September 2018 – FAB Meeting #5

September 12, 2018 from 6-8pm

UB backbone staff present:
Kassa Belay
David Harrington
Dionne Grayman
Jason Ludwig

Number of FAB members present: 16/23


Karen Baicker and Lisa Tenmer, Scholastic, Inc.
Nikki Ferrera-Hasani, Too Small to Fail

Accomodations: Dinner and childcare provided



  1. Define what Brownsville is for the purpose of launching activities and evaluating our work.
  2. Consider new candidates for PAT membership.
  3. Develop a richer understanding of how to implement Family Co-Op and Learning Landscapes through conversations with visitors
  4. Contribute to 6-month timelines


  • Icebreaker :
    • Introduce yourself (name, position) and tell the group about something that you would like to learn in the next year
  • Introduction of guests, candidates, and new staff (2 min)
    • Jason Ludwig, UB Project Management Intern
    • Karen Baicker, Scholastic, Inc.
    • Nikki Ferrera-Hasani, Too Small to Fail
    • Two FAB candidates
  • Housekeeping
    • Recap of PAT meeting (9/7/18)
    • August evaluation scores across all questions relatively higher than previous months
      • FAB members interested in seeing the average score for each question
    • Results show that FAB meetings are most successful when the group focuses on concrete next steps

Where is Brownsville?

  • Three options for geographical definition of Brownsville:
  1. Neighborhood Tabulation Area (NTA)
    1. Population: 60,000
    2. Excludes Flatbush and Ocean Hill. Focuses on Brownsville Proper.
    3. Difficult for service providers to sort records by NTA
  2. Community District 16 (CD 16)
    1. Pop: 87,000
    2. Includes Ocean Hill
    3. Difficult for service providers to sort records by CD.
  3. Zip Code 11212
    1. Pop: 87,000
    2. Includes parts of East Flatbush
    3. Easy for service providers to sort records by zip code
  • UB services will be concentrated in chosen area, but will be open to all.
  • Concern amongst FAB members about overextending our resources
  • Following the meeting, the FAB voted to use the NTA as its definition of Brownsville

Guest Presentation 1: Karen Baicker from Scholastic Education- “Discover Together”

  • Scholastic Education is test piloting community affairs program
  • Established first program in rural Appalachian community in TN
    • Research question: Can we use literacy and literature to promote child and family resilience
    • Used Literature and field trips to build pride in place
    • Developed a curriculum based on community’s strength and needs
    • Led to the development of a family co-op for ages 0-5
  • Scholastic Education wants to test the family co-op somewhere else. Brownsville is a strong candidate since Scholastic Ed. executive is a member of the LC.
  • Questions for FAB:
    • What would a family co-op look like here?
    • What in Brownsville do we want to celebrate?
    • What are Brownsville’s unique strengths?
    • What are Brownsville’s unique challenges?
      • Many FAB members mentioned that territoriality in Brownsville? presented a challenge for implementing neighborhood-wide programs.
    • What are the next steps?
  • FAB asked: How did Scholastic help parents in TN?
    • Answer: Community ambassadors paired needy and at-risk parents with necessary resources. Also embraced a holistic, cross-sector approach
  • FAB asked: Did the family Co-op Grow too fast?
    • Answer: Yes, and there would be the concern that this would also happen in Brownsville.

Guest Presentation 2: Nikki Ferrera-Hasani, Too Small to Fail – “”Talking is Teaching Campaign: Talk, Read, Sing-Weaving Early Brain and Language Development into the Fabric of Communities”

  • TSTF aims
  1. increase awareness about brain and language development.
  2. Empower people to make language-rich interactions happen often—“make small moments big”
  • Talk, Read, Sing Cities Strategies
  1. Trusted messengers in community touchpoints
  2. Environmental prompts and paid media
  3. Tools to facilitate change
  • TSTF materials designed by Betsy Silverstein (“Got Milk” campaign)
  • Materials installed in Laundromats, playgrounds, hospitals, bus stops and supermarkets
    • Research shows success of materials
      • Would it be possible/useful for us to access this research?
    • Materials available in both English and Spanish
  • 5000 laundromats have received TSTF resources, 175 playgrounds, and hospitals across the nation
  • Pilot grocery store launched in Tulsa
  • Next Steps to bring Talking is Teaching to Brownsville:
  1. Download free campaign materials from
  2. Display “Talking is Teaching” posters
  3. Share tip sheets, miniposters, stickers with other families
  4. Spread the word

Breakout Groups

  • The PAT split into three breakout groups based on their interests in the sections of the DTB proposal
  • Group assignment:
    • Review PAT’s 6 month timeline for your subcommittee


Learning Landscape/Language Kits Breakout Group (NS and JL)

Discussion Notes

  • Began by reviewing PAT 6 month goal: To have installed signage in GJ Center, Brookdale Hospital, SCO FirstStep, and Morris Koppelman Center, as well as in as many supermarkets as possible in Brownsville
    • Nikki commented that this is a feasible goal depending on the time it takes to print signage.
  • Nikki commented that creating our own Brownsville-specific signage would require hiring a graphic designer. Brought up example of New Orleans, where community received a grant from Kohl’s to design their own custom signage
    • Group agreed that Brownsville specific signage should come after initial run with materials already available from Talking is Teaching. We can use success of initial run to apply for outside grant from Kohl’s or similar organizations.
  • FAB members agreed that meeting on 9/21 with PAT to discuss design of signage is unnecessary as we will be using pre-made Talking is Teaching materials
  • FAB interested in finding Brownsville language data in order to translate signs as needed.
    • Where can this data be found? Census?
  • A member expressed interest in attending City’s first readers meeting with Maggie from PAT
  • FAB members want signage up before the holiday season, in order to capture the most customer traffic.
  • A member will look further into selection materials on Talking is Teaching website
  • A member will follow-up on finding/making a map of supermarkets in Brownsville

Books for Brownsville

Family Co-Op Breakout Group


Reality Check Evaluations

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