LEAD716 2020 Update
Although 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges due to COVID, LEAD716 continues to support families of young children in Western New York. School closures and stay-at-home orders mean that young children are spending more time indoors, in homes that often contain lead hazards such as chipping or peeling lead paint and lead-contaminated dust. Throughout this time, LEAD716 has been sharing critical lead poisoning prevention information with the community in an effort to educate families on how to protect their children from toxic lead.
To help prevent the spread of COVID, LEAD716 has paused in-person tutoring services and family engagement events and adapted to continue our important work during the pandemic by offering virtual tutoring to children and engaging with families by email, mail, phone, text, and social media. LEAD716 has also supplied many families with "learning kits" that provide much-needed learning materials such as books, educational toys, and school supplies, so families can continue to support their child's development at home when schools are closed. We are also currently working on safely restarting in-person tutoring services for children, with the potential for more children to be enrolled in the coming months as public health guidelines allow.
LEAD716 has also been engaged in program evaluation and capacity building activities and is working on new funding strategies to support the implementation of an evidence-based social and emotional learning curriculum and assessment strategy to serve as a critical foundation for our program, which we believe will lead to improved outcomes for children affected by lead in our community for years to come.
Last year, LEAD716 was honored to work with Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin and the University of Buffalo Law School's Environmental Advocacy Clinic on a resolution to support early intervention services for children exposed to lead in Erie County. The resolution, which passed unanimously in the legislature, lead to Erie County including $250,000 in its 2020 budget to support a pilot program to provide these critically-needed services. In the future, LEAD716 plans to continue advocacy work in an effort to make these services available to children affected by lead across New York State.