A program of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children®

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Bright Spaces: Serving Children in Crisis, Wherever They Are

August 21, 2019

By Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces When Bright Spaces started 20 years ago, our mission was to serve homeless children and provide a safe place for them to experience their childhood.  Today, we still serve children experiencing trauma like homelessness, but the settings we find them in are as varied as the circumstances …Read More


How Teachers Can Help Children Who Have Experienced Trauma as Refugees

July 16, 2019

By Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces The devastating news of the conditions for children at the border with Mexico is heart wrenching and devastating to those of us who hold our vulnerable children who are the next generation close to our hearts. As these children are relocated across the U.S., many care providers, …Read More


My Baby’s First Teacher: Changing Lives One Family at a Time

May 22, 2019

  By Bright Horizons Regional Manager Sara Hannah Sara volunteers to facilitate a parenting program called My Baby’s First Teacher at Bright Spaces in her area. Read more about her experience: I have been facilitating My Baby’s First Teacher classes for 4 years now.  Every time, I learn something new and I make a new …Read More


Negative Childhood Experiences Affect Development: The Science of Epigenetics Explains Why

March 1, 2019

By Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces Epigenetics is an emerging area of scientific research that shows how environmental influences—children’s experiences—actually affect the expression of their genes. According to resources from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, injurious experiences, such as malnutrition, exposure to chemical toxins or drugs, and toxic stress …Read More


‘Sesame Street’ Muppet Teaches About Homelessness

January 7, 2019

by Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces “Sesame Street” is featuring its first homeless Muppet, Lily. Lily is 7 years old and her family is “staying with friends on Sesame Street after losing their home,” Sesame Workshop said. “We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma — …Read More


Helping at the Holidays

December 17, 2018

by Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ~ Mother Theresa While searching for a story to illustrate helping the homeless and others impacted by the trauma of poverty at the holidays, I found this article from the Peoria Journal Star …Read More


Download Great Resources and Watch Webinars from LEGO and First Book

November 13, 2018

by Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces Recently, the Bright Space program had the honor or hosting two meaty and informative workshops presented by our partners, First Book and the Lego Foundation. These webinars fit together beautifully to lay the groundwork for our program design, our design strategies, and our trauma-informed volunteer emphasis. While …Read More


The McAllen, TX, Bright Space:  3 Months Later

October 22, 2018

by Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces It’s been three months since the Bright Horizons family came together to create and support the Restoring Dignity Bright Space in McAllen, TX. To date, more than 2,500 children have been served with more than 75 per day on average utilizing the Bright Space as they stop …Read More


McAllen Bright Space Inspires Entire Field of Early Education

September 17, 2018

The incredible story of the Humanitarian Respite Center Restoring Dignity Bright Space in McAllen, Texas is the cover story of the September/October issue of Exchange Magazine! The issue includes a feature article written by our National Director of Bright Spaces Ileen Henderson which details our journey creating the Bright Space, as well as an interview with Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer about how important this …Read More


Living in an Immigrant Family in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health

August 21, 2018

by Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces As I learned during my short visit to McAllen, Texas, at the Humanitarian Respite Center, the trauma of our immigration crisis is seriously affecting the mental health and lifelong physical well-being of the children who have traveled through unknown and unimaginable traumatic situations to cross the border.  Many …Read More


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