Children's Voice - May 2019
On Tuesday, April 30, First 5 commissions from across the state attended Advocacy Day at California’s state capitol in Sacramento. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County staff spent the day visiting local state officials. In between the meetings with lawmakers, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom read a bilingual book to children and families on the lawn of the State Capitol. Siebel Newsom also received the “Champions for Children” Award for her work supporting early childhood education and development.
Potter the Otter also attended, met with young children and families including the First Partner, attended yoga and distributed storybooks. Through our collective efforts, First 5 commissions continue to play a significant role in shaping California’s more holistic approach to early childhood development.
Family Resource Center Brings Storytime to Local Families
Every month, the AACSA Family Resource Center in San Jose hosts Storytime: Stay and Play for children and their parents/caregivers. Amelia, a local parent, began bringing her daughter to the storytimes on a weekly basis. Her daughter had not been interested in reading with Amelia and her siblings at home.
The program, part of an ongoing effort designed to encourage excitement and interest in books, also allows parents/caregivers opportunities to bond with their children while reading something new. Throughout the weekly storytimes, Amelia's found her daughter became eager to explore the books they read during storytime and even wanted to read some of the books they explored at the Family Resource Center, at home. In addition, the program also engages young children and parents in family-friendly movement and play activities.
Now, Amelia finds her daughter is more excited about reading and enjoys reading as a group with her siblings. Storytimes like these at the Family Resource Center help children discover that books and reading can be enjoyable and valuable and prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
“The Family Resource Center has created a safe and inviting place for my daughter to explore books and reading in a hands-on, interactive environment.”
- Amelia H., parent
Community of Learning Workshops Available in May
The Community of Learning (COL) is a multidisciplinary workforce development institute that provides professional development opportunities for FIRST 5 partners and community members.
FIRST 5, Roots Family Resource Center Celebrates Bridge Library Grand Opening
On Friday, April 19, the Roots Family Resource Center celebrated the opening of their new bridge library. This library joins the network of six other bridge libraries found at local Family Resource Centers. These bridge libraries allows children and their parents/caregivers to read books at home for as long as they want, without a library card or traditional library fees. Partnerships between the Roots Community Health Center - South Bay, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, and the Early Education Services at the San Jose Public Library helped bring this new bridge library to life!
Potter the Otter Attends Rethink Your Drink Day at Windmill Springs Elementary
On Wednesday, May 8, FIRST 5 and our community partners celebrated Rethink Your Drink Day at Windmill Springs Elementary with local children and their parents/caregivers. Families and children learned about healthy eating and drinking habits, sampled fruit-infused water, met Potter the Otter, and received Potter’s storybooks to take home and read. Thank you to everyone who attended and encouraged awareness about the importance of healthy beverages so all children and their families stay healthy and hydrated!
Hola Run Held at Discovery Meadows Park
On Saturday, May 4, the Hola Run was held at Discovery Meadows Park in downtown San Jose. Adults completed a 5k run/walk, while younger children participated in the 100/500 meter Hola Kids Run! Participants enjoyed live music, food, a Potter the Otter visit, and received medals for their participation. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, and many others co-sponsored the race.
FIRST 5, Community Partners Celebrate Screen-Free Week at Kaiser San Jose
On Tuesday, April 23, FIRST 5 and community partners gathered to celebrate Screen-Free Week at the Kaiser San Jose-Santa Teresa Medical Center in San Jose. FIRST 5 and community partners distributed information about how swap screens for hands-on play time. Potter the Otter also attended to give hugs, high 5s, and distribute his storybooks to children and their parents/caregivers. Thank you to everyone that attended and encouraged healthy playtime habits such as reading and exploring the outdoors.
FIRST 5 Staff Attends Teachstone Interactive Summit
Last month, FIRST 5 staff attended and presented at the InterAct CLASS Summit in Nashville. FIRST 5’s presentation highlighted myTeachstone, an online platform used to strengthen the professional development of family child care home providers. Held yearly, the InterAct CLASS Summit focuses on empowering life-changing classroom interactions through a shared network of educational leaders and systems. We look forward to continue to use this platform to strengthen local child care providers across the county.
National Salad Month
May is National Salad Month! Salads are nutrition-packed meals, but young children not might be too fond of these leafy meals. Here are some tips for parents that can help make salads part of family mealtimes!
● If your children are unsure about eating salad, try making a salad together during dinnertime. When kids are involved in the cooking process, they are more likely to try new foods because they had a hand in creating it.
● When making salads for your children, simple is best. Use a few ingredients and make sure the ingredients are fruits or veggies your children have tried in the past and already like. Always ensure fruit and veggies are cut into bite-sized pieces.
● Need a yummy salad that’s sure to please the whole family? Try Goose’s Garden Salad from Cooking with Potter the Otter! This salad is packed with garden-fresh veggies including tomatoes and cucumbers – all of which are high in nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Jason Dahl Family Resource Center Hosts Day of the Young Child Celebration
On April 27, the Dahl Family Resource Center hosted a Superhero Resource Fair celebrating the Day of the Young Child/Dia de los Ninos. Children and their parents/caregivers met Potter the Otter and received storybooks to take home and read! Families also enjoyed arts and crafts, games, and music performances. Thank you to everyone who attended, celebrated Month of the Young Child, and helped focus attention on the needs of young children and their parents/caregivers.