Newsletter July – August 2013

First 5 San Diego
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First 5 Commission of San Diego

Supervisor Ron Roberts, Chair
Carol Skiljan, Vice Chair
Sandra McBrayer
Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH
Nick Macchione, MS, MPH, FACHE

Vaccines save lives

Kim Medeiros
The Director's Corner
Kim Medeiros

As a parent, I completely understand wanting to do everything you possibly can to protect your child from harm. I can remember the many hours I spent researching the latest recommendations regarding the best protection for my own child – from the safest foods to feed to placing a baby on his/her back (not stomach) to sleep. But recently, there has been a rising concern among parents, and that is, choosing to vaccinate their child.

In San Diego County, the percentage of kindergartners with a Personal Belief Exemption (PBE) grew from 1.7 percent to 3.3 percent in 2011. This means that more parents, due to their own personal beliefs, are choosing not to allow their child to receive immunizations. A vast majority of these parents are making their decisions based on the fear that vaccines may cause autism or other disorders.

In recognition of August as National Immunization Awareness Month, First 5 San Diego wants to remind parents that vaccines are the safest and most effective way parents can protect their child against disease. Immunizations prevent disease, disability, and in the worst of cases, death. They also help protect the communities they live in from disease.

Of the 14 vaccine-preventable diseases, nine are included in the basic immunization series recommended for children ages 0 through 6 years old. This series protects children from diseases such as influenza (flu), measles, meningitis, and pertussis (whooping cough). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend infants get shots at birth, 2, 4, 6, 12-15 and 18 months of age. To find a complete list of vaccine-preventable diseases and for the official recommended immunization schedule, click here. For information about immunizations for San Diego County residents, visit

I’m excited to share that First 5 San Diego has teamed up with Rady Children’s Hospital for the Immunizations for San Diego Kids Project. The program aims to increase the percentage of children ages 0 through 5 who complete the basic immunization series and to decrease the percentage of Personal Belief Exemptions in San Diego.

You can help us with our efforts by letting other parents know this simple fact: Vaccines save lives and delaying them could jeopardize your baby’s life.


Kim Medeiros

Family Fun in the Sun

Family Fun in the Sun
Keeping Your Children Safe This Summer

Summer is a great opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Whether it’s playing in the park, hiking or building sandcastles on the beach, summer days can create memories that last a lifetime. But the hot season can also put young children at greater risk of injury.

Be sun smart

A young child’s skin is sensitive to the bright summer sun, making them more vulnerable to sunburns. In recognition of July as UV Safety Month, First 5 San Diego would like to offer a few tips on being safe in the sun this summer to help parents protect their children from potential dangers.

  • Always apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF on your child’s skin 15-30 minutes before going outside, and apply again every two hours – especially right after your child has been in the water or is sweating.
  • Make sure it’s labeled "broad spectrum”, which means it blocks both UVA and UVB sunlight.
  • Make a fun game out of it. Teach your child to spell BEENS to help you remember to cover often-forgotten spots: Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, and Scalp.
  • Lips can also burn, so be sure to apply a lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Encourage children to play in the shade as much as possible, especially during peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Make sure your child wears lightweight clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV (ultraviolet) protection.
  • Keep babies younger than six months of age out of direct sunlight.
  • Some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to ask your doctor whether your child may be at risk.
  • If your child attends school or daycare, make sure teachers are told to apply sunscreen before any outdoor activities.

It is important to set a good example for your children. If your child sees you following sun-safety rules, he or she will mimic you and follow suit. Skin protection is important for every member of the family, so team up with your children to stay protected when venturing out in the sun.

Watch out for water dangers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children between one and four years old, and is the third leading cause of death among children. As a parent, you must be water-wise.

  • Teach your children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • At the beach, swim with your child in calm water without waves, and always know where the nearest lifeguard is before getting in the water.
  • Have your child take swimming lessons and do not rely solely on the lifeguard, as their attention is divided among many people.
  • Do not completely rely on flotation devices like life vests or floating baby seats to keep children safe; they can shift position, lose air or slip out from under a child.
  • Give your child 100 percent of your attention while near water. Never leave children unattended as children can drown in just a few seconds, even if they know how to swim. Remember to supervise your child near bathtubs, toilets and buckets of water, too. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Learn CPR, it will give you a little peace of mind while watching your child play in or near water.

Survey the playground

Children love playing on swings and slides, but parents should first look for potential safety hazards.

  • Playground equipment often warms up in the sun and can burn a child’s skin. Before your child plays, touch the metal bars and surfaces to make sure they aren’t too hot.
  • Check playground equipment for rusted parts and loose splinters. These hazards could pinch or tear your child’s skin.
  • Be careful on slides. Make sure your child holds the slide’s rails when climbing the ladder or sitting at the top. Also, look for split or cracked plastic that could break if your child sits on it.

Banish the bugs

Insects can be very annoying, and their bite can be painful and even dangerous sometimes. Parents can help protect their child by using insect repellants.

  • Only use products that are approved for children; follow the instructions carefully and wash off the repellant once your child is back inside.
  • Avoid using scented soaps or lotions on your child because perfumes can attract insects.
  • Dress your child in light-colored clothing as they are less likely to attract bugs.
Fun and Free Summer Family Activities

Fun & Free Summer Family Activities

Having fun in San Diego is easy and it can be free. Take the family on an adventure for the day with San Diego’s free summer events, parks and more. With over 70 miles of beautiful beaches, parks and a variety of summer fairs, concerts, arts and cultural events, there’s an adventure right at your fingertips. Here are some of our favorite summer family-friendly activities that you won’t want to miss!

Fourth of July Celebrations

Fireworks, festivals and parades are held in many of the communities throughout San Diego. Coronado features a two-hour parade followed by a family concert in Spreckels Park with fireworks over the Glorietta Bay, while the Port of San Diego celebrates with the Big Bay Boom fireworks extravaganza over San Diego Bay, the largest fireworks display in the county. For a complete list of fireworks displays, visit Discover San Diego.

Summer Pops Season (July – September)

Get the family together for free summer concerts. Summer Pops is an outdoor concert series at Embarcadero Marina Park South, on San Diego Bay behind the San Diego Convention Center, held Thursdays – Sundays at 7:30 p.m. For a full schedule and performances visit,

Spend Your Weekend Visiting Parks

With over 100 parks throughout San Diego County, from hiking trails, to camping and nature walks, to parks with museums, like Balboa Park, you have your pick of places to visit this summer. Throw your sneakers on and take your children out for a day of play in one of the many parks San Diego has to offer. For a list of parks near you, visit San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation.

Suit up for the Beach

Grab your towel, sunscreen and glasses, throw on your swimming suit and head to one of San Diego’s 33 beaches, all open to the public. Every day is a perfect day for body surfing, boogie boarding, building sandcastles, collecting seashells and basking in the sun.

Stay in town

Want to find activities and places to visit right in your own neighborhood? This great guide will help you find parks, activities, festivals and things going on in your local neighborhood. Visit San Diego Family Magazine for more information.

No matter what you end up doing, make sure to spend quality time with your family this summer, get outside and be active with your little ones!

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August marks the month for National Breastfeeding Awareness. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded this campaign in hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding by highlighting new research about its health benefits to newborns and mommies.

Benefits for Baby

  • Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and pro­tein to help your baby grow. It is a thinner type of milk than colostrum, but it provides all of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs to be healthy.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk, and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them.
  • The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This pro­tection is unique; formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk. Babies who breastfeed for the first six months are less likely to develop ear infections and diarrhea. Formula-fed babies have higher risks of lower respiratory infections, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and childhood leukemia.

Benefits for Mommy

  • Make life a little bit easier – Once you have a good routine, breastfeeding becomes easier, more comfortable and a lot more convenient; you don’t have to sterilize bottles and warm them up in the middle of the night, or worry about running out to get more formula.
  • Save money – Formula and bottles can cost well over $1,500, depending on how much your baby eats. Research also suggests that babies are sick less often when breastfeeding, saving money in healthcare costs.
  • Relax and connect – Physical contact is important for newborns and mommies. It helps baby feel warm, secure and comforted and it gives you and your little one time to relax and bond. Skin-to-skin contact can boost mom’s oxytocin levels, a hormone that is calming and helps milk flow.
  • Stay healthy – Breastfeeding is linked to lowering a woman’s risk of diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, and weight loss.

First 5 San Diego is excited to partner with the County of San Diego Public Health Services (PHS) to increase access to environments that support breastfeeding. Also, in an effort to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates in San Diego County, we are partnering with the Sharp Healthcare Foundation for the Best Start at Sharp program, which will provide breastfeeding training to all nurses in the Sharp Hospital System who provide care to mothers and newborns.

Additional Resources

Breastfeeding & Eating Right
How will breastfeeding affect your diet?  Learn more about how to stay healthy for you and your newborn, while breastfeeding.

Why Breastfeeding is Important
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health shares information of the importance of breastfeeding newborns.

The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding
Here you will find everything you need to know to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby.

First 5 California’s Executive Director Camille Maben Visits San Diego
Camille Maben working with students at King-Chávez Academy Preschool on their high-quality early childhood experience.

First 5 California’s Executive Director Camille Maben Visits San Diego
King-Chávez Preschool Academy staff expressed their enthusiasm for First 5 San Diego’s investments and partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE). Left to right: Assistant Executive Director Gloria Corral (First 5 San Diego), Executive Director Camille Maben (First 5 California), Executive Director Kim Medeiros (First 5 San Diego), Acting Director Alicia Tripoli (King-Chávez Preschool Academy), Executive Director Lucia Garay (SDCOE), and Claire Crandall (SDCOE).

First 5 California’s Executive Director Camille Maben Visits San Diego

First 5 San Diego had the pleasure of welcoming Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California, during a visit to San Diego on Monday, June 17, 2013.

Her visit included a tour of QPI classrooms at King Chávez Preschool Academy, where her experience was walking into a classroom and seeing students fully engaged – painting, playing dressup, and using good language. Afterwards, she headed to La Maestra Community Clinic and saw a dedicated team of oral health professionals providing oral health services. Her last stop was a visit to KidSTART, where she experienced an example of integrating healthcare at all levels, giving her an insight into how integrated services can ensure families receive the best of care.

That same day at the Commission meeting, she commended the First 5 Commission of San Diego.

“You have so much to be proud of,” said Maben. “You are doing incredible work.”

She gave an update about First 5 California and their focus on building relationships, efforts to tell the story of First 5, and strategic planning efforts at the State level. She also recognized First 5 San Diego’s major role in California’s award of the Race-to-the-Top Early Learning Challenge Grant due to their established quality preschool model in San Diego County.

Maben joined the First 5 California State Commission in December 2012. Prior to her position, she served as the Director of Child Development for the California Department of Education (CDE), where she worked for more than 16 years. Prior to her work at the CDE, Maben served as Chief of Staff to the Office of the Secretary of Education, and in the Assembly serving as a Consultant to the Education Committee.

First 5 San Diego Offers New Online Resource to Give County’s Youngest Children a Healthy Start

First 5 San Diego Offers New Online Resource to Give County’s Youngest Children a Healthy Start

First 5 San Diego is pleased to announce its newest online resource called the First 5 San Diego Healthy Start Website. The website helps parents and caregivers of young children establish healthy eating habits at home by offering nutritious tips, recipes and activities.

“Poor eating habits combined with physical inactivity has significant short-term and long-term effects on the health of our children,” said Kimberly Medeiros, executive director of First 5 San Diego. “The information provided on this website will help them lead healthier lives so they grow up strong and thriving.”

The First 5 San Diego Healthy Start Website is divided into four sections:

  • Recipes – Find healthful and fun recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, especially appealing to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  • Parents – Parents and caregivers will learn about key healthy habits that they can easily adopt at home.
  • Activities – Download a fun First 5 San Diego Healthy Start activity sheet, link to First 5 California’s Parents’ website, or link to Nourish Interactive, a place for your child to learn about nutrition.
  • Tips – Here you will find tips for developing healthy eating habits for children, from getting picky eaters to enjoy more foods to ensuring more fruits and vegetables in your child’s meals.

To access the First 5 San Diego Healthy Start Website, visit

First 5 San Diego to Kick Off VONS Partnership
First 5 San Diego will be launching its new healthy eating initiative partnership with VONS on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at the VONS store located at 515 W. Washington St. in Mission Hills, San Diego, Calif.

First 5 San Diego to Kick Off VONS Partnership

First 5 San Diego is set to launch its new healthy eating initiative partnership with VONS on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

First 5 San Diego will be at the VONS store located at 515 W. Washington St. in San Diego’s Mission Hills neighborhood from 10:00 a.m. to noon to officially kickoff this program along with Supervisor Ron Roberts from the Fourth District of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

“This is a perfect example of how the County is developing partnerships with businesses that champion the principles of Live Well San Diego,” said Roberts, who also serves as Chair of the First 5 Commission of San Diego County. “It is a clever way of reminding families that eating more fruits and vegetables is an important step in keeping children healthy and instilling life-long healthy habits.” 

The initiative encourages parents and caregivers to provide healthy food choices to children at an early age, which includes eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, watching portion sizes, drinking more water, and consuming dairy products in daily meals.

“We are excited to highlight children’s nutritional needs for parents and families with young children,” said Kimberly Medeiros, executive director of First 5 San Diego. “This program serves as an excellent resource for parents to turn to for guidance on establishing healthy eating habits for healthy children in the form of tips and activities.”
VONS’ customers will be able to spot the First 5 San Diego seal of approval in all 58 of its San Diego County stores. Shoppers will be able to grab a healthy eating flier inside the store to help guide them in making great food choices for their children and families starting July 10.

“Our company has always taken its community responsibilities seriously,” said Carlos Illingworth, VONS Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. “As the region’s leading grocer, we’re very proud to partner up with the region’s leading organization for promoting the health and well-being of children ages 0 through 5 on this healthy eating initiative.”

First 5 San Diego’s Medeiros, VONS’ Illingworth and Supervisor Roberts will be in-store that day for a walk-through demonstration on children’s healthy eating choices.

First 5 San Diego Wins 2013 Telly Award for Early Childhood Health and Education Campaign
First 5 San Diego was a Bronze Winner for its Early Childhood Health and Education Campaign

First 5 San Diego Wins 2013 Telly Award for Early Childhood Health and Education Campaign

The 34th annual Telly Awards were recently announced and First 5 San Diego was a Bronze Winner for its efforts in the Campaign – Not-for-Profit category. First 5’s winning entry was for its Early Childhood Health and Education Campaign.

The award winning campaign, produced by San Diego’s MJE Marketing Services on behalf of First 5 San Diego, consisted of three videos: Healthy Eating Baby, Healthy Eating Family, and Healthy Developmental Milestones.

More than 12,000 entries were submitted from all 50 states in the U.S. and numerous other countries. The Telly Awards honor outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions, web commercials, videos and films.

Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

This Bronze Award is the third such honor for First 5 San Diego, which previously won two Telly Awards in 2009.

First 5 California Launches Pandora Station

First 5 California Launches Pandora Station

First 5 California has launched their Pandora music station for children: The station features a variety of songs geared at early learning and play to encourage physical activity and brain development.

Music plays an important part in children’s lives on many levels. Not only does it provide the opportunity to get up and dance, but it also serves as a fun way to learn fundamentals such as the ABCs, how to follow directions, how to count, and helps to spark imagination.

Studies on music and brain development suggest that early exposure to music increases a child’s language development and math skills, and increases memory function. In fact, research has shown that children who are able to distinguish different sounds are more likely to develop stronger literacy skills over time.

Pandora is a free, personalized Internet radio service. Users can create a personalized station by entering their favorite artist, track, comedian or genre, and Pandora will create a personalized station that plays their music and more like it. To launch First 5 California’s Pandora Kids Music Station, go to from your phone or computer.

First 5 San Diego and Pubic Health Services Present at 7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference
First 5 San Diego Evaluation Manager Dr. Lynn Eldred (left) and County of San Diego Public Health Services Chesley Blevins (right) provided a joint poster presentation on San Diego’s unified approach to combating childhood obesity at the Childhood Obesity Conference, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, Calif.

First 5 San Diego and Pubic Health Services Present at 7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference

First 5 San Diego is proud to have participated in the 7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference which took place June 18-20, 2013 in Long Beach, California. The conference is the nation’s largest collaboration of professionals dedicated to combating pediatric obesity, showcasing the latest research, evidence-based best practices, and policy/environmental change strategies.

Nearly 2,000 participants attended presentations through eight themed tracks: Basic and Applied Research, Built Environment, Land Use and Transportation, Community Nutrition and Physical Activity, Food Systems, Health Care Approaches to Prevention, Marketing to Kids, School, After School and Summer Programs and Policies, and Early Childhood Education. Keynote speakers included Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist who focuses on the quality and future of foods and Professor Marion Nestle, an award-winning author, consumer activist, and nutritionist.

Dr. Lynn Eldred from First 5 San Diego and Chesley Blevins from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services, participated in a joint poster presentation illustrating San Diego’s journey towards adopting a unified, cross-systems approach to address the county’s obesity epidemic and the critical role of early childhood intervention. Mr. Blevins highlighted the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative and Healthy Works program, and described how the County’s Live Well San Diego 10-year initiative to build better health is beginning to materialize through strategic policy, systems and environmental changes. Dr. Eldred provided an overview on how early intervention — built on the pillars of health, learning, family and community — is critical to lifelong outcomes. The strategic partnership with the Public Health department and First 5 San Diego has infused a cross-disciplinary approach to promoting nutrition and physical activity in pre-natal, health, early education, oral health, parent training and family services programs.

The data emerging indicate that local efforts are paying off: The number of overweight and obese 5th, 7th and 9th graders in the county has declined by 3.7 percent from 2005 to 2010. For more information about the conference, visit

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Proclamation
Supervisor Ron Roberts (District 4), Dr. Pradeep Gidwani (AAP-CA3), Executive Director Meredith Kennedy (AAP-CA3), Lily Valmidiano (AAP-CA3), Supervisor Chair Greg Cox (District 1)

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Proclamation
Jennifer Kennedy (AAP-CA3) watches as Lily Valmidiano (AAP-CA3) and daughter Mia hang a leaf on the “Kindness Tree” at the 2013 Mental Awareness Resource Fair, Old Town’s Heritage Park, San Diego, Calif.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Proclamation

This past May, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Chair of the First 5 Commission of San Diego and Board Chairman Greg Cox proclaimed May 9, 2013 as “NATIONAL CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY” throughout San Diego County. The proclamation recognizes the need to reduce the stigma of mental illness among children, youth and families and seeking help. American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 3 (AAP-CA3) accepted the proclamation. Click here to read the proclamation.

It is estimated that up to 20 percent of children and adolescents have a diagnosable mental disorder while only 5 to 7 percent of children receive some specialty mental health service. One of the primary barriers to getting mental health treatment is the stigma of mental illness, which prevents parents and caregivers from accessing services for their children with mental health concerns.

The proclamation was part of a month-long, countywide initiative to eliminate the stigma of mental illness in recognition of May as Mental Health Month. On Saturday, May 18, 2013, First 5 San Diego partnered with the AAP-CA3 at a booth for the County of San Diego’s 2013 Mental Health Awareness Resource Fair themed “Be Brave: Stomp Out Stigma” at Heritage Park in Old Town. In an effort to educate children how to help others, the booth offered a Kindness Tree. Families were asked to answer one of the following questions: 1.) What can you say to make someone feel better when she’s sad? 2.) How can you help your friends/family? 3.) What special things can you show your friends you like them? Individuals wrote their answers on a leaf and hung them on the tree.

Since 2006, the AAP-CA3 has been a key partner of First 5 San Diego, providing countywide coordination and support to First 5 San Diego’s Healthy Development Services (HDS), which provides developmental and behavioral service to children ages 0 through 5 in San Diego County. For more information, visit

Summer Movies in the Park
Families watch Ice Age 4: Continental Drift on June 15, 2013 at Sweetwater Regional Park, Bonita, Calif.

Summer Movies in the Park

First 5 San Diego is pleased to sponsor Summer Movies in the Park, the County program that shows great movies outdoors for free. The series is held each year in an effort to get residents to enjoy the outdoors and promote community.

This year’s program runs through the end of September and includes more than 70 family-friendly showings at local parks, pools, and on the deck of the Midway; including “The Hunger Games,” “Brave,” “Wreck-it Ralph,” “The Croods;” and classics including “The Sandlot,” and “The Goonies”.

All movies are open to the public. Movies begin at dusk and are shown in a high-quality digital format on a 32-foot inflatable widescreen that was specially designed for large audiences. Some locations do have a parking fee.

Simply bring a blanket, your favorite snacks, and chairs to enjoy the festivities!  To find upcoming events, visit

Child’s Health and Well-being Expo

Child’s Health and Well-being Expo

On May 18, 2013, First 5 San Diego participated in the first annual Children Health & Well Being Expo at the Educational Cultural Complex in City Heights, Calif. The goal of the event, hosted by San Ysidro Health Center, was to reduce childhood health disparities in the community. The day was filled with a variety of child-focused free health screenings and educational activities including immunization, dental, vision, vital signs/weight screenings as well as health forums on nutrition, exercise, health check-ups, and behavioral health services.

5th Annual YMCA Child Care Provider Day
Executive Director Medeiros along with representatives from other early childhood organizations were honored on field at the Padres vs. Nationals game on May 19, 2013 at Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.

5th Annual YMCA Child Care Provider Day

On Sunday, May 19, 2013, YMCA Childcare Resource Service (YMCA CRS) in partnership with First 5 San Diego, San Diego Planning Council, and Neighborhood House Association honored more than 1,000 child care providers from all around the county at the 5th Annual Child Care Provider Appreciation Day at PETCO Park. First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kim Medeiros was recognized on the field during an opening ceremony along with Debbie Macdonald, Executive Director of YMCA CRS, Michelle Soltero, Chair of the San Diego County Childhood Development and Planning Council, and Rudolph Johnson III, President and CEO of the Neighborhood House Association. The event featured giveaways for child care providers and resources for families, including First 5 Potter the Otter books.

Day of Play

Day of Play

First 5 San Diego was pleased to sponsor and participate in “Day of Play” on June 29, 2013. The event was hosted by the Olivewood Gardens Learning Center in National City. Families in attendance of this free event enjoyed hands-on cooking, gardening, and physical activities in a beautiful outdoor garden setting. Activities included recipe tastings, hands-on cooking demonstrations, crafts, face painting, and zumba. First 5 San Diego was on hand educating families about healthy habits.

Olivewood Gardens is a community and garden resource facility. Year-round, the gardens serve as an interactive, indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults from around San Diego County. It provides science-based environmental education lessons, hands-on gardening, and hands-on cooking to students and families from underserved communities. For more information about Olivewood Gardens, visit

First Five High Fives
Student at King-Chávez Academy Preschool

First Five High Fives

King-Chávez Academy Preschool

Opened in 2001, the King-Chávez Neighborhood of Schools has grown from the original Academy of Excellence in Barrio Logan with 75 students to serving over 2,000 students in the Historic Barrio District and Downtown San Diego. It includes six public K-12 charter schools and a state-funded preschool, which are open to all who apply and are tuition free.

The King-Chávez Preschool Academy was opened in 2008 and currently offers high-quality early childhood education to three and four-year-old children. The program includes two half-day classrooms with less than 25 children in each section. Currently, more than 90 children are enrolled in the program.

The program nurtures the whole child including physical, social, emotional, creative, cognitive, and language development. The curriculum is based on the predictable stages of development for children and on their interests and abilities. Parent participation is an important aspect of the program, and the preschool strongly encourages parents to volunteer in class often and consistently.  The preschool also offers a variety of parent workshops throughout the school year designed for parents of young children.

The King-Chávez Preschool Academy has been a First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) provider since July 2012. Since entering the program, the preschool has moved up from a “Tier 2” to a “Tier 4” quality rating. With First 5 San Diego funding, the King-Chávez Preschool Academy has improved from an “entry” to a “high-quality” level of early childhood education. For more information, visit

Community Events

WEConnect Health Care Enrollment and Resource Fair
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Jacobs Center
404 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA 92114
Click here

Fiesta del Sol San Diego
Saturday and Sunday, July 20 & 21, 2013
Historic Logan Ave (between Cesar Chavez Parkway and South 26th), San Diego, CA 92113
Click here


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.

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