Five Protective Factors offer guide for family strength in crisis

Five Protective Factors offer guide for family strength in crisis

We know that this has been a challenging time for people across our world, and we are especially concerned for those in our own Central neighborhood, where so many families have young children to nurture and support.

At Promise, we are working to better understand those elements that can strengthen a family through times of crisis, as well as times of success, to make sure children are growing and developing in the best ways they can.

These elements are often referred to as the Five Protective Factors, and we want to use our collective Promise voice to make sure Central’s families feel connected and supported through this time of heightened stress and anxiety.

The Five Protective Factors are:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Concrete support in times of need
  • Social and emotional competence of children

To talk about what each of these means to our families and community, we will share videos and short blog posts over the next several weeks on behalf of our staff and partners. To keep up with the conversation, follow us on Facebook.

COVID-19 Update: Resources for Central Families

COVID-19 Update: Resources for Central Families

During these uncertain times, there are several support resources available in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as links to online activities for families with children:

Support Resources for Cleveland Central Promise

We know this is a difficult time for everyone, especially our neighbors and friends who have children home from school. Our team has been speaking with families throughout the Central Promise neighborhood to better understand the immediate needs in our community, and we are working on the best ways to support one another. In the meantime, we are sending along a few helpful community resources.

To stay informed on COVID-19, receive local updates and understand the practices to stop the spread of germs, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Public Health and the Cleveland Department of Public Health.

FREE MEAL ACCESS – as of March 23, 2020

The COVID-19 Cleveland Community Hub has posted an interactive map of all food pantries and free meal sites across the city of Cleveland.


Clicking on the location icons will bring up the address and phone number for each location, as well as dates & times for meal service.

Locations in our immediate neighborhood include:

  • Marion Sterling School
  • Anton Grdina School
  • Friendly Inn Settlement House
  • Triedstone Community Care Center
  • St. Vincent de Paul – Woodland Ave.

Children’s Hunger Alliance is supporting ready-to-eat meal distribution to children outside most of Cleveland’s recreation centers while the centers remain closed during the emergency shutdown. The grab-and-go meals are available Saturday, March 28 from noon to 1 p.m. and Monday through Fridays from 4 to 5 p.m.

In our community:

Central Recreation
2526 Central Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Phone: 216.664.4241
Meals served: 4 – 5 p.m.

Lonnie Burten Recreation Center
2511 E 46th St.
Cleveland, OH 44104
Phone: 216.664.4139
Meals served: 4 – 5 p.m.

CHILD CARE CENTERS – as of March 23, 2020

All early learning centers in the Central Promise neighborhood are currently CLOSED as part of the State of Ohio’s mandatory shutdown.

Several area early learning centers are in the process of acquiring licensing to provide care during the pandemic, and we will share those resources with you as soon as they are available.

Activities for Families with Children

  • Starfall Learning’s website is full of educational activities to help students of all ages develop literacy skills and keep minds active.
  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District has an entire page dedicated to learning resources, both from the district and from national & international resources. Click here to access the full list.
  • The Music Settlement has developed a comprehensive listing of tools and activities available for young children and families throughout this period of isolation. Click here for the full list.

Examples include:

The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood is a collaborative initiative led by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Trauma training resumes for Promise educators

Trauma training resumes for Promise educators

traumatrainingfeb2019This month, educators at Alfred A. Benesch School resumed their trauma training with support from Promise and FrontLine Services. Trauma training focuses on increasing knowledge and skills for educators to maintain a resilient classroom, which offers the time and space for those affected by trauma to heal and develop new ways to respond to negative thoughts and feelings.

Kim Kiley, therapist and trauma-informed care educator with FrontLine Services, provided a better understanding on how the brain of a child who has experienced trauma responds in stressful or uncomfortable events. Together, the group discussed how those responses can present in a classroom setting.

Kim shared a video that demonstrated an example of what happens when we “flip our lid,” and practices teachers can encourage students to engage in to center themselves. Teachers left with activities that they could use throughout the school day to strengthen the resiliency of students and themselves as educators as well. Sessions will continue later this month, and teacher resiliency training will kick off in the spring.

Richaun Bunton talks #PromiseReads on WKYC’s We the People

Richaun Bunton talks #PromiseReads on WKYC’s We the People

IMG_20181026_112837 (1)Promise education performance manager Richaun Bunton appeared on WKYC’s We the People on October 26 to talk about Promise’s commitment to literacy. “The more children have access to books, the better their outcomes in education as they grow older,” Bunton said.

Greg LeManna of Anthem BCBS Ohio joined Bunton to explain why Little Free Libraries – and literacy in general – are important factors in health and wellness.

“Your literacy directly impacts your health over time,” LeManna said. “When you have early access to books, it propels you up to three years ahead in your education, and your education and literacy directly impact your ability to navigate chronic diseases later on in life.”

You can watch the full clip here. 

Frontline Services partnership puts trauma in the spotlight

Frontline Services partnership puts trauma in the spotlight

When compared to other Cleveland neighborhoods, Central has the second highest rate of aggravated assaults and the fifth highest rate of reported domestic violence incidents. Children witnessing or being victims of violence is common in Central and can have lasting impacts on children and their ability to go to school ready and prepared to learn. A traumatic event can significantly interrupt the school routine and the processes of teaching and learning. This is why Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood decided to partner with Frontline Services to offer trauma training in two Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools in the Central neighborhood.

Cleveland’s News Channel 5 WEWS-TV recently highlighted the partnership between Promise Neighborhood, Frontline and Cleveland Metropolitan School District:

Brain scans show how trauma affects development in children.
Brain scans show how trauma affects development in children.

It’s something most students living in or around the Cleveland Metropolitan School district can’t avoid — hearing or at least seeing trauma.

“In their homes, and in their community and even walking to and from school,” said Rosemary Creeden, Associate Director of Trauma Services at the non-profit Frontline.

Earlier this year, the CDC reported one in five high school students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District tried to take their own life in 2015.

Creeden says this just underscores the level of trauma they’re dealing with, in and outside the home.

So CMSD wants their students to overcome the odds and they’re working with teachers first. Teachers like Mr. Michael Phillips.

“For me, I just feel like I never dealt with that,” he said. “They have a different experience than I’ve got and I feel like I’m learning from them. But at the same time, they come in sometimes scared, or nervous.”

Teaching math to students grades 6th through 8th at Alfred Benesch Elementary School for the past three years, he said on a daily basis he hears his students talk about their fears and problems.

He listens but wishes there was more he could do.

That’s why CMSD has started trauma training for him and other teachers. The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood brought the idea of trauma training to CMSD.

Frontline, a mental health crisis non-profit, walks teachers through the warning signs, bringing awareness to the impact of trauma on kids.

Creeden said now that research reveals more about how traumatic events affect students ability to focus, they can help teachers see, spot, and deal with these tough situations before they get worse.

“Behaviors that they might see in the classroom, may look like misbehavior, but really it’s a reaction to the trauma’s that they’re seeing in their homes and in their community,” she said.

While students of all ages face different degrees of mental and emotional trauma, no matter the area they grow up in, Creeden said children in lower socioeconomic status areas typically experience higher levels of trauma-induced stress.

This is the very first time Cleveland schools have done this particular type of training for teachers. Alfred Benesch Elementary is the second school that has gone through the training so far this year.

Watch the News Channel 5 story here.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District News Bureau also highlighted the program. Read more here.


Community baby shower promotes safe sleep, hopes to reduce infant mortality

Community baby shower promotes safe sleep, hopes to reduce infant mortality

Friendly Inn is hosting a free community baby shower that will focus on promoting safe sleep practices and offering support to pregnant women who want to quit smoking. The goal of the event is reducing Cleveland’s high infant mortality rates.

When you’re pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. Women who quit later in their pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.

It’s also important to not go back to smoking after the baby is born and to ask others not to smoke in your home. This will reduce your baby’s risk of having breathing problems. Quitting smoking can be hard, but there are resources available to help.

Moms Quit for Two is a smoking cessation program for pregnant moms. The goal of the program is to reduce the burden of tobacco on society and decrease the number of women who smoke during and after pregnancy. The leading causes of infant death in Ohio are prematurity and preterm births, sleep-related deaths and birth defects, all which can increase when a pregnant woman smokes.

Baby_pinkblanketAvailable at the Friendly Inn Settlement, the program enrolls pregnant moms who smoke. A community health worker works with expectant moms to complete 4 prenatal and 12 postpartum smoking sessions. At each visit, the mom will receive quit support education and carbon monoxide testing. If mom stays smoke free after the baby is born, she will receive a monthly $25 diaper voucher for up to twelve months.

Moms Quit for Two is hosting its second annual Community Baby Shower from 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at Friendly Inn Settlement located at 2386 Unwin Road, Cleveland, Ohio. All expectant mothers are invited to attend. This year’s baby shower will focus on safe sleep.

“The purpose of the event is to spread awareness and educate pregnant women in our county with the tools and resources needed to have a successful birth outcome and ensure we will celebrate their child’s first birthday,” said Michelle Boclear, supervisor, Moms Quit for Two. “Currently, our county is ranks 6th in Infant Mortality. We have one of the highest rates of death for African-American mothers in our country.”

The event will include food, games, resources, prizes and educational information. Moms must be pregnant to attend. R.S.V.P. for the event by calling 216.431.7656.

Groups like Motherhood Sisterhood 216 and Our Babies Count are other outlets for moms or moms-to-be to get information and connect to other moms. For tips on how to make a plan to quit smoking click here.

Neighbors in the News: Quiana Singleton Featured on WCPN Radio

Neighbors in the News: Quiana Singleton Featured on WCPN Radio

Local radio station, 90.3 WCPN ideastream, recently did a story about people coming together to plant more trees in Central and other communities in Cleveland. The Cleveland Tree Plan has a goal to plant more trees in the inner city of Cleveland. Trees are important to a neighborhood because they can actually make a community healthier to live in.

Quiana Singleton is Promise Ambassador and Climate Ambassador for Burton Bell Carr Development agency. She is helping to plant trees in Central. Quiana was interviewed about all the work she is doing to increase greenery in Central:

Quiana Singleton works on planting a tree
Quiana Singleton works on planting a tree

One of those ambassadors, Quiana Singleton, through a grant from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, has developed a project for school-aged children in Kinsman. Her goal is to teach the kids at Anton Grdina School, how to plant and care for new trees.

On a recent sunny September morning Singleton, with the help of arborists from Holden Arboretum and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy kicked off the first session of the pilot project with 12 sixth graders on the school grounds, 2995 E, 71st St.  With shovels in hand the students dug up dirt, put compost around the newly-planted roots, learned the benefits of earth worms and possibly gained a greater appreciation for trees.

Singleton fancies herself as a tree prophet whose goal is to gather disciples in the quest to bring more trees and maintained greens space to Kinsman and the adjacent Central neighborhoods.

She is a passionate advocate for the neighborhood and for respecting trees.

“They get stressed and people doesn’t know that. They do not know that trees actually get stressed. When they’re cutting the grasses right. When it hits the tree because it’s like when you hit the tree and like when you hit your feet you’re like ahhh. You know that feeling? I be wondering if the tree feels like that because the trees is alive,” Singleton said.

You can listen to the interview or read the story online here:

UnitedHealthCare Works With Promise

United Health Care has partnered with the Promise Neighborhood to focus on male engagement in the community. The effort has involved more than 40 men in the Promise Neighborhood who are working to become more active in the schools and other key neighborhood institutions.

For more information on the initiative, contact Neighborhood Engagement Manager Joe Black at 216.241.9300 or

Community Health Workers in Central

University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s pediatric program – the Rainbow Care Connection Program – to improve care, overall health and lower costs for children in Northeast Ohio. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and the Central Promise Neighborhood are supporting the implementation of this program in the Central Neighborhood through a multi-faceted neighborhood engagement strategy.

The goal of the engagement strategy is to: Connect Central neighborhood children and families to available quality health and health care services/resources, with an emphasis on the HealthSpot a non-emergency tele-health medical station that provides free diagnosis and treatment for children ages 2 to 18 years old.

A key component to the engagement strategy is the implementation of a Community Health Worker model. Currently the foundation has contracted with five community health workers now in the Central Neighborhood.

These lay health resident leaders went through 12-weeks of intensive training covering leadership, engagement, community health work, pediatric prevention and primary care.

Their primary roles and responsibilities are to provide primary outreach, health education and pediatric prevention interventions to families in the Central Neighborhood.

The primary aims of this project are to:

1) Reduce residents in Central use/frequency of emergency room visits related to primary pediatric care.

2) Disseminate health related information through outreach and awareness building,

3) Link families and provide instruction on appropriate usage of the Health Spot at Friendly Inn.

4) Provide follow-up with patients that use the Health Spot, including high-risk patients and provide referrals, which may include the University Hospital’s care manager.

The community health workers have been actively engaging families and children in Central since June 2014. They have increased appropriate utilization of the HealthSpot by more than 50%.

The HealthSpot is open Monday thru Friday from 5:30 pm to 11 pm and on Saturday from 1 pm to 11 pm and is located inside Friendly Inn Settlement House, 2386 Unwin Rd.