August 2021
A Message from the Executive Director

"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." - Sheryl Sandberg

After almost 21 years, I’m hoping I’ve made an impact that will last in my absence. The last day of my most incredible journey of my life – working at First 5 San Joaquin, will be December 3, 2021. If you’re interested in reading about a few special memories and the amazing mentors I’ve had over the years, please click here
The position for the new Executive Director has been posted on the San Joaquin County website Please help us spread the word. In the meantime, there is much work to do as we press forward with strategic planning, seek ways to best support our programs during COVID, and search for additional funding for programs.  
Please feel free to reach out to me or a First 5 staff with ideas on how we can support your work or your programs. And we’d love your feedback on what’s important to you in serving children and families. Please click here for a link to a quick survey to get your ideas. 
In Community Partnership,
Lani Schiff-Ross 
Welcome, Commissioner Vena Ford!
A huge welcome to the newest First 5 San Joaquin Children’s and Families Commissioner, Vena Ford. Commissioner Ford serves as the Health Plan of San Joaquin’s Director of Community, Marketplace and Member Engagement. She was sworn in as a Commissioner on June 8, 2021.

First 5 San Joaquin is excited to have Commission Ford on board! We look forward to working with her and implementing new and exciting ideas. To learn more about Commissioner Ford or other First 5 San Joaquin Commissioners, visit:
First 5 San Joaquin Community Event & Activity Sponsorship Grant
First 5 San Joaquin has set aside funds for fiscal year 2021-2022 to sponsor events and activities that assist in achieving the priorities established in the Strategic Plan and help to expand the reach of the Talk. Read. Sing. Draw. Play. campaign. The focus is to increase the inclusion of children ages 0 to 5, and to enhance opportunities for parents with young children. For more information click here.
First 5 San Joaquin Funded Program Highlight
With the many changing Public Health restrictions for COVID-19 and the challenges that came with it, the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County was able to grow its memberships, re-establish relationships, and encourage collaborations that provided virtual networking opportunities. One of those opportunities came in the form of offering double the number of Certified Lactation Educator Specialist (CLES) scholarships to the community. Many of the awardees are continuing their education by pursuing their International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification. It is exciting to see these individuals work towards changing the breastfeeding landscape in San Joaquin County.  
2021 Mental Health Resource Directory

The 2021 Mental Health Resource Directory has been compiled by the Maternal Child Adolescent Health program of San Joaquin County Public Health Services. The directory will help professionals, agencies, and providers refer clients, patients, and families to mental health/behavioral health services. For more information
Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit started July 15, 2021. All eligible families will receive a monthly payment of up to $300 for each child under the age of 6 and up to $250 for each child age 6 and above. The maximum Child Tax Credit was increased in 2021 to $3,600 for children under 6 and to $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. Click here for more information.
FamilyWORKs: Helping Build Stronger Families through Virtual
and In-Person Home Visiting

FamilyWORKs services are offered through a variety of virtual platforms or in person, in the comfort and safety of a family's home. CalWORKs recipients with children 0 to 3 years of age may qualify for FamilyWORKs. For more information downoad the flyer for English or Spanish.
Free Books for Children 0 to 5

First 5 California--in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library--is providing funding to expand Read to Me, Stockton! by 4500 children! Participating children will receive a free book every month until the age of 5 years old. For more information and to register a child please visit:
Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen
For families, being outdoors in the summer weather requires everyone to take extra precautions to avoid potential sun dangers.

For more information on how to be safe when having fun in the sun, click here.
Outdoor Access for All: California Establishes New Pilot Programs to Expand Youth Access to State Parks
Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation to advance the state’s commitment to equitable access to California State Parks. The California State Park Adventure Pass gives fourth graders in the state a free annual pass to 19 California State Parks. The State Library Parks Pass provides free day-use state park passes to libraries across California for library cardholders. For more information click here.
Action on Behalf Children Awards
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond for children in our county? Nominate them today for the 2021 ABC Awards!

The new nomination category this year is, Supporting Children Through COVID-19. Nominations are due Friday, September 17th 2021. Download and/or complete the application by visiting