Early Education: Vital Infrastructure for Healthy Families and a Robust Economy
Date: Thursday, July 16, 2020
Time: 8:30 am – 9:30 am


Watch a recording of the webinar below:

Join Horizons’ CEO, Kate Barrand, Family Advocate, Klara Fleury, and two national leaders in early childhood development, Lauren Kennedy Co-founder, Neighborhood Villages, Dr. Megan Sandel, a pediatrician from Boston Medical Center and Children’s Health Watch, , for a virtual panel discussion — Early Education: Vital Infrastructure for Healthy Families and a Robust Economy on Thursday, July 16 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

As Massachusetts begins to reopen its economy, the role of accessible, high-quality early education and care in supporting a diverse and productive workforce has come to the forefront. Families who cannot access high-quality early learning programs are not able to work or pursue educational goals that will improve their employment options.  Furthermore, their children may not be prepared for Kindergarten, resulting in an achievement gap that impacts future learning and career success.

Learn how Horizons for Homeless Children is working with partners to provide services and support to parents and children facing adversity, closing the achievement gap for children and helping parents build the skills and resiliency they need to secure their families’ well-being.

This panel discussion is complimentary and will offer guests the opportunity to learn more about best-practices in helping vulnerable families achieve financial and emotional security. To register, email events@horizonschildren.org.



Kate Barrand

Before taking the helm at Horizons in 2016, Kate contributed as a strategy consultant and operating manager in the finance and technology sectors. She worked with C-suite and executive teams of financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations to define new strategies, develop marketing programs and realign business processes to increase efficiencies. Kate was the Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Clareon Corporation the first online business-to-business payment engine sanctioned by the US Treasury. She also led Strategic Planning and Global Strategic Marketing at BankBoston. During her time in banking, she served on the Board of Directors at Horizons for 14 years. Immediately following her time on the Board, she deepened her involvement at Horizons by becoming a Playspace Activity Leader. Kate’s passion for children and families battling homelessness has been a meaningful part of her entire career. Kate holds a BA in Early Childhood Development from the Eliot-Pearson Department at Tufts University and an MBA from Boston University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Massachusetts Association of Early Education (MADCA.) Kate was the winner of two Silver Stevie® Awards in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Kate was recognized in the Female Executive of the Year (Government or Non-Profit) and Woman of the Year (Government or Non-Profit) categories. Kate resides in Beverly with her husband and enjoys spending time with her three grown children.

Klara Fleury

Klara Fleury has worked at Horizons for Homeless Children for 2 years. Originally in the finance department, Klara moved to the Family Partnership Program to further pursue her passion for helping families experiencing homelessness. Klara is currently a Family Advocate at Horizons’ Dorchester Center and enjoys making connections with the families Horizons serves. Klara moved to the United States from Haiti in 2008 when she was 14, without knowing any English. Klara now speaks four languages (Haitian Creole, French, English and Spanish,) allowing her to thrive in Horizons’ multilingual atmosphere, and more deeply connect with families whose first language is not English.

Klara graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a double major in criminal justice and communication, minoring in sociology. Klara is passionate about her Haitian culture and heritage and enjoys sharing it with her son, Kaiden.

Lauren Birchfield Kennedy

Lauren Birchfield Kennedy is the co-founder of Neighborhood Villages. Prior to co-founding Neighborhood Villages, Kennedy was the Director of Health Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families in Washington, D.C., where she directed the organization’s health policy portfolio and oversaw advocacy strategy for key policy initiatives, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and comprehensive health care payment and delivery system reform. Kennedy has worked extensively on health policy at both the federal and state levels and is an expert on ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid policy.

She has held senior policy positions at Boston Medical Center, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. From 2014-2017, Kennedy served on the board of Family Medicine for America’s Health.

Kennedy graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. Kennedy resides in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Megan Sandel

Megan Sandel, MD MPH, is Co-Director of the GROW clinic at Boston Medical Center, Co-Lead Principal Investigator with Children’s HealthWatch and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

She is the former pediatric medical director of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health. In 1998, she published with other doctors at Boston Medical Center, the DOC4Kids report, a national report on how housing affected child health, the first of its kind, and over the course of her career, Dr. Sandel has written numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles on this subject. In 2001, she became the first medical director of the founding site for medical-legal partnerships, Medical-Legal Partnership-Boston, and from 2007-2016 she served as the Medical Director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

She served as Principal Investigator for numerous NIH, HUD and foundation grants, working with the Boston Public Health Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to improve the health of vulnerable children, particularly with asthma. She has served on national boards, including Enterprise Community Partners, and national advisory committees at American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.

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