Newsletter March 2012

First 5 San Diego Newsletter

First 5 San Diego

First 5 Commission of San Diego
Supervisor Bill Horn, Chair
Carol Skiljan, Vice-Chair
Sandra McBrayer
Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH
Nick Macchione, MS, MPH, FACHE

January 23, 2012 Commission Meeting
An example of how to make the healthy choice enjoyable

Kim Medeiros
The Director's Corner
Kim Medeiros

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual reminder for families to improve their health by making informed food choices as well as sound eating and physical activity habits. In support of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ campaign to get healthy, First 5 San Diego would like to take the opportunity to encourage positive healthy choices for all families with children ages 0 to 5. Here are a few tips to help parents and caregivers make the healthy choice the easy choice for you and your family:

  • Increase your fruits and vegetables
  • This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month is "Get Your Plate in Shape" (link to and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends making half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s a great way to add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. All this is packed in fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and fat. Fresh, frozen, and canned all count. To find help getting your plate in shape, please visit

  • Drink water or milk instead of sugary drinks
  • Beverages, like soda or even 100% fruit juice, contain sugar that can cause tooth decay. Water is the best choice when you are thirsty. Low-fat or non-fat milk help your child’s bones and teeth grow strong.

  • Make physical activity a part of  your daily routine
  • Eating healthy is important, but so is exercise. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that children get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Pick activities that your family enjoys, like going for a walk together early in the morning or after dinner.

By making just a few lifestyle changes, we can help our children lead healthier lives so they can grow strong and healthy. As a key partner in the County’s Live Well, San Diego! 10-year plan to achieve healthy, safe, and thriving communities, First 5 San Diego is looking at how we can "walk the talk" in order to make healthier lifestyles for ourselves and our families. We started a daily walking club and are trying fun ways to make healthy eating the preferred choice. The County as a whole continues to make great progress in improving the health and well-being of our residents and was awarded a Community Transformation Grant (CTG) to further address issues such as healthy eating and adopting active lifestyles.

Stay posted for our Positive Parenting Campaign in the weeks to come, which will focus on educating parents and caregivers about positive parenting practices for making a healthy lifestyle for their families.

Happy Nutrition Month to You and Yours,

Kim Medeiros

Gloria Corral
Gloria Corral,
Assistant Executive Director,
First 5 San Diego

First 5 San Diego Welcomes New Assistant Executive Director

First 5 San Diego is very pleased to announce Gloria Corral as the new Assistant Executive Director of the Commission. A native San Diegan, Ms. Corral comes from First 5 San Francisco where she served as the Deputy Director, leading the organization’s strategy to ensure access to high quality preschool for San Francisco County among other responsibilities.

Prior to her position at First 5 San Francisco, Corral built a strong education record throughout her career at the federal, state and local level – as an advocate for universal preschool for all children in California, researcher for school districts throughout California, and policymaker for the U.S. Department of Education.  Ms. Corral also held several legislative positions in the Education Offices for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Ms. Corral holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego in Political Science and English Literature and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. 

First 5 Commission Releases FY 2010-11 Annual Evaluation Report

First 5 Commission Releases FY 2010-11 Annual Evaluation Report

The First 5 Commission of San Diego has released its FY 2010-11 Annual Evaluation Report, presenting the outcomes of its early childhood programs and the impact they are making on the lives of San Diego County’s youngest children.

More than 61,000 young children and 21,000 families in San Diego County benefited from First 5 programs and services in FY 2010-11. Here are a few highlights contained in the report:

  • More than 24,000 children received speech, developmental or behavioral services. Of these, over 1,500 children received developmental treatment with 68% showing gains in six key areas by the end of the year. Nearly 2,000 received clinical behavioral interventions, with 77% showing a decrease in problem behaviors.
  • Our Oral Health Initiative (OHI) provided dental screenings and treatment for more than 26,000 children (a 37% increase) and 4,000 pregnant women (an 87% increase from the previous year); this increase was due in part to the launch of a public education campaign. Nearly 900 children and 1,400 pregnant women with no other means to pay received urgent oral health treatment. To help reduce future costs, over 6,000 parents received education on how to improve their families’ oral health and prevent dental disease.  
  • Nearly 107,000 children ages 0-5 are benefiting from the water fluoridation in the City of San Diego.
  • Through the Preschool for All (PFA) Initiative, nearly 7,000 children received high-quality early childhood education services, with over 85% improving in five developmental domains from fall to spring. Nearly all (96%) classrooms increased in quality, as a result of PFA support and training for teachers and staff.

For more details about First 5 San Diego’s programs and their outcomes, view the full Annual Evaluation Report FY 2010-11.

First 5 Commission to Invest nearly $50 Million in Quality Preschool Services

First 5 Commission to Invest nearly $50 Million in Quality Preschool Services

With the goal to reduce the school readiness gap in San Diego County, the First 5 Commission of San Diego announced on March 5 the award of $47.1 million for three years to the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) to coordinate the First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI).

The new initiative, set to begin July 1, will build upon First 5 San Diego’s Preschool for All (PFA) Demonstration Project with expansion into a 12th community — Central San Diego. 

"We applaud SDCOE and all the partner school districts," said Supervisor Bill Horn, Chair of the First 5 Commission of San Diego. "This significant investment in early childhood education is a positive step towards saving taxpayer dollars as it leads to better jobs, stronger communities, and less crime."

Currently, First 5 San Diego’s PFA program provides high quality preschool at no cost, regardless of family income, in 11 high need communities — Borrego Springs, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, Lemon Grove, Mountain  Empire, National City, San Ysidro, South Bay, Valley Center/Pauma, and Vista. Findings from the project’s Five-Year Summative Report, released last September, helped to identify the best practices needed to develop the program service delivery model for QPI.

"QPI enables the SDCOE to build a quality preschool infrastructure in San Diego County in collaboration with 48 services providers throughout the 12 target communities," said Claudette Inge, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Programs Division of SDCOE. 

QPI will also support the County’s Live Well, San Diego! 10-year plan to build better health for children and families in the region.

"This initiative provides a variety of opportunities to promote healthy behaviors for children and families and provide early identification of health related issues for young children, both key strategies in preventing chronic disease among our residents," said Nick Macchione, Director of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and First 5 Commissioner.

The ultimate goal of the QPI program is to reduce the school readiness gap and improve school achievement in San Diego County by expanding access to high quality preschool. More than 25,000 children are expected to be served over the next three years.

"This investment in high quality preschool is critical to ensure our vision that all children enter Kindergarten ready to learn and achieve," said Kimberly Medeiros, Executive Director of First 5 San Diego. 

First 5 San Diego Parent Education, Support and Empowerment (PESE) Classes

First 5 San Diego Parenting Workshops

Parents are a child’s first and best teacher. Knowing how to support a child’s early development and identify potential problems early can help parents minimize long-term effects in a child’s life.

First 5 San Diego’s Parenting Workshops are designed to give parents and caregivers the tools they need to maximize their young child’s healthy development. These FREE workshops are filled with fun learning for families with children from 0-5 and cover topics like promoting physical activity and nutrition, finding and using community resources, promoting your child’s development, and dealing with difficult behaviors. Workshops also include a free developmental check-up.

Workshops are offered throughout San Diego County, including at the San Diego County Library. To find a parenting class at a local library near you, visit For a complete schedule of parenting classes, call 1-888-5 FIRST 5 (1-888-534-7785).

With the theme
With the theme “Integrated Learning through the Arts”, early childhood professionals learned art integration techniques at the Early Years Conference on January 26, 2012 in San Diego, Calif.

Early Years Conference

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) held its annual Early Years Conference for preschool and kindergarten educators on January 26, 2012, at the Marina Village Conference Center in San Diego, Calif. The conference, funded in part by First 5 San Diego, celebrated the theme "Integrated Learning through the Arts" and focused on educating early childhood professionals with art integration techniques. More than 300 teachers, educators, and professionals attended workshops including "Maximizing Brain Power" by child engagement expert Dr. Ernie Mendes, as well as "Literacy through Drama, Music, Art," "Literacy and Brain Development," and "Move, Play and Learn." Other partners of the event included the San Diego County State Preschool Directors Network, California Preschool Instructional Networks, and the Program Quality Consortium.

National 2-1-1 Day
2-1-1 San DIego CEO John Ohanian, First 5 San Diego staff Melissa Bartolome, First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kim Medeiros, and Supervisor Greg Cox, District 1, at the 2-1-1 San Diego National Day Luncheon held on February 10, 2012 in San Diego, Calif.

National 2-1-1 Day

On Friday, February 10, 2012, 2-1-1 San Diego held its 2012 National 2-1-1 Day Luncheon at the San Diego Marriot Marquis & Marina, celebrating its achievements and honoring supporters. More than 700 business and community leaders and representatives attended the sold-out event.

Among the highlights of the event was a video message from Mayor Jerry Sanders congratulating 2-1-1 San Diego for their accomplishments, and Supervisor Greg Cox, last year’s honoree, paid tribute to the United Way of San Diego for their support of the organization. The program included a feature presentation by its call center representatives, showcasing 2-1-1 San Diego’s partnerships, which include servicing the Courage to Call helpline, application assistance for the County of San Diego’s CalFresh Program, and servicing a non-emergency line on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management. Also featured was 2-1-1 San Diego’s partnership with First 5 San Diego, highlighting the First 5 San Diego warmline (1-888-5 FIRST 5).

Since 1999, First 5 San Diego has funded 2-1-1 San Diego in a variety of capacities from infrastructure to operations. In 2008, the First 5 Warm Line (1-888-5 FIRST 5) was established within the 2-1-1 network. This enables families with children age 0 to 5 to connect with First 5 San Diego programs and other community resources. In FY 2010-11, 2-1-1 San Diego answered more than 224,000 calls and handled 41,715 cases related to children 0-5.

For more information about 2-1-1 San Diego, please visit

Text4Baby Birthday Party
First 5 San Diego Executive Director (right) with Dr. Stuart Cohen, President of the Text4Baby San Diego Coalition (left) at the Text4Baby Birthday Party on February 25, 2012 held at UCSD Thornton Hospital.

Text4Baby Birthday Party

On Saturday, February 25, 2012, Text4Baby San Diego held a community event in celebration of the initiative’s second year of service. The free event for expectant and new families featured a health fair, raffle prizes, refreshments, and a baby swap meet. Featured speakers included healthcare leaders Dr. Stuart Cohen, MD, Pediatrician and Board President of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, Karen Perdion, Certified Nurse Midwife from UCSD, and Nancy Sasaki from the Alliance Healthcare Foundation. First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kim Medeiros spoke about First 5’s successful partnership with Text4Baby. First 5 San Diego provides funding for community outreach to enroll new and expectant mothers in Text4Baby. To date, more than 3,000 new parents are enrolled. For more information about Text4Baby, visit

Positive Parenting in a Changing World

Positive Parenting in a Changing World

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) in partnership with Promises2Kids and First 5 San Diego is pleased to present the "Positive Parenting in a Changing World" parenting conference on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at the NTC Promenade’s McMillin Event Center, 2801 Rosecrans St., San Diego, CA 92106. The conference will focus on community parenting issues, healthy families, and will assist parents in finding answers and solutions to common parenting challenges.

More than 300 parents are expected to attend and will be able to choose from a variety of interactive parenting skills development sessions for children birth to age 18, with a heavy emphasis on needs for children ages 0 to 5. Keynote speaker Dr. Jane Nelsen, author of the series Positive Discipline, will speak to parents and caregivers about her Positive Discipline Model to help them develop capable young children in a respectful and effective manner.

FREE registration and FREE onsite childcare will be provided to those parents who are confirmed before Wednesday, March 21, 2012. For more information, please contact Harold Randolph at (619) 338-2049 or email To register, go to

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference

Approximately 24,000 grandparents living in San Diego face the difficult task of raising and serving as guardians for their grandchildren. To help grandparents raise healthy and thriving children, First 5 San Diego, along with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), is sponsoring the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference on April 21, 2012, from 9am to 1pm at the Jacobs Center located at 404 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, 92114.

If you are unable to attend the main event at the Jacobs Center, grandparents can watch a live webcast of the event and participate in activities and workshops at four other locations:

  • The Norman Park Center, 270 F. Street, Chula Vista
  • Meridian Baptist Church, 660 S. 3rd Street, El Cajon
  • San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, 320 N. Broadway, Escondido
  • North County Lifeline Vista Townsite, 642 Vista Village Drive, Vista

Registration for the conference is free. Lunch will be provided and free childcare is available on request. For more information, please visit To register, call (855) 238-5978.

Other Upcoming Events

Multicultural Family Fiesta
April 14, 2012, Noon to 3pm
El Cajon Library
201 E. Douglas Ave, El Cajon, CA

Day of the Child
April 21, 2012, 11am – 3pm
Memorial Park
Chula Vista, CA

Kids First Fair
April 28, 2012, 10am to 2pm
Paige Fieldhouse at Camp Pendleton
Oceanside, CA


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.