Spread the Word about Safe Infant Sleep

Spread the Word about Safe Infant Sleep

To help raise awareness about safe infant sleep during Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month in October, we’re inviting you to participate in a fun and friendly photo activity called #SafeSleepSnap.

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles—anyone can participate by sharing a photo of a baby in a safe sleep area on their social media accounts. Make sure you use the hashtag #SafeSleepSnap so everyone can see the adorable pictures of babies in safe sleep areas.

(Not sure what a safe sleep area looks like? Check out this page for details.)

Here are the specifics:

  1. Post a photo of your baby, grandbaby, niece, or nephew in or next to a safe sleep area on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
  2. Use the hashtag #SafeSleepSnap in the post. This is how we’ll know you participated!
  3. Give yourself kudos for taking part in #SafeSleepSnap and helping raise awareness about safe infant sleep.

Be creative! Practicing safe infant sleep can be fun. Creativity and humor are encouraged in the photos and captions, as long as the baby’s sleep area follows safe sleep recommendations. This album  includes examples you can use as inspiration.

This is your opportunity to both show off your cutie and help other caregivers see that safe infant sleep can be fun! Illuminate Colorado is proud to serve in a convening role for the Colorado Infant Safe Sleep Partnership (ISSP), whose mission is to support families, providers, organizations and policymakers to increase infant safe sleep practices and address related barriers and disparities, through education, practice change, and systems improvement. We will also be posting #SafeSleepSnap photos on our accounts throughout October. Please like the photos, retweet them, and share them with your friends and followers.

We look forward to seeing your #SafeSleepSnap!

For our organizational and community partners, we encourage you to use the Safe to Sleep Campaign’s #SafeSleepSnap Digital Toolkit to help raise awareness around infant safe sleep practices. In this toolkit, you can find resources for family-serving professionals and providers, as well as for caregivers and families! Resources are available in English and Spanish, and in a variety of user-friendly formats, including videos, infographics, and interactive tools.

Visit the Safe to Sleep website to explore information and resources, and to find out more about the campaign and toolkit.

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Ensuring the Colorado Shared Message Bank and a Community for Communicators Grows and Thrives

Ensuring the Colorado Shared Message Bank and a Community for Communicators Grows and Thrives

As many in the early childhood community know, the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership (ECCP) worked intentionally to advance the shared goals within the Early Childhood Colorado Framework for many years. Developing and sustaining a comprehensive early childhood system with children and families at the center was no easy task, and no one individual, organization or agency can do it alone. Together, their collective efforts facilitated numerous engagements and tools that continue to support families and organizations today. However, with numerous organizations focused on early childhood health and education, the ECCP Steering Committee decided earlier this year to discontinue the work and create space for others to grow and thrive.

As the ECCP dissolved, Illuminate Colorado has stepped in to ensure that the Colorado Shared Message Bank and the community that ECCP supported for communicators focused on promoting research-based frames and messages proven to garner broad public support for issues connected to healthy early childhood development, the prevention of adversity, mitigation of toxic stress and promotion of resilience and strengthening families continues to exist and grow into the future.

The Colorado Shared Message Bank is a critical tool in the toolbox to aid people in shifting community norms, perceptions and policy toward embracing the importance of investing in children and strengthening families and communities. It is also product of a collaborative effort of many people trained to support partners around the state as they work to integrate the Shared Message Bank and communications best practices into their communications efforts with and on behalf of children and families. These mentors review partner materials and offer advice on framing to promote social change or engage Coloradans in services that strengthen families.  

As additional frameworks to support maternal health and child maltreatment prevention have been created in Colorado and the community focused on improving communications practices begins to reconvene to share what is working and learn from one another, we offer a message of gratitude to the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership for providing the space and conditions for diverse partners across the comprehensive early childhood system – encompassing health, mental health, family support and early learning – to come together to identify common results, share best and innovative practices, and implement strategies to improve system effectiveness for and with child and family well-being.

Join the community of communicators to find support in promoting messages that strengthen families. 

Colorado creates a Stay At Home CO Guide – Find resources and ideas to get through this together!

Colorado creates a Stay At Home CO Guide – Find resources and ideas to get through this together!

This week, Colorado created a Stay At Home CO Guide full of free resources, support and activities to help you, your family, and your loved ones during this time.

While we are on a statewide Stay at Home Order and as we continue to practice physical distancing, social support has never been more important to families because isolation and economic stress increase risks for child maltreatment and family violence. 


We also know that families are trying to meet their basic needs right now. This is the best tool we have right now to increase concrete supports in times of need – one of the five ways we can strengthen families and prevent child abuse. Whether you are looking for help with rent control, understanding the stay at home order, or healthcare coverage, you can begin here.

The website is regularly updated and also includes many hotlines to report concerns and access support, including the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, Colorado Crisis Line and Domestic Violence hotline, as well as wellness, education and entertainment activities for families.

Submit suggestions of free resources that are helping Coloradans stay at home and keep families strong. 

It is up to ALL of US to promote the positive and strengthen families.

Right now, it is critical that all families have equal access to help getting through this time. Everyone deserves a chance to thrive, and each of us can play a role in helping families that are struggling, especially now.

Share tips, resources and stories about programs that have helped you get through tough times. Hearing stories and recommendations from other parents who have accessed support has an incredibly impact on our communities.

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Advocates Begin Campaign to Strengthen Families During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Advocates Begin Campaign to Strengthen Families During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Today, Illuminate Colorado, in coordination with Prevent Child Abuse America, and other state and local community partners throughout Colorado, begins a month-long nationwide awareness and impact campaign: Everyone Can Make Great Childhoods Happen—Especially You, Especially Now!” to engage Coloradans in strengthening families to prevent child maltreatment.

“When parents are stressed, have few social connections, and limited access to resources to support their families, the risk to children of experiencing toxic stress and child maltreatment is great,” said Jade Woodard executive director of Illuminate Colorado. “We are asking Coloradans to learn about the positive things we all need to be doing to strengthen families right now.”

Visit www.COPinwheelsForPrevention.org to learn more and get involved during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Download the press release Announcing the Everyone Can Make Great Childhoods Happen – Especially You, Especially Now! Campaign. 

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Thank you 9NEWS morning anchor Corey Rose for Illuminating Media

Thank you 9NEWS morning anchor Corey Rose for Illuminating Media

The media plays such a big part in shaping the environments in which we are raising our children.

Illuminate Colorado would like to recognize 9NEWS and Corey Rose with the 2020 inaugural Illuminating Media Award for helping to build brighter childhoods.

Four months ago, 9NEWS posted this video and got our attention with Rose talking about the “pressures of being a mom” which got us talking and tearing up at our office.

April is child abuse prevention month (CAPM), a time when we help people understand that safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are necessary to ensure that children thrive. Right now, that message is more critical than ever. Parents are under a lot of stress right now and they need support from everyone, including the media.

By sharing her own personal stories and the positive stories of other parents to educate and empower parents to be the parents that they want to be, Rose and the KUSA-9NEWS team are significantly helping to prevent child abuse in Colorado since this first video. Creating a space for parents to connect to one another in the It takes a Village Facebook Group, in addition to telling stories on air that matter to parents, provides a way to build critical social connections to strengthen our families and communities in Colorado.

We thought the best way to begin our CAPM awareness efforts was by thanking a member of the media for telling positive and supportive stories that reinforce all of the protective factors that have the power to prevention child abuse.

We hope there are more examples out there this month. We encourage you to thank journalist and media outlets that focus on ways to prevention child abuse and highlight programs and organizations strengthening families.

Share and RT positive media stories with “ #DoingmypartCO to Make #Greatchildhoods Right Now” to help strengthen families in Colorado right now.

Thank you 9NEWS morning anchor Corey Rose for Illuminating Media and helping to make #greatchildhoods happen in Colorado.

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Parents, we need to connect with each other.

Parents, we need to connect with each other.

Parents, we’re only human. Under normal circumstances, we are under all kinds of stress trying to raise small humans to reach their full potential as adults. It is a lot of pressure and the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis has caused everything to change. School, work, child care, the list goes on and on. It is all uncharted territory and every parent has a lot to worry about right now. While everyone is encouraged to physically distance ourselves from each other, that doesn’t mean we need to socially isolate from one another.

In fact, now more than ever, it is important to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our kids and connect with one another to share support, tips, advice or just talk.


We recognize that the added stress of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Colorado, the closure of schools and child care services and social distancing places children and families at greater risk for toxic stress and child maltreatment. We also know that social connections are critical in the prevention of child maltreatment.

To help keep Colorado families strong through this COVID-19 crisis, Illuminate Colorado has launched a new Facebook group for parents and caregivers this weekend and several online Circle of Parents Groups in English and Spanish will begin next week to create a space for people raising kids to vent, cry, and laugh, and joke, and find out how other parents are navigating this new world.

Illuminating Colorado Parenthood Facebook Group

Parenting is stressful on a normal day and these days are anything, but normal. Illuminate Colorado Facebook page continues to promote resources that may support parents in raising children of all ages. We also know it is important to keep your spirits high by sharing inspiring or funny memes to build your parental resilience. We want more of a two-way street. Join the Illuminating Colorado Parenthood Facebook Group to share your lived experience with other parents. Get answers to important questions like, just how many cups can one kid use in a day? While parents and caregivers might need to vent, this group is a positive space. We hope you will join together to encourage each other to enjoy time with your child during these stressful times and celebrate what you like about being a parent, in the midst of all of this. Or, may be you are having one of those days and you need a reminder yourself.

Circle of Parents – NEW Online Groups

Sometimes you just need to talk. llluminate has created several NEW virtual Circle of Parents groups for parents and caregivers that will begin to connect for a private video and telephone conference 1-hour chats this week. Join other parents and caregivers all around Colorado online to share support, tips and advice or just talk. Vent, cry, and laugh, and joke, and find out how other parents are navigating this new world. Talk about:

      • Activities to do at home with children of all ages
      • How to maintain self-care and self-kindness
      • Resources and tips to stay healthy and safe
      • How to talk about what’s going on with your children

… whatever you want to talk about!

A Circle of Parents online group for any Colorado parent of caregiver is meeting every week on Tuesday at 10:00 am and Thursday at 7:00 pm. Click HERE for Zoom Video Conferencing and telephone information.

Someone has to keep the conversation going, and that’s what a parent facilitator does. Sara Mirshamsi, is a mother of three daughters in Pueblo, CO and is a parent mentor for Illuminate Colorado, the Colorado Chapter lead for Circle of Parents.

An online group for parents and caregivers in recovery from a substance use disorder will meet every week on Wednesday at 9:30 am and Friday at 7:00 pm. Connect with others parents maintaining their recovery during these stressful times. Click HERE for Zoom Video Conferencing and telephone information.

This group is facilitated by Toni Miner, a mother of three daughters and legal guardian to two of her three grandchildren living in Arvada, CO. She recently celebrated 18 years in recovery and is a Family Support Partner for the Jefferson County Human Services Department facilitating a weekly Circle of Parents in Recovery group in Lakewood for the last four years.

Join other parents and caregivers of children with symptoms of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders meets the first Friday of each month at 12:30 pm. This is a private group. Email amichaelsboffy@illuminatecolorado.org for the online and teleconference information.

Many other existing Circle of Parents groups are learning to connect online while Colorado is physically distancing from one another to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 in many communities in Colorado. Visit each group page or contact the parent facilitator to find out if a specific parent group is meeting online during this crisis.

 We know communities are stronger together, so please encourage others to join you.

CIRCULO DE PADRES – Para Todos Los Padres y Cuidadores

Padres, ustedes solo son humanos y los humanos son criaturas sociales, y somos más felices y saludables cuando regularmente pasamos tiempo con otros. Conectarse con otras personas puede reducir el estrés y ayudarlo a recordar que otros se preocupan por usted. En este momento, tenemos que hacer eso en línea.

Únase a otros padres y cuidadores en todo Colorado en línea para compartir apoyo, consejos y sugerencias o simplemente hablar. Vente, llora, ríe y bromea, y descubre cómo otros padres están navegando en este nuevo mundo. Hablar sobre: ·

      • Actividades para hacer en casa con niños.
      • Cómo mantener el autocuidado y la bondad
      • Recursos y consejos para mantenerse sano y seguro.
      • Cómo hablar sobre lo que está pasando con tus hijos

… de lo que quieras hablar!

Alguien tiene que mantener la conversación, y eso es lo que hace un facilitador de padres.

Este grupo es facilitado por Maria Soto, una madre de dos hijas y una nieta en Denver, CO. Maria es una profesional de apoyo familiar con Families First en Shiloh House y ha estado facilitando un Círculo de Padres semanal durante siete años.

En línea: Zoom Videoconferencia en línea AQUÍ
Teléfono: +1 346-248-7799; Access code: 926 760 054#
Cuando: Lunes a 9:30 am y Miércoles a 6:30 pm

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