Log in

Visit us on Facebook

Member login


FAN x Wayside Holiday Gift Drive 

Now - December 18th!

Please join us in supporting Wayside Youth and Family Support Network of Medford in a holiday gift drive. Wayside is a mental health agency that works with families to provide mental health treatment in the home. Gifts collected will be given to youth ages 4-18. Any donation is appreciated. You may also purchase from their Amazon wishlist, and send gifts directly to the organization. 

Drop off locations:

  • Little Planets Preschool
  • 12 Westley St.
  • 6 Madison Ave.

Suggested gifts include:  Board Games, Card Games, Lego sets, K'nex, Snap Circuits, Art & Craft Supplies, Nail Polish, Gift Cards

Earth Day Service & Stories

Black History month

As parents, we’re always searching for ways to teach our children about the world around them, but it is important for us to acknowledge our biases and examine their roots. As we recently celebrated the life of Martin Luther King Jr and head into Black History Month, it is a great time for us to look into historical events from a perspective that may be different from what we were taught. Please refer to the list below for books that highlight Black historical figures and their contributions to our country.


Thanksgiving Baskets Drive

Thanks to the FAN Community and Winchester Residents for making this year’s annual Thanksgiving Baskets Drive our most successful ever! Through your generosity, we had over 50 groups help pack 54 full food baskets on Family Volunteer Day to benefit the Council of Social Concern. This was our largest donation ever and filled an entire moving truck! 

We also donated an excess of food staples and collected over $1,900 to contribute to the Council’s Food Bank. We were blown away by the response and are so grateful for all of your time, energy and donations. We could not have done this without you! Special thanks to our sponsors and partners below: 



    FAN partnered with the Network for Social Justice to Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, October 11th. Registration for the Celebration filled quickly, but the Network will have additional events and resources as part of their work with the Indigenous Peoples' Advocacy Committee (IPAC) to honor Native American Indian Heritage Month during the month of November. 

    For those who were unable to attend the event in person, we compiled some age appropriate books to share with your children: 

    • Fry Bread  by Kevin Noble Maillard  Read Aloud with Author - celebrates the history and traditions surrounding this traditional cuisine and what it represents for Native American families and culture
    • Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way  written and illustrated by S. D. NelsonRead Aloud- this beautifully illustrated book highlights the reverence indigenous cultures held for mother earth and the natural forces around us
    • We are the Water Protectors  by Carole Lindstrom -Read Aloud- this gorgeous book narrates the importance of water, how it connects and nourishes all of us and touches on fight for Native Nations to protect their land from the Dakota Access Pipeline 

    If you are interested in exploring more literature by Indigenous Authors or researching books to ensure they are inclusive and representative of Native cultures, American Indians in Children’s Literature is a great blog to reference for recommendations. 

    Afghanistan resources 

    FAN’s mission is to provide resources and a support network for parents.  As parents, we’re always searching for ways to teach our children about the world around them. FAN is committed to provide resources on an ongoing basis that address current events and social justice issues. 

    Current events add to the emotional strain we have all been feeling from the ongoing pandemic, and social injustices we continue to learn about and work through. All of these events stir many different emotions that are hard to harness and express. As parents, we’re always searching for ways to teach our children about the world around them. We all want to teach our children to be kind, informed, empathetic, proactive anti-racist members of  society that support marginalized communities.

    If you are looking for ways to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan with your children, the following resources will foster discussions about the country, its history, culture, and refugees. While these resources do not address the current crisis specifically, they will open the door to helping your child understand another perspective, and allow you to share details about why people are currently seeking refuge. 

    National Geographic Kids - Afghanistan Overview 

    • Suggested activity, locate Afghanistan on a Map 
      • Guided prompts: What do you notice about this country relative to others surrounding it? (Landlocked, borders are jagged/irregular, limited water sources, rough terrain including mountain ranges) What challenges does that present to the people who live there?  

      Educational  Resources 

      • Four Feet Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams & Khadra Mohammed  Harvard Graduate School of Education Reading - introduces the concepts of refugee camps, water scarcity, sharing and friendship in spite of adversity  

      • Ziba Came on a Boat by Liz Lofthouse  illustrates the experience of fleeing as a refugee and the hope of freedom in a new land 

      • The Proudest Blue Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali - highlights cultural differences surrounding hijab traditions, bullying and internal strength/perseverance 

      We encourage you to buy books from your local bookshop or black-owned bookstores:

      If you have any questions regarding specific resources or suggestions for social justice topics, please email

      Donation resources 

      FAN’s mission is to provide resources and a support network for parents. Spring cleaning? We have seen lots of requests for organizations that are accepting donations in the current COVID-19 climate. Below is a round-up of a spectrum of great organizations currently accepting donations. Please visit their individual websites to review their current guidelines and policies, which are subject to change. 

      • Micro Pantry at Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church: small pantry (looks like a little free library) stocked with non-perishable pantry essentials located at 34 Dix Street, Winchester 

      • The Jenks Center - Winchester resource for seniors, can often accept medical equipment to loan to residents 

      • En Ka Society - exchange (accepts donations of new or gently used clothing) and pantry (unexpired food, toiletries, feminine health products) 

      • Heartbeat Burlington - drop off items Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:30-12:45. Small operation with limited space, so contact ahead of time to coordinate particularly for larger items 

      • Woburn Council of Social Concern - Food Pantry non perishable items, grocery bags 

        • See Individual Department Wishlists: Children - diapers, new kids underwear size 2-6, summer clothes through size 6. Family childcare - art supplies, kids puzzles, sports/play equipment 

      • Little Fox Shop - affiliated with the Arlington Library Facebook Page

      • Catie’s Closet Boston - Clothing, toiletries 

      • Mission of Deeds - Guidelines Furniture, linens (only new due to COVID), kitchen/housewares, Pack ‘n Plays

      • Northeast Animal Shelter - pet food, toys, animal medical supplies, blankets, sheets, towels 


      How to talk to young children about poverty and giving


        FAN’s mission is to provide resources and a support network for parents. As we reach the anniversary of the start of the pandemic, we recognize the huge impact it has had on our lives, including our mental health. Research shows worrying increases in anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide ideation in children, teens and adults. Given these trends, we are highlighting resources available if you or a loved one needs help. In addition, given heavy news coverage of recent events involving mental health and suicidal thoughts, it’s important to normalize these conversations and be mindful of what you say and don’t to others including friends and family. You never know what someone is struggling with behind the scenes. 

        Source: Suicide Prevention Hotline - Know the risk factors and warning signs

        Source: Mayo Clinic - What to do if you suspect someone is suicidal



        • For pandemic-specific mental health resources, head to

        • If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.

        • Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

        • For people who identify as LGBTQ, if you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, you can also contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386.

        • The Trans Lifeline is a peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers.


        For younger audiences, we can start these conversations by talking early and often about feelings, particularly BIG feelings that young children have as they learn to navigate the world around them. For toddlers, preschoolers and younger school children, giving our kids the language and tools to express and work through emotions makes it easier for them to make sense of their feelings. In theory this makes parenting easier but acknowledging and accepting feelings while setting behavioral boundaries can be hard to navigate. As kids age, do your best to provide open lines of communication, time and space to process events and a safe way to release emotions in an age appropriate manner. Below are some great books to enjoy online, rent from the library or purchase for your personal use. 

        Slumberkins is a great resource for Educational Emotional Learning. It’s a woman owned company headed by a family therapist and educator who were once featured on Shark Tank. The Sharks passed but this duo knew their mission of providing research based tools to support early educational learning was too important to ignore. They have several free resources on their website and their books and products cover important topics including authenticity, self esteem, conflict resolution, family change, grief/loss, and stress relief. They sell books separately or packaged with lovies or stuffed animals to help children connect to the stories.

        How to talk to your children about...

        Social Unrest & Racial Justice 

        FAN’s mission is to provide resources and a support network for parents. Recent events have rocked our worlds and we’re feeling many different emotions that are hard to harness and express. As parents, we’re always searching for ways to teach our children about the world around them. After all, we all want to teach our children to be kind, informed, empathetic, and anti-racist members of society. 

        There are so many resources available it can be overwhelming. FAN is committed to giving you a few resources on an ongoing basis that can help you facilitate thoughtful, anti-racist conversation with your children.

        HIGHLIGHT: How to talk to your kids about social unrest and violence in the Capitol


        • A children’s book highlighting the 1963 Children’s March in Birmingham, Alabama inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King

        • Video includes a guided craft to make your own protest sign 

        • Teaches children about civic engagement and activism tools, including pull out letters and petitions to inspire kids to use their voices to change their communities and make an impact in the world around them

        HIGHLIGHT: MLK Week of Service Jan 11-16, 2021

        • Hosted by the NFSJ (check their website for more details)

        • Via the Internet in Your Own Space

        • Network interns, as well as WHS Connect and Commit students and WHS Service Learning, are hard at work planning our MLK Week of Service 2021. Save the dates and get ready for the following virtual activities:

          • a speaker's panel

          • educational programs for youth

          • arts activities and

          • service projects for multiple ages



        A book for families, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. 


          • Art Supplies: Bellen’s More than Peach Project
            • Pre-order More than Peach Palette Packets

            • Bellen Woodard is the 9 year-old President of Bellen’s More than Peach™ Project which promotes inclusion and diversity with a goal to get multicultural crayons into the hands of every student #morethanpeach #morethancrayons

          • Games: Puzzle Huddle
            • These puzzles come in all sizes, for whatever stage your child is at, and have wide representation and diversity. There are many beautiful puzzles to choose from!

          We encourage you to buy books from your local bookshop or black-owned bookstores:


          HIGHLIGHT: All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kauffman - (video linked)

          Guided Reading Questions:

          What/who do you notice on the cover?

          What does it mean that all are welcome?

          How do you make someone feel welcome with words/actions?

          What might make someone feel unwelcome?

          Sometimes people don't feel welcome because of what they think/look like/etc.

          (It's a good segue into bigger conversations about race, gender, identity, etc.)



          • Multicultural Dolls - black-owned and operated business

          • Board Books:

            • Anti-Racist Baby (Ibram X. Kendi)

            • Woke Baby (Mahagany L. Browne)

          We encourage you to buy books from your local bookshop or black-owned bookstores:

          PO Box 805, Winchester, MA 01890

          Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software