Volunteers Needed for a Chance to "Rebuild" IHSD

IHSD Facilities Coordinator Joy Dueñas highlights a wonderful and upcoming partnership that will support our programs and makes a call for more volunteers!

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Happy Monday! I am in high spirits after experiencing our first IHSD Family Day this Saturday at the San Mateo Central Park! Not only was it a gorgeous day to see our families but so wonderful to see our dedicated staff engaging with our beautiful families while they did craft and wellness activities with the children and parents in addition to continuing to literally nourish families with food but also with beneficial presentations along side our community partners. I saw our amazing parent ambassadors step up to the plate and really shine as well!

I expect the in-kind there to be at least $50,000 in professional hours and materials alone and that is only for one site!

What a great way to celebrate 35 years of IHSD serving our community! On that same note of serving, I wanted to highlight another wonderful partnership we have had with Rebuilding Together for the past few years. This year, we were fortunate to be chosen by the Associate Director of Rebuilding Together because of our strong commitment to serving to community. Even though I had not submitted an application for our sites to receive repairs this year, Cari Pang Chen reached out to us to offer repairs to 4 of our sites based on applications I had submitted previously for our sites!

 

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Rebuilding Together Peninsula to Rebuild Three IHSD Sites During April’s National Rebuilding Month

Rebuilding Together, the leading national nonprofit organization with a mission to repair the homes of people in need and revitalize our communities, will host its annual National Rebuilding Month this April. Last year, over 30,000 volunteers donated 230,000 hours throughout National Rebuilding Month.

In our community, Rebuilding Together Peninsula will host volunteers on Saturday, April 27 to repair two IHSD Head Start program sites in East Palo Alto and the Serramonte Child Development Center in Daly City. This will be the fourth year IHSD and Rebuilding Together Peninsula will be partnering together to provide facility upgrades for community programs targeting low-income communities. Cooley LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC, and the WSGR Foundation, and Webcor are providing the volunteers and corporate sponsorship funding to support these projects. All of these companies have been longtime sponsors of Rebuilding Together Peninsula’s National Rebuilding Day program.Read more


Building a Father Figure Community

We sat down with Charlie Cervantes, IHSD Family Service & Father Engagement Specialist, to talk about his work in building a father figure community.

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IHSD: First off, how did you start working for IHSD?

Charlie: I started working in 2001 through Child Care Careers as an aid. I started as an aid for about a year and then became a permanent employee in 2002 as an assistant teacher. I worked my way through Fair Oaks, Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Home Based program and was a home visitor for seven years. In 2015, I became a family advocate for our East Palo Alto site and help father engagement.

IHSD: What can you tell us about the father figure cafés?

Charlie: A father figure café is a physically and emotionally safe space where father figures talk about the challenges and victories of raising a family. They explore their strengths, learn about the five protective factors, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experience to help strengthen their families.

We wanted to make dads feel welcomed and create a warm inviting environment.

IHSD: What is the goal of the father figure cafés?

Charlie: Father figures leave our father figure cafés feeling inspired, energized and excited to put into practice what they learned. The goal of the father figure cafés is to create an intimate environment where father figures can share and support each other as a strategy for strengthening families.Read more


Serving the Coast from a Coastal Native

IHSD Family Services Coordinator Melissa shares her story serving IHSD from the coast.

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Working on the coast for IHSD is such a unique and rewarding experience.  Many people know of and have visited the now very popular tourist town of Half Moon Bay.  The roads crowd each weekend with people from all around to visit it's beaches, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms, as well as to eat at incredible restaurants.  However, Half Moon Bay was not always so well-known, and only relatively recently has become such a popular destination.  Although it is constantly changing and growing, there are still many "small town" characteristics that make it such a great place to work, and a special place for our children and families to live. Before going any further, I think it's important to mention that the joy I find in working on the Coast is greatly influenced by my own personal story.Read more


A Healthy Start to 2019!

IHSD Health & Nutrition Services Manager, Fou, shares some healthy perspective to start the new year!

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As we enter the new year, there’s no better time to reflect on overall wellness. At IHSD, I
gratefully embrace the incredible leadership that guides the fulfilling work that we do to support
our children and their families.

IHSD’s spirit exemplifies a purpose that is true to the creation of Head Start and that is around
the child’s well being. While our staff are easily found busying themselves with compliance
driven health and nutrition deadlines, we can certainly share that this is the testament to the
love we have for our families and our agency.

We live in a county where folks are constantly stretched to meet the needs of their children, their families and so we take great pride in the confidence they have in entrusting their children to the IHSD learning community.

Our efforts in guiding them around the importance and value of keeping their child healthy and safe by sharing the benefit in timely physical exams, having their children immunized to mention a few and most importantly that their child is thriving, growing, learning.Read more


How to Share the Holiday Spirit

IHSD Family and Community Engagement Coordinator Moana shares what the holiday spirit means to her.

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For me, the holidays are a time to pause with the ones we have been blessed with during our life's journey. Taking in and creating an opportunity to reflect, reconcile, build, encourage, and speak life into one another. As we enter a new season of love, laughter, tears, accomplishments, setbacks for a greater comeback, everything that comes makes us a stronger unit. We are definitely stronger together!

During this holiday season don't be afraid to give and take!Read more


My #FavoritePreschoolMemory with Elizabeth Ponce

IHSD alumna-now-staff, Elizabeth Ponce, shares her #FavoritePreschoolMemory. What's yours?

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I remember being in class with one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Lorreine (sp?). I didn't speak much English and being of an extremely shy temperament didn't help much. With her, I, however, remember feeling very safe. As I became felt more secure in my new environment, I remember vividly playing with my new friends outside at the Pacifica site that IHSD once had. I can still remember the structures that were there and how the outside area looked.

A second special memory I have is the visit from the firefighters, specifically the sound of their breathing in their masks as they showed us how they crawled on their hands and knees in a burning building. They turned off the lights to make the room feel darker and had us stay quiet, so we could hear the sound of their breathing.Read more


IHSD Cheers to 35 Years

Our 35th-anniversary celebration and inaugural fundraising event was a great success! Thank you for attending, hearing our speakers, making a bid, and especially to those who generously contributed to our Fund-a-Need (Preschool Scholarship Giving).

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Seasons of Love with IHSD

Former IHSD teacher-now-staff, Angel Chang, shares her experience back in the classroom to lead an art project with supplies donated by Blick Art Materials.

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My first season with IHSD started in the fall of 2008 in a coastal town with a one classroom preschool site next to a pumpkin patch. After two years of teaching, I continued to stay engaged with IHSD as a volunteer, an advocate, a member of the growth committee, and most recently a staff member. My seasons with IHSD have been nothing short of mission-driven with the growing belief that all children should have access to quality early childhood education.

As a staff member, I recently had an opportunity to be back in the classroom and lead an art project. Ahead of the 35th-anniversary event and IHSD's inaugural fundraiser, I was inspired by my seasons with IHSD to lead a painting project for the live auction.

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My #FavoritePreschoolMemory with Porchea Fort

IHSD alumna-now-staff, Porchea Fort, remembers her #FavoritePreschoolMemory.

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In 2016, I started my journey working for IHSD as a teacher at the Fair Oaks site. After working for a couple of months I found out the preschool I had attended when I was younger was affiliated with IHSD!

Who would’ve thought years down the line I would work for the company where I attended preschool? While I don’t remember much about preschool two specific moments stand out for me.

One was making green eggs and ham after we read Dr. Sesuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. To this day it is one of my favorite books. To my preschool self, making green eggs and ham was such a big deal, because it was like we were making the story come to life. As I write this post, I just had an ah-ha moment and realized why “WOW experiences” are important for children. It gives them a hands-on approach and leaves a lasting impact, but I digress.Read more