Teachers as Agents of Change

IHSD Teacher Lucia Alvarez shares her career path as an IHSD teacher and how she sees teacher as agents of change.

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Having worked for IHSD for about nine years, I see the importance of fostering family engagement to support children’s learning and improve teaching practice. Education has played an important role in my life. Education for me means to have a special power. The power to learn and teach. The power to change others’ lives and our own. The power to decide and take action. The power of being agents of change. 

Originally from Nicaragua where I lived through the civil war and worked as a computer engineer, I immigrated to the United States in 2006 with my son. The first job that I got was as a Spanish teacher in an afterschool program. I fell in love with the children immediately and found a passion for teaching. I then worked as a substitute teacher in the San Mateo-Foster City School District and as a volunteer in the San Mateo Public Library.Read more


Changing the Status Quo

IHSD ECE Coach John Fernandez opens about the role of being a male in a female-dominated industry. 

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In 1994, I counted ten men in my San Jose State University Child Development graduating class of about 150. If my numbers were correct, that's about 6.6%. I wanted to make a difference and change the status quo.

In a 2012 article from Teaching Tolerance Magazine, "According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 2.3 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers are men." That's about one man for every 43 women. It's a little disheartening knowing that the number for men in Early Childhood Education has not increased. It seems that I'm swimming against the tide.Read more


Kicking off the 2019-2020 School Year

IHSD Teacher Ana Faleschini shares her thoughts on starting another new school year.

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As I look back when I was a little girl, I recall many beautiful memories that I cherish from my childhood. My family allowed me to be a little explorer and gave me the opportunity to learn while I played. I can recall many different experiences that gave me pieces of knowledge as a child. Playing in the backyard making mud cakes using nothing but my hands is one of my favorite memories. Thanks to my family, I can say that I had a real opportunity to enjoy a precious early stage in my life, and that will always bring joy to my life.

I always knew that I would enjoy the opportunity to work with children. I felt that way especially towards little ones that do not have the luxuries of a safe community, a loving family, healthy home and freedom to explore to enjoy their childhood to their fullest. I wanted to work with children to guide, inspire and help them acquire the tools needed to be on a path for success.Read more


An Interview with Teacher Mattie Cramer

Mattie Cramer has been teaching at IHSD since 2007 and opens up about how she serendipitously became a preschool teacher.

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IHSD: Introduce yourself!

Mattie: Hi! I’m Mattie Cramer. 

I: Tell me how you became a Head Start teacher.

M: When I was in sixth grade, the students were asking the teacher what they could be when they grow up. He was very negative with me. He said to me that the best I would do is be a waitress. Read more


Veteran Pre-K Program Prepares to Serve More Infants and Toddlers with Early Head Start Expansion Grant

The Institute for Human and Social Development (IHSD Inc.) currently serves 181 infant and toddlers around San Mateo County with quality child development programs and is now preparing spaces to serve 32 more infant and toddlers this fall. With infant toddler programs already located in South San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and San Mateo, IHSD is looking to open four new Early Head Start classrooms with two in East Palo Alto and two more in the north county area. This will be a first for IHSD to serve East Palo Alto with Early Head Start programs.

Early Head Start is just of a three different service models offered by IHSD, whose mission is to provide excellent, comprehensive child development and support services to the highest need children ages 0-5 years old in San Mateo County. The grant opportunity was approved by the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and helps IHSD deepen its impact.Read more


IHSD Family Day 2019 Results

Thank you to everyone that came out to celebrate our 1st IHSD Family Day Even on Saturday, April 13 from 10 am - 2 pm at San Mateo Central Park Recreation Center!

  • 370 total guests attended
  • 135 families
  • 7 different community fair vendors
  • Temperature of 68°F on a beautiful day!
  • 31 of IHSD staff working
  • 2 arts and craft activities
  • 2 of wellness presentations
  • 60 minutes of outdoor activities with Mike and Mike and friends
  • 30 of families at Fatherhood Summit

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Volunteers Needed for a Chance to "Rebuild" IHSD

IHSD Facilities Coordinator Joy Dueñas highlights a wonderful and upcoming partnership that will support our programs and makes a call for more volunteers!

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Happy Monday! I am in high spirits after experiencing our first IHSD Family Day this Saturday at the San Mateo Central Park! Not only was it a gorgeous day to see our families but so wonderful to see our dedicated staff engaging with our beautiful families while they did craft and wellness activities with the children and parents in addition to continuing to literally nourish families with food but also with beneficial presentations along side our community partners. I saw our amazing parent ambassadors step up to the plate and really shine as well!

I expect the in-kind there to be at least $50,000 in professional hours and materials alone and that is only for one site!

What a great way to celebrate 35 years of IHSD serving our community! On that same note of serving, I wanted to highlight another wonderful partnership we have had with Rebuilding Together for the past few years. This year, we were fortunate to be chosen by the Associate Director of Rebuilding Together because of our strong commitment to serving to community. Even though I had not submitted an application for our sites to receive repairs this year, Cari Pang Chen reached out to us to offer repairs to 4 of our sites based on applications I had submitted previously for our sites!

 

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Rebuilding Together Peninsula to Rebuild Three IHSD Sites During April’s National Rebuilding Month

Rebuilding Together, the leading national nonprofit organization with a mission to repair the homes of people in need and revitalize our communities, will host its annual National Rebuilding Month this April. Last year, over 30,000 volunteers donated 230,000 hours throughout National Rebuilding Month.

In our community, Rebuilding Together Peninsula will host volunteers on Saturday, April 27 to repair two IHSD Head Start program sites in East Palo Alto and the Serramonte Child Development Center in Daly City. This will be the fourth year IHSD and Rebuilding Together Peninsula will be partnering together to provide facility upgrades for community programs targeting low-income communities. Cooley LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC, and the WSGR Foundation, and Webcor are providing the volunteers and corporate sponsorship funding to support these projects. All of these companies have been longtime sponsors of Rebuilding Together Peninsula’s National Rebuilding Day program.Read more


Building a Father Figure Community

We sat down with Charlie Cervantes, IHSD Family Service & Father Engagement Specialist, to talk about his work in building a father figure community.

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IHSD: First off, how did you start working for IHSD?

Charlie: I started working in 2001 through Child Care Careers as an aid. I started as an aid for about a year and then became a permanent employee in 2002 as an assistant teacher. I worked my way through Fair Oaks, Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Home Based program and was a home visitor for seven years. In 2015, I became a family advocate for our East Palo Alto site and help father engagement.

IHSD: What can you tell us about the father figure cafés?

Charlie: A father figure café is a physically and emotionally safe space where father figures talk about the challenges and victories of raising a family. They explore their strengths, learn about the five protective factors, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experience to help strengthen their families.

We wanted to make dads feel welcomed and create a warm inviting environment.

IHSD: What is the goal of the father figure cafés?

Charlie: Father figures leave our father figure cafés feeling inspired, energized and excited to put into practice what they learned. The goal of the father figure cafés is to create an intimate environment where father figures can share and support each other as a strategy for strengthening families.Read more


Serving the Coast from a Coastal Native

IHSD Family Services Coordinator Melissa shares her story serving IHSD from the coast.

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Working on the coast for IHSD is such a unique and rewarding experience.  Many people know of and have visited the now very popular tourist town of Half Moon Bay.  The roads crowd each weekend with people from all around to visit it's beaches, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms, as well as to eat at incredible restaurants.  However, Half Moon Bay was not always so well-known, and only relatively recently has become such a popular destination.  Although it is constantly changing and growing, there are still many "small town" characteristics that make it such a great place to work, and a special place for our children and families to live. Before going any further, I think it's important to mention that the joy I find in working on the Coast is greatly influenced by my own personal story.Read more