March 24, 2015 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of March 24, 2015
(Approved on 5/19/15) 

I.  Welcome and Introductions
Present:  Ovieda Elliott, Mark Lovelace, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Ronnie Swartz
Staff:  Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa
Absent:  Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Sydney Fisher Larson, Dian Pecora

Rebecca Lowry called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm

II.  Public Comments and Announcements
Wendy announced a change in today’s Agenda.  Due to several Commissioners not attending today, the Evaluation Report, Agenda Item V on the Agenda, will be postponed until the April meeting.

III.  Executive Director Report

  • Wendy shared the flyer for the 8th Annual HSU California Big Time & Social Gathering, which is set for April 4th. The event helps strengthening and reinforcing indigenous tribal identity amongst students, youth, and communities.
  • Two handouts were routed and discussed.  The “Recent State Audit on Medi-Cal’s Dental Program Concludes that Enrolled Children are at Higher Risk of Dental Disease,” published by the Children’s Partnership, February 2015; and “Addressing Barriers to Dental Care for California’s Youngest Children,” by the First 5 Association, February 2015.
  • recently published a response to the anti-vaccination movement on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. The guide will be shared in form of a link on our humkids website.  Commissioners were encouraged to visit the site and review the information at
  • Wendy encouraged Commissioners to read Robert Putnam’s new book “Our Kids:  The American Dream in Crisis.” A newspaper article about Robert Putnam was shared.
  • The red folder was routed with a phone message from Daniel Bixler, inviting a member of the Commission to join the fundraising committee for the Arcata Playground development; a data wheel from; handouts from the First 5 Association; and a flyer from the State Library.  Wendy shared that she attended “A Night at the State Library” event while attending a Summit in Sacramento in February.  Commissioner Elliott shared that she had a discussion with the State Librarian at the event and said that funds are available from the State Library for early childhood education outreach.  Wendy asked Commissioner Elliott to follow up and get more information.
  • Wendy announced that the Humboldt County Children’s Librarian, JoAnn Bauer, is retiring the end of April.
  • The green folder was routed, which contained several newspaper articles pertaining to the Commission’s interest/work.

IV.  Approval of Minutes:  Commission Meeting Minutes of February 19, 2015
Commissioner Lowry requested correction of a spelling error in the minutes. 
ACTION: The minutes of February 19, 2015 were approved with the correction of a spelling error.

V.  Information Item:  Annual Evaluation Report
As announced under Public Comments and Announcements, the Annual Evaluation Report was deferred to the next meeting.

VI.  Discussion Item:  Healthy Beverage & Refreshment Policies
Per last meeting’s discussion, Wendy revised the Healthy Beverage Policy, and developed two additional Healthy Beverage & Refreshment Policies. The second Healthy Beverage & Refreshment Policy includes language of sweeteners and desserts for special occasions.

Commissioners discussed all three policies and concern was raised about being too intrusive in terms of food choices in our funded programs. Some Commissioners questioned why we need a Healthy Beverage & Refreshment Policy, and if playgroups would be overwhelmed by requirements and policies.  Wendy reminded Commissioners that the main goal of a Healthy Beverage Policy is to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy choices.

Commissioners recommended promoting healthy choices in other ways than in a Policy. Commissioner Elliott suggested adding “encourage health, wellness, and good nutrition” to the Healthy Beverage Policy.

Discussed was how other funding sources could be used to buy non-Commission approved food/drinks during events and community dinners, and how to encourage funded programs to buy healthy alternatives. Commissioner Lovelace recommended adjusting the language within the Healthy Beverage Policy.  Wendy will incorporate recommendations.  The Healthy Beverage Policy will be an Action Item at the next meeting.

VII.  Discussion Item:  First 5 Policy Papers
Two First 5 Policy Papers “Investing in Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families:  An Urgent Need,” and “Equalizing Opportunity in California,” were shared. Commissioners reviewed the Policies and had the following input:

  • Humboldt Area Foundation is wrestling with the same issue – when focusing on college readiness – also need 0-5 inclusiveness  Rebecca
  • Six fundamental recommendations in the Investing in Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families:  An Urgent Need” Policy.  What recommendation relates best in our work?  Wendy
  • Home Visiting Programs (#1) – better way to do coaching with parents – natural setting at home – more effective than office environment  Rebecca
  • Develop a map for our current work in relation to the recommendations and see where the gaps are  Ronnie
  • Interesting focus for the Commission Retreat – map and review Wendy
  • Will First 5 Association follow-up?  Ronnie
  • First 5 CA  – ending some current funding cycles and wanting to partner more effectively with innovative work that has been happening within the counties  Wendy
  • Expand access to Parent Education and Parent-Child Learning Programs that strengthen families’ resilience, expand support systems, and reduce child abuse and neglect (#4) – encouraging, especially with the playgroup initiative  Rebecca
  • Dedicate funding to increase access, affordability, and quality for early childhood education programs (#5) – what are we doing?  Rebecca
  • There is a gap – reimbursement rates with Family Child Care vs. Center-based care – Infant & Toddler care – we can’t fix - a lot of counties are starting advocacy around state-wide issue, i.e. ECE.  – we need someone stepping up to advocate  Wendy
  • Example from West Sacramento – presentation at First 5 Summit in Sacramento – Mayor of West Sacramento talked about coordination of effort to make sure every child in their community can go to preschool – would be interesting to look at  Ovieda
  • Similar discussion at Decade of Difference about college readiness and affordability for students – guarantee that every child can go to college  Mark
  • Children’s Budget is part of the West Sacramento coordination  Wendy
  • Systems of Care funds?  Ronnie
  • Interesting discussion for funding – had meeting with Jen from Humboldt Area Foundation – need leadership that focuses on long-term investment  Wendy
  • More information about the West Sacramento coordination for the Retreat  Ronnie
  • Provide universal access to a continuum of research-informed and evidence-based voluntary newborn home visiting program (#1) – SafeCare at DHHS – Nurse Family Partnership is limiting, due to eligibility – thoughts about enhancing SafeCare?  Is culturally responsive  Sheryl
  • #s 1 & 4 – that’s where we are the strongest; #s 5 & 6 – most challenging; #2 – would be next big thing to push, but $ is going away; #3 – hard to do, need systems change. Need to narrow down to what’s doable  Wendy
  • Hold convenings for areas we need to address – not as a funder  Ronnie
  • Strategic Plan focus needs to be more narrow  Wendy

 The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm

Next Meeting:
April 16, 2015
8 am to 10:30 am
Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, Room 214
921 Waterfront Drive, Eureka

Chair:  TBD

Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 1012 - 2nd Street, Eureka, 95501

Next Meetings:
Tuesday, May 19, 2015; 5 – 7:30 pm, Humboldt County Office of Education, Madrone Room
Tuesday, June 23, 2015; 5 – 7 pm, Humboldt Area Foundation, Emmerson Room
Thursday, July 9, 2015; Commission Retreat; Time and Location TBD
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015; 5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015; 5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Office