The third annual Clackamas County Children's Commission's Family Fun Day event took place May 20, when over 600 parents and children came together to have fun and learn about services offered to families.
Agencies that participated in the free event included WIC, Energy Assistance, Northwest Family Services, Healthy Families, Baby Link, 211 and Clackamas Parenting Together.
It was rewarding to "be able to bring the community together and introduce them to what our organization offers and to connect them to so many resources," said Fernando Sobrevilla, ERSEA enrollment coordinator for the CCCC.
ERSEA stands for the eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment and attendance of children in early-education programs.
Clackamas County Children's Commission is a nonprofit organization currently serving over 700 families throughout Clackamas County, including pregnant women and children ranging in ages from newborn to 5. It has been serving families in the community for over 40 years through three main programs: Head Start, Early Head Start and Healthy Families.
The mission of the organization is to support the growth of healthy children and families, positive parenting and school readiness.
Recruiting for next year
Those who missed the family event still have time to take advantage of programs offered for the next school year, Sobrevilla said, as CCCC is looking to recruit pregnant women and more than 300 children for both home-visit programs and free preschool.
The preschool classrooms have been part-day programs, but a new grant will allow CCCC to serve 68 children in a longer-day model that is at least six-and-a-half hours long.
This will be a valuable program option for working parents and children who are getting ready to go into a full-day kindergarten classroom, Sobrevilla said.
"Early Head Start is for children up to the age of 3. We connect families to resources, and it is 100 percent free for families who qualify," Sobrevilla said. "We also provide information about nutrition for pregnant moms, to help mom become [the baby's] first teacher."
For children ages 3 to 5, "we help transition into one of our 10 preschools in Clackamas County," where children get "quality education and meals," Sobrevilla said.
"The benefits are all about offering an affordable option for early education for children."
To find out more, families may call 503-675-4565 to sign up or visit CCCC's website at cccchs.org.