First 5 Celebrates 20 Years in San Bernardino County First 5 San Bernardino

First 5 San Bernardino celebrated their 20th Anniversary in partnership with the Inland Empire Community Collaborative (IECC), hosting six celebrations in November across the County of San Bernardino.

Inland Empire Community Collaborative evolved from an initiative of First 5 San Bernardino to address the capacity and funding gaps that impact the County of San Bernardino's nonprofit community. First 5 San Bernardino invested in a Capacity Building Academy that fostered a relationship among nonprofits to continue the learning journey with their peers. Those relationships formalized into the Inland Empire Community Collaborative. Members of the collaborative have brought in more than $16 million in funding as a result of their network and expanded capacity to deliver support services to communities all over Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

"First 5 is so pleased to celebrate our 20th anniversary alongside the partners who we work with, every day, to meet the needs of California’s young children. Now more than ever, we believe that California’s success will be measured one day by the success of its youngest children," said Karen E. Scott, Executive Director of First 5 San Bernardino.

The event series kickoff started with a presentation from the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, where Karen Scott was presented a proclamation recognizing the funder's 20 years of service in early childhood development. During the meeting, comments of gratitude were extended from former Commissioner and Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales to Scott for her leadership of the organization for the past 11 years.

Following the Board of Supervisors recognition, guests attended First 5 San Bernardino's Open House with speakers including Commissioners, partners, and stakeholders from over the years.

Left to Right: Open House Ceremony; First 5 San Bernardino Executive Director Karen E. Scott introduces Commission Chair & San Bernardino County Public Health Officer Maxwell Ohikhuare, M.D.; James Moses, Regional Director at Child Care Resource Center; Trudy Raymundo, Director of San Bernardino County Public Health; Susan Gomez, President of the Inland Empire Community Collaborative; First 5 San Bernardino Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hill, San Bernardino City Unified District School Board Member
Potter the Otter made an appearance at First 5 San Bernardino's Open House (Photo from: CHAISR)

Attendees participated in an activity wall to discover how they were all connected together in their service to the community. A showcase of investments at presentation tables around the office and the opportunity to sign a Yearbook with First 5 San Bernardino's collection of annual reports dating back to 2002 were also part of the Open House experience.

The Yearbook included comments from stakeholders that were surveyed to share their thoughts on the growth of First 5 San Bernardino as an organization:

"From our place in the community we have see First 5 mature, become more strategic, and thoughtful in its investments. Staff has grown in size and wisdom and its presence and prestige in the community has also grown over time." - Funded Contractor

Executive Director Karen E. Scott addresses a gathering of more than 80 invited attendees for commentary on the 20th Anniversary of First 5 San Bernardino.

Partners networked and caught up with each other during open house.

Guests thumbed through a Yearbook of Annual Reports and wrote messages before receiving a celebratory mug and other giveaways.

Partners made their mark on the Interactive Wall where they identified how they are all connected to each other.

First 5 Riverside, First 5 San Diego and First 5 San Bernardino leadership talked in the hallway displaying the First 5 San Bernardino 20 Year History Timeline.

Showcase tables from Quality Start San Bernardino, Dental Transformation Initiative, and other investment initiatives filled rooms around First 5 San Bernardino's office.

Commissioner Elliot Weinstein, M.D., a pediatrician in Rancho Cucamonga, California talks to an AmeriCorps Volunteer about her sensory play dough activity that she shares with children as a Preschool Coach.

The celebration continued in Big Bear Lake with The Mom and Dad Project, a funded parenting education program and participant in the Capacity Building Academy. First 5 San Bernardino was presented with a custom "hand-made" thank you gift from program participants while children and families enjoyed celebration activities including taking photos in a retro photo booth van.

In Victorville, Walden Family Services hosted a celebration with staff members and program participants from their parenting education program funded by First 5 San Bernardino. Commissioner Alan H. Garrett, President and CEO of St. Mary Medical Center and First 5 San Bernardino Deputy Director of Systems and Impact, Scott McGrath attended celebration acknowledgment ceremonies.

Photos from Walden Family Services

A Coming of Age in Grand Terrace held a festival in conjunction with their adoption celebration for foster families. Families enjoyed free food, music, dancing, face painting, and giveaways. During ceremonies, A Coming of Age Administrator David McCoy, thanked First 5 San Bernardino for their investment in the Capacity Building Program of which A Coming of Age was a graduating program.

Children enjoy games and activities during A Coming of Age's 20th Anniversary Celebration festival.

Children pick out their balloon animal art at A Coming of Age's 20th Anniversary Celebration

A Coming of Age staff members wore t-shirts with "Thank You" messages on the back of the t-shirt. A Coming of Age was a Capacity Building Academy alumni that received a scholarship and currently serves as a peer leader in the Inland Empire Community Collaborative.

Families enjoyed food and activities.

Children enjoyed free retro photo van booth with props to style themselves in the back of the van.

Nonprofit organization, Music Changing Lives also celebrated 20 years of serving children through music education and hosted a celebration in partnership with First 5 San Bernardino. Performers from the nonprofit's program showcased their talents in singing and music with attendance from City of Redlands elected officials.

The series of celebrations concluded in Rancho Cucamonga with Litehouse Children & Family Services hosting a small celebration lunch full of children and small activities including giveaways and games.

Coverage on the events were featured in The Big Bear Grizzly, The Press-Enterprise, and Redlands Daily-Facts newspapers.

Media Clips

An awareness campaign from First 5 San Bernardino reached more than 5.5 million in the Inland Empire region. First 5 San Bernardino refreshed their award-winning television commercial with the First 5 20th Anniversary Logo for broadcast on cable networks in San Bernardino County and for promotion on social media. Editorial features in Inland Empire Magazine highlighted Karen Scott's leadership and direction for the organization, along with full page advertisements in the October and November issues. A digital billboard in the High Desert and Valley areas of the county's most trafficked freeways featured our anniversary celebration message "Celebrating 20 years of firsts", bringing campaign awareness to more than 1 million commuters across Southern California.

Billboard Artwork for Anniversary Campaign
"We've spent 20 years investing in the first five years of our kids in San Bernardino County because our future is worth every cent." - Print Ad Campaign Message

First 5 San Bernardino would like to thank County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, Inland Empire Community Collaborative, The Mom and Dad Project, Walden Family Services, A Coming of Age, Music Changing Lives, Litehouse Children & Family Services, First 5 San Bernardino Commissioners, Stakeholders, Partners, Funded Agencies and Staff for their support and commitment to service of children and their families in county. For more information on First 5 San Bernardino visit first5sanbernardino.org.

Created By
Leslie Fountain


Leslie N. Fountain

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