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Moving Forward and Transitions: Bright Beginnings November Newsletter

Moving Forward and Transitions

For the past couple of weeks, much of our local and national focus has been on deep divisions within our nation. Despite our personal feelings about the election, one point that has emerged is that issues that impact infants, toddlers and their families are being recognized by both sides of the aisle.

Thank you for your commitment to improving the lives of babies and families in Monterey County. In the months and years ahead we resolve to continue our work with other organizations and with you to ensure that infants, toddlers and families have the supports they need to thrive and succeed. Because when babies succeed, so do we all.

Read below for opportunities to engage both within the local initiative and at the state level.

Bright Beginnings Staff Transition

In October Nina Alcaraz, Bright Beginnings Manager, announced that she will be transitioning out of the Bright Beginnings Manager position to become the Policy, Advocacy and Communications Manager for First 5 Monterey County. She is fully committed to Bright Beginnings and the transition will not be complete until staffing for Bright Beginnings has been confirmed.  

Please help us find a new wonderfully, talented individual to step into the Bright Beginnings Manager role.

Bright Beginnings Program Manager (employee of First 5 Monterey County -- reports to co-chairs of Bright Beginnings and the Monterey County Children’s Council).  

The Bright Beginnings Program Manager provides management, coordination, and communication to the Bright Beginnings Initiative, (formerly known as the Early Childhood Development Initiative).

Bright Beginnings supports communities to identify and implement local systems change and practical solutions for children from the prenatal stage through 3rd grade. Bright Beginnings uses a Collective Impact Framework to ensure mutual ownership, build consensus, and engender sustainable outcomes. The work at the community level also informs local, state and federal systems change.

MORE INFORMATION: Please see the attached position description or the First 5 Monterey County website.  

DEADLINE: Resumes are due by December 30th.

Policy Advocacy Day

Please mark your calendars and set aside January 31, 2017 to come to Sacramento for Advocacy Day. We will begin with a morning kick off breakfast, located in the Capitol Basement. A networking lunch will provide attendees an opportunity to connect with First 5 leadership from across the State. Throughout the day, attendees will visit legislators and their staff to share information about who we are and what we do for children 0-5 and their families in detail.

This is a wonderful opportunity for families to get involved at the state level to advocacy for funding and policies that will affect Monterey County. Please contact Karen Gorman at Karen@first5monterey.org or 831-444-8549 by December 31, 2016 to express your interest.

Win an Amazon Gift Certificate!

We value your feedback very much. Your participation helps us determine the best capacity building support to provide the initiative and CATs. Hopefully by now you have received a survey link from our evaluators, Spark Policy Institute. The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete.

If you haven’t received an e-mail, please check your spam box for an e-mail from Sophie from Spark Policy Institute: Sophie@sparkpolicy.com. Please reach out to Sophie if you do not see a survey e-mail. The deadline to complete the survey is Wednesday, November 30. Upon completion, all respondents will be entered into a raffle to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards. (Yay!)

All survey results will be analyzed by the evaluation team at Spark Policy Institute. To ensure anonymity, all responses will be kept confidential and reported back in aggregate to all Bright Beginnings stakeholders. If you have any questions, please contact Sophie@sparkpolicy.com.

Thank you for your time and effort. Similar to last year, your thoughtful responses will help shape how we all move the initiative forward.

News + Updates

SAVE THE DATE CAT Convening Feb. 24, 2017


Our next CAT meeting will focus on peer-to-peer learning for each of the CATs. Please save the date and details will follow shortly.

If you have any questions or recommendations for topics, contact Nina at nina@first5monterey.org or 831-444-8549.

CAT Spotlight Pajaro


The Pajaro CAT has made great strides and will continue to learn how best to support the families and children of Pajaro.

“I have learned that despite all the challenges, the parents are very resilient. They really value family and want the best for the children,” says Maria Ramirez, Program Coordinator for the Parents as Teachers program lead by Action.

Empowered through their local CAT, Pajaro families are motivated and working to do whatever it takes for their children to succeed in and out of school.

Click here to read the full CAT Spotlight about Pajaro.

Stay Up To Date! 


Interested in learning about upcoming Bright Beginnings CAT and Network meetings? Events around the county to get involved with? Want to post what you are doing so Bright Beginnings can help promote your event through our various channels?

Be sure to check out our Google Calendar or email info@brightbeginningsmc.org  to learn more.
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