First 5 Lake County Publishes Lake Family Magazine

First 5 Lake County recently published “Lake Family” magazine, a positive parenting guide with a local focus. Lake Family provides articles and information for Lake County residents who are considering becoming parents, pregnant women and their partners, and parents and caregivers for children ages birth to 18+.  The full-color, glossy magazine is divided by ages and stages and is meant to give those who are caring for Lake County’s children the tools needed to make the most of their interactions with children at every stage of development. It includes relevant content provided by a wide range of local partners as well as health and safety information from trusted state and national resources.

“We wanted to produce a high-quality publication that Lake County could be proud of, and that would answer a lot of frequently asked parenting questions by providing not only straight-forward answers but also information about local programs and services that offer additional support in each area,” said First 5 Lake Executive Director, Carla Ritz, “And I think we’ve done just that.” Topics covered include development milestones, cyber safety at all ages, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, co-parenting, child sexual abuse prevention, conflict resolution, healthy routines, preparing for life after high school, and more.

Health, development and safety content for the magazine was sourced both from organizations, such as The Mama Bear Effect, Common Sense Media, Zero to Three, and the Harvard Center for the Developing Child, as well as from local service providers such as Lake Family Resource Center; NorCal4Health; Lake County Office of Education’s Healthy Start, Bloom, and Quality Counts Childcare programs; school counselors from Kelseyville Unified School District; Redwood Community Services; Lake County Tribal Health; Lake County Departments of Public Health and Behavioral Health; and Mother-Wise. Funding to make Lake Family magazine available in print in both Spanish and English came from the Lake County Children’s Council and a “Cann Grant” from County of Lake. Additional funding was provided by First 5 Lake County.

“What excites me the most about Lake Family magazine is the breadth of information across all ages and stages with a connection back to Lake County resources and agencies. This is the most compressive, Lake County focused, family resource guide I have seen in my 28 years of education experience,” said Lake County Superintendent of Schools and First 5 Lake Commissioner, Brock Falkenberg.  

Fawn Rave, Education Director for Robinson Rancheria and First 5 Lake Commissioner, sees potential in the section of Lake Family focused on increasing Protective Factors and preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  “Many parents have trauma in their own lives that they never understood or addressed; trauma that has been passed from generation to generation with no resources for healing or understanding,” said Rave, “I believe this section in the parenting guide will provide families with a better understanding of ACEs.” The section Rave refers to also includes a link to numberstory.org which provides in-depth information and resources to help families prevent ACE’s in generations to come. In his book, The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel Van der Kolk writes, “Somatic symptoms for which no clear physical basis can be found are ubiquitous in traumatized children and adults. They can include chronic back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, digestive problems, spastic colon/irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and some forms of asthma. Traumatized children have 50 times the rate of asthma as their non-traumatized peers.” One key part of improving Lake County’s low health ranking is decreasing toxic stress and buffering the traumatic experiences of children; getting this information out to parents through Lake Family is a step in that direction.

Links to the online version of the magazine, in English and Spanish, can be found at www.firstfivelake.org. Printed magazine distribution in both languages has begun throughout the County and will soon be available through First 5 Lake County, Mother-Wise, Lake County Tribal Health, Adventist Health Clearlake, Easterseals NorCal, Catholic Charities, Lake Family Resource Center, Lake County Office of Education, Lake County Child Welfare Services, Sutter Lakeside Hospital, and North Coast Opportunities. Local businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies interested in making free copies of Lake Family available to their clients and customers can contact First 5 Lake with requests. 

For more information about this and other First 5 Lake initiatives, email gepperson.first5@lakecountyca.gov, call 707-263-6169, or visit www.firstfivelake.org.

First 5 Lake County supports programs and services that promote the health and development of young children and educate parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers about the critical role they play during a child’s first five years.  Funding is derived from CA Proposition 10’s voter-mandated tax on tobacco products. 

Since its inception in 2000, First 5 Lake has supported thousands of families with programs and services designed to help Lake County children grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school and life. Current First 5 Lake Commissioners are: Tina Scott (Chair), Carly Sherman (Vice Chair), Denise Pomeroy, Brock Falkenberg, Crystal Markytan, Allison Panella, and Fawn Rave.

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