Countywide Vision
Services A-Z
Email Subscriptions
Envelope GovDelivery NoticesGet e-mail updates when this information changes.

First 5 San Bernardino

First 5 San Bernardino Gives over 500 Backpacks, Kits to area Kindergarteners

The thermometer read 104 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but even extreme heat wasn’t enough to discourage people from coming out in search of free school supplies for their children.

On Saturday, August 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., First 5 San Bernardino hosted a drive-thru backpack and kinder kit event to provide basic school supplies for the County’s littlest students – preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Cars, trucks and minivans wrapped around the block waiting to enter Ecclesia Christian Fellowship’s parking lot on 1314 East Date Street in San Bernardino.  When the line started moving, little faces could be seen peeking through the vehicle windows in anticipation.

“I really hope I get a blue one,” said Vasni Duran, 5, of San Bernardino of the array of backpack color choices.  “Blue is my favorite color,” she explained.  Her mother, Helen Duran, 30, stated “it’s been a little bit hard lately,” and added that she was thankful to receive supplies for her little kids.

“The turnout was tremendous, and I believe is a direct reflection of how great the need is right now specifically for parents with young children,” said Karen E. Scott, executive director at First 5 San Bernardino.  “We knew it was important to provide these much-needed school supplies to our local families so children could feel supported and have access to essentials as they start preschool and kindergarten,” concluded Scott.

Over 535 backpacks and 600 Kinder Kits were given and included basic supplies such as scissors, crayons, pencils, glue sticks, large erasers, pencil boxes and a book.  Sixteen community organizations were also present including SAC Health and IEHP who were on hand to administer Covid-19 vaccinations.

“People told us they had bills and rent and couldn’t afford school supplies this year,” stated First 5 San Bernardino’s Community Engagement Specialist LuCretia Dowdy, who oversees the organization’s outreach events.  “Clearly, there is a great need, and it was an honor for us to help fill that gap for these young children,” Dowdy added.

About First 5 San Bernardino

First 5 San Bernardino funds organizations who directly help families achieve optimal health for their children ages 0-5, including referrals to quality early learning centers and a variety of family supports such as child health screenings, parent education and fatherhood engagement.  For more information, visit

Kindergarteners! Free backpacks available

First 5 San Bernardino to distribute “Kinder Kits” to area children

It is that time already – Back to School. First 5 San Bernardino is excited to help local families get their little kindergarten students ready by hosting a FREE Back-to-School Kinder Kit* event Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 10 am – 2 pm, at Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, 1314 E. Date Street in San Bernardino.
“Starting Kindergarten is a very exciting time in a child’s life,” says Karen E. Scott, Executive Director at First 5 San Bernardino. “We know that when children are ready, eager to learn and feel supported, they are much more likely to reach their optimal potential in school and in life. Arriving the first day with needed supplies in hand adds to that confidence, and First 5 is pleased to offer these resources to our community,” Scott concluded.
First 5’s Kinder Kits include one of each of the following: scissors, crayons, pencils, glue sticks, large erasers, pencil boxes and books.
*Supplies are limited to the first 1,000 attendees and registration is required by going to First 5’s website at
Also happening:
• YouthBuild Inland Empire Charter School will be distributing school resources for kids over 5 years of age. 1-888-395-4408;
• Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Young Black Entrepreneur workshop for youth 15-18 of age from 8 am to 3:30 pm. 888-466-7408;

First 5 San Bernardino is excited to announce its Talk, Read, Sing, Drive-Thru Literacy tour coming to a city near you

Starting in the month of October, First 5 San Bernardino will hold its annual literacy campaign tour bringing awareness to the importance of reading with and to your child. Every year, these events are held for preschoolers throughout the County of San Bernardino. In partnership with CHAN Community Health Action Network, CCRC Child Care Resource Center, El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center, LISTOS California For All, San Bernardino County Library, and Victory Outreach Church, First 5 San Bernardino will conduct four literacy drive-thru events taking place in the cities of Barstow, Fontana, San Bernardino, and Victorville.  Due to the pandemic, First 5 San Bernardino redesigned the format of events for safety.

Preschoolers will receive a bag containing three different book titles, and a healthy snack, along with other resources. One of the goals of First 5 San Bernardino is to help build home-based libraries and to ensure that all children have library books available to them.

The events are free and open to the public but registration is strongly suggested as only 500 bags will be handed out at each site. For more information please visit the First 5 San Bernardino website at www, or call 909.386.7706.

5 FIRST 5 TIPS on building home-based libraries:

  • 1.    Choose the right spot. Create a special space where books are kept and read. Make sure the lighting is good and seating is comfortable.
  • 2.    Put books within reach. Use low, sturdy shelves so your child can safely select the books on her own.
  • 3.    Be Thrifty – look for deals. Books can be expensive. Checkout your local library as they may have a free book day.
  • 4.   Let them guide you! Pay attention to what types of books your child is interested in. Take turns on selecting.
  • 5.    Collect! Stack up on books from your local yard sales, dollar store, book swapping with others, or asking for books as an alternative gift idea.

First 5 San Bernardino Kinder Kit Drive -Thru Event

First 5 Kinder Kits are an educational resource provided by First 5 San Bernardino for parents and children learning from home. Knowing the importance of getting educational materials to children, First 5 San Bernardino jumped right into action. With much determination, First 5 San Bernardino and their AmeriCorps team assembled more than 2500 kits.

The Kinder Kit Drive-Thru event is sponsored by United Way and will be held at their San Bernardino site located at 646 North D St, San Bernardino, 92401 on Friday, October 30, 2020 starting at 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  The construction and distribution of the kits will be a continuous mission of First 5 San Bernardino.

Kinder Kits consist of the following:

  • 3 Books
  • 1 Pencil
  • 1 Large Eraser
  • 1 Pack of Crayons
  • Coloring Page
  • 1 Glue stick
  • 1 pair of Scissors
  • 1 Pencil Box

For more information, please visit the First 5 San Bernardino website at or call 909.386.7706.

The Children and Families Commission for San Bernardino County (First 5 San Bernardino) was created in December, 1998 in order to realize the benefits of Proposition 10 (California Children and Families Act) for the County’s youngest residents and their families. The act created a program for the purpose of promoting, supporting, and improving the early development of children from the prenatal stage to five years of age, under the guidance of the Children and Families Commission for San Bernardino, and in collaboration with the community and agencies providing services to children.

The Vision: That all children in San Bernardino County are healthy, safe, nurtured, eager to learn and ready to succeed.

The Mission: To promote, support and enhance the health and early development of children prenatal through age five and their families and communities.

Talk. Read. Sing. ® Fest! at the San Bernardino County Museums

Talk. Read. Sing. ® Fest! is heading to the museums! Join First 5 San Bernardino for FREE* fun for infants, toddlers and preschoolers (ages 5 and under) as we champion the three little action words that make a BIG impact on your child’s learning. *Free Admission is limited! Arrive Early!

In partnership with San Bernardino County Museums, we’ll have entertainment and performances, kid-friendly activities, and our book giveaway for children ages 5 and under! Enjoy performances by Twinkle Time & Friends, Chazz the Drummer, and a variety of exhibits throughout the museums.

Make it a play date! Join us in Apple Valley at the Victor Valley Museum on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or in Redlands at the San Bernardino County Museum on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for all the early learning fun!

For more information, call First 5 San Bernardino at (909) 386-7706 or visit First 5 San Bernardino on Facebook.

First 5 San Bernardino seeks pediatricians for Reach Out and Read

fbpostreachoutandreadFirst 5 San Bernardino and American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 2 have partnered to bring an early literacy initiative to pediatric care waiting rooms.

Reach Out & Read® is a national program that distributes books through pediatricians to connect reading as a vital practice for quality early childhood development. While in the waiting room, volunteer readers or parents themselves are provided books to read to their children, increasing the child’s interaction and exposure to words. Parents of children ages 5 and under will able to take prescribed books home to build their child’s library and early literacy capacity.

“This partnership leverages the timing of well-child check-ups to reinforce reading as a critical activity for brain development in the first five years of life,” says Karen E. Scott, Executive Director of First 5 San Bernardino. “A partnership with our local pediatricians through this program is timely as our county acknowledges the needs of literacy programs through the Vision2Read campaign. We hope to find pediatricians that are interested offering this added benefit of developmental support to their patients.”

Edward Curry, MD, FAAP, Vice President of American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 2 says, “Reach Out and Read is an opportunity to address the holistic well-being of our developing patients and cultivate bonding activities with their parents. The results from this program implementation across the nation are impressive and we’re looking to have that same impact on children in San Bernardino County.”

First 5 San Bernardino in partnership with American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 2 is hosting an informational dinner for pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists and pediatric medical representatives to introduce the program and gain interest from the local medical community. The first event, ROAR & Explore the Possibilities!, is set for Thursday, Nov. 5, at the office of First 5 San Bernardino located at 735 E. Carnegie Drive, Suite 150 in San Bernardino from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Details on an additional dinner targeting the High Desert region are forthcoming.

For more information on this initiative in San Bernardino County or to register and RSVP for the informational dinner, visit or call (909) 386-7706. For information on the national program, visit

Talk, read and sing to your children

PrintTalk. Read. Sing. ® Fest! is coming to Hesperia Branch Library on Saturday, Oct. 3 and Highland Branch Library  on Saturday, Nov. 7!

Enjoy FREE fun for infants, toddlers and preschoolers ages 5 and under as we champion the three little action words that make a BIG impact on your child’s learning.

In partnership with San Bernardino County Library, we’ll have special performances by Twinkle Time & Friends, Rafael & Katia’s Magic Show and guitarist Dan Crow. Take photos with Potter the Otter and other story characters. Participate in kid-friendly activities and don’t forget our book giveaway for children ages 5 and under!

Parents, don’t miss the special talks on the importance of Talk. Read. Sing. ® with your children before the performances take place.

Make it a play date! Join us on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hesperia Branch Library, 9650 7th Ave in Hesperia or Saturday, Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Highland Branch Library, 7863 Central Ave in Highland for all the early learning fun! For more information, call First 5 San Bernardino at (909) 386-7706 or visit First 5 San Bernardino on Facebook. Talk. Read. Sing. ® is a registered trademark of First 5 California.

First 5 San Bernardino seeks applicants for preschool coach

First 5 color logoAmeriCorps, a National Service Program dedicated to serving the needs of local communities, partners with First 5 San Bernardino to make a commitment to serve San Bernardino County’s youngest population.

For an AmeriCorps volunteer’s time as a Preschool Coach with First 5 San Bernardino, the volunteer will receive an allowance to offset their living expenses while they are serving their community.

Upon completion of their commitment, an AmeriCorps volunteer is also qualified for an Education Award that can be used to pay for college expenses.

Individuals who possess a minimum of 12 units in human services, health services or early education fields and are interested in expanding their professional opportunities to include working with preschool-aged children, are encouraged to apply.

Applicants will be subject to eligibility verification, fingerprinting and background clearance.

If you are interested in making a difference in your community as an AmeriCorps volunteer, ensuring that children are ready to enter and succeed in school, call Mary Alvarez (909) 386-7706 or visit our website at for more information.

Deadline to apply is Friday, June 15, 2015 by 4 p.m. Click here for more information.

First 5 celebrates 15 year anniversary of Proposition 10

First5PhotoRialto preschool children gathered with Potter the Otter in the Board of Supervisors Covington Chambers  on Wednesday to sing Happy Birthday and celebrate the 15th anniversary of First 5 San Bernardino.

November 3 marked the 15th anniversary of voter-approved Proposition 10 which funds First 5 San Bernardino, an early childhood development initiative, through cigarette and tobacco-product taxes.

Pioneers behind Proposition 10’s legislation, founding commissioners and champions of the agency including Kent Paxton of the Children’s Network, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s Director of Women’s Health, Dr. Guillermo Valenzuela and Fifth District County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, and former County Administrative Officer John Michaelson presented comments on the early phases of First 5 San Bernardino.

“The millions of dollars that have been invested have influenced the nonprofit sector, our community infrastructure, and the delivery of developmental services for children. This has resulted in children experiencing positive outcomes for health and safety needs, and also enhances the quality of learning. Children have been positioned to fare better in education and in life, through our investments,” said Karen Scott, executive director of First 5.

“We are proud of the thousands of families and children we have touched over the 15 years, but we have much more to offer to improve our children’s experience during their first 5 years of life in San Bernardino County as our agency matures.”


Twitter @SBCountyFollow @SBCounty on Twitter!