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Quality of Life

Summer reading program participation increases by 28 percent

Vision2Read_Logo_FINALLibraries countywide increased the number of children and adults participating in summer reading programs by 28 percent, exceeding the 15 percent goal they set in support of the Vision2Read campaign.

In May, libraries throughout San Bernardino County encouraged people to sign up for library cards and join summer reading programs to help avoid a loss of reading skills that can occur during breaks in the academic school year. Throughout the summer, libraries offered reading programs and activities that included giving away rewards for meeting reading challenges.

Countywide, 47,632 people participated in summer reading programs. The top three libraries in the county with the most signups in summer reading programs were:


  • Fontana Lewis Library & Technology Center – 7,525 signups
  • Rancho Cucamonga City Library – 4,519 signups
  • Hesperia Branch Library – 3,971 signups


“Reading throughout the year is important, but we know keeping our kids engaged during the summer months improves their academic performance,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. “I’m pleased to see that summer reading programs throughout the county are continuing to get more people signed up and helping them achieve their literacy goals.”

Vision2Read, a literacy initiative of the Countywide Vision project, aims to raise the bar on literacy in our county by focusing on the importance of reading and connecting people who need help or who can help to literacy resources. Only 37 percent of San Bernardino County third graders met or exceeded California English language arts and literacy testing standards in 2016 and 32 million adults nationwide can’t read.

Literacy has an impact on a number of elements in our community such as jobs and the economy, education, public safety and wellness. When literacy skills are nurtured and encouraged, children and adults can reach their potential, the local economy can continue to prosper and the county will have a more educated workforce to attract employers to the region.

Visit for additional information about the campaign, literacy resources and a listing of all libraries countywide.

Nonprofits encouraged to register for Give BIG

givebiglogoThe Community Foundation serving the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside is currently accepting online applications from nonprofits that would like to participate in Give BIG San Bernardino County. Give BIG San Bernardino County is an exciting 24-hour event to increase philanthropy in San Bernardino County through online giving on Nov. 29. The goal of the campaign is to raise much-needed funds for nonprofits serving the residents of, and visitors to, San Bernardino County.

Nonprofit requirements include one year of nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, have a physical location within the County of San Bernardino zip codes, or provide itinerant services in the County of San Bernardino. National nonprofits are welcome if a local chapter serves the County of San Bernardino.

To submit an application, please visit To learn more about the campaign and upcoming training, visit Give BIG San Bernardino County on Facebook (GiveBigSanBernardinoCounty), Twitter@GiveBigSBCounty, or visit our website at For assistance, call The Community Foundation at 909.644.6221.
Thanks to funding and support from the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors and the contributions of generous sponsors, Give Big San Bernardino County is providing valuable training to nonprofits in the use of social media, cultivating relationships with donors, developing a communications plan, and raising much-needed funds from online donors. These online donations provide critical funding to help nonprofits in San Bernardino County not only address poverty but also other challenges the county residents face in the areas of education, health, the environment, public safety, family and youth services. Give BIG San Bernardino County also provides donors with an online giving platform, whose donations help to improve the quality of life for all through recreation, the arts, and more.

Youth from CRY-ROP presenting at national education conference


The CRY-ROP YouthACT Team includes Fernando Olivarez, Nicole Drazin, and Branley Acevedo

California’s YouthACT team from San Bernardino County are conducting a presentation this week at the 16th Annual Arizona Department of Education’s transition conference about how they used their advocacy skills to shape their transition experiences into adulthood.

The session is “YouthACTing as Transitions Ambassadors” and the team will discuss the partnerships they built with their families, adult partners, peers, and team members to advocate for themselves in high school, home, college, and rehabilitation service agencies to develop plans that work for them. California’s YouthACT team members will inspire their peers to use their voice to shape various transition systems for personal and policy success.

The California YouthACT team from the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupation Program includes Branley Acevedo, Nicole Drazin and Fernando Olivarez. The team’s work is in support of the Countywide Vision’s regional goal to support the success of every child from cradle to career.

The YouthACT is a national leadership development initiative designed to get more youth with disabilities and their allies involved as leaders who partner with adults and organizations to improve opportunities for young people to succeed.

The term “youth transition” is used to describe the process and period of change young people go through between the ages of 12 and 25 that involves developing the full range of competencies they need to succeed in adult life including employment, postsecondary education, and independent and community living. While many organizations and government agencies are responsible for helping youth transition to adulthood, young people rarely have a voice in the decisions these agencies and organizations make about the programs, services, and policies that affect them. Increasing youth voice in organization and agency decision making and policy making is important to ensure youth receive the opportunities, services, and support they need during the transition to adulthood.

Registration open for 2016 Fatherhood Conference

Jaiya John, author, poet and spoken word artist is the keynote speaker.

Jaiya John, author, poet and spoken word artist is the keynote speaker.

Inland Empire men will be inspired, educated and better equipped to tackle the challenges of fatherhood and to be actively engaged in their children’s lives during the 2016 Inland Empire Fatherhood Conference.

The Aug. 20 conference, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at San Bernardino Valley College, 701. S. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino, will feature workshops. There will be Spanish translation available. Jaiya John, a renowned author, poet and spoken word artist, is the keynote speaker at the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition (IEFIC) event. John, the author of “Father to Son: Ode to Black Boys,” will do a meet-and-greet and sign several of his books following his remarks. To register for the conference, visit

“One of the most consequential social trends of our time is father absenteeism,” said Lesford Duncan of the County Children’s Network, who serves as co-chair of the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition (IEFIC). “The absence of a father increases a child’s risk of experiencing a host of poor outcomes in the short and long term, such as poverty, poor school performance, child abuse and neglect, emotional and behavioral problems, and incarceration.”

Now in its second year, the conference is a collaboration by the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition (IEFIC), a group of community-based organizations, county agencies, faith-based organizations, and individuals from various professions working to reduce father absenteeism and the negative images of fatherlessness. The mission of the IEFIC is to encourage healthy child development by promoting the involvement, necessity, and value of the role of fathers in the family and community. Participating San Bernardino County agencies include the Children’s Network, Children and Family Services, Preschool Services Department, First 5 San Bernardino, Child Support Services, Department of Behavioral Health, Department of Public Health Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Probation.

Children’s Network of San Bernardino County works to improve the quality of life for children at risk who, because of behavior, abuse, neglect, medical needs, educational assessment, and/or detrimental daily living situations are eligible for services from one or more of the member agencies of the Children’s Policy Council.

Children’s Network and the Inland Empire Father Involvement Coalition are doing their part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life to their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found

Registration now open for 30th Annual Children’s Network Conference

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

Registration is open for the 30th Annual Children’s Network Conference. The Sept. 14  and 15 conference at the Ontario Convention Center is one of the Inland Empire’s premier training eventsfor professionals who work with children.  One of the original Ghostbusters, Ernie Hudson, will be the keynote speaker on Sept. 14. Derek Clark, the“Rapping Dad” and a motivational speaker, will be the Sept. 15 keynote speaker.

The 35 workshops cover a variety of relevant topics including:

Derek Clark, the "Rapping Dad"

Derek Clark, the “Rapping Dad”

  • Mindfulness to human trafficking,
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders to self-compassion
  • Mentoring to Autism Movement Therapy

With more than 80 vendors in the exhibit hall – you will be able to find new resources, connect with old ones, or purchase quality items from others.

The registration book with the descriptions of all of the workshops offered and the registration form can be found here:

Planning and developing healthy communities topic of June 21-22 conference

PIC-FINAL-BASICa_small1-e1436216479627RO_logo_1xaPartners for Innovative Communities, in collaboration with Reach Out, present  the 7th Annual National Innovative Communities Conference. This one-of-a-kind, two day conference is the only conference in Southern California leading the way in promoting new cutting-edge strategies and skills to create safe and healthy communities. This conference has been created to connect all sectors with each other and with experts in healthy communities, substance abuse prevention, and innovative programs for safer and healthier neighborhoods and cities.

The 2016 National Innovative Communities Conference focuses on community and individual health as a whole. Participants will enjoy and learn from over twenty-five interactive breakout sessions covering topics from  a health pipeline to violence to substance abuse prevention.

Every year this conference focuses on a particular aspect of health, this year’s conference focus is healthy communities planning and development. With keynotes from the California Department of Transportation and the Southern California Association of Governments highlighting the planning efforts and innovations surrounding healthy cities and communities. This year’s theme is “We’re All Connected,” bringing community leaders, members, educators, providers, and health care professionals together  and connecting efforts in creating healthy and thriving communities.

Registration is free thanks to sponsors at SANBAG and The GoHuman Campaign. The conference will take place over two days at the Ontario Convention Center on Tuesday and Wednesday June 21 -22 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please visit for more information and registration or contact us at 909-982-8641. With over 1,500 attendees in 2015 we hope to grow and make the 2016 NIC Conference even bigger and better.

Heroes Assemble at the San Bernardino County Library

The San Bernardino County Library invites you to strengthen your superpowers and participate in our Summer Reading Program: Heroes Assemble!

Throughout the summer, we will be hosting amazing programs and activities as well as giving away fantastic rewards at all 32 of our branch libraries. Participating is easy: fly in to your local San Bernardino County Library to sign-up and become part of this read for rewards program to earn exciting weekly incentives. Reading for rewards is just the beginning. The Library will be hosting various super hero-themed programs including storytime, crafts, Doc2discovery time as well as awesome performers who provide exciting, entertaining and educational shows the whole family can enjoy. The Summer Reading Program is open to all ages so come on in and sign up the entire family. The best part – this program is absolutely free!

The fun doesn’t stop there. The County Library will offer special drawings for children and teens who meet the County Library Reading Challenge. The children’s challenge is to read at least 45 books or the equivalent in pages and minutes to receive a ticket. For teens, the challenge is to read at least eight books or the equivalent to get a ticket. New this year: each kid and teen who reached the challenge will receive a ticket for a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7” tablet at their branch library. Also, for every 25 items checked out this summer, receive a ticket for our countywide drawing to win one of the grand prizes which include Samsung Galaxy Tablets, a WiiU gaming system, a super hero-themed bike, and a kids Spider-Man Dune Buggy.

Check out the San Bernardino County Library website for details on the kick-off events and program information. Come sign up for the program and be a part of our Summer of Reading Challenge to increase summer reading participation among youth by 15 percent throughout the county.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Veterans Initiative in the Arts: Plant to Paper Project on display

plant to paperA special exhibit “Joining Forces Plant to Paper Project” will be on display at the 29 Palms Art Gallery from May 26 to June 25.

The exhibit is a culmination of a project that began in early 2015 when the California Arts Council announced a competitive $10,000 grant for projects to enrich the lives of California’s veterans, active-duty military and their families through the arts.

The Arts Connection reached out to Mil-tree, an arts-based veterans and community organization in Joshua Tree and other nonprofits and began the first phase of their project – removing invasive plants with the support of Joshua Tree National Park’s vegetation management team. Participants then transformed the plants into pulp and paper and developed the materials into two- and three-dimensional works.

The works will be on display at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, 74055 Cottonwood Drive in Twentynine Palms.

For more information, click here or email

Countywide arts conference set for Sept. 26

aclogoArts professionals from throughout San Bernardino County and surrounding areas will convene on Saturday, Sept. 26 in Rancho Cucamonga for a full day of networking, presentations, and workshops about creative placemaking as well as cultural planning and public art.

Creative placemaking is a growing field of practice that leverages the arts to revitalize communities while also addressing broader social and economic issues. The focus will be on developing creative placemaking strategies which artists and organizations can implement in their own communities, sparking creative entrepreneurship, engaging new audiences and strengthening individual municipalities and the county as a whole. Opening remarks will be delivered by San Bernardino County Supervisors Josie Gonzales, who was instrumental in the founding of Arts Connection, and Chairman of the Board, Supervisor James Ramos.

Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson will be the keynote speaker. She is an Arts and Urban Policy Specialist with expertise in comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, dynamics of race and ethnicity and the roles of the arts and culture in communities. She is Senior Advisor to the Kresge Foundation and was appointed in 2013 by President Obama to the National Council on the Arts. She also serves on the advisory board of Lambent Foundation and on the boards of directors of Alliance for California Traditional Arts and LA Commons.

“The arts and culture play a critical role in the economic recovery of the Inland Empire. This conference is a great opportunity to bring ideas and partners together,” said Kathryn Ervin, Arts Connection’s Board Chair and Professor of Theatre Arts at Cal State San Bernardino. “Artists and organizations will be discussing their projects alongside civic leaders, urban planners and private industry. Creative placemaking calls upon these diverse sectors to come together and engage communities through the arts, sparking change and innovation in their wake while bringing programming to communities that are often underserved.”

The conference is free to all members of Arts Connection. One-year membership starts at $25 for individuals ($10 for students). Pre-registration for the conference is highly encouraged though you may register at the door. Registration is available on the Arts Connection website, at or by phone at 909-537-5809.  For more information visit

Board endorses Vision2Read literacy campaign

Vision2Read_Logo_FINALVision2Read, a year-long campaign designed to help improve literacy throughout San Bernardino County by connecting people to literacy programs – whether they need help or are able to help – was endorsed by the Board of Supervisors today as part of its recognition of National Literacy Month.

About 60 percent of San Bernardino County third graders are not proficient in reading, scoring lower than their peers in neighboring Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties on the 2013 California Standards Test. Reading at grade level by the third grade is one of the greatest predictors of children’s success in school, their likelihood of going to college, and their future earning potential, according to a 2010 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“Vision2Read is an opportunity for all sectors and members of the San Bernardino County community to engage and take action to support literacy and the success of every child from cradle to career,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Literacy has a profound impact on several elements of the Vision we have for our county, including jobs and the economy, public safety, education, and wellness.”

The Vision2Read campaign kicks off with a Saturday, Sept. 19 Family Reading Rally held by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools at Cal State University San Bernardino. More than 5,000 children and their families are expected to attend the Reading Rally from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to participate in interactive workshops, learn about the importance of reading and obtain free books.

Throughout the year, will serve as a reading and literacy portal to include literacy facts, resources and services, event information and volunteer opportunities in partnership with the United Ways of San Bernardino County and its 2-1-1 San Bernardino County and HandsOn Inland Empire programs. The web site will go live next week.

All of San Bernardino County is encouraged to get involved in Vision2Read to help raise the bar for literacy in our community and advance our efforts to achieve the Countywide Vision, adopted in June 2011 by the Board of Supervisors and the San Bernardino Associated Governments Board of Directors, which includes the County Board members and a mayor or council member from each of the county’s 24 cities and towns.

Vision2Read helps achieve both regional goals of the Countywide Vision – supporting the success of every child from cradle to career and establishing the county as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business-friendly.

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