Tuesday, April 22, 2014

American River Bank Foundation brings $5,000 to support women with disabilities in ‘Building Self-Esteem’ across Amador and Calaveras counties

American River Bank Foundation invests in local community helping women with disabilities in ‘Building Self Esteem’

The American River Bank Foundation considers charitable organizations whose focus is to aid the most vulnerable women and children to be crucial to the long term success of our their community.
Out of the 51 grant applications received this year, the foundation sought to award grants to organizations that most clearly articulated the significant impact their efforts will have on these women and children in our community.

The Foundation selected The Arc of Amador and Calaveras to receive $5,000 grant for the Building Self-Esteem program. The outcomes based curriculum focuses on woman with disabilities who experience problems related to low self-esteem such as depression, social isolation, and abuse.

“The generous giving of the American River Bank Foundation allows us to offer enhanced outcome based programs using curriculums designed to foster inclusion and support while catapulting participants to continued success based off of their goals and desires.” Shawnna Molina, Executive Director.  “Often with little to no additional resources, The Arc’s amazing employees use their creative expertise to build programs. American River Bank Foundation took us to the next level with their community investment and gave our team the opportunity to build a program on outcome based curriculum.

“This is one of my favorite times of the year,” Beth Stanton, Assistant Vice President, Business Services Officer and Foundation Committee Member said. It gives us the opportunity to share some of the great things our Bank does with the community. It is one of the many things the Bank does to reach out to the communities in which we serve and really be a part of. The Foundation was one of the first exposures I had to American River Bank and I have to say I was hooked. I am so proud to work for a company that cares so much about its community."

American River Bank Foundation was established in July 2004 to give back meaningfully to local organizations that create opportunity, enhance self-esteem and provide physical and emotional well-being for the most vulnerable women and children.  100% of American River Banks donations to the Foundation are granted to community organizations and are supported by American River Bank, its employees and partners. 

Knights of Columbus Amador County Council 1849, Annual Tootsie Roll Drive supporting The Arc of Amador and Calaveras.

Last October (2013), the Knights of Columbus Amador County Council 1849, held its annual Tootsie Roll Drive (officially known as the Intellectual Disabilities Fundraiser), at several locations in Amador County.  This drive, coordinated through the Columbian Charities, is identified to direct funds to the organization responsible for educating local citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Each year the Amador Knights have designated, The Arc of Amador and Calaveras, as the recipient of these donations.  This year, through the generosity of all Amador County citizens, The Arc received $2,505.96.  “Thank you all for your generosity and continued support of this charity.  We are helping people to reach their stars” Mark Koenig with the Knights of Columbus Amador County Council 1849.

This is a record donation the Knights of Columbus Council 1849 have donated to The Arc of Amador and Calaveras.  “The Knights of Columbus  Council 1849 bring community together, they really link us directly with people we’ve never met in addition to our continued supporters, it really does take a community to ensure that our local nonprofits thrive.” Shawnna Molina, Arc Executive Director.  “We are very grateful for the ongoing, generous support of the Knights of Columbus Council 1849, who devote countless hours of their time to the Tootsie Roll Drive, raising money to help people with disabilities in our community. If you know any knights – please be sure to thank them. And thank you to all community members who donated to the Tootsie Roll Drive.”

For more information regarding The Arc of Amador and Calaveras, please

PHOTO, L to R: Charlie Esola, Ed Reno, John Bowling, Shawnna Molina, Mark Koenig, Sheridan Smith

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Celebrate Our Children - Sat Apr 26

Bank of America invests $5,000.00 supporting employment for people with disabilities at The Arc of Amador and Calaveras

Bank of America Grant aims to provide employment support and employment opportunities to those with developmental disabilities in Amador and Calaveras counties.

The Arc of Amador and Calaveras, a non-profit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities, announced today it is the recipient of a $5,000.00 grant, for the second consecutive year, supported by Bank of America. 

Director of Supported Employment Services, Ileshia Knigge; “It is so rewarding to have local businesses invest in The Arc to allow expanded services where resources aren’t available. The funds given will help with outcome based goals designed to help people with disabilities gain employment, enrich their lives and provide networking employment opportunities throughout the two counties,” Knigge said.

“We have to challenge ourselves to rethink how we are going to continue to sustain and expand programs in a world where Federal and State budget cuts to programs, as important as Supported Employment, are a regular occurrence.” Said Shawnna Molina, Executive Director for The Arc.  “The supported employment staff is the key ingredient to the program’s success, we are so grateful Bank of American recognized the team’s commitment to program success and decided to invest in The Arc for the second consecutive year.”

“Bank of America is lending, investing and giving in local communities in order to advance local economies and create positive change. Providing support to organizations like the Arc of Amador and Calaveras, that are providing critical services and programs is just one of the ways we are helping improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.” Said Bank of America V.P. Banking Center Manager, Debbi Bellotti

The Arc of Amador and Calaveras Supported Employment program provides skills training and on–the-job supports in obtaining and maintaining community-based employment opportunities.  Currently The Arc supports 39 persons served throughout Amador and Calaveras counties in various employment settings.  Employers who hire someone supported through The Arc’s program are eligible for thoroughly screened applicants; employees skills and abilities are pre-matched to the job requirements; on-site job training with the employee by one of The Arc’s professionals; additional training, as necessary for duration or the employees tenure’ follow-up support services;  and job coaching. 

To learn more about The Arc of Amador and Calaveras’ Supported Employment Program, please or contact Director of Supported Employment Services Ileshia Knigge

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First 5 Amador April 2014 Newsletter

April 2014  
-Week  of the Young Child
-Child Abuse Prevention Month  
Upcoming Events 
Saturday, April 5 
Ridge Road Garden Center 
Call to reserve a spot. 257-1092
Science and the Outdoor Classroom
Thursday, April 10, 6:30-8:30pm
975 Broadway, Jackson 
Call 223-1624, ext. 208 to RSVP

 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Understanding Childhood Trauma
Thursday, April 17 and 24,6:30-8:30pm
975 Broadway, Jackson
Call 223-1624, ext. 208 to RSVP
 16th Annual Celebrate Our Children
Saturday, April 26th, 11:00am-2:00pm
Argonaut High School, Jackson
Commission Meeting 
Monday, April 28, 10:00am
975 Broadway, Jackson

Kindergarten Bridge Program
Mondays-Thursdays, 8:00-11:30am
June 16 - July 3
At all 6 elementary schools in Amador County. 

For more listings, please visit our Calendar.

Spring is Here! 
Let's Get Outdoors 

Time to take the play outdoors, here are some simple ideas for getting outside this spring:
  • Splash in some puddles.
  • Fly a kite at the park.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt.
  • Play outdoor hide and seek.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Literally stop and smell the flowers.
  • Stare at the clouds and guess their shapes.
  • Play a game of catch
  • Grab the binoculars and see what kinds of birds you can spot.
  • Play I-Spy.
  • Hit the playground!

First 5  ~ Celebrating 15 Years!

Join Our Mailing List
Volume 41
News & Announcements
Child Abuse Prevention Month 
Child abuse and neglect is 100% preventable: we all share in the responsibility to help keep kids safe.

First 5 Amador would like to take this opportunity to share resources made available through theCalifornia Child Abuse Prevention Center that help promote the health and well-being of children and their families.

They share that, "Research tells us that what children learn through their early interactions with parents and caregivers becomes the foundation for all future development. While safe, nurturing relationships and stimulating, stable environments improve brain development and child well-being, neglectful or abusive experiences and unstable, stressful environments increase the odds of poor outcomes."

In addition they have provided the following statistics and data on child abuse:
  • Throughout the United States a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
  • Nationally almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse in the home. More than three out of four are under the age of four years old.
  • National research suggests that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are subjected to some form of sexual abuse by the 18 years of age.
  • More than 30% of sexually abused child victims never disclose the experience to others.
    90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way.
  • Abuse is seldom a one-time incident. Once a child is abused, incidents are often repeated over periods of months and years, especially if the offender is known to the child or other family members.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • Many times, physical abuse is a result of excessive discipline or physical punishment that is inappropriate for the child's age, often when a parent loses control.
Their website provides valuable resources for parents, families, caregivers and anyone working with children and families.

For example, here are 5 steps you can take:
  • If you work with children in any capacity obtain Mandated Child Abuse Reporting training to learn about the risk factors and warning signs of child abuse (check with the Child Abuse Prevention Council in your area for training opportunities).
  • Report child abuse & neglect when you become aware of it or suspect it.
  • Get involved! Volunteer your time at community agencies that promote positive supportive services for families (libraries, community resource centers, non-profit agencies that work with families and children).
  • Conduct outreach activities in the community to raise awareness about support agencies for families.
  • Ensure families are equipped with the resources, support and tools necessary to be successful parents and caregivers within their community.
Two additional resources are below. Click on them to print:

Speak up for a child. By recognizing and building on existing strengths, we can support all families and communities in providing positive and healthy environments for children.
Program Spotlight
Week of the Young Child    
Celebrate Our Children
The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. The 2014 Week of the Young Child™ is April 6-12.

We are celebrating Week of the Young Child locally at our 16th annual event from 11am to 2pm...rain or shine, at Argonaut High School (501 Argonaut Lane, Jackson).  

FREE food & Fun! FREE admission! Bring the family! FREE crafts,  games, and oral health screenings. This year Amador Transit will be providing free bus service from the following elementary schools: Plymouth, Ione, Pioneer, and Pine Grove. See below for the departure times. 

Please click HERE to print out the flyer. 

First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for
children 0-5 years old and their families.

For more information please visit our website:
or call us at (209) 257-1092.
As a parent, you are your child's first & most important teacher!
Save money on books for your children--get them for free!  Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book a month from the Imagination Library.  This is a free program, available to all Amador County children 0-4 (from birth until their fifth birthday). 
All you have to do is read to your child! 
For more information click here.