Supporting children in our community during critical years of development
A child’s brain grows to 75-90% of its full size during the first five years of life. (Did you catch that? 90%!) First 5 SLO Countyadvocates for children and families during these first few critical years, investing in and providing for them through four Priority Areas:
Child Health & Development
The organization funds local programs and services in each of these Priority Areas that support children prenatal to 5 and their families, to ensure that every child is healthy and ready to learn in school.
First 5 operates with the understanding that children have fundamental needs and rights. That’s why they teamed up with with other child advocates to create the Children’s Bill of Rights for San Luis Obispo County. This aspirational framework serves to honor our children’s value and their dignity as fellow individual human beings.
This year, First 5 has launched a year-long tribute to “Hands-on Heroes” — individuals in our community who are helping children live out these rights.
January’s “Hands-On Hero” was Mary Thielscher. Mary exemplifies Bill of Rights #1: “As the children and youth of San Luis Obispo County, may we each live in a stable, comfortable home surrounded by parents, family and other caring adults who nurture us through childhood.” Mary provides education on preventing substance use during pregnancy and abuse and neglect of children and youth, and teaches children self-protection skills and how to ask for help. Read Mary’s full profile here.
In February, Kim Gaspar was highlighted in support of Right #2: “May we [children] eat healthy and plentiful meals every day.” Kim works alongside others in our community, including the Food Bank, to provide children with healthy snacks and meals. Read Kim’s full profile here.
This month, First 5 is bringing attention to Right #3: “May we [children] have the basics for daily life – clothing, transportation, and supplies for school, outside interests, and activities.” Sandy Richardson from SLO County Womenade works to ensure that our families and children have basic life necessities.
For more information about First 5 San Luis Obispo County and the heroes who advocate for children in our community, visit first5slo.org.