Bright Beginnings


"I want the children to be integrated into society and to be the best that they can be."
--Teacher, Ms. Patricia

2016-2017 BBI Events

Read about our past events.


Upcoming Events

Health and Wellness Month (May)
In May the social services team focuses on family health and wellness. Our goal is to teach healthy lifestyle practices in order to get families and staff on the right track. The key to health and wellness is taking action! Get moving with us as we try new foods, different workout routineness, learn how to cope with stress sand enjoy a few surprises along the way. Passionate about health and wellness? Come give a presentation about a healthy lifestyle. Cook healthy foods in our Life Skills class, or event teach a yoga class.

Teacher Appreciation Week (May)
In May, The BBI leadership team looks forward to celebrating our amazing education team. At Bright Beginnings we are grateful for our highly-qualified, caring teachers who understand the special needs of children who are experiencing the trauma and chaos of homelessness. They work diligently and patiently to nurture and support their education and developmental. Help us honor our teachers by donating in-kind gifts such as gift cards, flowers, or help plan the BBI Annual Teacher Luncheon.

Father’s Day Celebration (June)
Parent acknowledgement is crucial to the success of Bright Beginnings and especially when it comes to fathers. Although we may have a small group of fathers, their dedication to BBI is unwavering. You can help us honor fathers by collaborating on a Father’s Day breakfast. Many of our fathers are preparing to reenter the workforce. Donate father’s day gifts such as ties, dress shirts shoes, socks or gifts cards.

Do More 24 (June)
Do More 24™ is a local movement that brings together nonprofit organizations, companies, and people committed to making a difference, through focused online giving. Powered by United Way of the National Capital Area, Do More 24 raises much-needed funding for local nonprofits that create opportunities for underserved populations. The 24-hour event acts as a catalyst for targeted community change. Bright Beginnings looks forward to participating in this year’s event. Our goal is surpass last year’s total, hopefully raising at least $5,000 which will go towards supporting children and families.

Parent Auction (June)
The Parent Auction is our way of rewarding our most active and involved parents. Homeless parents will be able to “shop” for household, bathroom and kitchen supplies in a store created just for them. Help us reward their hard work by donating only new and unused items from our wish list online. The Parent Auction is the second biggest event at Bright Beginnings. The stability of the home is essential to the success of children and parents.

Family Fun and Fitness Day (August)
BBI will celebrate the end of a fantastic school year with Family Fun and Fitness Day. Parents and children will have a chance to relax, laugh, play games, and enjoy one another in a fun and entertaining environment. Adding to the festivities will be activity stations, food, music and a chance to meet new friends. It is by far one of the most exciting days of the year.

There are many ways for our community partners can help make Family Fun & Fitness Day a success. Volunteers are needed to assist BBI staff with activity booths (face painting, field day games, arts and crafts etc.), participate in activities with the children, and help with set up and clean up. Volunteers will be acknowledged in our next newsletter—and receive the smiles of delighted children as well.

Annual Transition Ceremony (August)
As we look ahead to the new school year, we must also reflect on the achievements of all BBI children and prepare to send our Pre-K students to kindergarten. Each student receives a diploma and school supplies for the upcoming year. Volunteers can assist with the set-up and ushering classrooms to the reception room. You can also support the transition ceremony by donating refreshments such as breakfast pastries or cookies.

Macy’s Shop for a Cause (August)
Every summer, Bright Beginnings takes part in Macy’s Shop For A Cause, benefiting charities nationwide. Customers purchase a $5 Shop For A Cause savings pass from a participating charity or local Macy’s. The savings pass, which may be used the entire day, entitles them to spectacular discounts on most regular, sale and clearance merchandise.

Thanksgiving at Bright Beginnings (November)
Many of our families do not have the means to purchase a Thanksgiving meal. Help us supply families with dinner essentials. The week of Thanksgiving we will distribute canned goods or gift cards to families to ensure they have a happy holiday with a full belly.

The Bright Beginnings’ Annual Holiday Celebration (December)
Without a doubt, the biggest time of the year at BBI is the holiday season. During the month of December volunteer groups stop by to participate in arts and crafts, read winter stories and play games in the classrooms. BBI sponsors also donate funds toward the Family Holiday Dinner. Parents and children dine together in the classrooms, playing games and singing songs. Want to make a child’s holiday wish come true? Donate to our BBI Holiday Store. Each BBI child creates a wish list. It is our mission to find every item on the list. Donate toys, clothing, books etc. for all ages (6-weeks to 5 years). We need you to make the holidays a truly joyful time.

Women’s Heart Health Day (February)
We pride ourselves on healthy living and health education targeted toward BBI mothers which is why in February we celebrate Women’s Heart Health Day. A healthy life starts with access to health care; therefore Bright Beginnings will be providing free health screenings for our parents and staff. Passionate about women’s health? Give a presentation, or host a the Heart Health Luncheon. Wear red and show your support for women’s health!

Read Across America Month, Stop, Drop and Read Initiative (March)
Every day during the month of March we celebrate National Literacy Month. We are encouraging our community supporters to stop by Bright Beginnings, drop down into a comfy chair and read a favorite story to the children. The BBI Stop, Drop and Read program is an easy way to participate during a month that is very special to us. Not available for afternoon reading? Donate your favorite children’s book to the classrooms. Help us reach our goal of reading 1,000 books in March!

Month of the Young Child (April)
Bright Beginnings’ Month of the Young Child is inspired by the annual NAEYC celebration, Week of the Young Child; designed to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Throughout April, the Bright Beginnings team celebrates the uniqueness of every child with field trips, presentations, family activities, and surprises. By engaging families in a variety of activities we hope to enrich their lives and celebrate their progress at BBI.

Bright Beginnings’ 5 K Race (April)

Put your feet in motion at the Bright Beginnings 5K for DC’s homeless children and families. All proceeds from the 5K directly support Bright Beginnings’ programs that prepare young children for kindergarten and helps families get back on their feet. Run, walk, or join the stroller brigade! Can't participate? Be a virtual runner or a fundraiser instead. Get more info here: http://www.brightbeginningsinc.org/5k



Recent Events

Bright Beginnings Celebrates the District’s Champions for Children
May 5, 2016


On May 5, 2016 Bright Beginnings, Inc. hosted the third annual Champions for Children Awards Ceremony and Reception. This year’s honorees included, John Wall, Sue Marshall, and the Junior League of Washington.

The reception was a beautiful gathering of local advocates, and community partners from all over the District. Honorees shared moving remarks, reminding guests that our work serving DC’s most vulnerable children is far from finished. This year's event was dedicated in remembrance of Bright Beginnings' former Executive Director Dr. Betty Jo Gaines and her phenomenal legacy as a Champion for Children throughout her illustrious career. Guests were also graced with powerful reflections on the status of homelessness in the district and a call to action by Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden.

Read more

Fall Literacy Night
October 29, 2015


It's not officially fall until we celebrate Fall Literacy Night! Longtime community partner, The Junior League of Washington coordinated a fabulous night of arts and crafts, songs and storytelling for all nine BBI classrooms. This season we read children's books, "Full, Full, Full of Love" and "I Am So Brave". Parents participated in a nutrition workshop and enjoyed a dinner with staff. Each child also took home a brand new book, promoting family reading at home.



BBI Annual Baby Shower with a Purpose
Friday, October 16, 2015


The 2015 Baby Shower with a Purpose proved to be an afternoon filled with laughter, connection and celebration. Mothers from BBI Center Based and Home Based programs, enjoyed a light lunch, shower games and raffles, and participated in workshops from local community experts focused on prenatal and postnatal health. Every shower guest received a personalized gift basket. Thank you so very much to our community partners Urban Petals , Fannie Mae, National Children's Alliance and Broad Branch Children's House who went above and beyond this year, contributing essential items for expectant mothers and BBI newborns.


Bright Beginnings’ Family Fun and Fitness Day Rounds Out A Splendid Summer of Fun!
Friday, August 7, 2015


As the Bright Beginnings' Summer of Fun comes to a close, we enjoy continuing summer traditions with fantastic volunteers and staff. Family Fun and Fitness Day symbolizes the end of the school year and provides an opportunity for our seven classrooms to come together for an afternoon of recreation and community.

On Friday, August 7th, volunteer groups from Fannie Mae, CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation), PNC Bank and Leading Authorities sponsored activity stations celebrating health and wellness, ranging from healthy food tasting to field day games.

Children and parents enjoyed the perfect weather, along with light refreshments and the musical stylings of children's performer Mr. Skip. A huge thank you to our sponsors and volunteers for bringing some summer fun to BBI families.

2015 Parent Resource Center Recognition Ceremony
May 14, 2015


On May, 14th the Bright Beginnings team honored the fantastic accomplishments of over 70 parents who have committed themselves to the Parent Resource Center. It was a morning of celebration, featuring motivational speeches from BBI Health and Nutrition Manager Ms. Sherri Watkins, BBI Board President Maria Estefania, male involvement coach Derrick Colbert, and life coach Dr. Hewlette Pearson. Parents at Bright Beginnings are making huge strides to better themselves and the lives of their children, such as gaining employment or continuing education. As a staff we are extremely proud of their accomplishments and look forward to another year of success!


2015 BBI Champions for Children
April 30, 2015


On April, 30, Bright Beginnings, Inc. hosted its third annual Champions for Children Awards Ceremony and Reception. This year's honorees were Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, The Washington Children's Foundation, and former Board member Sally Wells. It was a joyous evening that brought politicians, advocates, friends and community partners from all over the District together to celebrate both the honorees and Bright Beginnings' mission. With heartfelt remarks, each honoree reminded guests that the work of serving DC's most vulnerable children is far from finished.

Photography by: Gwendolyn Flowers

May 2015 Month of the Young Child


Bright Beginnings’ Month of the Young Child celebration is inspired by the annual NAEYC celebration, Week of the Young Child (WOYC); designed to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.



 


2015 Bright Beginnings 5K
March 7, 2015


On your mark, get set, smile! Saturday, March 7th -The Bright Beginnings’ 19th Annual 5K Race was a huge success! Nearly 800 participants braved the cold weather raising more than $60,000 for homeless children and their families, showing that each of us can make a measurable difference in giving them a good start in school and in life. We are extremely grateful to the Junior League of Washington and our generous sponsors for their support for homeless families with young children.

Photography by: Pattie Yu and Richard Kaiser.

 

WHUR & Fed Ex “Spreading Love and Hope for Valentine’s Day”


Today was truly a special day at Bright Beginnings, Inc. WHUR and FedEx celebrated our parents and staff with a gorgeous Valentine's Day celebration. Parents and staff received a one of a kind floral bouquet, enjoyed light refreshments and were graced with some inspiring words from WHUR's Bobby Gailes and Mo Ivory. BBI classrooms created unique centerpieces for the reception hall, keeping with the theme of love, and joy. Seeing smiles upon the faces of our families and hardworking teachers was such a gratifying feeling. Thank you to our community partners for bringing joy to Bright Beginnings, Inc.



National School Choice Week 2015
January 28th 2015


Wednesday, January 28th 2015- Bright Beginnings participated in National School Choice Week. The annual celebration provides individuals, schools, and organizations with the opportunity to create a space for learning and engagement, while participants share messages of education across the country. In partnership with The Links, Incorporated and the DC Public Library, Bright Beginnings hosted a literacy extravaganza. During the program, librarians from DC libraries across the city, conducted story time in all 7 classrooms, hosted a teacher training and registered parents for a free library card. Thank you to The Links for providing a book for every Bright Beginnings child and to the DC Public Library for volunteering your time to our families. This year National School Choice Week anticipates over 10,000 events planned across the country, making it the largest celebration of education opportunity in US history.


Bright Beginnings' Parent Auction

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


On June 24, 2014 BBI’s most active and involved parents were rewarded at our annual parent auction when they were able to “shop” for household, bathroom, and kitchen supplies at a store created just for them.



 

 

Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5-9, 2014


May 5th-9th, the BBI Leadership team took time to celebrate the amazing Education Team. At Bright Beginnings, you will find highly-qualified and caring teachers who understand the special needs of children living in homeless environments and work diligently and patiently to support their learning and developmental progress. Teacher Appreciation Week featured many surprises, such as a delicious catered breakfast and lunch. It was wonderful seeing the smiles on the faces of our dedicated teachers as they received cards and flowers, from BBI’s Master Teacher and Education Coordinator. Thank you to Bethesda Bagels, Dunkin Donuts, and Convention Floral. most vulnerable families.

Learn more

First Ever Health and Wellness Month, a Huge Success!
May, 2014


One of the exciting aspects of BBI is that each month represents a new reason to celebrate awareness. In May, Bright Beginnings turned its focus on family health and wellness. Spearheaded by Early Head Start Social Worker, Denise Simpson; the mission of Health and Wellness Month is to teach healthy lifestyle practices in order to get families and staff on the right track. Staff was on hand to provide support and advice regarding healthy eating and stress relief.

Learn more


 

Champions for Children
Capitol Hill Event
April 30, 2014


On April 30th Bright Beginnings had the pleasure of honoring 2014’s Champions for Children. Executive Director Dr. Betty Jo Gaines, presented awards to Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Hal Rogers (R-KY).“In this era of cutbacks, reductions, and sequestration, it is vital to recognize those members of Congress who work to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens from the most devastating effects of downsizing,” said Dr. Gaines.

Learn more




Read Across America Month 2014



Thanks to all the individuals, parents, groups and corporations who helped us read over 500 books in March! With the help of Andrews Air Force Base, Ballard Spar, Neighborhood Legal Services, TJ and Pam Hamilton, Susan Brobeck, Deloitte, Washington Wizards player Chris Singleton, and University of Delaware students, Read Across America Month at Bright Beginnings was an incredible success! Our children also participated in a story book workshop series lead by children’s authors and illustrators Shushmita Mazumdar and Adjoa Burrowes. Browse our photo album to see heartwarming pictures of our volunteers reading to the children. You can help our tots continue to discover the joy of reading and learning by volunteering in our classrooms. You will truly help make a difference in the lives of these children and their families!
See photos

BBI 5K
Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
West Potomac Park, Hains Point 
Washington, D.C. 


Put your feet in motion on Sunday, March 23 at the 2014 Bright Beginnings 5K for homeless children and families in DC. 

All proceeds from the 5K directly support Bright Beginnings’ programming that prepares young children for kindergarten and helps their families get back on their feet. Run, walk, or join the stroller brigade! 

 

 

Family Fun and Fitness Day
Friday, August 9, 2013



Bright Beginnings’ 2013 Family Fun and Fitness Day is right around the corner! We hope you’ll join us for a unique, hands-on opportunity to celebrate the end of a successful school year with homeless children and families. Our annual celebration of the end of a school year is an opportunity for parents and their children to spend time together in a fun and entertaining environment and meet new friends from our community. Our Family Fun and Fitness Day is Friday, August 9, 2013 from 2-5 p.m.

Sponsorship opportunities and activity booths are still available!

 

Parent Auction
Wednesday, June 25, 2013



Our Parent Auction on June 25, 2013 rewarded our most active and involved parents with an opportunity to “shop” for household, bathroom and kitchen supplies in a store created just for them. Parents were chosen for participating in their children’s education and making the positive choices that will stabilize their families, such as getting a GED, completing college courses, getting and keeping a job and taking advantage of our parenting training and informational workshops.

See photos from the event.

Read Across America
March 2013



Thanks to all the individuals, parents, groups and corporations who helped us read over 1,200 books throughout the month of March! With the help of Andrews Air Force Base, Capital One Bank, Crystal City Double Tree Hotel, Deloitte, Miss DC International Jessica Neal, PNC Bank, United Way Emerging Leaders, and University of Delaware students, Read Across America Month at Bright Beginnings was an incredible success! Browse our photo album to see some incredible pictures of our volunteers reading to the children. You can continue helping these families and kids by volunteering with us! Get involved and make a difference in the lives of these children and their families!

Bright Beginnings 5K
Saturday, March 2, 2013



Thank you for making this year’s Bright Beginnings 5K Race one of the best ever! Your registration and fundraising efforts helped us cross the finish line on another great race and raise more than $56,000!

A special thanks to the Junior League of Washington for sponsoring and organizing our race and to all of our sponsors for helping to raise critical financial resources for homeless families and their infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

 

2012 Help the Homeless Community Walk
and Community Activity Program
November 2012



As a beneficiary of Fannie Mae’s Help the Homeless program, Bright Beginnings is holding a series of community events to raise $30,000 for our early education and family-stabilizing services for homeless children and families and increase visibility and awareness of vulnerable homeless children and families in our community.

A Community walk or community activity benefiting Bright Beginnings will include a 30-minute education and awareness component about homelessness in our community and at least 15 minutes of physical activity. All official miniwalks will be held by November 4, 2012.

Learn more

 

Bright Beginnings Gets Moving!
September 2011 – August 2012



Bright Beginnings' children incorporate more physical activity into their day with commonly-found items and creative activities. Join the fun by donating one or two items or all the items for a month. Our kids will really appreciate it! Call Latoyia Allen at 202.842.9090 for more information or to drop off your donations.




 

Family Fun & Fitness Day
August, 10, 2012



Our Annual Family Fun & Fitness Day on August 10, 2012 provided a unique, hands-on opportunity for corporate and community partners to celebrate the end of a successful school year with homeless children and families. Our annual celebration offered a chance for parents and their children to spend an afternoon together in a fun and entertaining environment and meet new friends from our community. Thank you to the following activity sponsors for making it all possible: Fannie Mae, Fit Kids, Legacy, PNC and SNAP!

See photos from the event.

 


2012 Parent Auction: Thank you for your generous donations!



Thank you for supporting our Parent Auction on June 26, 2012 with your unique and practical gifts and gift card donations that rewarded homeless parents who are making all the right moves to support their children and stabilize their families. More than 200 items and gift cards, valued at nearly $3,000, were donated to our Parent Auction this year. Homeless parents used the Parent Points they earned throughout the year to shop for household, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom items and chose from many special food and entertainment gift cards donated from our extended community.

Check out our Parent Auction photo album.



Bright Beginnings’ Annual 5K Race
Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Hains Point



Thank you for enthusiastically supporting Bright Beginnings’ Annual 5K Race! Each registration, donation and sponsorship directly benefits homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their families. Because of your support, young homeless children receive critical educational services and therapeutic support that prepares them for kindergarten and their parents receive necessary support, hope and a hand to stabilize their lives.

Race Results
Race Awards
Thank you sponsors!
See Race day pictures!


Celebrate Our Children Though POWER PLAY
APRIL 2012


Did you know that children learn through play? We celebrated our children through POWER PLAY in April as part of our month-long celebration of the Week of the Young Child (April 22-28). Our powerful play included children’s music, books, dance, movement, flowers and fun!

 




Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon: Give thanks and give back!
November 19, 2011


Team Bright Beginnings brought greater visibility to homeless families with young children in our community by walking in Fannie Mae's Help the Homeless Walkathon on Saturday, November 19 on the National Mall. Our enthusiastic team of homeless parents, teachers, board members and staff represented the most vulnerable families in our community. Bright Beginnings is a proud beneficiary of the Help the Homeless Walkathon, which is the nation's largest fundraising effort focused on homelessness. Thank you to all who participated by walking, donating and sponsoring Bright Beginnings! We send out an extra special thank you to our sponsors: ATSC/APPIX, Legacy and the SunDial Foundation!

See photos from the event.



Community Helpers Program: Thank you for being part of our community!
October 1 - 31, 2011


During October, Bright Beginnings’ children learned about many exciting careers from our community helpers which included 2 firefighters, a police officer, banker, postal worker, personal trainer, florist and military nutritionist and pilot! Our children learned that a firefighter is there to help them if there’s a fire, a police officer helps children in an emergency, a postal worker helps a letter get to the right place, a banker works in a place that keeps our money safe, the nutritionist and personal trainer showed them how to keep their bodies healthy and strong, our florist demonstrated the smell of different flowers, and the military talked about the way they keep the country safe. Thank you to all the different community helpers that visited us, and for being part of our community! Please enjoy the photos!

 

Bright Beginnings Celebrates 20th Anniversary!
October 25, 2011


The Bright Beginnings Family launched our 20th Anniversary Celebration on Capitol Hill on October 25, 2011 to celebrate two decades of preparing homeless children for kindergarten and getting their parents back on their feet. More than 2,100 children and their families have received the comprehensive education, social services and family-stabilizing services that made a measurable impact on their lives. All of us who are connected to Bright Beginnings are very proud of this important milestone and excited about the expansion plans that will take our nationally-regarded child development and family services to a second center in Ward 7. Even as we celebrate 20 years of measurable success in helping homeless children and their families, there is more to do. There are more children and more families who need us. Bright Beginnings will be there. We hope you will be too. Please take this opportunity to find new ways to connect with Bright Beginnings and new ways to support our work.

We’d like to thank the following Congressional sponsors and corporations for your support:

Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-33)
Congressman G.K. Butterfield (NC-1)
Congressman André Carson (IN-7)
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-11)
Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-6)
Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-7)
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5)
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-2)
Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-6)
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7)
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-00)
Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)
Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17)
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-17)
Congressman John Yarmuth(KY-3)





Workforce Week: Ready, Set, Work!
October 11-14, 2011


Bright Beginnings' Workforce Week and Job Fair successfully connected homeless parents to jobs and job training. More than 55 job seekers came out to interview with BB&T, Capital One, Central Parking, Excel Institute, HHS Hospitality Staffing Solutions and Safeway. We are pleased to report that some parents were hired on the spot! Please enjoy photos from Workforce Week.






A Baby Shower with a Purpose
Friday, October 7, 2011


Bright Beginnings’ Baby Shower with a Purpose celebrated new mothers and expecting mothers with a baby shower that combined traditional baby shower activities with an education component. For most of our homeless mothers, this was their only baby shower and opportunity to receive the many items they needed to take care of their new babies. During the shower, mothers also learned about healthy baby care, proper baby sleep techniques as well as baby and family nutrition.




Family Fun & Fitness Day
August 12, 2011


Our Family Fun & Fitness Day was an afternoon of fun in the sun, bubbles, face painting, maracas, water play, exercise, fruit tasting and popsicles. We owe special thanks to our lead event sponsor Danya International, Inc. as well as table sponsors The American Legacy Foundation, Fannie Mae and PNC Bank! View Family Fun & Fitness Day photo album.

 




2011 Parent Auction: Thank you for your generous donations!

June 28, 2011


Thank you for supporting our Parent Auction on June 28, 2011 with your unique and practical gifts and gift card donations that rewarded homeless parents who are making all the right moves to support their children and stabilize their families. More than 250 items and $250 in gift cards were donated to our Parent Auction this year. Homeless parents used the Parent Points they earned throughout the year to shop for toys as well as household, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom items and chose from many special food and entertainment gift cards donated from our extended community. Thank you for helping us create this special store for our families!
Check out our Parent Auction photo album.