Honoring the Honorable: First 5 LA's Vice President of Policy and Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson received an "Excellence in Civil Engagement and Leadership Award" on February 20 at the 31st Annual Heart Strings Gala to celebrate the accomplishments of Riordan Scholars Alumni. The Riordan Scholars Program is a part of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and prepares college hopefuls for entrance into top-tier schools. Pattillo Brownson, who graduated the Riordan Program in 1992, was joined by two other honored graduates and a healthy First 5 LA fan section who cheered as Pattillo Brownson told stories about her distinguished mother's influence on her life. She finished by saying, "There is a lot getting done, but I look forward to making Los Angeles a more fair and equitable city."
Parents and Policy: First 5 LA colleagues joined local policy makers and parents on February 10 for a day-long conference focused on preparing parents and families for policy discussions that improve early childhood education (ECE) and K-12 programs in Southeast Los Angeles. Co-hosted by the Advancement Project and the CSU Long Beach Center for Community Engagement, the event at Bell Community Center featured remarks from Senator Ricardo Lara and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon who both represent portions of southeast Los Angeles County in the state legislature. Senator Lara discussed the importance of parents being engaged with their school districts on bilingual education and Speaker Rendon highlighted the State’s investment of $800 million for ECE over the last two years. First 5 LA Senior Program Officer Ofelia Medina served on a panel at the event to discuss ways parents can be engaged with their local school’s administrators and teachers.
Let's Go Dodgers: Leaders in the Strategic Partnerships Department met early this month with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation to revisit First 5 LA's relationship with the group and explore mutual interests around the built environment. Inspired by a recent report partially funded by First 5 LA about Measures M & A, the two groups are looking at ways to work together to help shape the future of L.A.'s built environment to benefit children.
Chamber Celebration: First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé recently joined the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and celebrated her and others' appointment during the Chamber’s Inaugural Dinner. Several First 5 LA staff joined Belshé at the event held at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, where they met business and civic leaders working together to make L.A. County prosperous for all.
D.C. Bound: First 5 LA’s Programs Division and Family Supports Department leaders and staff ventured to Washington D.C. in early February for the Ounce of Prevention Seventh National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting, gaining great learnings about innovations in Home Visiting and sharing some, as well. The Family Supports Department oversees First 5 LA’s investment in Welcome Baby, a free and voluntary program providing L.A. County women and new moms with support during the journey of pregnancy and early parenthood.