Children Matter: New Family Resource Center, and What’s New at Emeryville Child Development Center

May 2, 2013
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Children Matter: New Family Resource Center, and What’s New at Emeryville Child Development Center

New Family Resource and Wellness Center! Several years ago, John Sugiyama, interim superintendent of Emery Unified School District, put together a small working group to look at services in Emeryville for children birth to 5 and their families.  There were many gaps in services and families looked to Berkeley and Oakland for support.  Using information prepared by the working group, Superintendent Sugiyama wrote a federal grant to bring resources to these families and fill the service gaps.  Emeryville USD received a federal grant of $250,000 to open a Family Resource Center and alleviate some of the difficulties families faced. The grant’s main purpose is to provide a “rainbow of services” targeted at children and families of all ages.  This grant provides funding to set up the Family Resource Center and implement a unique city-wide, birth to 5 project—”The 5 Bold Initiatives”—that encompasses (1) search and serve, (2) promoting  school readiness, (3) building community capacity to access services, (4) a coordinated network of service providers, and (5) early screening, identification and referral. The Family Resource and Wellness Center opened on March 26th at the city’s recreational building, 4300 San Pablo Ave.  The 5 Bold Initiatives Project has been incorporated into EUSD’s

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Children Matter: Much Needed Improvements Coming to Emeryville Child Development Center

June 3, 2012
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Children Matter: Much Needed Improvements Coming to Emeryville Child Development Center

For nearly two years, an advisory committee has been working with the city to develop and strengthen the program of the Emeryville Child Development Center (ECDC). A consultancy group skilled in early education was recently hired to assess the Center’s work, and the results (available on ECDC website) showed need for improvement in many areas.  The Center’s director immediately began efforts to upgrade the staff development program, to restructure administrative positions, and to hire new teachers.  Two teachers have retired recently, and a first round of interviews for their replacements has been completed.  The hiring of three new teachers and a supervisor awaits City Council approval.  The Center’s director, new to the job herself, is managing sweeping changes.  Fortunately, she’s getting strong support from the advisory committee, city staff, and the City Council.  All this reflects a growing awareness of the value of the program to our community. ECDC is housed in a beautiful building.  The families of the children who attend are strongly connected to the program and its teachers.  ECDC has the potential for becoming an excellent, relationship-based program that will help bring children, families, staff, and community together.  Emeryville is one of the few cities in our

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Meet the Candidates 2011

October 26, 2011
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Meet the Candidates For Emeryville City Council The information below is based on personal interviews with the candidates and is either quoted directly or paraphrased (in the first person), with the exception of information in parentheses. JACQUELINE (Jac) ASHER (Interviewed by Brian Donahue) Age 40,  married with two children (one enrolled in the Emeryville Child Development Center and one attending Anna Yates Elementary School); A Ph.D. Educator at UC Berkeley. She has lived four years in Emeryville. Where jacasher.com What Development: Cites Doyle/Hollis park as successful land use development but Oakwalk “could have been better”. Oakwalk suffers from a “lack of family friendly common space, the stairs are problematic and in general it doesn’t conform to presentations given to the city in order to define and work toward family friendly housing.” However she believes having said that there are some family friendly units there. She takes issue with the city’s lack of family friendly housing on the whole, “We’ve weighted things too heavily towards studios and one bedrooms.” Center of Community Life “We need more direct engagement with parents and families already enrolled in the schools. We need absolute transparency with expenditures and the budget for this project to maintain

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Children Matter: City Council, Corporate Citizens Need to Invest in Early Childhood Education

May 10, 2011
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Children Matter: City Council, Corporate Citizens Need to Invest in Early Childhood Education

“…Recent studies suggest that one critical form of education, early childhood development…, is grossly under-funded. However, if properly funded and managed, investment in ECD yields an extraordinary return, far exceeding the return on most investments, private or public…. In the future any proposed economic development list should have early childhood development at the top.” — Arthur Rolnick and Robert Grunewald, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis How do you make a city if you exclude children and families from planning?  Many young professionals who live and work in Emeryville move to the suburbs to find homes and schools once they have families. In Santa Monica as development took place, early education facilities were included in the overall planning design.  This meant that centers for children and families were abundant and programs had beautiful facilities in which young children could thrive. American early educators travel, when they can, to see innovative programs.  The schools of Reggio Emilia and Pistoia in Italy are great early education communities.  They believe in investing in their young children.  I live in the Bay Area where some of the best minds in early childhood education also live and work.  We missed an opportunity: Emeryville is small enough

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