Our mentorship network begins with a 6-month long cohort experience where junior and senior high school students are paired with mentors from a variety of early childhood field professions such as pediatric physical therapist, speech language pathologist, childcare center directors, and providers operating family childcare homes. During this period students are able to complete student internships at the mentor’s site, develop career and education goals, and be exposed to a variety of child and family serving organizations in our community.
Students participating in the Florecer program have access to college-level coursework in child and family studies and education (CFSE) through Napa Valley College and financial assistance provided by First 5 Napa County to complete their first 12 units in CFSE courses.
Mentors and mentees are encouraged to develop career and education goals, complete reflective journal prompts, and create a plan to stay connected beyond the 6-month experience.
During the 2022-2023 school year, the Florecer program had 7 mentors and 9 mentees participate. Mentees were juniors and seniors in high school from Napa, New Tech, Vintage, Camile Creek, and American Canyon high schools. All mentees participated in the Napa County Office of Education’s Mariposa program.
- The mentorship network helped me feel part of a community: 92% of Participants responded very or extremely helpful
- The mentorship network helped me connect with resources: 85% of Participants responded very or extremely helpful
- ALL mentees are considering employment opportunities in Early Childhood Field based on mentorship experience
- ALL mentors and mentees have made a plan to stay connected after this experience
Rainbow Kits provide early childhood education settings with resources, training, and materials to promote LGBTQ, diverse family and gender inclusion in their early childhood spaces.
Rainbow Kits are LGBTQ and gender inclusive toolkits for preschools in Napa County. Kit materials align with the NAEYC Anti-Bias Goals for early childhood education.
Since 2020, over 500 providers in Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Humboldt, Mendocino, Marin, and Lake counties have received Rainbow Kits and training and 570 kits have been distributed.
This was accomplished through a partnership with the First 5 HUB Region 1 and with Napa Valley Unified School district to develop kits and resources that would serve Tk-6th grade students.
Some of the materials included in these bilingual kits:
- LGBTQ, diverse family and gender inclusive books with discussion bookmarks
- LGBTQ and gender inclusive toys
- Gender Inclusive Language Magnet
- Lessons Plans and Activities
- Suggested Toy Invitations
- Policy and Statement Recommendations
- Family Engagement Materials
- Rainbow School Checklist
- Multicultural Art Supplies for Activities
Providers requesting a Rainbow Kit must first attend a (2) part training series: Safe Space Training for Early Childhood Educators: Making Early Childhood Settings more LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive. These trainings are currently offered through Napa Valley College’s CFSE 223 Practicum Course.
If you are interested in learning more about rainbow kits for your classroom, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.