Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dad & Me: Let's Visit a Horse Ranch! - Sat Oct 27

Dad & Me ~ Let's Visit a Horse Ranch! 
Saturday, October 27
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Forest Home Ranch, Plymouth
Calling all dads, uncles, grandpas, etc... a morning of fun activities for children 0-5 years old! Join us for a tour of a local ranch, and learn about caring for miniature horses, with Ruby and Queenie! Paint and create a horseshoe craft! Enjoy story time, snacks, and take home a free book! For location information and to RSVP, call 257-1092.

Monday, September 17, 2018

CPIN: The Integrated Nature of Learning: S.T.E.M. Play in Early Childhood - Thurs Oct 18

CPIN: The Integrated Nature of Learning: S.T.E.M. Play in Early Childhood 
Thursday, October 18 
4:30 - 5:00 pm - networking and light dinner
5:00 - 8:00 pm - training
975 Broadway, Jackson
Join us as we delve into the CDE's 'Best Practices for Planning Curriculum for Young Children: The Integrated Nature of Learning.' Participants will learn about STEM components (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and how to integrate learning focuses in these areas. Free child care provided. Please RSVP, at 257-1092.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

First 5 Amador: Dad & Me: Gold Country Woodworkers - Sat Sept 22

Dad & Me
Saturday, September 22
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Upcountry Community Center, 19386 Highway 88, Pine Grove
"Let's Build with our Hands!" Spend the morning with the Gold Country Woodworkers, as they guide you and your child in building a set of your very own wooden book-ends to take home! Learn how to use basic hand tools, and work with wood! Enjoy a snack, story-time, and take home a free book! RSVP's are required by Monday, September 17. Space limited to 12 children. This event is free, and open to all families with children aged 0-5! To reserve your spot, please RSVP at 257-1092.

The Resource Connection: Understanding the Basics of an IEP - Wed Sept 12

Understanding the Basics of an IEP 
Wednesday, September 12 
5:45 - 8:15 pm
975 Broadway, Jackson
Topics in this annual workshop for parents include: rights of parents and their children with disabilities, updated and relevant special education laws, assessment, eligibility, IEP meetings and problem resolution, along with how to develop an effective IEP for your child. Free child care provided. Please RSVP, at 257-1092.

Friday, September 7, 2018

California Connections Academy at Ripon Students “Take Seats” in Virtual Classroom

Virtual Public School Kicks Off 2018-2019 Academic Year with Exceptional Results
on Annual Parent Satisfaction Survey

Ripon, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2018) – This school year, thousands of students across Northern California will open their laptops and go back-to-school virtually, taking advantage of increased flexibility without sacrificing a quality education. More than 1,100 of them from Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus Counties will attend California Connections Academy @ Ripon, a high-quality, tuition-free, online public school serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

In addition to the rigorous curriculum, the school offers innovative and diverse courses including foreign languages, digital technology and web design, as well as a variety of honors and Advanced Placement (AP)® courses for students interested in college-level curriculum. The school also provides a wide array of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) courses for grades 6-12 to help students prepare for college, and University of California a-g approved courses, including several courses meeting the UC visual and performing arts requirements such as art history, digital arts, living music and more.

Students head back to school on the heels of the school’s 2018 Parent Satisfaction Survey. According to the survey results:
·         93 percent of parents agree that the curriculum is high quality
·         96 percent of parents are satisfied with teachers’ helpfulness
·         94 percent of parents say their child or children are satisfied with the program
·         92 percent of parents agree that the school’s technology tools improve their child’s learning experience

“We are thrilled to welcome new and returning students for another year of academic achievement, digital learning and personal growth,” said Kara Mannix, site administrator at California Connections Academy @ Ripon. “Virtual school provides a unique learning path for students seeking a high-quality curriculum tailored to their academic needs.”   

Additionally, recent research of the Connections Academy online schools provides evidence that Connections Academy students can attain the same level of achievement as traditional brick-and-mortar schools serving similar students, and that students may be better positioned in Connections Academy schools than other virtual schools. See efficacy report for details.

“California Connections Academy @ Ripon made it possible for my daughter to pursue her unique hobbies and interests, and that would not have been possible within a traditional school schedule,” said Theresa Birtola, mother of first grader Sarah Daniels. “The flexible schedule enabled her to reach her maximum potential both inside and outside the classroom.”

California Connections Academy @ Ripon offers a non-traditional learning environment for students who want a flexible schedule, are ahead or behind in the classroom, learn at a different pace from their peers, or want a more individualized approach to learning. State-credentialed teachers work with students to develop customized learning programs that address each student’s personal education needs while maintaining a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. A Learning Coach, generally a parent or other caretaker, also helps to monitor progress in the home.

Throughout the school year, students have many opportunities to interact with their classmates in-person. California Connections Academy @ Ripon coordinates school-sponsored events, including field trips across Northern California and university visits for high school students. California Connections Academy @ Ripon also offers a variety clubs and activities for students, including National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society, science and technology clubsliterary clubs, and robotics club, among others.

Enrollment for the 2018-19 school year is currently open, with virtual information sessions being held weekly for families interested in learning about the school’s online program and individualized approach to education. For more information on California Connections Academy @ Ripon, please visit the school’s website atCaliforniaConnectionsAcademy.com.

About California Connections Academy @ Ripon
California Connections Academy @ Ripon is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school serving students in grades K-12, including transitional kindergarten, in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties. California Connections Academy is fully accredited (grades K-12) by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school opened in 2012 and is authorized under state law by the Ripon Unified School District. California Connections Academy provides students who meet state residency requirements with the flexibility to learn from anywhere with an internet connection with an innovative curriculum which meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of state-credentialed teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit the school’s website.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

First 5 Amador - September 2018

As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher!
Ready ... Set ... Grow!
September 2018
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter  
Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 12, 5:45-8:15pm

Learn How the Trauma Informed Systems Approach Can Promote Resilient Families, Agencies & Communities
Thursday, September 27, 10:00am-2:30pm.

Vanessa's Life Works Workshops
Friday, September 14, 9:00am-12:00pm.
Call 223-6314 for more information.

Dad and Me
Let's build with our hands! 
Saturday, September 29, 10:00am - 12:00pm. 
RSVP to save your spot! (209) 257-1092.

Tuesday, October 2, 5:30-7:30pm
Light dinner and free child care provided.
Please RSVP, 257-1092.

Join us to make a difference to reduce childhood trauma, develop trauma-informed systems, and create a thriving and resilient Amador County.
Tuesday, October 9, 5:00-7:00pm, Jackson.
Light dinner and child care will be provided.

Thursday, October 18, 4:30-8:00pm

Ongoing Events:

Grandparent Cafe
Second Wednesday of each month.
Call for location, 223-1624, x204.
Third Wednesday each month, 6:00-7:30pm. 
Call 256-3691 or 257-1092 for more information. 

Toddler Playgroups
Back in action!
All Playgroups run from 9:30-11:30am on the following weekdays at the given locations:
Mondays - Camanche 
Tuesdays - Jackson  
First 5 Amador , 975 Broadway
Wednesdays - Ione

Prescribing Play

Imagine if pediatricians could write a prescription to help patients during the first two years of well-child visits that would boost social-emotional, cognitive, language and self-regulation skills.

Research shows they can, and the "prescription" to write is simple: "Play with your child every day."
An updated AAP clinical report outlines how play is a fundamental part of children's healthy development.
Importance of Play
Developmentally appropriate play promotes the skills a child needs throughout life and boosts learning. In addition, safe, stable and nurturing relationships borne out of play can be a buffer against stress and encourage resilience.

"Play is really brain-building, and we tried to give examples of how play enhances the structure and function of the brain," said Michael W. Yogman, M.D., FAAP, a lead author of the report and chair of the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. The report suggests pediatricians can link prescriptions for play with books they give out for programs like Reach Out and Read.

Data continue to document the value of play for children, making this a compelling issue in society, according to psychologist-researcher Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., another lead author. She is a professor in the psychology department at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

"I think we're continuously learning that play is really essential for kids - it's not just an afterthought or an accessory," Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said.

While difficult to define, play is intrinsically motivated, entails active engagement and results in joyful discovery. Ideally, play is fun and spontaneous, often creating an imaginative private reality with elements of make-believe. There is object play, physical play, outdoor play and social or pretend play - alone or with others.

Children's play can be enhanced with items like wooden spoons, blocks, balls, puzzles, crayons, boxes and other objects. Let kids take the lead in playing, Dr. Yogman suggested; there is no need to purchase fancy toys. "Sometimes simple objects with the least accoutrements allow kids to really be creative about how they're using them."

Parents have an opportunity to "re-experience the joy of their own experiences in childhood play," Dr. Yogman said, "and to notice the kind of nonverbal cues that their kids display during those ... experiences, which are really critical to improving their interactions and their relationships with their children."
Playful learning in early education
A societal push for academic achievement has led to a focus on structured activities starting in preschool with a corresponding decrease in playful learning, according to the clinical report. While preschoolers do benefit from learning content, programs have added many more didactic components than they did 20 years ago.

However, the skills children learn through play compared with the more didactic curriculum in school "are as - or more - important for their success later in life," Dr. Yogman said. These skills are the ability to collaborate, solve problems and think creatively.

Overcoming barriers
Free play and recess need to remain integral in a child's day. But cultural shifts, such as parents working full time, fewer safe places to play and mounting digital distractions can limit opportunities.

However, real-time social interactions are superior to digital media for home learning, if parents or caregivers engage with kids by reading, watching, playing alongside children and talking with them.

For children with special needs, community partnerships can offer opportunities. Boston Children's Museum, where Dr. Yogman served as board chair, opens on some mornings only for families who have kids with special needs.

The push to play also includes getting kids to play outside more often and have access to safe parks. In Philadelphia, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek and colleagues have launched initiatives such as Playful Learning Landscapes, which combine urban rejuvenation with interactive learning installations. At a bus stop, for example, a giant puzzle encourages parents and kids to engage and interact, prompting the kind of language that builds early skills in science, technology, engineering and math.

"We know from research that when you use this kind of language in play, it's helping kids academically and socially for school," Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said. "When it's fun and you're motivated, children pay more attention and do better in school. ... We're not replacing school, we're augmenting it with organic, playful activities, right there on the street, right there at the bus stop, right there in the supermarket."

A simple trip to the grocery can turn into playful learning, Dr. Yogman said, "giving kids the opportunity to, say, count the apples in the supermarket. Those are the kinds of joyful experiences for kids as opposed to just sitting tacitly in their shopping cart."

Thank you to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this  article has been adapted from the original and first appeared here.
Dad and Me Every Month!

Celebrate being a dad (or uncle, or grandpa...) every month at our Dad and Me outings, held at fun venues around the county!

This month let's build with our hands! Enjoy a snack, story-time and a free book to bring home.

Saturday, September 29, 10:00am - 12:00pm.
See the FLYER with all the information.

Save the fourth Saturday of every month for more outings held at fun venues around the county. Story time, a snack and a free book are provided each month!


How can you give kids the best start in life? 

One of the most important factors for early intervention services, is the early and accurate identification of infants and young children who may have developmental delays or disabilities.
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) are screening tools designed
to be completed by parents or primary caregivers, that encourage parent-caregiver involvement. Each questionnaire can be completed in 10-20 minutes, and is divided into five areas: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, and Personal-Social. The benefit for all children and families is so that parents/caregivers know which areas they can focus on at home with their children.

For more information, please call First 5 Amador at 257-1092. 


Get Involved! 

Would you like to improve the quality of care you offer to children in your family child care home, preschool setting, or other early learning environment?

Give us a call at First 5 and find out about the many resources (and incentives!) available to you, (209) 257-1092.

Print this info-graphic to share!

Healthy QUICK TIPS of the MONTH

Perfect Fall Snack!

No-Bake Granola Bars

  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup Total Add-Ins: chopped nuts, dried fruit, chocolate morsels, crushed pretzels, crushed cereal, and/or sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Heat a 12" Nonstick Skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Toast the oats (and nuts, if using) for about 4-6 minutes, or until browned and fragrant.
  2. Remove the oats and nuts from the skillet and add them to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining add-ins.
  3. Microwave the brown sugar, honey, and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for about 1 minute, or until bubbling. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture; mix well.
  4. Press the mixture into a 9x11-inch baking dish, using the back of a spatula to press into a flat layer.
  5. Refrigerate mixture at least 1 hour.
  6. Cut into 12 bars and wrap each individually in plastic wrap for storage.


Happy Snacking!

One day, California's success 
will be measured by the 
well-being of its youngest children.

   ILibaryCalling all children 0 to 5 years of age.   
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Imagination Library Logo
Over 800 Amador kids and counting! Get free books for your children! Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program,
available to all Amador County children aged 0-4
(from birth until their 5th birthday).
All you have to do is read to your child!   

                             For more information click here. 

Talk...   with your baby from the start.
So ... what should you talk about? Anything and everything. Describe the pattern of circles on a blanket. Count the number of blocks on the floor. Listen to the noisy garbage truck outside. Talk about the whirring sound of the blender. What did you do at work today? What will you have for dinner tonight? Engage in conversation. Look into your baby's eyes and watch his reactions as you talk. Remember, it really doesn't matter what you talk about - and it also doesn't matter if your baby is too young to understand. His brain is developing with every word. Knowing more than one language offers countless benefits for your kids - including expanding their future career opportunities. You don't have to speak a language perfectly. The most important thing is to introduce them to it.

Read...     them a book, it's very smart.
What is one of the most powerful things you can do with your baby? Read! Start early, and read every day from birth onward to establish a rewarding habit early in life. A great tip to keep in mind is to read WITH your child. Use funny voices, point out and describe pictures, and ask questions as you go along. These simple actions not only will help hold your child's interest, but it'll spark imagination and curiosity - even at a very young age.   
Don't have enough hours in the day to read? We get it. Just a few minutes a day can have an impact. Reading shopping lists, recipes, road signs, and labels together all count, too. You're doing your best, and your child will thank you for it later.  

Sing...     them a song, it's a wonderful start.
Music is a great way to help babies learn new words, boost language comprehension, and establish rhythm and rhyme. When you sing to your baby, you're forming a special bond together just by the sound of your voice. Singing is also a great activity for the whole family. Sing old favorites and new tunes together, and help build deeper family bonds between older siblings and grandparents too. Remember, it doesn't matter if you can't carry a tune. In your baby's eyes, you are a singing superstar. Sneak in songs during breakfast, in the car, or during bath time. From nursery rhymes to your own favorite playlist, turn up the volume and sing together. It's one of the greatest expressions of your love!
It's Our Job as Adults to Keep Kids Safe

Stay up to date on all the news and information about keeping our kids safe from abuse and neglect. Sign up for the Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council's monthly e-newsletter HERE!
First 5 Amador | (209) 257-1092 | www.first5amador.com
First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for children 0-5 years old and their Families. 
For more information call us at (209) 257-1092, visit our website,and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
First 5 Amador, PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642