Message from Executive Director

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Chinayera Black-Hardaman, MPA

It has been a decade since the Madera County Board of Supervisors had the wisdom and foresight to appoint the First 5 Madera County Children and Families Commission to identify and address the needs of our County’s youngest children. We should all be proud of what we have achieved since then. To date, the Commission has invested over $19 million into programs and initiatives that promote children’s health, prepare children for school intellectually, socially and emotionally, and support their families. We have listened carefully to the community and have focused our resources on projects and services that you have told us are most important. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008 over 18.2% of Madera County households fall below the federal poverty line. As we all know, poverty in turn affects health, education, and family stability – especially for young children. And due to the recession and state/county budgetary challenges, there are many families who are struggling economically and need more support than ever before. Though  much has changed since 1998, the Commission’s commitment to Madera County’s children remains stronger than ever. Ten years later, in partnership with local agencies, we continue to fund innovative programs and services for young children and their families. From Preschool Access Initiatives to Child Health Initiatives and much more, First 5 Madera County has accumulated over 65,000 service contacts just to children under 5 years old alone. Our efforts with parents, care providers and other professionals are noteworthy as well. We strive to serve the families of Madera County through the promotion of meaningful, lasting programs impacting that greatly contribute to the betterment of our community; our Family Resource Centers are one of our proudest permanent investments into Madera County. Although we have a decade of outstanding work behind us, it is almost as if our work has just begun. First 5 Madera County is poised to reach new heights as we strengthen community ties and continue to explore wide-reaching and effective approaches to serve our youngest children.  As always, we thank you for joining us in the effort to make a difference. Chinayera Black Hardaman, MPA Executive Director, First 5 Madera County

©First 5 Madera County, 2011. All Rights Reserved.