Friday, June 5, 2020

First 5 Amador - June 2020

As a parent, you are your child's first 
and most important teacher!

Ready ... Set ... Grow!
JUNE 2020

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The First 5 Amador office is in the process of slowly opening back up to the public. 
If you need assistance, you may contact us at 257-1092, at OR through our Facebook Messenger.
Due to social distancing directives, PLEASE CALL US BEFORE STOPPING BY.

For frequent and timely updates from us, please be sure that you have "liked" our Facebook page, HERE... and check back often!

Upcoming Events

Dad & Me ~ Let's Build Book-ends! -- Activity Kits Curbside Pick Up
Saturday, June 27
10:00 am - 11:00 am
975 Broadway, Jackson
Come by to grab a kit that will include materials and instructions for putting together cute wooden book-ends (courtesy of the Gold Country Woodworkers)! Materials for a canvas painting project will be available for those who already received wooden book-ends last month. Supplies are limited, and are available to Amador County children on a first-come, first-served basis. One kit per child, aged 0-5.  For the safety of everyone, please adhere to local directives and maintain a 6-foot physical distance while picking up, and do not pick up if you are feeling ill. 

Program Updates

Summer Kindergarten Bridge Program -- School Readiness Kits Curbside Pick Up
Unfortunately, we will not be able to conduct the Summer Bridge Program this year. In response to parent preferences, we are going to put together curbside to-go activity kits specific to school readiness, for parents to pick up and use at home. These curbside pick-up evenings will be held in July, in front of each elementary school. Kits will be available for Amador County children who will be starting kindergarten in the Fall, and who will turn 5 before September 1. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page for the pick-up schedule, or call 257-1092.

Toddler Playgroups  -- Activity Kits Curbside Pick Up
Since our Toddler Playgroups follow the ACUSD schedule, playgroups are currently on hold until further notice. However, our fantastic playgroup coordinators have put together some amazing activity to-go kits for local kids aged 0-5, for you to PICK UP, AND TAKE HOME. 

Throughout this Summer, kits will be available for pick up twice a month. Catch us  next DURING THE WEEK OF JUNE 15! Please pick up your kit on the regularly scheduled days, times, and locations listed in the link above. 
Supplies are limited, and are available to Amador County children on a first-come, first-served basis. One kit per child, aged 0-5.  For the safety of everyone, please adhere to local directives and maintain a 6-foot physical distance while picking up, and do not pick up if you are feeling ill. 

Baby Welcome Wagon -- Virtual Home Visits
First 5 Amador has teamed up with the Amador County Public Health Department to offer the "Baby Welcome Wagon" to ALL parents that are either expecting or celebrating the arrival of a new baby.  This FREE program helps parents become more aware of the development, health & safety of their new arrivals. It also offers emotional support and information regarding local resources. Upon enrollment in the program, the family receives a free Parent Toolkit full of helpful goodies, along with a virtual home visit.  If you are pregnant or have recently had a child, download and print this simple, one page registration form, or call 223-6563. 

June is National Great Outdoors Month

Want to Help Your Young Child Become a Successful Reader and Writer? Allow them to spend time outdoors!
This is the perfect time of year to get outside and explore nature and the outdoors! Not only does spending time outdoors provide the obvious benefits, but it also provides lesser-known benefits for your young children as well...

An adequate writing posture is needed for young children learning how to write. This posture begins with core strength and balance. Today, many kids are so movement starved that they are falling out of their desks for no apparent reason at all. The ability to sit still actually begins with movement. Children who engage their bodies in diverse and complex movements develop what is needed for desk sitting.

Additionally, young writers need arm and shoulder strength to hold their hand in the right position. Children naturally allowed outside will gravitate towards monkey bars, tree climbing and load-bearing activities, in turn strengthening these large muscles that will eventually be needed for writing. Play with loose parts and with different natural textures such as sand or mud help fine tune the smaller muscles in the hands and fingers. Years of adequate nature play will help kids ease into the skills required for written word.

Young readers need strong eye muscles for tracking, and time in nature helps this happen. On uneven terrain, kids are constantly adjusting their gaze. This begins as early as infancy for babies who are held on hikes. With each step the slight up and down motion forces the eyes to work together, strengthening their ability to track. 

Nature engages the eyes with the smallest of insects and with the grandest of mountains. Kids experience a great variety in depth and in color in the great outdoors! Myopia (near-sightedness) is on the rise in children, both in number of cases and severity of cases. The rods and cones of the eyes are still developing in five to nine year olds. They need the light from the sun to help with this development. An increase in outside time during early childhood will significantly decrease the chances of developing myopia.

Children develop in many different ways. If you allow your children plenty of unstructured play time outdoors, you are helping them to obtain the skills needed for future success as they jump, run, skip, roll, and tumble. 

The benefits of Rough and Tumble Play...

ROUGH AND TUMBLE PLAY is physical, high energy play that is not aggressive. It is common play seen in all highly developed mammal species, including humans... and especially with DADS!

  • It is play that involves an adult and a child. Generally, men engage in this type of play very naturally, but it does not need to be gender specific once a parent understands the art and the science behind this type of play.
  • It must be energetic - children engaging in this play will become excited.
  • It must have physical contact.
  • It will involve competition and dominance swapping.
  • It will involve emotion.
  • It will be free flowing with only a few rules (no hurting).
  • It must be fun!
An example of Rough and Tumble Play is a child launching themselves onto the back of an adult lying on the floor and the adult then will wrestle with the child. The child may use every ounce of its strength to hold the parent down and the parent will engage to add to the enjoyment and excitement by matching the strength of the child. The play will continue with the adult controlling the level of excitement and physicality to keep the play positive and engaging for the child. During the play the child may become over excited and aggressive. This is controlled by the adult by naming what is going on and backing off in the intensity of the play with firm boundaries on hurting. The idea is to allow the child to regain self-control and then start the play again.



Once the excitement levels build your child will come to a point where the prefrontal cortex (executive control) may be pushed to overload and the limbic system will take over leading to a stress response (aggression, emotional overwhelm). The art of the parent engaging with this type of play is to take the child to the point where the tolerance level for excitement does not overwhelm. The more the Rough and Tumble Play occurs, the tolerance level will increase and this is where the learning really happens.



increased social skills; being able to judge the emotions of others through learning the meaning of facial expressions and how to interpret body tension of others.
Adapted from Explore & Develop
Early Literacy Update 

Tune in every Thursday at 4:00 pm (PST)! 

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is excited to present Dolly Parton's new weekly read-aloud video series called "Goodnight with Dolly." The Book Lady sits down to read books from the Imagination Library to children and families. "Goodnight with Dolly" launched on April 2. This 10-week series will focus on comforting and reassuring children during the shelter-in-place mandates. Dolly hopes these videos will provide a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books in the hearts of the children who see them. To tune in, click here!

If you missed any previous episodes, you can still watch them here

Sign up your child for the Imagination Library today and start receiving one free book every month (link is listed below)! This is a FREE  program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations. Books are 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 and to register online, click HERE.   

Local Child Care Providers Offered Additional Support During Pandemic

At the start of local stay-at-home and social distancing directives, First 5 entities across California sprang into action to provide assistance to licensed child care facilities in whatever ways they could. 

In collaboration with First 5 California and The Resource Connection Child Care Resources, First 5 Amador helped to coordinate the bulk delivery of cleaning and personal care supplies to our county. These supplies were then disbursed to all open local licensed child care facilities through a series of curbside pick-up events. More supplies are on their way, and two of these events are still remaining for June. In addition to these types of supplies, First 5 Amador also coordinated a mass delivery of learning and play materials, including felt story boards, felt story kits, and books, to help child care providers easily facilitate early literacy in their programs during stressful times. Other materials included parachutes and sidewalk chalk to promote active outdoor play and use of large motor skills... effective ways to help children relieve 
stress and promote mental health. 

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all local child care providers saw a drastic drop in their enrollments, which threatened their livelihoods. In response to this, First 5 Amador ramped up the monetary incentives offered to active 'Quality for Kids' participants, to help ease this financial burden. Child care providers who are active participants of Quality for Kids, and chose to stay open during the pandemic to provide care for the children of essential workers, earned a 
$1,000 per month stipend during April and May. 

Since our P.E.E.R. program was no longer able to conduct in-person home visits with family child care providers, Zoom meetings were introduced instead. This allowed for child care providers to network with each other, and discuss concerns and challenges with our P.E.E.R. coordinator. Providers who participated in these Zoom meetings earned the same monetary incentive that they would have if they were still doing in-person home visits... 
$50 per meeting. 

We deeply appreciate everyone's participation in Amador 'Quality for Kids,' and have been so delighted by the overwhelming popularity of the program this year! Over 50 child care providers benefitted from these various offerings. We look forward to continuing our strong relationships with all local child care providers and preschool center staff. It is our hope that through this support, all child care facilities will be able to fully recover from their recent hardships and continue to provide quality child care. 


How Can You Give Kids The Best 
Start In Life?
... by taking your children to well-child and dental check ups and also, 
by doing an "ASQ."
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) is a way to make sure your child is "on track." The screening tools are designed to be completed by parents or primary caregivers, that encourage parent-caregiver involvement. Child Care providers are encouraged to implement the use of these ASQ's into your programs.
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 email First 5 Amador at

We can connect providers with a home visitor who can visit you at your child care facility, train you in the use of the ASQ's, and help guide you in how to use them in your programs! 
Healthy Snacks for Kids ~ June 

Father's Day Pizzas 
that kids can make themselves! 

1) Roll out refrigerated pizza dough, using a rolling pin. Press into any shape that you choose (tie-shaped, heart-shaped, etc)
2) Spread marinara pizza sauce or pesto sauce on the dough
3) Sprinkle shredded cheese on the sauce
4) Top with a variety of your favorite toppings... pepperoni, sausage, olives, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and so on. 
5) Bake according to directions on pizza dough package. Enjoy! 

The Amador Network of Care community web site and community announcements page is a resource for individuals, families and agencies concerned with behavioral health. It provides information about behavioral health services, laws, and related news, as well as communication tools and other features. Regardless of where you begin your search for assistance with community resources or behavioral health issues, the Network of Care helps you find what you need - it helps ensure that there is "No Wrong Door" for those who need services. 

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

 Click HERE to check out the California Parent Guide, from First 5 California! This Guide includes what you need to know to help your child grow up healthy and thrive.

Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age.
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Get free books for your children!

Over 800 Amador kids are receiving books each month! 

Imagination Library Logo
Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every
 month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations locally. Books are 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.

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 |

PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway | Jackson, CA 95642
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!

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First 5 Amador, PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642

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