November 2021

A Message from the Executive Director

It may be easier for all of us to focus on thankfulness this month. I’ve had the opportunity to have over 250 of such months – and it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the partnerships with all of you. As I’ve been finishing up the sorting of office folders and computer files, it’s been a joyful walk down memory lane over the years. The years have gone by so fast – I very vividly remember my first day on this job. And I’ll be honest with all of you – it wasn’t a great day, and I thought I made a big mistake coming to the new job. I’m so thankful I showed up for day two. It’s been a personal lesson in perseverance for me, and again, I’m grateful. 

Many ask me about my future plans. People think I’m joking when I tell them it’s going to be filled with sleeping in – I’m being quite serious about that. I’m looking forward to slowing down, reading, taking walks DURING THE DAY, spending time with family and friends, enjoying watching tv (again, being honest, it’s one of my favorite hobbies, so please send ideas), getting involved in volunteer work with my church and community, and yes, lots of travel. I’m going back to Greece next September, so also on my list is private tutoring so I can say more than hello, goodbye, and where is the bathroom?
I am retiring knowing that the First 5 team is strong, and now, they will be even stronger with our new Executive Director, Marisela Pineda, leading First 5 forward in new and exciting ways. Marisela worked for Head Start 20 years ago, and now she’s back in the 0-5 world again. I have a content heart.
With the ongoing challenges that our families face, there is still a lot of work to do, and First 5 can’t do it without all of you. The Commission recently approved their new values (noted below), and I look forward to hearing about the amazing changes that happen because of all of your work. 

  • Equity: Place the needs of children, prenatal through age 5, at the center of our work, and do so in equitable, and culturally and linguistically effective ways.

  • Collaboration: Promote a collaborative culture by facilitating and participating in partnerships across disciplines and stakeholder groups, and solicit and listen to the ideas of others, encouraging transparency and open dialogue.

  • Quality Improvement: Remain dedicated to building integrated, continuously improving, innovative programs and systems to maximize investments that result in the highest quality services for children and families.

  • Stewardship & Sustainability: Manage and resources with fiscal prudence, cost-effectiveness, and a long-term perspective, and look for opportunities to leverage (but not supplant) other dollars to increase and families.

  • Systems Change: Maximize impact by working as a systems change agent, promoting a seamless system of integrated and comprehensive services and supports for children and families.

In Community Partnership, 

Lani Schiff-Ross
Press Release:
"Marisela R. Pineda is the new
Executive Director of First 5 San Joaquin"
Beginning November 8, 2021 Marisela R. Pineda is the new Executive Director of First 5 San Joaquin. Marisela comes to First 5 San Joaquin with a rich history in public health, community outreach, public affairs, contract management and strategic communications. Click to view press release.
Success Story

Family Resource & Referral Center/FamilyWORKs
FamilyWORKs provides home visitation services to California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) families with children under the age of five. Families in this program receive assistance with resume writing, proper application completion and submission, interview skills, life skills training, and job retention. Other services provided include: Raising A Reader, an early literacy and family engagement program; screening and referral services for CalFresh (food stamps), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and free or reduced meal services; developmental screenings through the Ages & Stages Questionnaires; and access to Parent Education Workshops.
Parents in the FamilyWORKs program had a goal to start attending college. One parent was nervous about starting college because without a laptop, she was unable to do computer work and attend any virtual classes. Due to Laptops 4 Life Program, FamilyWORKs was able to provide laptops for program participants. After being provided a laptop, the parent enrolled in college and is now taking on-line classes. For another FamilyWORKs parent, the parent’s goal was to obtain employment. The parent struggled with completing applications and needed more computer access to apply for jobs on-line.
After being provided a laptop, the parent applied for jobs on-line and was recently hired at Amazon.

Premiering SJ TEETH's E Newsletter
SJ TEETH is premiering the first edition of "Tooth Be Told," a quarterly newsletter produced by the Local Oral Health Program through San Joaquin County Public Health Services. The newsletter introduces success stories, oral health related news,
and projects being rolled out by SJ TEETH. To view click here.
City of Stockton Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The City of Stockton Emergency Rental Assistance Program is accepting applications. This program provides assistance with rent and utilities, as well as other rent-related costs. This program is designed
to prevent homelessness and create housing stability for families and individuals facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families can text their zip code to 898211 or call 2-1-1 to
get connected with an Information and Referral Call Specialist.
For more information click here.

Resources for Families
support for families to help them through the holidays. Resources available by local agencies include food, clothing, toys, blankets, furniture, monetary assistance, and more.
For more information click here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

Booster doses now available for all COVID-19 vaccine brands for those that are eligible. To learn more about the booster vaccine, eligibility requirements, or to schedule an appointment click here.
First 5 California Kit for
New Parents
The FREE Kit for New Parents includes: the Parent Guide; Numbers (a bilingual baby board book); What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick; and other helpful parent resource information. Kits are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
To order a free Kit for New Parents click here.