Framingham Community and Cultural Center
Mentor Program

This winter, SMOC's Framingham Community & Cultural Center launched its flagship program, a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) mentor program in partnership with Framingham State University. This program pairs students in FSU's Master of Social Work program with pre-kindergarten students in SMOC's childcare programs in Framingham, under the leadership of Dr. Deborah McMakin, Professor of Psychology & Philosophy at FSU. The program uses a hybrid teaching model where the student mentors provide live SEL programming based on the nationally recognized Second Step curriculum through Zoom, projected onto screens in the pre-k classrooms. 

Children greatly benefit from SEL starting at an early age, by providing children vocabulary, communication strategies, the ability to recognize emotions and their effects in themselves and others, as well as coping mechanisms.  We are grateful for FSU's foundational partnership in this program, as well as for funding provided by the MetroWest Health Foundation and the Sudbury Foundation. 

Thank You to Sudbury Foundation!
This month, SMOC is pleased to recognize the Sudbury Foundation for its strong support of SMOC's programs over the years. The Sudbury Foundation works to transform lives and strengthen communities through grantmaking and scholarship programs in Sudbury and surrounding communities, with a focus on youth development and local food.

Over the past year, SMOC has received emergency COVID-19 funding from the Foundation's Herbert and Esther Atkinson Donor Advised Fund; a Racial Equity grant to support our staff training and conversations series as organized by SMOC's Diversity, Access and Inclusion Committee; a program grant to support our Framingham Community & Cultural Center's Social-Emotional Learning mentor program; and a grant to support our COVID-19 Emergency Fund program. Thank you, Sudbury Foundation, for your support of SMOC's mission and the individuals and families we serve in our shared communities! 
SMOC's Angel Nazario Receives Light of Dawnn Award

We are so pleased to congratulate Angel Nazario, Program Specialist at SMOC's Turning Point Shelter for men, located in Framingham, on receiving the 2021 Light of Dawnn Award from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network!  This award is given annually to three front-line nonprofit workers who go above and beyond to make a positive impact on those they serve. Angel is a quiet, respectful, tireless advocate for the men who stay at Turning Point, using his past experience as a resident there to inspire the shelter's guests.

Thank you to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the Highland Street Foundation, the West End House Boys and Girls Club, and the Kraft Family for this recognition! You can watch the awards ceremony here and an interview with Angel and his SMOC colleagues here

SMOC Hosts COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
for Staff and Clients 
On January 19, 2021, SMOC held its first vaccination clinic for our frontline staff and shelter residents at the MLK Center in Worcester. Since then, vaccination clinics have been held for staff and clients throughout our service area; both Lowell and Worcester shelter staff and clients have received first and second vaccination doses, and our Metrowest, Springfield and North County shelters and feeding programs have received their first doses with the second scheduled in the coming weeks. To date, 337 staff and clients have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, including clients and staff at 13 of our congregate MetroWest programs.

We are especially grateful to our partners in providing these clinics. In the MetroWest, Health Division of JRI (Justice Resource Institute) has helped coordinate details and administer vaccinations. Regional Mass Vaccination Sites and other organizations have also helped provide these clinics at our Worcester, Lowell, Springfield and North County locations.
SMOC's mission is to improve the quality of life of low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families. SMOC serves over 46,000 people in need each year through our behavioral health and substance use services, Head Start and childcare, adult education, employment and skills training, community services, nutrition, crisis intervention, financial assistance, and a vast housing system that includes emergency shelters and transitional and permanent housing.  
Copyright © 2021 South Middlesex Opportunity Council, All rights reserved.

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South Middlesex Opportunity Council · 7 Bishop St · Framingham, MA 01702-8323 · USA

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