Maine Families Newsletter, July 2024

Spotlight on Literacy

a baby laying on a blanket with an open cardboard book over its headWe at Maine Families Mid-Coast love to support parents and children in their literacy journey together. One way that we are able to assist families in this endeavor is by providing them with board books. Each family enrolled in our program gets to explore their very own brand new board books covering a variety of topics. We provide books with black and white/high color contrast pictures for vision development in early infancy, interactive touch and feel books promoting learning through senses and stories that teach about diversity in the world. When families have fun and read with their children, they are connecting and promoting positive attachment. Babies and toddlers also learn new sounds and words when someone reads to them. Additionally it helps to develop fine motor skills and problem solving when they pick up a book, practice turning the pages, and even put it in their mouths.

an adult reading a book to toddler laying on the floor of the Rumpus roomWe at Maine Families Mid-Coast are fortunate to have a board of directors full of dedicated individuals who also value our mission to share books with families. They work tirelessly every year to search out and apply for grant funding to purchase the books that we select, order and deliver to families during regular visits. It is so special to be able to bring a book to families during visits, watch an excited toddler take the book and ask to have it read to them or to watch an infant begin tracking a book that their caregiver is sharing with them.


two adults with a toddler who is playing on a piece of playground equipmentAs part of our curriculum, we organize and offer free, monthly opportunities for enrolled and graduated families to meet each other at events we call “Group Connections.” During these group connections, adults and kids play together and talk with each other. It is a great way for families to connect with others during a period of parenting that can be very isolating.

This year, we offered several groups at the Rumpus Room in Brunswick and the Coastal Children’s Museum in Rockland. Because it is important for all families to be able to attend  group connections, we schedule to have interpreters who are available to support families in making connections with one another.

Rumpus Room Fun!

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Twice a year, we also invite families to join us for some outdoor bubble fun. This year, we gathered at the Patten Free Library in Bath. This is always a big hit for home visitors and families alike! This low-barrier event attracts people of all ages and abilities and appeals to families of all backgrounds. During July and August we pause group connections, but we will resume in the fall. A big thank you to the Parent Program Mid-coast Maine and the Rumpus Room for making this possible!

Outdoor Bubble Fun!

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Maine Families Visitors Attend Lactation Conference

Six members of our team recently attended the 30th  B.E.S.T. Lactation Conference, Continuity of Lactation Care: It Takes a Village on May 15-17, 2024.

Some of the topics included:

  • Lactation Train Wrecks
  • Collaboration with Partners
  • A Parent’s Eye View of Lactation Help
  • Breastfeeding and Substance Use Disorder, etc.

Conference sessions were held via Zoom as well as one day in-person in Portland.

All of our visitors work with families around infant feeding, supporting parents in their choices for their own infants. Currently, five of our Family Visitors are also Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) and to maintain certification, they are required to take 18 lactation -specific credits to renew certifications. Family Visitors bring up-to-date evidence-based information and personal individualized support to their home visits and work collaboratively with community partners such as Public Health Nurses, hospital lactation support nurses, and midwives or doulas to brainstorm solutions to breastfeeding challenges.

Board Volunteers Host a Parents As Teachers Activity Kit Workshop

a group of adults who are board members prepping materials for youth group crafts and educational gamesThis spring our board of directors volunteered their time to create Parents as Teachers activity kits for our Maine Families Visitors to use at home visits. Utilizing the Parents as Teachers curriculum, our visitors plan time in each visit to share a simple activity that parents can do at home to support their child’s development, promote parenting behaviors such as nurturing or responding and strengthen their parent child bond. Compiling the kits with handouts and all the materials needed for the activity has been a huge time saver for our busy team and was greatly appreciated. Board members had a great time making the kits and hope to schedule another workshop this year. If you are interested in joining our amazing board of directors you may email Jen Doherty, Program Manager at

Thank you for continuing to refer families to our program. Here are two common ways to refer, through the CradleME form on the CradleME: A Referral System for All Birthing Families in Maine website, or simply by going to the Parent Program of Mid-Coast Maine, Inc. website and clicking on the “Learn More And/Or Enroll” blue button in the sidebar menu.

We will be back with more Maine Families news in the Fall!