Children's Voice - August 2018
Potter the Otter is popping up throughout Santa Clara County during FIRST 5's summer campaign. He was recently spotted near the Great Mall Parkway in Milpitas!
SEEDS of Learning Supports Early Learning Providers and Young Learners
Elena, a family child care home provider, is an active participant in the SEEDS of EarlyLiteracy program. She attends monthly SEEDS workshops where she learns how she can implement SEEDS into her child care program and with children in her care. Additionally, Elena also receives one-on-one coaching twice a month with a SEEDS coach who supports her implementation of the curriculum.
Prior to the SEEDS program, Elena found it difficult to keep the children engaged while they reviewed numbers, letters, and colors during circle time. However, after implementing the skills she learned during her SEEDS classes, Elena found that her days began to be less stressful and more productive. Best of all, the children began to retain more during circle time!
Elena also implemented the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to parents. The questionnaire includes 21 questions that screens children, ages 0-5, in areas such as communication, gross/fine motor skills, problem-solving, and personal social skills. A child in Elena’s care needed further evaluation and received support and services to assess his needs. Following the child's assessment, Elena noticed a profound improvement in the child’s communication throughout daily activities.
“Being a part of the SEEDS for Early Literacy program, my days with the children are more efficient. I am also able to work with each child according to the level of their needs.”
– Elena, Family Child Care Home Provider
Family Resource Center Gives Parents Strategies to Help Build Healthy Relationships with Their Children
Lorena heard about the Captain Jason Dahl Family Resource Center’s (FRC) parenting programs from her neighbor and signed up for a few workshops, including a program for her young son. While Lorena attended her first program, her son attended the Learning Together program for children. Lorena’s son was initially reluctant to participate in the activities provided for him during the program.
With the help of the FRC staff, Lorena was referred to the Triple P: Positive Parenting Program at the FRC, where she worked to model positive parenting interactions with patience and tolerance so that her son would learn skills to be kind and patient with children and adults.
Throughout the weekly workshops, Lorena and her son were able to use these new skills every day at home. Lorena created a daily routine and schedule that she and her son utilized. This new schedule proved helpful for her son, as he began to experience less daily frustration and was able to cope with changes and new activities at home, at school, and at the FRC.
By the end of the program, Lorena remarked that she had a healthier and happier relationship and her son. Best of all, he was now fully participating on his own at the FRC: dancing during music time, and drawing during the arts and crafts activities.
Students Graduate from Bridge to Kinder Program
In late July, FIRST 5 staff celebrated a Bridge to Kinder (BTK) graduation at San Antonio Elementary School in San Jose. Bridge to Kinder is a four-week summer transition program in partnership with the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District and SOMOS Mayfair. The program is designed to prepare children and their parents/caregivers for kindergarten in the fall.
Students practice their names, alphabet, and motor skills while familiarizing themselves with a classroom setting. Parents and caregivers also attend workshops to learn how to best support their children’s education. Approximately 20 students and their parents or caregivers received diplomas and celebrated with their families, commemorating their hard work and dedication over the last four weeks.
Garden Exploration Program Connects Children and Families with Fresh Veggies
The Valley Verde program began in 2012 and assists Silicon Valley residents in growing their own vegetables. Valley Verde has since made its way to the Rita Chavez-Medina Family Resource Center (FRC) in San Jose where children and parents/caregivers learn about gardening. FIRST 5 staff attended the FRC’s Garden Exploration program that includes several planter boxes that FRC families have been tending throughout the summer. During the program, children and their parents/caregivers helped water the garden and pick ripe tomatoes, beans, and squash. After each harvest, all of the collected veggies are donated to families so that they can enjoy healthy snacks and meals at home.
August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Breastfeeding gives babies a healthy start in life! In honor of this month-long observance, FIRST 5's website has been updated with helpful information, upcoming events, and breastfeeding resources that are available throughout the county.
These resources can support mothers in learning more about breastfeeding and help other members of the community support families in their breastfeeding goals. Many organizations offer free assistance for mothers who may need information or support including lactation consultants and much more.
In addition, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department will host a series of breastfeeding events throughout the county this month. At these events, individuals will learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and get connected to breastfeeding resources.