A Look at What’s Happening at Stone Soup May

6.21.2012

May brings summer so much more closer. We kicked off to an early start to summer with the end of yearlong programs and sign-ups for summer programs.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been up to . . .

Programs

Play Group children and parents celebrated the last day of programs for the year with a carnival filled with fun games and activities. Families received information about summer activities and resources that support learning. In addition, children received a special visit from the County librarian and signed up for their first library card.

Early Learning Academy children may be gearing up for their final field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and last day of instruction but are not quite slowing down yet. Children and parents have enjoyed a fun-filled month with celebration of Mother’s Day, field trips to the Chafee Zoo, River Buddies out on the San Joaquin River, and the Fish Hatchery. Also, the children proudly displayed their work during an open house event for parents. We look forward to you joining us for the graduation of our youngest learners on Friday, June 15th.

Strong Families program have kept up the pace with the graduation of the latest co-hort of citizenship class students. In the next month, a group of new American citizens will make a special trip to tour the State Capitol for the first time. The tour will be guided by staff at our partner organization SEARAC.

Parent Leadership Group is gearing up for a live interview on the local Hmong TV Network featuring Zoua Vang, communications director at First 5 Fresno County, Vicky Xiong, leadership group coordinator, and four parents. The show will focus on the importance of parental engagement in children’s education success in school.

Partnerships/Collaborative Projects

After many meetings, the FUSD Graduation taskforce has drafted recommendations that will be presented to the school board on June 6th.

Alice and Jill attended the The Children’s Movement (TCM) Political Academy ” Public Impact in Hearings – Why and How” led by Susan Anderson and Cathi Huerta in preparation to represent the voices of children and families at the upcoming Fresno County Board of Supervisors budget hearings in June.  If you haven’t already, please join the movement.

MaiKa attended the Advocacy Collaborative meeting with the department of social services director and deputy directors. The meeting focused on strategies to support the department of social services in the improvement of new systems to better service clients.

MaiKa and Vicky Xiong attended the second quarterly meeting with the Bilingual/Dual Language consortium initiated by CSU Fresno. The consortium brings together various stakeholders to serve as “a knowledge base for effective dual language research and practice and to provide advising for informed dual language policy decisions and practices in schools pre-K through the university level.”

Funding/Support

First 5 Fresno County renewed two contracts for FY 2012-2013 which start in July 2012 and end in June 2013. The contracts support the Play Group, Early Learning Academy, and Strong Families programs.

Wells Fargo Foundation generously awarded an additional $5,000 to our initial request of $5,000 which will fund the summer Hmong Culture and Literacy Academy program.

Other/News

The summer Hmong Culture and Literacy Academy program returns this summer with start date of June 18th  and end date of July 27th. The program provides free enrichment activities that promote learning of the Hmong written and spoken language and traditional cultural arts for 100 Hmong youth ages 5 through 18 years old.

Culture Camp, a “boot camp” pre-K program prepares 25 children who have never attended school to enter Kindergarten in the fall. The program involves numerous retired teachers and community members to provide instruction.

In the upcoming month, staff will meet to brainstorm and strategize around two main areas: 1) ways to integrate father involvement in all programs and organizational practices, and 2) fundraising for the rest of 2012 and 2013.

Upcoming events/activities
• June 7th –ELA’s first field trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium
• June 9th- Strong Families new citizens field trip to State Capitol
• June 15th –ELA last day of instruction/graduation celebration, 10am at Stone Soup
• June 18th – Hmong Culture and Literacy Academy starts, Monday through Friday, 6-8pm
• June 22nd – Staff Meeting
• June 28th – Staff Meeting: Father Involvement Planning
• June 29th – Staff Meeting: Fundraising Planning

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