Wonderful article from the North Bay Business Journal!
Wonderful article from the North Bay Business Journal!
Unique public/private partnership between Napa Valley Vintners and First 5 Napa County establishes model to address community’s public education needs
October 14, 2014 – St. Helena, CA – More than 1,000 Napa County children and adults were helped by the Napa Valley Early Learning Initiative (NVELI) in its first year, according to a report just released by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit trade association and First 5 Napa County. The multi-year, multi-million dollar strategic funding initiative, launched in spring 2013, is a collaborative partnership between the two organizations that focuses on early learning and kindergarten readiness to reduce the achievement gap between English-fluent and English-learning students in Napa County.
“We’re thrilled with the results we’ve achieved with our partner First 5 Napa County in the inaugural year of this initiative,” commented Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners. “Together, we’ve created a solid foundation for the program and we can already see progress in several areas. We are eager to continue our work together to ensure every child in Napa County enters kindergarten ready to learn.” The NVV has committed up to $5 million for the initiative, made possible by proceeds from its annual Auction Napa Valley fundraiser.
NVELI aims to reduce the achievement gap by supporting children, their families and the early learning professionals that work with them. In its first year, the program targeted neighborhoods adjacent to four Napa County elementary schools: Napa Junction Elementary in American Canyon; Phillips and Shearer Elementary schools in the city of Napa; and Calistoga Elementary in Calistoga.
More than $700,000 was invested in nine different programs like English as a second language classes for parents; kindergarten transition activities for children; early literacy programs; parent workshops on child development; and the creation of a structure to support early learning professionals.
The NVELI First Year Report summarizes the results in three key areas: Family Strengthening, Child Access and Provider Quality. Findings from the first year indicate:
“In the 2013-14 school year, more than half of Napa County students were Hispanic/Latino and nearly 25% were English-language learners,” noted Michelle Laymon, NVELI program officer. “We know that early intervention and school-readiness programs like NVELI make a difference, not only while kids are in school, but toward their ability to be engaged members of our community as they become adults.”
“We’ve learned that funding alone is not enough,” stated Sally Sheehan-Brown, executive director of First 5 Napa. “In our 15 years of experience serving the Napa community, we’ve acted as a convener and facilitator to support the development of locally led initiatives on behalf of children and families. NVELI is a model for how we can work with the private sector to ensure success for our community.”
See attached copies of the Napa Valley Early Learning Initiative First Year Report:
About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence for 70 years by inspiring its 500 members to produce consistent quality wines, provide environmental leadership and care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at napavintners.com.
About First 5 Napa County
California voters passed Proposition 10 in November 1998 establishing the 58 Children and Families Commissions later becoming known as First 5 emphasizing the importance of a child’s first five years. Proposition 10 added a 50 cent tax on all tobacco products to provide funds to support services for children 0-5 and their families. Proposition 10 was built on research showing investments in the first five years produce significant results – for the children, their families and society. In November 2013, First 5 celebrated its 15th Anniversary and the combined community investment of over $18 million for young children, families and early care providers.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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Fifteen years ago voters affirmed the importance of investing in the healthy development of California’s youngest children and passed Proposition 10, the California Children and Families Act. Proposition 10 was built on research showing investments in the first five years produce significant results – for the children, their families and society.
From the onset, First 5 Napa sought the advice of local experts and community partners to expand funding for what was working and fill in the gaps where services did not yet exist. After investing more than $18 million locally in services for young children, families and early care providers, there is much to celebrate.
Fifteen years of funding has given the First 5 Napa Commission an understanding of the issues and challenges facing children’s health and development. We also gained knowledge of what it takes to create services and practices that successfully address those issues and challenges. Acknowledging that funding alone is not sufficient, we opted to use our organizational resources to serve as convener and facilitator to support the development of locally led initiatives on behalf of children and families.
Over the next several months, First 5 Napa will join with our wonderful and dedicated community partners to highlight and celebrate what we have accomplished in Napa. Moving into the next 15 years, we will work to sustain the systems that support children’s learning and healthy development.
We look forward to a California where all children enter kindergarten ready to learn at their highest potential, have access to comprehensive healthcare, and every opportunity to thrive. The First 5 Napa Commission and staff thank you for your commitment in making this vision a reality.