and support students and families for the remainder of the school year.
“By providing webinars on topics like equity and access, we’re able to address challenges related to COVID-19 educators have never been faced with before, and as they navigate their roles remotely with students, we’re happy to be able to offer this much needed support,” Daniels said. “I’d like to thank our presenters, participants and the MPY team for coming together to build a caring community of educators through our webinar series, not only during these webinars specifically, but since the school closure began in mid-March.”
On Monday, May 18, a webinar titled “Character Strengths– Pathway to Power!” featured Positive Psychology Speaker, Life Coach and Founder of Thrive Now Boston Pam Garramone, who shared how to identify one’s character and signature strengths, and how discovering one’s strengths may allow them to better manage stress and challenges and improve outcomes.
“Massachusetts Partnership for Youth has made it possible for me as a positive psychology speaker to teach hundreds of educators from different Massachusetts school districts who then can bring back the science of happiness to their individual schools, thus creating a ripple affect of positivity,” Garramone said. “In a time, when everyone could use a little more hope, MPY is providing not just hope but strategies for coping in this unusual time.”
A webinar titled “Equity and Access During and After COVID-19: Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Policy Responses” held on Tuesday, May 19 featured Matt Gonzales, director of the New York University Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools’ Integration and Innovation Initiative (i3). Gonzales spoke during the webinar about educational policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from across the country. The webinar encouraged participants to create school-based and system wide policies with a lens toward culturally responsive and sustainable education.
“During these most difficult times for our students, educators, and families, it is more imperative than ever to ensure our educational policies, practices, and beliefs are grounded in equity and cultural responsiveness,” Gonzales said. “Big appreciation to MPY for creating the space to bring educators together and engage in these critical discussions.”
On Wednesday, May 20, a webinar titled “Student Cyber Risk-Taking and Online Threats” was held featuring Operation250 Director of Education Tyler Cote and Director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies Neil Shortland. The webinar examined strategies to help keep students safe from online dangers.
Melrose Public Schools Special Educator Administrator and Founder of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret Theresa Melito-Conners led a webinar titled “Self-Care is Not Cancelled: Cultivating Wellness and Adjusting for Uncertainty During COVID-19” on Thursday, May 21. During the webinar, Melito-Conners discussed the best practices for navigating self-care during the ongoing public health crisis.
A webinar titled “Social Media and Mental Health During Social Distancing” featured Turning Life On Executive Director Adrienne Principe on Friday, May 22. During the event, Principe discussed how educators can support students and shared strategies for connecting during social distancing while maintaining digital wellness.
About the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc.
Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth, Inc. is a non-profit 501.c(3) organization that provides training, fosters collaboration, and develops programming to increase the health and safety of students. Member organizations include more than 140 public school districts, charter schools, private schools, special education schools, educational collaboratives, and youth community service organizations in the Commonwealth. MPY is committed to bringing cutting-edge information and high quality trainings to constituents and endeavors to provide solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to reducing and ideally eliminating risky behaviors for youth.
The nonprofit is governed by a Board of Directors made up of school superintendents, police and fire chiefs, and other community leaders who work closely with MPY staff to deliver this mission.
To learn more, visit www.mpyinc.org.