What’s Happening at Family Connections!

 Join the DadsDay Virtual Run!

To maintain our annual tradition, and to continue raising critical funds in support of Family Connections, we are excited to have our 18th Annual DadsDay Run, virtual style!

The virtual run will take place Sunday, June 21 thru Sunday, June 28, and ANYONE (not just dad) can walk, run or stroll as far as they want. All participants will receive an event t-shirt and a Ben & Jerry’s FREE SCOOP COUPON!


The club participants put in the miles to stay healthy and fit leading up to DADSDAY weekend! They accepted our challenge to run (or walk) and raised pivotal funds for Family Connections, whose service to families with young children is needed now more than ever.

Children, friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members were recruited as we came together while keeping our distance—with the same shared mission, but in a way unlike any of our previous 17 years supporting this great cause.

Thanks for participating in our  DadsDay Run Club and our Virtual Race!



A Message from Family Connections of Northeast Ohio

Family Connections of Northeast Ohio condemns the senseless, violent death  of George Floyd.  We decry the legacy and ongoing dynamic of racial hatred that continues to shape our nation.  The mission of Family Connections of Northeast Ohio is to engage families with young children to nurture social connections, enhance child development and improve school readiness.   We do everything we can to build, support and encourage healthy families.   This task is complicated, though, by the violence and racism that Black families and people of color have long endured.   Current events bring into sharper focus the need for the work we do.  We recognize that these events take an incalculable toll on the families we work with.

Our work – strengthening families with young children – is guided by the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support that include the concept of racial equity and diversity.  We strive to support families so that they grow with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to have a head start on pursuing their own goals.  We believe that healthy families are the building blocks of productive communities, and ultimately a strong nation, but that this cannot be achieved without addressing and dismantling racism.  That is why we are committed to working together with our Board of Directors, staff and valued community partners, to look within and without to end systemic racism.


Andrew Bouthiliet, Board President and Joanne Federman, Executive Director


Please read about important up-to-date information

May 5, 2020

From Our Executive Director,

Please be reassured that we continue to follow the Governor’s direction about COVID-19. There will be some gradual opening of businesses in May, but the Stay Safe Ohio order is still in effect and that means that our playrooms and group gatherings will continue virtually for as long as the order remains. As always, your health and safety are our priorities.

“Being socially distant doesn’t mean we have to be socially isolated”.  Keesha Funches Tolliver, Family Connections/SPARK Parent Partner

 Keesha so beautifully expressed what we at Family Connections believe so strongly now, more than ever. Although we cannot open our playrooms during COVID-19, and our home visiting staff cannot visit with families in their homes, we are working hard to translate as many programs as possible through online technology. You will see the kinds of programs available in this issue and we encourage you to participate as well as share with neighbors, friends and family members with young children.

 As always, please continue to stay safe – wear masks and maintain safe distances. 

Joanne Federman, Executive Director


Although we cannot see, support or play with you in person we have
been creating ways to stay in touch with you.

  • On our Facebook page look for helpful links, glimpses of fun reminders of our playrooms, watch live or recorded sessions of Music with Marisa or catch one of our SPARK Parent Partners read a story.
  • Join a Baby & Me session via zoom (for families with babies 0 – 12 months.)  Wednesday mornings, 10 – 12 at: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/394601711
  • Our Family School Connection Liaisons are busy connecting with the kindergarten families.
  • Our SPARK Parent Partners have been providing kits to the families they serve.