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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.

First 5 allocates $250,000 for pediatricians to Reach Out and Read®

roarsbFirst 5 color logo


First 5 San Bernardino wants to see pediatric offices in San Bernardino County make reading doctor-recommended to children ages 5 and under. With the investment of $250,000 from the early childhood development funder, pediatricians can order age-appropriate books to get a Reach Out and Read® program started in their offices.

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. First 5 San Bernardino developed a partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 2 last year to see expansion of the program across the county.

“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 Vision 2 Read 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.”

For more information on this initiative in San Bernardino County or communicate interest as a pediatric representative, visit or call (909) 386-7706. For information on the national program, 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.

ARMC seeking healthcare professionals to mentor students

armc logoArrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) is partnering with Reach Out/Inland Coalition and Colton High School’s Health Education Academy of Learning (HEAL) to encourage students to pursue careers in healthcare. The academy is seeking healthcare professionals for the upcoming school year to mentor a group of students with an interest in the healthcare field. Mentors meet with students once a month for two hours and use materials provided through a curriculum.

Healthcare professionals who are interested in mentoring a student can attend a networking session at ARMC on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m. in the Oak Room. Refreshments and light appetizers will be provided. To learn more, log on to:

ARMC’s ongoing partnership with Colton High School’s HEAL academy has provided students with the opportunity to get a first-hand look at healthcare. Over the years, students have visited with ARMC healthcare professionals from the emergency department, medical imaging, the clinical lab and other departments, which provided them with the chance to see physicians and medical staff in action.

ARMC, along with the County of San Bernardino, is committed to partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career.

About HEAL

The HEAL program is a four-year college preparatory program that operates as a specialized learning community within the high school and combines academic coursework with clinical instruction. The curriculum includes service learning projects, job shadowing, and internships in the community. The mission of HEAL is to place students on a path that prepares them for college while developing the skills essential for employment in the healthcare industry.

About the Inland Coalition

The Inland Coalition serves both San Bernardino and Riverside counties and the Pomona Valley region in collaboration with area health entities to promote diversity and education in the health professions. Visit:

About Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

ARMC is a 456-bed university-affiliated teaching hospital located on a 70-acre campus in Colton, California, and is a designated Level II trauma center. ARMC operates a regional burn center, primary stroke center, a behavioral health center, four primary care centers including three family health centers, and provides more than 40 outpatient specialty care services. For more information, go to: ARMC is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by addressing the community’s wellness and educational needs. For more information on the Countywide Vision, visit:

Registration open for Inland Empire Fatherhood Conference

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

The Aug. 15, 2015 conference, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Inland Regional Center at 1365 South Waterman Ave in San Bernardino, will feature several speakers and workshops that will provide fathers with information and resources. Keynote speakers for the event include Richard Jones, an actor, and Barry E. Knight, an author and leadership coach. Topics addressed during the workshops include: tips for new and young fathers, financial empowerment for dads, how to navigate the systems, fathering children with disabilities, and several others To register, visit

Participating San Bernardino County agencies include the Children’s Network, Children and Family Services and Preschool Services Department, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Child Support Services, Probation, Superintendent of Schools, and others.

View more information:

Registration now open for Children’s Network Conference

Father Gregory Boyle

Father Gregory Boyle

A Jesuit priest who founded the world’s largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program will share his message of hope at the upcoming Children’s Network Conference. Father Gregory Boyle, an authority on gangs and intervention and the founder and CEO of Homeboy Industries, will be the keynote speaker on the first day of the September 23 and 24 conference at the Ontario Convention Center. Now in its 29th year, the event is one of the Inland Empire’s premier training events for professionals in the fields of social work, mental health, juvenile justice, child development, child welfare, medicine and nursing.  Sessions include:

  • The Status of Homeless Youth in San Bernardino County
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Stress Reduction Practices for Children and Teens
  • Working with LGBTQ Youth
  • Supporting the Mental Health of Our Children
  • Early Childhood Development and the Screen-Time Dilemma
  • Helping Children and Teens Through Loss
  • Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
  • Strengthening and Supporting Father Involvement in Our Communities
  • Self-Empowerment
  • And many more…

For more information and to register, visit

Community Transformation Plan to be launched

communityvitalsignsA plan to transform San Bernardino County into a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play will be formally unveiled during the National Innovative Communities Conference on June 23, 2015, at the Ontario Convention Center.  The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors received and  filed the plan during Tuesday’s meeting. The Community Transformation Plan is currently available on the Community Vital Signs website at and copies will also be available at all local San Bernardino County Public Library branches.

“Releasing a transformation plan alone is not enough to achieve transformation,” said San Bernardino County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. “It is a call for community action with an understanding that wellness extends beyond just physical health. On behalf of Community Vital Signs, I invite everyone to join us to create opportunities for health and wellness in all of our communities.”

The Community Transformation Plan, which will be presented during a conference breakout session entitled, Transforming Health in our Communities through Collective Impact, offers a common understanding of key issues facing County residents, and potential cross-cutting strategies and policy recommendations for addressing the priority areas of:  Education; Economy; Access to Health and Wellness; and Community and School Safety.  It is a culmination of over two years of data analysis, community engagement and feedback, and input from subject experts across a broad spectrum of sectors.  In addition to establishing collective goals and measures of success, the plan will be used for prioritizing existing activities, setting new priorities, aligning the use of resources, and mobilizing action among all sectors in a strategic manner.

The Community Vital Signs Initiative addresses the Wellness Element of the Countywide Vision.  Developed through collaborative efforts of residents, community organizations, and government agencies, it sets evidence-based goals and priorities that align and leverage resources to improve the overall health and well-being of the County’s residents.

Since 2013, the Community Vital Signs initiative has engaged more than 2,000 stakeholders from healthcare, education, public safety, business, government, transportation, faith-based and community-based organizations, and residents for developing a collective plan to create a healthy county through prioritized and strategic action.


Portion of Santa Ana River Trail receives $3.4 million in funding

SANTA ANA RIVER TRAILThe California Coastal Conservancy Board on Thursday approved $3.4 million for construction of a portion of the Santa Ana River Trail in San Bernardino County.

Once completed, the Santa Ana River Trail will be about 100 miles long and will connect the Inland Empire from the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach. Once complete, it will be one of the longest urban recreation river parkways in the United States.

The $3.4 million will be used for the construction of Phase 3 of the trail from Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino to California Street in Redlands. This trail segment consists of a paved bikeway – a shared use path that is physically separated from any street or highway and may be used by pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users, and other non-motorized users.

The funding is part of the Proposition 84 bond that allotted $45 million to the Santa Ana River Trail, giving each county $10 million towards their segment of the trail. The California Coastal Conservancy Board is the administrator of these grant funds.

Once accepted by the Board of Supervisors, the County can begin working on construction documents, permits and then construction of the next 3.8 miles of the trail. After completion of Phase 3, there will still be 11 miles of the trail to compete which could take approximately four more years.

To view a map of the Phase 3 segment, click here.

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