September Newsletter

September Newsletter - grant making input, fotonovelas and more!

People say that time moves quickly when you’re having fun and if that’s true, then those involved in Bright Beginnings must be having a blast. With all the important activities and events, it’s hard to keep up. This month’s newsletter is full of opportunities, information, and excitement!

  • Provide input on how First 5 Monterey County will support Integrated System Collaboratives through their grantmaking process

  • Request promotional materials for your community from the Porque Me Amas Campaign – including an original fotonovela

  • Recap Bright Beginnings September CAT Convening and the latest Policy Advocacy Network meeting

  • Find out about a Collaboration Award with the potential for up to $100k for your collaborative

We continue to look forward to learning, sharing, and collaborating with our communities. To learn more about Bright Beginnings, visit our new website here.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and upcoming events by connecting with Bright Beginnings on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

First 5 Grantmaking Community Meeting
October 1st 

Last month, First 5 Monterey County outlined a community vision for supporting children and families through their Strategic Plan Framework. The next step in their process is inviting individuals and organizations to co-design the best ways to meet those identified priorities. First 5 is holding community meetings to create their community grantmaking funding process.

Many topics will be addressed and one area for funding relevant to Bright Beginnings CATs is the exploration of funding Integrated System Collaboratives (ISC). An ISC is a way to enhance access to services through greater collaborations – the core of Bright Beginnings CATs! The intention of funding ISC’s is to ensure greater alignment of community organizations towards supporting children and families. We highly encourage Bright Beginnings CATs to share your perspective and experience to help inform the next round of grantmaking for First 5.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Northminster Presbyterian
315 East Alvin Drive
Salinas, CA 93906

You can RSVP by emailing Joanna, or by calling (831) 444-8549.

Spanish interpretation, food, and child care will be provided.

For more information, visit the First 5 Monterey County website

Porque Me Amas Materials - Fotonovela!

Hopefully by now you’ve seen the television ads, heard the radio spots, seen bus ads, and bookmarks from the Porque Me Amas campaign to promote parent-child interaction in the Spanish speaking community.

Bright Beginnings has been working in partnership with the Literacy Campaign for Monterey County, First 5 Monterey County and the County Gang Violence Prevention Initiative to widely distribute materials. The latest addition to the promotional materials includes an original fotonovela featuring local Monterey County families stressing the importance of reading, talking, singing, and playing in households. Help spread the message in waiting rooms, meetings, and individual interactions. For sample pages click here: Page 1  Page 2.

To order tri-folds, bookmarks, posters and the fotonovela contact Eric Gams at or 831-229-4343.

September CAT Convening Recap 


On September 9th, Bright Beginnings stakeholders gathered together for the Fall Collaborative Action Team Convening. There was active participation and feedback about Bright Beginnings support, the alignment of Bright Beginnings and Bright Futures and peer-to-peer CAT learning. For the agenda and notes, click here: Bright Beginnings September CAT Convening.

According to survey feedback, participants especially walked away with an increased connectedness and opportunity to share knowledge with other CATs, knowledge and understanding of Bright Beginnings support and the confidence to implement the vision of Bright Beginnings. One participant wrote, "It was great to see all those engaged with Bright Beginnings/Bright Futures. Seems as though Bright Beginnings is moving closer to taking defined actions to support programs. A very positive meeting - glad to be part of it."

During the meeting we discussed the opportunity to have training/coaching in partnership with Bright Futures with a national consultant from Strive Together - Teri O'Brien on October 19th-20th. If you have not already voiced your interest in this opportunity, please contact Karen at or 831-444-8549. 

It is such an honor to be working with all of you and these gatherings always remind me of the quote, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

Save the date for the next CAT Convening on February 24th. We will be focusing on data and deepening peer-to-peer CAT learning.

September Policy Advocacy Network Meeting

At the most recent Policy Advocacy Network meeting, we covered several important topics:

  • The Women's Policy Institute team presented a draft of their Child Care and Early Learning Policy Strategies document for feedback;
  • Brainstorm language and priorities for the draft of the county's early childhood legislative platform.  A draft will be sent out to network members for review;
  • Discuss next steps and timeline for LCFF advocacy.
For notes from the September Meeting, visit our website or click on the link: 

September Policy Advocacy Network Meeting.

Our next meeting will review Network activities over the next couple of weeks, including LCFF, state and federal policies along with continued support for the Women's Policy Institute team. Please join us and invite other to participate.

Friday, October 28, 2016 (Standing Meeting 4th Friday of the month


12:30pm-1pm | Hosted lunch pre-meeting for those who are new to the Policy Advocacy Network or need a refresher 

1pm-3pm | Policy Advocacy Network meeting

First 5 Monterey County Office
1125 Baldwin Street
Salinas, CA 93906

Please RSVP by clicking here or using the button below.

Register Here

Award Money for Collaboration

The Collaboration Prize identifies and showcases models of permanent collaboration between two or more nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the impact that can result from working together, the Prize shines a spotlight on collaborations that demonstrate innovative and effective responses to challenges or opportunities. A grand prize of $150,000 will be awarded to the collaboration that best exemplifies the impact that can result from working together on a permanent basis. Each of the eight finalists will receive $10,000.

For more information and to apply visit: Bright Beginnings CATs deserve the recognition for their hard work at collaborating! 

Feedback Welcome

Do you have a question you have been meaning to ask? An idea that you would like to see become reality? We went to hear from you. Visit our website and scroll to the bottom of the page to share your thoughts:

Bright Beginnings is an opportunity for the community as a whole to work together to ensure that young children, from the prenatal stage through age 8, have what they need to succeed. Bright Beginnings aims to maximize community efforts to improve early childhood development outcomes through effective coordination, capacity building, empowerment and strategic action for children and their families. Bright Beginnings invites all communities in Monterey County to actively engage in supporting early childhood development.   

Copyright © 2016 Bright Beginnings, All rights reserved.

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