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A Shining Star

As part of the 15th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 10, which provided funding to create First 5s throughout California, the Monday Morning Report will regularly highlight First 5 LA's major milestones, accomplishments and accolades during the last 15 years.

A star was born in 2004.

That was the year First 5 LA and the local PBS station KCET developed "A Place of Our Own" and "Los Niños en Su Casa" to educate parents and child care providers on the importance of early learning.

More than 250 award-winning daily episodes were produced in Spanish and English and broadcast throughout California reaching over 4.3 million viewers in Los Angeles County.

The show was offered to 354 PBS member stations nationwide, beginning with the third-season launch in 2007. The series was also sponsored by BP and First 5 California.

The Emmy and Peabody award-winning English and Spanishlanguage programs were aimed at parents and caregivers who want to help young children develop social, emotional and cognitive skills.

Debi Gutierrez, host of "A Place of Our Own," and Alina Rosario, host of "Los Niños en Su Casa," provided fun and engaging half-hour episodes with parents and caregivers who provide insight on how to raise smart, healthy and happy children.

Topics included all aspects of early childhood, from health and nutrition to developmental milestones and early identification of special needs. The programs targeted early learning by addressing pre-literacy skills, early math recognition and science, and diversity appreciation. Episodes were accompanied by extensive bilingual websites and hands-on workshops.

The series and websites were given Parents' Choice Recommended Awards, the Spirit of Community Award from the Say Yes to Children Network, and the Media Award from the California Child Development Administrators Association. In addition, the websites earned the Webby Award, and "Los Niños en Su Casa" won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award in the public affairs category.

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