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SCV Raw: From the Santa Clarita Valley Child & Family Center

BRIGHT BEGINNINGS AT CHILD & FAMILY CENTER

Posted: November 16, 2012 12:31 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2012 12:31 p.m.

Dignitaries attended the Child & Family Center's "Bright Beginnings" celebration opening on Wednesday.

 

Child & Family Center held a dedication ceremony for its Bright Beginnings Therapeutic Preschool on Wednesday, November 14. The ceremony was the culmination of three years of planning and development for the unique program.

“Bright Beginnings reflects our commitment to prevention and early intervention in the life of a child and our belief that the integration of education and mental health services is extremely important to those children with mental health issues and are at risk of school failure. The program is the direct result of a community need, community participation and community support,” said Darrell Paulk, CEO Child & Family Center

Dave Perry, Field Deputy for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich presented a commemorative plaque and shared the Supervisor’s longtime commitment to both Child & Family Center and the important early intervention treatment it provides to the children and families in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Several community leaders attended the event including Dr. Marc Winger, Superintendent of the Newhall School District, Joan Lucid, Superintendent of Saugus Union School District, Margaret Cherene of SCV Selpa, Child & Family Center Board member Diane Stewart, Child & Family Center Foundation Board members Scott Shepard, Barbara Cochran and Stephanie Graziano, C&FC Advisory Committee member Al Pitzer, Michelle Morse, SUSD Preschool Administrator, Paul Frisina, SSSD Director of Special Education, Joanne Broutt, SSSD Program Specialist, Monica Marshall, COC Preschool, Sandee Sumber, Director, Special Education Retired, Castaic School District, and Alyssa Janney, Remo Drums.

The Bright Beginnings preschool program was developed at Child & Family Center in response to numerous requests from local elementary school districts to help certain children be socially and emotionally better prepared for kindergarten. The program development was a collaborative effort with Child & Family Center along with representatives from the Newhall, Saugus, Sulphur Springs and Castaic School Districts, SCV SELPA, Volunteers of America, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), City of Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons, Regional Center, Santa Clarita Little People Preschool, Family Focus Resource Center, and a host of community members.

“Our Therapeutic Preschool Partnership Committee provided valuable input throughout the process of design through implementation. Bright Beginnings is the result of the committee’s expertise and dedication in creating a program that truly integrates preschool education and therapy for children who experience intense social-emotional and behavioral challenges,” said Patty Conwell, Program Developer.

Funding was provided by grants from First 5 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), the Ahmanson Foundation, The Louis and Gladyce Foster Family Foundation, and Child & Family Center Foundation. “Bright Beginnings is a wonderful achievement in public-private investment on behalf of the community’s children. We are both grateful and proud,” said Lois Bauccio, President/Executive Director of Child & Family Center Foundation.

Bright Beginnings Preschool offers a unique educational experience for children who are unable to remain in community preschool programs due to behavioral and/or social-emotional challenges. It is an intensive model that integrates education and mental health in order to better prepare children to be successful in kindergarten. Currently there are 8 children enrolled, with a maximum of 10 students when full enrollment is reached. In addition to the behavioral and social-emotional emphasis, the five day-a-week, half-day LA Universal Preschool-based program also provides pre-academic instruction based on California Preschool Standards. The preschool team includes two teachers, a teacher assistant, and a full time in-class therapist. In addition, families participate in weekly parenting classes, family therapy sessions, and school-related events.

Bright Beginnings Preschool is part of the Center’s comprehensive Early Childhood Services Program, which provides a range of services for children age birth to five. Early Childhood consultants provide programmatic and individual child and family consultation services to public and private preschool programs in the Santa Clarita Valley; six-week parenting classes are offered for parents of children in the birth-to-five age group; classes are offered to clients of Child & Family Center as part of their treatment services and to community members for a fee; clinic and home-based mental health therapy services are available for such families of children who exhibit behavioral and social-emotional difficulties that are negatively impacting their development and ability to thrive; clinicians support the child and the caregiver in strengthening their bond, and the parent or caregiver is thus empowered to learn the skills needed to improve their child’s behavior and functioning; and finally, case managers provide links to other services such as special education, regional center, or community-based resources, as well as developmental screening for all clients.

Early Childhood Services join the many programs provided by Child & Family Center. Mental health and behavioral services are available at the Center for children ages birth to 25, treating issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder, among others. The Center has been providing services to Santa Clarita since 1976, and currently helps over 850 children and their families each week. For more information, contact the Center at 661-259-9439 or visit the website at www.childfamilycenter.org.

Note: The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources under the “SCV Raw” header to provide direct-from-the-source information to our website readers. Information designated SCV Raw has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.

 

 

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