Arlington Family Connection

 connecting children under six and those who care for them


  • 21 Feb 2024 9:34 AM | Elaine Uy (Administrator)


    Type Site When to apply Notes Website
    District Sponsered Bracket Spanish Immersion Now - 3/25/24 https://arlingtonasp.weebly.com/brackett.html
    District Sponsered Gibbs Middle School AASP (Wait until hearing from other after-schools?)  All students that apply get into this program, and this application includes the $50 registration fee https://arlingtonasp.weebly.com/gibbs.html
    District Sponsered Hardy AASP Now - 3/25/24 https://arlingtonasp.weebly.com/hardy.html
    District Sponsered Peirce Now - 3/25/24 https://arlingtonasp.weebly.com/peirce.html
    District Sponsered Thompson AASP Now - 3/25/24 https://arlingtonasp.weebly.com/thompson.html
    Non-District Brackett Elementary School Now - 3/23/24 Only children enrolled at Brackett may register for the program. BASP
    Non-District The Afterschool Connection (TASC) at Dallin Now - 3/24/24 Closes at 5:45 (other programs close at 6:00) TASC Dallin
    Non-District A Place to Grow Afterschool at Stratton Now - 3/25/24 stratton school after school program page
    Non-District Bright Start Afterschool at Bishop Now - 3/25/24 (applying by March 22 makes you eligible for wait list?) Bright Start After School
    Community Arlington Boys & Girls Club After School Program (Kids Care Club) 4/1/24 - 4/15/24 https://www.abgclub.org/abgc-after-school-program
    Community Arlington Children’s Center, Inc. (ACC) Oct-Dec! only spots for siblings available, but can sign up for waitlist https://www.arlingtonchildrenscenter.org/enrollment/
    Community Kid Care at Gibbs 4/9/25 https://arlingtonma.myrec.com/info/activities/default.aspx
    Community Fidelity House 3/18/24 -3/29/24 Closes at 5:30 (other programs close at 6:00) Fidelity House: School Age Child Care Program (After-School)
    Community Springboard Schools (Learn to Grow) kids get walked from thompson, no formal transportation https://www.springboardschools.com/after-school-programs/
    Community Ready, Set Kids 4/5/24 for New Families, First Comes First Serve! After School Care — Ready, Set, KIDS!
    Paid classes  Arlington Community Education Youth Programs K-12 Already waitlists for some 23 programs across multiple locations ace website
    Ottoson No program -

    link to goole spreadsheet to copy for your own notes and better formatting: Arlington After School Programs 2024 (crowd sourced)*

    * any edits you have for this spreadsheet, email webmaster@arlingtonfamilyconnection.org

    Kindergarten Facebook groups for APS:

    Hardy

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/402035835665745/

    Brackett

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2100084460357829/

    Peirce

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/3617313425198439/

    Stratton

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1122800538909665/

    Dallin

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/913635199735597/

    Thompson 

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1072173813988699/

    Bishop 

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/426597273132214/

  • 16 Nov 2023 10:50 AM | Elaine Uy (Administrator)

    Starting this post early! we'll update as there are more schools added:


    Dalin (incoming kindergarten class of 2024) 

  • 15 Nov 2023 2:00 PM | Elaine Uy (Administrator)

    Perhaps the only reason why I still have a facebook account is access to the hyper local community resources. At some point, Facebook became the new craigslist, and I am probably late to the realization which only hit me after becoming a parent, and a mutual friend suggesting I look at the latest listing on the MoC Exchange for a really good deal on a complete cloth diaper package. My face went blank and I had no idea what she was trying to tell me, and I now realize that many others are in the same boat. I’ve known that “Buy nothing” and “Everything is free” groups exist, but I had no idea that there are still people actively posting personal details about their lives online. It seemed so foreign to me unless you were an instagram influencer or marketing person, I didn’t think anyone did that anymore, but I was so wrong! I have (sort of) become one of those people, and I’ll write more about it at the end.


    Before I get into the list of groups and my hot takes on them, I just want to acknowledge that I feel as an AFC member and volunteer, the direct “competition” to this organization is actually free facebook groups. AFC charges an annual fee, explicitly don’t have a facebook group (not enough volunteers to moderate, and facebook group moderation is awful), but there are so many ways to connect and try to build community in these groups that it is worth creating a facebook account for (at least of this writing in 11/2023). There is a *very* strong, very active moms of camberville community which I recommend new parents join. It has so many benefits and cohesion more than I’ve seen in any online group. There are also limitations for trying to run a group like this on facebook. A primarily online group means it’s hard to translate online relationships to in person relationships. As you might also guess from the name, the geolocation of cambridge and somerville is not Arlington, though as its original members’ geography has “creeped” north as somerville and cambridge residents moved. It does make it harder to find a local pod of parents and wonderful in-person events, and I think that is really the sweet spot I hope AFC fills (as well as the ton of work we put into child care options searching). Arlington does not have the same kind of funding that Cambridge does for fancy things like universal pre-K, so all of our nice things come from sweat-equity. We also don’t have a sweet grant writer to get us awesome things like the medford family network (also another gem of a resource).


    Facebook groups “for stuff” - usually used, sometimes free, also where you can offload things after you don’t need them anymore, so every 2 weeks in that first year 

    Everything is Free Arlington - very active and community feel. People use literal citrus fruit limes “for scale” when posting the images of things they’re giving away. Members here are persnickety if you direct message a posting right away or not, so read the posts.

    Buy Nothing Arlington/Lexington - less active, but also less snark

    Curb Alert Arlington 02474-02476 - mostly cross posts from free on curb postings from the first group. 

    MoC+ Kids & Maternity Exchange - either you or your partner must be a member of a cohorted numbered MoC group to join. That’s the only requirement, but this is worth doing because of how focused and hyper local the kids gear is here.

    MoC Group Buys - a new group that’s eligibility requirements is that you are in the Moc+ exchange (so also a + group since it’s gender inclusive). The history behind this is a wonder member of MoC would annually organize a direct from farmer maple syrup buy (with access to a type of maple syrup not easily bought retail. I think it’s the grade C). This year, the organizer created an off shoot group to organize not just maple syrup but for any other members to collective go in together on any kind of group buy for bulk discounts.

    Arlington Closet Sharers - mostly for the older kiddos, but has a lot of used kid gear local to arlington. I think this probably predated arlington joining the MoC-verse.


    Support & Special Interest Groups

    Cargo Bikes of Camberville - a lot of arlington residents are in this group, and it is very family focused since the primary riders of cargo bikes are often families with littles (before they can grow up to be their own cyclist). This community organizes a lot of test ride events, a bike bus in cambridge (so jealous), and even group buys for winterizing bikes.

    Bay State Babywearers Social Group - less active than other support groups, but caregivers all over MA with littles often post photos here to get help on “fit checks” for various carriers. They try to do a monthly meet up where they bring their lending library of many forms of baby carriers, and also are a supportive community of helping you learn how to baby wear and get comfortable doing solo back carries. Great place for recommendations on gear that may fit your body type or baby’s temperament. Seasonally they also do a buy sell trade (abbreviated B/S/T) thread

    AFC working moms group - I know I kind of lied saying AFC doesn’t have a facebook group. This is technically an AFC facebook group. Only the organizers of the meet up and I post in it to announce the next in person meet up. There’s also a google group if you prefer email. Despite joining AFC for two things (this meet up and to help other families find childcare resources), I actually don’t think it’s necessary to join if you’re already in the google group.

    Parents of Camberville 2020-2023 - This clearly caps off at 2023, so won’t be relevant for ever, but is gender inclusive and opened up to arlington lately. It’s not as active as its cohort group, but is fantastic when you are looking for recommendations of a parent with kids slightly older (ie looking for a preschool) or younger (i am expecting again, and i don’t remember what’s actually important in those dark days of newborn haze) than you might be able to answer. It’s also great for co-parenting and general parenting questions.

    MoC Stay at Home Parents - also welcome to dads, but i am not a stay at home parent so i can’t review this group. It’s also not clear if they’ve opened up to arlington. Just thought it would be good to list. I hope more stay at home parents join AFC and do more local meet ups and play groups in town. Unclear if you need to be a member of the MoC cohort group to join

    WoC of MoC - A place to share a wealth of thoughts around raising biracial and non-white kids, finding language meet ups, and discussing a lot of experiences. Does require MoC membership in a cohort group to join.

    Arlington Parents Group - great for posting older kids and public school / summer camp questions. The real reason you want to join now is to find that pet sitter / high school baby sitter / other families looking for nanny shares and nannies referrals from families who are aging out. Though after AFC’s childcare options night, we were thinking of hosting a members only spreadsheet of which families are looking for nanny share partners.


    The MoC-Verse expanded & explained

    Moms of Camberville (cambridge + somerville) is like a bunch of digital nomad tribes. This started from a group that was number 0.0 in 2010 (at least what I can gather from the master list of MoC subgroups), and eventually the organization fell on school year to cohort families into who would be your kid’s classmates. Since MoC 1.0  & MoC 1.1 in Fall 2013, there have been 10 iterations of this group number. Only 1.0 had a cap on its first membership group and branched off to 1.1, but hypothetically any of the other groups could decide to do that too. Loosely (and there isn’t really a single group that decides rules), every MoC group is governed by its admins and members deciding on the geography, how bendy the gender exclusivity is, and in same sex couples if both partners are welcome. These support groups are 100% worth joining if you qualify. It’s almost akin to the reddit bumper monthly groups, but has the added benefit of being hyper local. I’ve never seen so many people use social media to be seen, heard, and supported in this way. It can sometimes be a little bit of an echo chamber, but in the thrawls of night weaning, sometimes what you need is the void to scream back at you. This is really the pinnacle of a grass roots community, and if facebook ever starts charging or goes away, it will be so heartbreaking to lose this resource.


    The Moms of Camberville actually has even more special interest groups that span all age ranges and I just stopped at a few in the earlier section because there’s too many to list (one for finance, one for careers, one for house stuff, one for vacations, etc). There is a google doc floating around with a list of all of them, but I’m not going to share it publicly. If you’re a member, you can ask me :) 


    There is always the can of worms of, why do these groups exclusively exclude male partners (but only sometimes, maybe if you’re both male?) etc. Asking that question will arrive at a pile of complicated feelings, so be forewarned. Like with any large organization, cohesion, identity, creating a sense of belonging are all integral, and this particular corner of facebook group has been built around a LOT of labor people identifying as moms have put in to keep both their buy/sell/trade MoC+ exchange group active and honest, as well as fostering a sense of community that is safe. The history of a lot of these moms in post partum opening up about their most sensitive feels and physical changes also makes a re-opening of these groups very sensitive. Also if our volunteer make up at AFC says anything, this is largely true even at AFC. Female identifying volunteers outnumber our male ones 10:1 (spoilers we only have about 10 volunteers….)


    Final notes on MoC, I’m just trying to share what I’ve seen in a non-biased way. I love this groups, it's actually where I've found a lot of community, but I do feel like there is an important void for AFC to fill. I spend a lot of time volunteering here because I think my experiences and struggles as an arlington resident looking for child care can be broadly shared by a wide range of people (caregivers of all shapes, kinds, and sizes). I hope more people engage in AFC to build a community that can compliment the great resources already available to MoC.

    At AFC we don’t post very much on our blog (our website traffic seems to be directly solely at our event sign ups, but we don’t actually pay for SEO and i haven’t had time to look into it, so I can’t actually tell you), but I thought as the resident webmaster, I’d throw out into publicly and in my own voice and not as an AFC volunteer or representative of the organization some helpful information as I find it on this website. Another volunteer has graciously picked up writing our newsletter, and in my day job, I’m mostly looking at code, spreadsheets, and numbers, and I certainly don’t get enough creative writing in. So, dear reader, I hope you enjoy or at least find helpful some of this content I’m writing up on my sick day from what feels like the millionth bug my 18m toddler has so generously brought home from daycare. Maybe this post will get taken down if the other members object, or maybe I’ll write another one.


  • 22 Feb 2023 8:50 PM | Elaine Uy (Administrator)

    Hello parents of rising kindergartners!

    The Arlington Family Connection's kinder connect program traditionally helped organize social meet ups in the summer for incoming students and families to meet each other. As the organization re-organizes and revitalizes, we are unlikely to be able to assist in scheduling these events without a larger membership and volunteer force. In the meantime, here are some value links of information shameless sourced from the private Arlington Parents Facebook group. We hope by sharing these publicly on our blog that other families not on social media will have equitable access to these resources.

    Registration is open, and more information and instructions can be found from the town's website here

    Already organized Facebook groups for parents of incoming kindergarten classes:

    PEIRCE: Pierce Incoming Kindergarteners of 2023

    THOMPSON: Thompson Class of 2029 (Kindergarten 2023-2024)

    DALLIN: Dallin Class of 2029 (Kindergarten 2023-2024)

    BISHOP: Bishop Elementary - Class of 2029

    HARDY: Hardy Kindergarten 2023-2024 (Graduating 5th grade in 2029) Arlington MA

    BRACKETT: Brackett-AHS Class of 2036

    STRATTON: Stratton Rising Kindergarten - Class of 2036

    Resources for parents of children with or needing an IEP:
    TASA: The Arlington Special Education Alliance: www.arlingtonspedalliance.wordpress.com

    TASA is a confidential networking and advocacy group for parents only – there is a private FB group and a private email list. See the website for further information.

    SEPAC: Special Education Advisory Council: www.arlington.k12.ma.us/sepac

    SEPAC is a group that anyone can join. There are monthly meetings that APS administrators also attend, and they sponsor an annual workshop on SPED parent rights. See the website for further information. 
  • 19 Jun 2020 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    While social distancing is the best method to stay safe our regular, in-person events have been cancelled. If you'd like information about virtual meetings please send an email to the organizer.

    Dad's Bookgroup : bookgroup@arlingtonfamilyconnection.org

    Working Moms Groups : workingmoms@arlingtonfamilyconnection.org

  • 19 Jun 2020 9:05 PM | Anonymous

    Hello parents of rising kindergartners!

    Arlington Family Connection Kindergarten Connections program helps parents organize social meet-ups every summer to help the incoming students and families meet each other. We do this by recruiting parent volunteers from each school to organize and publicize events. We started the process for this year before the current pandemic situation. Typically, AFC would be assisting volunteers with scheduling group events around this time, but sadly that can not be the case right now. While some businesses and activities are starting to re-open, things remain unclear and we don't know when or under what circumstances everyone might be able to meet. That said, we'd still like to help families connect in whatever way possible, of course!

    Below is a list of links to a Facebook group if one has been started at that school. There is also some info listed for the two groups for parents of students receiving special education services, The Arlington Special Education Alliance (TASA) and Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC). If your child has or might need an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), please check out these resources.

    Stay safe everyone!

    PEIRCE:

    FB group: Peirce School Incoming Kindergarten 2020-2021 https://www.facebook.com/groups/2653071624769726/?ref=share

    THOMPSON:

    FB group: Thompson Elementary Kindergarten 2020-2021 https://www.facebook.com/groups/717620058981476/

    DALLIN:

    FB group: Dallin Incoming Kindergartners 2020-2021 https://www.facebook.com/groups/523285021624578/?ref=share

    ST. AGNES:

    BISHOP:

    FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3465878166775126/members/

    HARDY:

    FB group: Hardy Kindergarten 2020-2021

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/707540096447127

    BRACKETT:

    FB group: Brackett Kindergarten Families 2020-2021

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2710606525851099/

    STRATTON:

    FB group: Stratton Class of 2026 https://www.facebook.com/groups/2630724120583830/?hc_location=group

    Resources for parents of kindergartners with or needing an IEP:

    TASA: The Arlington Special Education Alliance: www.arlingtonspedalliance.wordpress.com

    TASA is a confidential networking and advocacy group for parents only – there is a private FB group and a private email list. See the website for further information.

    SEPAC: Special Education Advisory Council: www.arlington.k12.ma.us/sepac

    SEPAC is a group that anyone can join. There are monthly meetings that APS administrators also attend, and they sponsor an annual workshop on SPED parent rights. See the website for further information. 


  • 19 Mar 2020 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks for joining us on our new site. We'll be sending out a brand new newsletter and posting more tutorials on how to make the most of our new site. Make sure you friend/follow us on Facebook to see all the great streaming events and businesses we're supporting to try to stay connected while we can't meet face to face.

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