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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

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JRI First Connections Blog

Articles related to: Playgroup

4 min read

What to expect in a playgroup

By Ellie Springer on December 23, 2019

What should I (the caregiver) do during playgroup?

First, be present and engaged. Please do your best not to be on your phone.

Play with your child and talk to other adults in the group. Connect with other adults in the room, those you know and those you don’t yet—remember you are all caring for young children and may have ways to support one another.

Follow your child’s lead and let them show you what

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4 min read

Dialogic Reading

By Ellie Springer on August 3, 2018

What is Dialogic Reading?

Some of you may have heard or read about dialogic reading in materials from First Connections or elsewhere, and hopefully many of you in playgroups will recognize this style of reading aloud from our circle time.

Dialogic Reading is a technique that has been shown to improve children’s language skills and readiness for reading independently. It is a technique that we use in our playgroup circle times and encourage families to

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5 min read

Playgroup Songs

By Ellie Springer on June 8, 2018

Playgroup Songs:

See the source image

Willoughby Wallaby

Willoughby wallaby Wellie,

An elephant sat on Ellie;

Willoughby wallaby Wary,

An elephant sat on Mary.

Banana-fana

Ellie, Ellie, bo bellie,

Banana fana fo fellie,

Me my mo mellie,

Ellie.

The Jumping Name Song:

There was a girl at playgroup today,

And Ellie was her name-o.

Jump, jump, Ellie, jump.

Jump, jump, Ellie, jump.

We're glad you're here today-o!

Galloop

Galloop went the little green frog one day,

Galloop went the

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A Blog to Connect Families with Resources to Foster Healthy Parenting

Our mission at First Connections is to equip parents with tools, practical strategies, and connections to other families and their communities to foster healthy parenting and guide them through the first years of the parenting journey.

We offer support groups and play groups to families with children from birth to age 8 in the communities of Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hanscom AFB, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury, and Westford.

Featured Posts

Choosing a preschool or child care

The first time you drop your child off at school or child care can be full of mixed emotions--for you

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Dialogic Reading

What is Dialogic Reading?

Some of you may have heard or read about dialogic reading in materials from First Connections

Read More

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