Julie Montali describes what first five means to her.

What do you love about First 5?

First Five is such an amazing partner for us in Sacramento. We do a lot of work with them and other agencies. They’re such a great group of people to help support our smallest learners. We tried to get the word out with them, so we’ve done some work with TV interviews to give parents some tips and tricks. We really work together in lots of different ways.

What is something special about your county that you’d like to share?

I think what’s really important is that we know the work we’re doing is so important. t’s absolutely critical. What I’m looking at is, how can we bridge work done with our elementary schools with a school district person. We really want to see the sustainability of results that we get with our littlest learners and how that connects to their elementary school. One of the things that’s really important to us is working with principals,VPM, district leaders, and teachers that are working with our kids in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten through  second grade. It’s been really important for us to learn about pre-k to third grade alignment. Presentations here at the first five conference have been really helpful for helping us with that message of sustainability through connecting the Early Learning World with the traditional K12 world.

What have been some highlights from this conference for you so far?

For me, I personally love connecting with people I haven’t seen for a while. Recently I moved from Fresno to Sacramento and it was great to reconnect with a whole group of my Fresno County friends and also to see some other folks that have been really immersed in the First 5 work. It’s been nice to connect with folks and find out what new things they’re into. I am sort of a fan of “don’t reinvent the wheel”. If somebody is doing something really great, I want to see what pieces I can use to implement in our areas. We really need to reach out to all kinds of community members to support our work so that we’re sustainable.

Twin Rivers Unified