Children's Voice - September 2018
On Saturday, August 25, Potter the Otter and local leaders unveiled a new walking trail in San Jose's Willow Glen Neighborhood. Potter joined San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, and young children and their families for a ribbon cutting ceremony and walk along the renovated trail.
SEEDS of Early Literacy Enhances Family Childcare Home Providers' Skills and Knowledge
Amanda has been a Family Childcare Provider for over ten years. She first heard about FIRST 5’s programs and services in 2013 when she participated in a SEEDS of Early Literacy program - a professional development strategy for family childcare providers to develop language-rich environments for young children in their care.
After implementing the SEEDS curriculum into her childcare center and working with a SEEDS coach, Amanda found that the learning environment at her center had improved so much she was now able to help educate young learners better than ever before.
One of her students, Daniel, was a young boy on the autism spectrum. Daniel had been a student at Amanda’s childcare center since he was two years old. Amanda found that the SEEDS of Early Literacy program gave her the right tools to support and care for Daniel in the best way possible.
She also learned to wait and listen to Daniel's cues, as he was not yet able to voice his needs. With time and patience, Amanda and Daniel’s family were able to take steps to help him communicate effectively.
"Daniel is now four years old and his vocabulary is outstanding. He has increased his knowledge of math and science. He is also now reading chapter books! Everyone has worked so hard for this to happen. I am so happy I was provided with the tools and knowledge to help Daniel succeed."
- Amanda, Family Childcare Home Provider
Healthier Kids Foundation Releases 10 Steps to a Healthier You Videos
The Healthier Kids Foundation has released a series of videos exploring ten easy steps families can take to be healthier and happier. The videos explore topics like the benefits of structures and routines and healthy beverage alternatives that the whole family can enjoy.
All-Inclusive Playground Approved by Board of Supervisors
An all-inclusive playground is coming to Campbell's John D. Morgan Park. On August 14, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager’s proposal to provide funding for a one-acre playground that will provide play areas for residents of all abilities, including those with mobility challenges, autism spectrum disorders, sensory challenges, visual and auditory impairments, cognitive disabilities, developmental disabilities, and more.
FIRST 5 Hosts CATCH Training for Family Childcare Home Providers and FRC Staff
The CATCH Early Childhood (CEC) curriculum is designed to nurture a love of physical activity, provide an introduction to classroom-based gardening and nutrition, and encourage healthy eating in children ages 3-5. Modeled after the nationally recognized CATCH Program, CEC supports childcare providers in developing an environment where physical activity, health education, gardening, and healthy eating behaviors are valued and taught.
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department recently hosted a workshop for all FIRST 5 Family Resource Center staff and over 50 family childcare home providers. All participating sites received a full CATCH toolkit that included a physical activity box and physical activity equipment valued at over $900 per kit.
FRC staff has already begun implementing the kits and have remarked that parents and caregivers are able to interact naturally with their children throughout the activities. In addition, young children are able to easily follow instructions while learning, exercising, and having fun!
Cut the Sugar Campaign Launches in Santa Clara County
On Thursday, September 13, 2018, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, and SOMOS Mayfair celebrated the launch of Cut the Sugar campaign - a locally developed campaign to raise awareness among Santa Clara County residents that sugary drinks are uniquely harmful to health.
Despite growing awareness that sugary drinks provide no nutritional benefit, roughly 10% of children ages 2-5 in Santa Clara County report consuming at least one sugary drink daily. Sugary drink consumption is particularly detrimental for young children, as obese children are more likely to suffer from health problems including asthma, headaches, ear infections, depression, joint and muscle problems, and even developmental delays.
The event included a press conference featuring Santa Clara County Supervisors Ken Yeager and Dave Cortese, as well as Public Health Director Sara Cody. Young children and families in attendance learned about how much sugar is in popular drinks, had the chance to meet Potter the Otter, and enjoyed a reading of Potter the Otter: A Tale About Water.
Seven Tress Family Resource Center Celebrates Grand Opening in San Jose
On Tuesday, September 19, the Seven Trees Family Resource Center held its grand opening and ribbon cutting at Daniel Lairon Elementary. FIRST 5, Franklin-McKinley School District, and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County have come together to create a warm and welcoming space where young children and their families can learn and grow together. Children, along with their parents and caregivers, were also able to meet Potter and have their photograph taken with him. This new center joins a growing network of centers throughout the county that offer free resources, educational activities, and workshops for families with children under age six.
FIRST 5, Partners, Providers Celebrate 10 Years of KidConnections
On Thursday, September 13, the KidConnections Network of Providers hosted a community celebration to mark over ten years of coordination, collaboration and service delivery for young children and their families. The KCN Network is a collaboration between the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD) and FIRST 5 Santa Clara County.
The celebration included over 100 people representing a variety of direct service providers and leadership from various sectors, such as Behavioral Health, Public Health, Community Based Organizations, and FIRST 5 Family Resource Centers. Attendees gathered to acknowledge collaborative efforts and renew the continued commitment to work together for the health and well-being of young children and their families.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager highlighted the importance of cross-sector collaboration as pediatricians implementing Universal Developmental Screening is taking hold as they are led contributors in early identification and refer children and their families to KCN. KCN's dedication to providing high-quality developmental screenings, behavioral health assessments, home visitations, and links to educational programs and resources for children and their parents and caregivers throughout Santa Clara County.