Strengthening and supporting children prenatal to age five, and their families.
 Emphasizing health and wellness, parent education, and early child care and education.
Empowering funded providers through integration of services.
Congressman Valadao's Field Representative Visits North Kern Programs
Congressman Valadao's (CA-21) Field Representative Ariana Joven visited First 5 Kern funded school readiness programs in northern Kern County including t he McFarland Family Resource Center and Delano School Readiness. The two programs provide early learning, center-based, kindergarten transition activities; as well as family support services (e.g., case management, parenting classes, referrals, and promote parent knowledge of developmental milestones and norms).
Delano School Readiness Program - Mike Bledsoe, Director of Child Development and Transitional Kindergarten, administers the First 5 Kern funded program which includes morning and afternoon classrooms serving over 30 children; and a family advocate who provides home-based school readiness to families. Lead teacher Miss Allison Cruz welcomed Field Representative Joven who participated in classroom activity centers, including writing their name, clay play, coloring, counting, and STEM activities.
McFarland Family Resource Center - Coordinator Margie Perez oversees the school readiness program which serves over 30 children in morning and afternoon classrooms. Taught by Miss Lydia Soto and Assistant Miss Lydia Cazares, together they offered a warm welcome to Field Representative Joven who joined in singing songs and showed the importance of music in the lives of children. Miss Joven was tying shoes and doing the song motions within minutes! 

From the Executive Director - Roland Maier
As an educator for more than 30 years, I recall when my students received an A+. Their excelling grade was a compliment to the entire staff from the teacher's aides to the superintendent. A student’s success is the whole community’s success rippling well into adulthood.

I had that same feeling when Persimmony International, Inc. notified me with compliments of the First 5 Kern staff. Persimmony is the data management system used to help measure outcomes and evaluate programs by many First 5 organizations. Michael Kogus, President/CTO wrote “I applaud the First 5 Kern Commission for excellent performance. This team did an excellent job on data collection with minimal technical assistance. Congratulations to the Kern County First 5 team for an awesome job.”

It is with pleasure that I share this great news and express kudos to First 5 team leads Theresa Ortiz, Chief Evaluation / Program Officer, and Charlene McNama, Administrative Finance Specialist. Together with the entire staff, and the First 5 Kern funded programs, First 5 Kern earns an “excelling grade” that ripples throughout our community into the lives of children and their families - an investment for years to come.

PHOTO Executive Director Roland Maier introduced sweet granddaughter Brooklyn Rose in August who joins another granddaughter and two grandsons (enough for a good Pickleball competition)!
Children's Mobile Immunization Program
First 5 Kern welcomes opportunities to strategize with funded programs. First 5 Kern staff met with Adventist Health’s Children’s Mobile Immunization Program (CMIP) to collaborate and maximize promotion. Funded agencies who would like assistance with marketing First 5 program efforts, or who have attribution questions, can contact Communications and Media Specialist Christine Lollar,
PHOTO (left to right): First 5 Executive Director Roland Maier, Program Officers Analy Martinez and Paula De La Riva-Barrera; and Adventist Health CMIP Coordinator Melissa Vega, and Administrative Director of Marketing and Communications Jimmy Phillips. PHOTO CHRISTINE LOLLAR
Racism and Violence: Conversations with Two- to Five-Year-Olds
It can be a challenge to talk about the complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways, with children aged two to five years. News agencies, social media and neighborhood conversations are often dominated by violence and conflict stemming from racism. Many adults across the nation continue to try to make sense of events. Parents face the added struggle of determining how to talk about racism and violence with children. An article from the ZERO-TO-THREE organization offers parent help.    CONVERSATION TOOL
Care, Cope, Connect - Free for Families, English and Spanish
The Care, Cope, Connect guide was created by the Sesame Workshop (the Sesame Street nonprofit) as a tool to help parents ease their children’s fears for a variety of topics. The project is part of a broad effort to address trauma and adverse childhood experiences, and is especially timely in the current national climate and heightened stress across California. 

The free, downloadable guide, in English and Spanish, can help parents engage in difficult conversations at a level young children can understand. The coloring book filled with activities includes “you are not alone” calming exercises, Elmo hug coloring activity, a Muppet memory game, an emergency plan template for families should they become separated (e.g., deportation or emergency), and more.

The helpful guide can be used by any family coping with, or preparing for, a time of heightened stress. The product is in collaboration with First 5 Association of California, the National Council of La Raza and The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

First 5 Kern distributed 700 Care, Cope, Connect guides to children and their families in a 'Back-2-School' resource fair in August, hosted by Kern County Child Support Services, at the Kern County Fairgrounds.

STRESS RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND CARE GIVERS - Rights, trauma, videos, wallet cards, family preparedness, webinars, etc.
Supervisor/First 5 Kern Alternate Commissioner Appointed to State Board
Kern County Supervisor and First 5 Kern Alternate Commissioner Leticia Perez has been appointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections. Eyewitness News reported, August 26, that Perez was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the 13-member Board of State and Community Corrections who oversees California's state and local criminal justice system, as well as criminal justice assistance to counties. Upon announcement of Perez's appointment the news source reported the position “would give Kern County and the Central Valley a voice in the realignment of criminal justice responsibilities from the state to individual counties under AB 109.” EYEWITNESS NEWS ARTICLE
2017 One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern - $2.00 a Day
Each year the One Book project encourages communities to share experiences related to a themed single book through discussions, educational programming, and entertainment. The One Book project strives to unite communities, cross cultural divides, and enhance understanding of diversity, while supporting literacy and exploring a unifying topic. The 2017 Kern County effort will focus around the book $2.00 a Day , an account of extreme poverty so often hidden that most Americans don’t realize or don’t believe that it exists. Written by Katheryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer the book makes a shocking discovery: more than one and a half million adults and three million children live on $2.00 per day or less. How they became so poor and how they survive is a powerful exposé that delivers new evidence and new ideas to income inequality.
First 5 Kern will present a social media series "POVERTY... the first five years."
Please follow First 5 Kern on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The series will take place September 13-October 31.
One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern has been a grassroots project since 2001. For information on any of the events or how to donate contact . ONE BOOK SCHEDULE GUIDE
First 5 Kern Window Clings Available
Window clings for interior windows are now available for First 5 Kern funded agencies and community partners. The clings are easily removable and double sided for double paned glass. Contact Communications and Media Specialist Christine Lollar at
Three Kern Employers Identified by Employees as "Family Friendly," First 5 Discusses Family Leave
Three Kern County businesses were identified as being "family friendly" through an informal Facebook poll conducted by First 5 Kern. First 5 Kern gives a social media symbol of high praise, a big "#HiFIVE" to the University of Laverne, Fresno Pacific University Bakersfield, and Bakersfield College, all three who were identified by current and former employees as "family friendly."

The California First 5 Association is conducting critical discussions on how job-protected parent leave (aka family leave) is an imperative for society and working families. An article in the Orange County Register “ Is it fair that the amount of bonding time you get with your baby hinges on the size of your employer?” explored family leave as determined by the number of employees. OC REGISTER ARTICLE
First 5 California Stakeholder Survey
As part of First 5 California’s implementation of its Strategic Plan process (2014–2019), a stakeholder survey is offered to allow partners to provide input on the agency's progress. The input of partners (parents, First 5 counties, policymakers, providers, early childhood advocates, school districts and county offices of education, funders, program administrators, and more) is crucial to evaluating the work of First 5. Please complete this short survey by September 29. Individual responses are confidential. Opinions are important. SURVEY
First 5’s Commitment to Children and Families - the 2016 Recap
First 5 leads statewide efforts to champion the complex needs of young children and their families through substantial, capable and proven systems of care. The greatest opportunities to improve the path of a child's life happen during pregnancy and their first five years. Established by California voters through the passage of Proposition 10, First 5 commissions in all 58 counties now have nearly 20 years of on-the-ground experience and work to make kids healthy, safe, and ready to learn. An information sheet (at left) is available to review the progress.

  • 91% of eligible infant toddlers are NOT placed in subsided child care
  • 67% are not screened for developmental delays
  • 50% are Medi-Cal births
  • 24% live in poverty
  • 14% are reported for abuse or neglect at least once

2016 ONE-SHEET FIRST 5 CALIFORNIA RECAP - Funding, outcomes, and demographics
Who Would Be Impacted by Presidential / Congressional Policy Proposals?
Many agencies and advocates for the most vulnerable in our community have presidential and congressional policy proposals in the forefront of their minds. Recently, the California Budget and Policy Center released fact sheets highlighting each congressional district's individuals and funds currently already impacted by key services.  DISTRICT FACT SHEETS
Home Visit Policy Published by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Long before the Great Depression community advocates, social workers and nurses conducted home visits to assess the environment, social determinants, and promote healthy best practices. Scrupulous evaluation for a recent AAP policy statement confirms that home visits “enrich family relational health, promote school readiness, improve perinatal outcomes, enhance environmental safety and increase family self-sufficiency.”

The AAP has released the public policy statement from the Council on Community Pediatrics, the Council on Early Childhood, and the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect titled " Early Childhood Home Visiting ." The policy will be printed in the September issue of Pediatrics and it recommends that federal and state home visiting program not only continue, but expand . POLICY
Early Childhood Council of Kern (ECC) Presents Center Director Professional Learning Series
The ECC schedule for the 2017 Center Directors Professional Learning Community series begins September 29th, at The Learning Center, 2020 K Street. WestEd Center staff will conduct the training covering the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning including Teaching Pyramid components (framework promoting social/emotional development, challenging behavior support) and supporting staff through classroom implementation. Cost for each luncheon is $12 per person. For more info contact . SERIES SCHEDULE  
Educators’ and Parents’ Growing the Demand for Early Childhood Education Quality, NAEYC Study
An extensive study by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) was published in August 2017 exploring the viewpoints of educators and parents. The compiled research included over 1,600 NAEYC members who work as educators of children (birth to age eight); and 1,200 parents (of children up to age 16). The study aimed to move educators and parents alike towards a place of mutual advocacy to collectively grow the need for high-quality, sustainable and financed early learning.  EXECUTIVE STUDY AND WEBINAR
September Special Days - National Month Celebrations: Child Obesity Awareness, Hispanic Heritage, Better Breakfast
Click the links for ways to incorporate special days into your family, early child education program, or place of work. (Updated often.)

Sept 6 Color Blindness Awareness Day - Women and Children’s Health Network
Sept 9 World Clean Up Day -; a ctivities caring for the planet
Sept 11 Emergency Number Day - Help children learn 9-1-1 and phone number
Sep t 11 Grandparents' Day - Fun ways to let grandparents know they are loved
Sep t 22 First Day of Fall - Finally fall!
Sept 22 World Rhino Day - Rhino crafts and fun
Sep t 26 World Environmental Health Day - Teaching kids to care for the planet
Sept 29 World Heart Day - or Kids living healthy / outdoor play
HEALTH AND WELLNESS RECIPE In honor of Ntl Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and Better Breakfast Month.
FIVE Step Recipe:
1 Banana, 1 Bowl Banana Muffins
Find this recipe and others on the First 5 Kern Pinterest Board "Kid's, Nutrition and Fun" [169 calories, makes 4-6]
1 very ripe banana (should be very speckled and even too soft to eat)
1 egg white, large
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg (or allspice)
Optional: 1/3 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.      Use cupcake liners or grease muffin tin.
3.      Mash 1 banana, add ingredients, will be lumpy.
4.      Fill muffin liners or tin (half full for six muffins; two thirds full for four).
5.      Bake 18-25 minutes until tops begin to turn golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Sept 4 First 5 Office Closed
Sept 6 * Early Childhood Council of Kern , Reider Bldg, 5:30-7:30pm, 661.861.5274
Sept 9 * Make a Splash CPR , 1325 Q Street, 8am-1pm, 661.852.7430
Sept 11 Child Support Services at Delano , Community Connections, 1842 Norwalk - Delano, 10am-4pm, 866-901-3212
Sept 13-Oct 31 First 5 Kern Social Media Series “POVERTY...the first five years” in participation with One Book Event schedule
Sept 16 Greater Lamont Dia de la Independencia (parade), Main Street and Lamont Park, 2-9:30pm, 661.845.1992
Sept 18 Child Support Services at Shafter , Shafter Health Start Family Resource Center, 200 N Valley - Shafter, 10am-4pm, 866-901-3212
Sept 21 * Kern County Network for Children Meeting : Reider Bldg, 8:30am, 661.636.4488
Sept 21 Migrant / Farmworker Career Training , 300 S Shafter – Shafter, 9am-4pm, 661.635.2716
Sept 22 Ridgecrest Veterans Stand Down Resource Fair , Kerr McGee Ctr, 100 W California - Ridgecrest, 9am-3pm, 760-608-9251
Sept 23 Bakersfield High School Health and Community Resource Fair , 1241 G Street, 10am-1pm, 661.324.9841
Sept 25-29 Parent Project Facilitator Certification Training , 1300 17 th , 8am-5pm, 661.852.5661
Sept 29 * Safe Sleep Conference , Kern County Child Death Review Team, 661.868.0401
Oct 4 * First 5 Kern Commission Meeting , Kern County Superintendent of Schools, 1300 17 th Street, 2pm, 661.328.8888
Oct 10 * South Chester Partnership featuring the First 5 Express , 800 Ming Avenue, 9am-12noon, 661.631.5895 x 87152
Oct 11 * Bakersfield Adult School Workshop featuring the First 5 Express , 501 S. Mt. Vernon, 9-11am, 661.832.6642
Oct 12 * Greenfield Family Resource Fair , 5400 Monitor, 4:30-6:30pm, 661.837.3720
Oct 12 Veteran Stand Down , Stramler Park, 8am-3pm, 661.873.4600
Oct 14 * Good Neighbor Festival , Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 11am-2pm, 661.322.9874
Oct 27 Binational Health Week Health and Resource Fair , Hosking Avenue Swamp Meet, 5-8pm, 661.868.1212
Oct 27 Kern County Sheriff Trunk or Treat , 1700 Flower, 5-7pm, 661.391.7559
Oct 28 * Bakersfield Homeless Center Discovery Depot Halloween Carnival , BHC residents, 661.322.9199 x 110
Oct 28 * Kern Partnership for Children and Families Great Gatsby Gala , Seven Oaks Country Club, 6pm, 661.633.7001
Visit the FIRST 5 KERN website for more information about funded programs, meetings, activities, events, resources and more!

You are invited to follow, like, share, join, link, post, tweet, and retweet your memes, events, projects and exciting news.
Participating in First 5 Kern's social media efforts help support and educate healthy children and families.
For newsletter or social media information contact Christine Lollar, 661.328.7304 or .
Please share the HANDPRINTS Newsletter with staff, colleagues, clients, friends, and family! 
Previous issues are available on the website; and as a pdf upon request.