Adelante Newsletter — February 18, 2022

 In Isabella Project Newsletter

Dear Santa Paula Highest Quality Early Childhood Education Steering Committee,

I’m even more convinced that early intervention with High Quality, Early Childhood Education (HQ ECE) can prevent a host of educational problems … and can radically change the way we think about educational goals and processes. Learning is not simply filling a child’s head with facts and information “tabula rasa style” and to learn basic literacy, numeracy, and language skills. Neither is learning restricted to schools and classrooms.

Now we know that we need to address the developmental and socio-emotional characteristics of learners, as well as issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’ve also learned that our SPECE initiative must consider the ecosystemic contexts of learning, which include the school, the home, and the community. Only then will we harness the enormous learning potential available during the first few years of life.

Neurological studies have now shown the tremendous exponential development of a child’s brain, which has been a lost learning opportunity. This loss has been particularly detrimental for minorities and other marginalized populations. So here we are in Santa Paula, planning to ameliorate educational conditions and practices that have not served us well. Yes, it will take a village!

Preschool programs that recognize families as partners in education are aware that most families want to participate in their children’s education, and collaborative efforts pay off. Schools are a site of learning, but not the only site. Much learning occurs in homes and communities, and children learn best when there are consistent expectations across settings. Not only will we develop child readiness, but also family readiness for learning through high school and beyond. And, the results can impact the total community in other ways.

Notwithstanding the superior benefits of universal ECE, we recognize that investment in this form of early education makes economic sense when placed in the context of long-term academic and employment success. Presently, low levels of academic achievement data do not bode well for having a future educated workforce that can compete in today’s global economy. Thus, universal ECE as a means of elevating academic and developmental outcomes for all children makes sense in both academic and economic contexts.

So, how will we recognize student success? What will success look like for children in Santa Paula?

Thank you for joining together to leverage our collective talents to answer these questions as thoughtfully as possible. We are grateful to you for your service and dedication to this historic effort.


My best to you,
Dr. Gabino Aguirre
Co-Chair, SP-ECE

Our Fabulous Five Co-Chairs

Dr. Mari Estrada
Consultant & Higher Education Faculty
California State University, Channel Islands

Dr. Gabino Aguirre
Ventura County Community Foundation

Jeffrey Weinstein
Santa Paula Unified School District

Jack Hinojosa
Chief Executive Officer
Child Development Resources of Ventura County, Inc.

Elvia Hernandez
Esperanza Project Coordinator
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Paula

Recordings from Retreat Day 1

Watch the Day 1 recording from the Adelante por los Niños de Santa Paula retreat.

Day 1 Speakers: Dr. Gabino Aguirre, Mayor Jenny Crosswhite, Andy Sobel, John Marquez, Dr. Mari Estrada, Dr. Cesar Morales, Jeffrey Weinstein

SPECE Retreat Photos

Sub-Committee Members

Case Statement
Dr. Daniel Sandoval, Chair
Dr. Mari Estrada, Chair
Dr. Cristina Miranda
David Luna
Elvia Hernandez
Dr. Gabino Aguirre
Laura Espinosa
Suzanne Godinez
Dr. Terri Lisagor

Facilities & Transportation
Andy Sobel
Jeffrey Lambert
Joel Kirschenstein
Lauren Graf
Malena McKaba
Scott Powers
Vanessa Rauschenberger

Philanthropic & Financial Investment
Jack Hinojosa, Chair
Ned Branch, Chair
Bill Bartels
Dr. Jamshid Damooei
Petra Puls
Rachel Champagne
Richard LeRoy
Vanessa Bechtel

Andy Sobel, Chair
Calleen Pardinas, Chair
Jeffrey Lambert
Lauren Graf
Malena McKaba
Nathan Hickling

Project Management
Gina Rámirez, Chair
John Marquez, Chair
Caitlin Barringer
Ellen Brokaw
Jeffrey Lambert
Jeffrey Weinstein
Lauren Graf
Maria Melo

Alicia McFarland
Bruce Stenslie
Catherine Sepulveda
Celina Zacarias
John Marquez
Mayra Rincon
Leah Lacayo

Additional Members
Ben Suber
Bill Hawfield
Dick Rush
Elena Brokaw
Dr. Jesús Vega
Lorenzo Moraza, Jr.

Meet Our Newest Members!

Maria Melo
Executive Director
805 UndocuFund

Vanessa Rauschenberger
Director of Planning and Marketing
Gold Coast Transit District

Congratulations, Dr. Gabino Aguirre, on the arrival of your new granddaughter!

Learning Resources

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