Newsletter January 2012
First 5 Commission of San Diego
Supervisor Bill Horn,
New Chair 2012
| The Director’s Corner
I am so pleased to have been named the Executive Director of the First 5 Commission of San Diego this past December. Having worked for the County of San Diego for 12 years, 10 of which were in the area of health and human services, I am very familiar with the Commission and the critical programs and services they provide to the community. I would like to thank and acknowledge Barbara Jiménez for her remarkable job as Executive Director of First 5 San Diego over the last two years. First 5 has long established a history of excellence and I realize this reputation was earned because of the dedicated service provided by leaders like Ms. Jiménez and the staff.
The New Year rings in many additional exciting changes for First 5 San Diego.
First and foremost, I would like to welcome Supervisor Bill Horn as the 2012 Chair of the First 5 Commission of San Diego and thank Supervisor Pam Slater-Price for her leadership of the Commission this past year and in years past. You may recall it was under her leadership in 2005 when the Commission approved funding of First 5 San Diego’s Preschool for All (PFA) Demonstration Project. She played an active role in our “Good Start” campaign last year. Most notably, Supervisor Slater-Price was instrumental in helping us navigate through the challenges of AB99. She successfully led the Commission and County in pursuing legal action to prevent the State from taking local control of dollars intended to serve San Diego County’s youngest children. As a result, a judge ruled in favor of First 5’s and pending a 60-day appeal period, the next step is for the Commission to determine how to reinstate the $88.4 million dollars that San Diego County will now keep. We honor Supervisor Slater-Price for her service and commitment and the difference she has made in the many lives of children. We are grateful to have leaders who understand the needs of children ages 0 through 5 and their families in San Diego County. We are looking forward to another great year ahead with Supervisor Bill Horn.
In 2012, I am excited to announce that the First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) is set to begin in the Fall. This initiative will expand upon our current preschool program and will extend free high-quality preschool to Central San Diego. It will encompass an especially distinctive quality, incorporating components of the County’s Live Well, San Diego! 10-year plan to build better health in the region; each preschool provider will provide healthy meals and community gardens will be encouraged. We will increase efforts to integrate Live Well, San Diego! in all of our programs and services to ensure that our children have access to healthy choices.
As I step into this new role at First 5 San Diego, my ultimate goal is simple – to carry on the vision that “All children ages 0 through 5 are healthy, are loved and nurtured, and enter school as active learners.”
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,
Healthy Family New Year’s Resolutions
With the New Year comes the time for making resolutions and pledging a fresh start – for you and your family. Just like past years, one of the most common resolutions people will make is to live a healthier lifestyle. The challenge, however, is how to keep your healthy new year’s resolution.
One of the best ways to help keep your resolution to be healthier is to get your whole family involved. By working together, you and your family can support each other to meet your goals and live a healthy life. To help you as a parent stay motivated to be healthy, remember that you are serving as a role model for your child. Children learn by example, and so it is important for parents and caregivers to model such healthy behaviors so they can practice those healthy habits as they grow.
Here are some things families can do to live a healthier life this 2012:
First 5 San Diego wishes every family a happy and healthy start to the New Year. For more information on First 5 San Diego programs and services, call our Warm Line 1-888-5 FIRST 5 (1-888-534-7785) or visit www.first5sandiego.org.
County’s 10-Year Initiative to Build Better Health is a Success
On November 8, 2011, the County of San Diego released a comprehensive report highlighting the progress made during the first year of Live Well, San Diego!, the County’s 10-year plan to build a healthy, safe and thriving community throughout the region.
The Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) has been working with community partners to improve residents’ access to healthy foods and disease-preventing immunizations.
The Live Well, San Diego! report outlines how the County is working in the community to prevent chronic disease and childhood obesity. First 5 San Diego was among the key partners to implement the initiative. The following key accomplishments in the report highlight First 5 San Diego’s efforts to build better health in San Diego County, through improved service delivery and access to healthy choices:
View the Live Well, San Diego! Annual Report
Watch the video of the Live Well, San Diego! One-Year Report
California Wins $52.6 Million in “Race to the Top” Funding to Improve Early Education System
On December 16, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education announced that California will receive more than $50 million in federal “Race to the Top” funding to improve the state’s early childhood education programs. California was one of only nine states to receive the funding in large part due to the success of its statewide early learning initiatives supported by First 5 California and the local Commissions, including the First 5 Commission of San Diego.
A major point of differentiation between California and the 35 states applying for the Early Learning Challenge Grant was First 5 California’s program to improve pre-kindergarten teacher effectiveness, known as CARES Plus, and another providing preschool in mostly low-income neighborhoods, Power of Preschool (PoP). These First 5 California programs as well as other First 5 County Commission preschool programs will link with existing state and federal efforts to enhance and improve early learning systems in the state.
“This marks a major win for the children of California,” said Kris Perry, First 5 California’s executive director. “I applaud the First 5 State Commission and the 58 local commissions for their leadership and proven innovation in developing and implementing the early learning programs that made us competitive for these funds.”
First 5 San Diego’s Preschool for All (PFA) program has earned a statewide reputation for providing high quality early care education (ECE) programs, and has been particularly influential in the development of the California Early Learning Quality Improvement System (ELQIS).
The federal grant will go toward the development of a rating system expected to help improve the availability of high quality early learning services.
To read the official press release announcing the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Winners, click here
To learn more about the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, click here
County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Director and First 5 Commissioner Nick Macchione, First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kim Medeiros, County Supervisor Ron Roberts at Father Joe’s Villages Ribbon Cutting Event, December 8, 2011
Father Joe’s Villages Grand Opening
On December 8, 2011, Father Joe’s Villages unveiled their new 15th and Commercial complex located in downtown San Diego’s East Village at St. Vincent de Paul Village. The ribbon cutting event included Father Joe’s Villages Chief Executive Officer and President Sister Patricia Cruise as well as the County of San Diego Director of Health and Human Services Agency and First 5 Commissioner Nick Macchione, First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kim Medeiros and County Supervisor Ron Roberts.
The $58 million dollar state-of-the-art complex will serve as “three buildings in one” with a child development center, transitional housing, and permanent housing for homeless families. First 5 San Diego provided $6.7 million dollars for the construction of the child development center, which will provide every homeless child ages 0 through 5 residing at the family shelter with improved therapeutic child care services to better equip them for school readiness.
For more information, visit http://www.fatherjoesvillages.org/child_development.htm
Add Your Event to Our Website
Our website features an enhanced community calendar. Do you have a community event that you would like to add to the First 5 San Diego calendar? If your event focuses on children ages 0-5, parents, caregivers and/or expectant parents, offered at no or low cost, and sponsored by a non-profit organization, we want to share your event. Fill out our Community Event Listing Request Form.
For more information about First 5 San Diego services call 1-888-5 First 5. For updates from First 5 San Diego, please join us on Facebook.