First 5 Humboldt Staff Development

September 25, 2023

As an agency, First 5 Humboldt supports our staff to bring the best and most up-to-date practices to our Humboldt community. To that end, staff at First 5 Humboldt engage in training, professional development, and collaboration efforts across a wide range of options.

First 5 Humboldt Family Support Navigator Leticia Padilla and Community Health Worker Karina Vazquez have been certified as Abriendo Puertas trainers, alongside a Playgroup leader from Loleta. From the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Door’s website: “Abriendo Puertas/Opening Door’s Curriculum is grounded in research, reflects parent input, and uses the “popular education” approach to engage parents. Each of the 10 sessions uses a “dicho,” or popular saying, and incorporates culturally familiar activities and data. Available in both Spanish and English, the 10 sessions promote school readiness, family well-being, and advocacy by addressing best practices in brain development, key aspects of early childhood development (cognitive, language, physical, and social/emotional), early literacy, bilingualism, early math, positive use of technology, attendance, civic engagement, parent leadership, goal setting, and planning for family success”. The first series is being offered in partnership with Paso a Paso. We are so excited to be able to offer this training to our local community.

Jennifer Gonzales and Heidi O’Hanen have been trained as ASQ (Ages & Stages Questionaire) trainers and are both available to offer training to Playgroup leaders and others. Karina and Leticia are participating in ASQ introductory training through Brookes Publishing as well. The ASQ is a “Parent-Completed Child Monitoring System” that First 5 has promoted widely throughout Humboldt County’s child care and playgroup programs.

Leticia Padilla, Heidi O’Hanen, and Jennifer Gonzales completed their Positive Parenting Program/Triple P accreditation and are now ready to begin offering parent education sessions using the model, for parents of children birth through teens.

Executive Director Mary Ann Hansen was a panelist at the Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity webinar, co-sponsored by Children’s Defense Fund and PACEs Connection, called Back to School: Policy Perspectives on Addressing Trauma, Prevention, and Healing in School-Based Settings. The webinar was attended by around 300 people and featured some excellent speakers on the Community Schools movement and trauma-informed education. Mary Ann also served as a member of the “Subject Matter Expert Workgroup” on early childhood mental health consulting with WestEd, as they were designing their statewide Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consulting training program.

Leticia Padilla and Karina Vasquez have successfully completed the process to be recognized in Spanish Bilingual Oral Proficiency. Congratulations, Leticia and Karina! This is so helpful to our office to have them qualified and compensated for interpretation work which helps us better serve our community.

After a competitive application review and interview process, Ashley Villagomes was accepted into the First 5 Association Leadership Cohort, a year-long process that includes three, weekend intensives to support her leadership in the community.

After a competitive application review process, Danielle Anderson-Reed was accepted into the national Rockwood Institute “Prenatal to 3 Leaders Fellowship.” The fellowship consists of two convenings, one in San Diego in March and a later one in Virginia.

Star Mohatt completed the Trauma Informed Practice Module 200 Training of Trainers Fall 2022 session with the Center for Optimal Brain Integration and was certified in March 2023 after presenting the full training to child care providers in Humboldt County. She also collaborated with the Humboldt County Office of Education to provide TIP Module 100 to Transitional Kindergarten teachers in Jan 2023.

Jennifer Gonzales completed her work through the Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship and will be seeking Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health facilitator endorsement through the California Center for IFECMH

Ashley Villagomes was invited by the First 5 Association to be a panel member at a workshop at the First 5 Summit, “Supporting Native American Children Through the First 5 Network.” Most F5 Humboldt staff attended the First 5 Summit Jan. 30-Feb. 2, in San Diego, the first in-person summit since 2019. In their session with Modoc County ED Nicole Hinton, Ashley “reviewed data and research about Native American children in California and the early childhood systems that support them, including how a number of First 5s partner with tribal communities and organizations to improve outcomes for families.”

All First 5 Humboldt staff participated in a training series titled, “Conversations that Matter,” through the Rockwood Institute, a self-paced experience focused on building skills to engage successfully in difficult conversations.

Star Mohatt participated in a spring 2023 CoP with the Region 1 QRIS Hub through Leading for Children titled, The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders for Children.