Latest Newsletter



October 2020



Challenge gives RCSD parent-teacher groups a chance to win $15,000

Finally, a fundraiser that can be done from home, takes only seconds a day, and can earn a parent-teacher group from your favorite Rochester City School District (RCSD) school up to $15,000. The COVID Community Challenge rewards RCSD parent-teacher groups for recruiting adults to participate daily in ROC COVID, an online health screening tool.

Administered by the University of Rochester, the COVID Community Challenge is made possible through grants from private foundations. Participation in the challenge contributes to a region-wide effort to control the spread of COVID-19 and return RCSD schools to in-class learning. Learn more and sign up at




Food for Thought: Creating Rochester's first Food Policy Council

This summer, Common Ground Health, Foodlink, and the City of Rochester, received a two-year grant from the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge (HCCC). These funds will be used for community outreach and planning for a Rochester Food Policy Council. In August 2020, the partners joined with resident leaders to host three virtual public meetings, titled Food For Thought. The purpose of Food For Thought was to provide information on the grant project, an overview of food policy councils, and opportunities for people and organizations to begin getting involved. Learn more.


USDA extends free meals through the end of the school year

Last month, Healthi Kids joined nearly 1,400 organizations in signing onto asking the USDA to extend free meal service through June 30, 2021. The advocacy paid off because the USDA has officially extended free meals through the end of the 2020-2021 school year! For information on locations, dates and times, visit



YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street provides support for kids

The YMCA of Greater Rochester announced the opening of the YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street. The initial goals of the center are to increase student achievement and empower young people to make positive changes in their lives. Students can obtain virtual learning support, access to internet and free meals from Monday through Friday. Learn more.


Healthi Kids presents at Zero to Three annual conference

In early October, Healthi Kids staff joined on Zoom with hundreds of professionals across the country who work with or on behalf of young children and their families at Zero to Three's annual conference. Focusing on the impacts of COVID-19 and systemic racism on early childhood development and social-emotional health, our staff shared about infant mental health work happening in Rochester and across the state, made great new connections, and gained new resources to help advance Healthi Kids' advocacy agenda. 

The Children's Institute launches the Get Ready to GROW bus

The Children's Institute has taken its Get Ready to GROW program on the road. The newly designed and equipped bus will soon provide developmental screening for young children throughout the Finger Lakes region. The goal of GROW is to provide comprehensive screening and support for referral, follow-up, and services for 1 - 5 year old children. Learn more.

NYS Council on Children and Families Parent Portal

The Council on Children and Families (the Council) coordinates New York's health, education and human services systems to provide more effective systems of care for children and families. This NYS Parenting website is a one-stop, digital parent portal for information on parenting, child care options, concerns about child development and how to talk and work together with your child's teachers. Learn more.

Upcoming events

November 16 - 19, 2020 - Join us in supporting ROC the Future's first ever virtual 8th Annual State of Our Children Address, November 16 - 19, 2020. This year's theme is Equity and Education: The Next Horizon. Tune in to a series of one-hour discussions throughout the week tackling topics such as the digital divide, racism and education and educational access. Get more details and register here.

December 3, 2020 - UR Medicine Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness is hosting a series of free online webinars to discuss topics related to child and teen mental health care. Panelists include UR Medicine psychologists, representatives from community organizations, and parent representatives. Learn more and register here.


Monroe County COVID-19 resources/requests

The Monroe County public health department and Common Ground Health launched an online survey to track COVID-19 symptoms in the Finger Lakes region. Survey results will help health officials pinpoint "hot spots". Learn more.









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