First 5 San Bernardino/AmeriCorps joined forces with Arrowhead United Way to put together a Trunk or Treat event for the community. In compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, this drive-thru event allowed children to celebrate Halloween through the safety of trick-or-treating in their vehicle with masks and social distancing. The parade had cars fully loaded with families dressed up in costumes to spread the Halloween spirit. Families were able to enjoy the parade with Halloween music, decorations, and Kinder Kits for their children. The First 5 Service Corps team handed out books, home school supplies (scissors, glue, pencil box, eraser, crayons, etc.), and snacks in our Trick-or-Treat goody bags and Distance Learning Kinder Kits. The Trunk or Treat event had a great turnout and it was a great way to get the community involved safely during the pandemic.
The annual AmeriCorps Service Week this year for PATH and First 5 Service Corps members was timed perfectly to coincide with efforts on behalf of agencies and nonprofits focused on giving back to the community during the Easter Holiday Season as well as Child Abuse Prevention Month. With the foundation of the project laid out with the intent of “Nurturing our Nurturers” in San Bernardino County, our AmeriCorps member Michelle Koperski organized a week-long project assisting Community Action Partnership in their efforts of supplying families and individuals in need specifically for the Easter Holiday Weekend.
The first half of the week consisted of assisting employees working at the food bank warehouse for Community Action Partnership which accepts large donations of food, other essential basic living items, and even toys and furniture which are then regularly dispersed among nonprofits and agencies all across San Bernardino County as a means of assistance in fighting poverty in our communities. Agencies and nonprofits requesting items are sent pallets of food or whatever it is they are requesting to ensure that the communities they serve are provided with a nourishing amount of these necessities. AmeriCorps members from PATH and First 5 Service Corps programs assisted in building these pallets with a combined effort from AmeriCorps members from Youth Action Project who helped multiply the output of food to locations across the county assisting those in need over the Easter Holiday.
For the latter part of the Service Week, the AmeriCorps members were able to receive a large donation of hygiene products and other essentials from Community Action Partnership which were then organized, packaged, and sent as a donation to families housed by Option House Inc. and the Time For Change Foundation which are both organizations in San Bernardino, CA that help disenfranchised individuals and families rebuild their lives from whatever difficulties they have previously experienced. AmeriCorps Service Week 2019 has displayed the First 5 AmeriCorps Team’s ability to collaborate effectively with other agencies and lead an organized effort in serving the people of their communities. We hope that more opportunities will present themselves in the future that will allow our AmeriCorps members to serve their communities in an impactful way that will encourage more collaboration with other AmeriCorps members across the county as well as creating opportunities to serve alongside individuals that live within all communities to help create a united effort to make San Bernardino County a place that is nurtured proudly by its residents.
Members of the PATH and First 5 Service Corps programs were able to participate alongside other working professionals on March 5th, 2019 in the Reading Across America event held at Levi Dickey Elementary School in Ontario, CA. AmeriCorps members and employees of the Ontario Fire and Police Departments shared their joy of reading with the children of the school spanning every grade from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade. The event was held in remembrance of Dr. Seuss’ Birthday as well as a continuing effort to cultivate an enjoyment of and interest in reading in the minds of all students who were in attendance.
Aside from the daily duties of the AmeriCorps PATH and First 5 Service Corps members, service hours were contributed toward productive community engagement during one of the most important times of the year, the holiday season! Our members were able to assist with the amazing efforts of local nonprofits to bring necessities and joy to members of the community spanning from Thanksgiving up until Christmas Eve. Families were provided meals, toys, educational materials, and other resources to ensure that this holiday season was a positive experience for everyone. Our AmeriCorps members were able to serve alongside Young Visionaries, Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino, Family & Kids Foundation, Reach Out, First 5 San Bernardino, and even other AmeriCorps members within San Bernardino County as a means of engaging the community and providing the joy of the holiday season to the residents of San Bernardino County.
Members of the PATH and First 5 Service Corps AmeriCorps programs were able to serve in community engagement at Reach Out’s Nurturing Parenting Spooktakular Halloween Event on Saturday, October 27, 2018. The event was provided as a means for the many families who were presently participating and had graduated from the Nurturing Parenting Program to bond with their children by playing games, dressing up, and having a meal together. Each family also received pumpkins to take home and carve at the end of the event. All children dressed up and many parents did as well, which made for an excellent costume contest that was judged by AmeriCorps members who also assisted in every aspect of the event.
Members of the AmeriCorps PATH and First 5 Service Corps attended the Fifth Annual Reading Rally which took place on Cal State San Bernardino’s Campus in the the College of Education on Friday, September 7th 2018. The event, which was sponsored by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Office, brought in nearly 1,2000 Kindergarten through Third Graders from schools all over San Bernardino County. AmeriCorps members assisted at each of First 5 San Bernardino’s three stations promoting the purpose of the event, which was the benefits and joy of reading. All children were provided with free books and schools supplies, had newer stories from Lee the Bee read to them, and even had the chance to meet some recognizable characters.
Members of the AmeriCorps PATH program assisted First 5 San Bernardino in community engagement and outreach on August 10, 2018 in Twentynine Palms, CA for the Back To School Bash hosted by MCCS and The School Liaison Program. The event was held as a means to welcome the new school year for all military families living on the marine base which is at the center of Twentynine Palms.
The event provided the children of these families with books, backpacks, writing supplies, as well as other necessities provided from other organizations such as Feed the Children and many other San Bernardino County organizations and nonprofits. Aside from the excitement of preparing for the new school year, the children were treated to a massive play area filled with jumpers and games, all involving water, the have some fun and beat the summer heat.
Deadline for application is Monday, July 16, 2018
First 5 San Bernardino is now accepting applications for AmeriCorps Coaches! Coaches receive a monthly living allowance and other benefits while helping children in preschool classrooms and assisting with other early childhood development and outreach opportunities.
Download the application below. Applications are due Monday, July 16, 2018 by 4:00 p.m. Share with someone who may be interested! This position is great for college students studying related fields!
Not ready to apply, but you’re interested in serving? We are accepting interest for future openings as well at the First 5 AmeriCorps website.
Members of the PATH Program and First 5 Service Corps served the local community in various cities within the Inland Empire as a contribution to the National Service Week that AmeriCorps hosts via its many members across the country annually. During the first week of April, our service members assisted in building a community garden for a Head Start location in Rialto. This garden is now being utilized to help teach children the basics of life science visible in observing of plants being grown and taken care of by the students. Our members assisted with another outdoor gardening project, which occurred at Los Rios Ranch in Oak Glen. Here the team and other volunteers assisted in carefully transplanting vital plants that only grow during California’s short rain season and provide the trees and other native plants with nitrogen rich soil to ensure a healthy life span for these plants that provide homes and food for the native wildlife. Another event that was attended was the annual Walk for Kids hosted by the Ronald McDonald House. Our members assisted at the Fontana location and served all of those coming from afar and also participating in the event that helps many of the children served by the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Lastly, a few members were also able to assist the Family and Kids Foundation, located in Colton, and provided a helping hand in their food pantry. Upwards of 65 families were served on this occasion with full loads of groceries and meals provided to anybody that needed the assistance. This was a special occasion for the foundation as well, since fresh produce was donated and given to the families in need too. Members here assisted in preparing the grocery items for all families who arrived.
On February 10th, 2018, members of the PATH AmeriCorps program were invited to serve at Reach Out’s Family Game Day in Upland, CA. The event provided participating families with endless hours of family fun involved in board games, making crafts, and also enjoying a meal together. All children who attended received a prize for playing each board game with their families and were also entered into a raffle to win additional prizes provided by Reach Out. The event started out slowly, but then blossomed into an entire afternoon of families enjoying each others’ company free of any distractions and focused entirely on having fun together.