Get to know Impact100 Metro Denver Grantee, Roots Family Center
Roots Family Center, located in southwest Denver, is one of two nonprofits that received our multi-year accelerator grant in 2023. Roots was created in 2017 to respond to a need in the community for alternative educational opportunities for Spanish speaking families living in southwest Denver. Their mission is to grow the next generation of confident, compassionate, and healthy children who are rooted in the culture and strengths of their families and communities.
Historically, Roots has focused on working with families with young children to provide support for parents and caregivers. Roots provides two key programs to achieve these goals. The first program is Parent as Teacher (PAT) which is an evidence-based home visitation model that promotes optimal early development, learning and health of young children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers of children 0-3 years old. The second program is Home Instruction of Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) which helps parents prepare their children for success in school and beyond by
providing them the tools, skills, and confidence to teach their young children ages 3-5 in the home.
This year, Roots received funding to launch a doula program. Roots is responding to a need for emotional, educational, and physical support for pregnant families in the community where the maternal mortality rate is more than twice the statewide rate. In case you are not familiar with the term, a doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. Their purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience. Doulas meet with pregnant women pre- and post-birth. Some of their responsibilities can include, but are not limited to, creating a birthing plan for the mother, discussing nutritional needs during pregnancy and creating a schedule for the infant’s care.
To execute on this program, Roots is partnering with several other organizations including La Cocina, a mental health care provider that wants to expand by connecting pregnant women with doulas, and with Elephant Circle for training. Both Crystal Muñoz, Founder & Executive Director, and Alejandra Lopez, Program Coordinator, have completed their training and are now certified doulas. As of October, 2023, they were working with nine clients with a goal of ten by year-end. This “pilot” has helped them refine the program and prepare to train additional doulas from the community. There are currently 35 people on the list to become doulas, and Crystal and Alejandra recently commenced training with 15 of them. Each trained doula will be an independent contractor, paid for her work by one of their partners which include Denver Health.
A Call to support Roots Family Center
1. Roots Family Center currently needs market research help to better understand the maternal health and doula landscape in Denver. A research framework has already been created and can be used as a starting point to collect information that will enable Roots to best meet the needs of pregnant families in SW Denver. If you have these skills, please reach out to Kristyn Friske, Impact100 Metro Denver’s liaison to Roots at KristynFriske@gmail.com.
2. Roots Family Center currently needs help with fundraising and grant writing. If you have these skills, please reach out to Kristyn Friske, Impact100 Metro Denver’s liaison to Roots at KristynFriske@gmail.com.
3. Roots is also in need of new office space and would love some help with evaluating their real estate needs and assistance in the exploration of new office space. If you can help, please reach out to Ann Baumgarten, Impact100 Metro Denver’s liaison to Roots at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Every month Roots offers Group Connection for participating families, creating opportunities for them to socialize and participate in cultural activities. Monthly events might involve field trips, celebrations of holidays such as Cinco de Mayo or Day of the Dead as well as community celebrations. If you would like to volunteer, contact Alejandro Lopez, Roots Program Coordinator at alejandra@RootsFamilyCenter.org.