Dignitaries, Champions, and Leadership Honor First 5 20th Anniversary in Placer County
Updated: Dec 13, 2018
A celebration of collaboration and unity brought Placer County leadership together on Election Day 2018 to mark 20 years of focus and support for early brain development. The event was spurred by the Proposition 10 milestone, but the emphasis was to pay tribute to how that legislation helped Placer County fortify a culture of collaboration.
Amidst fare and delights at The Ridge Events Center in Auburn, First 5 Placer Children and Families Commission Co-Chair, Richard Saletta, kicked-off the evening program, welcoming the nearly 75 attendees, including Placer County elected officials, top leadership, directors of services, and partners. Next, Executive Director of First 5 California Camille Maben offered remarks on the significance of Proposition 10 and what the existence of First 5 has meant for children in California. Insights on the future and expanding opportunities of First 5 at the local level were provided by First 5 Placer Executive Director Janice LeRoux. Rounding out the anniversary remarks was Jeff Brown, Director, Placer County Health and Human Services, who spoke to the disparities and needs of children, and why it is more important than ever to work to ensure every child is able to reach their full potential.
The program also included a testimony to the positive impact of quality early learning on young children by former First 5 Placer Commissioner and Colfax State Preschool Site Supervisor Mai-Ling Schummers. A video and speech shared the story of Brody, a student who has made remarkable strides in his learning, behavior, and family life since starting preschool. Brody, his dad, and Mai-Ling were featured offering perspectives on how children, parents, teachers, and systems working together contribute to successful outcomes.
The highlight of the evening was an award ceremony that honored trailblazers of collaborative action in two areas critical to health and well-being of children. Placer County CEO Todd Leopold presented First 5 Placer “Luminary” Awards to the Oral Health Alliance and Placer Community Foundation to recognize their successful approaches to challenging issues. Oral Health Alliance Lead Coordinator, Heidi Knost, accepted the first award on behalf of the nearly 40 organizations and individuals who have teamed-up to deliver oral health screenings and services to young students at school sites and other community venues. Placer Community Foundation Board Vice Chair, Jim Williams, accepted the award for the hundreds of advocates who have united as part of the Placer Housing Matters effort to develop affordable housing.
Capping off the event was a final call to all as champions for children and members of the First 5 Placer Network. Attendees received and wore First 5 Placer Network pins to represent a collective commitment to collaboration and a shared voice to support young children and families in Placer County.