Lake Tahoe Collaborative


Our Mission: The Lake Tahoe Collaborative (LTC) is a community strengthening group focused on building stability and resilience in our children and families.


January 12, 2015  Minutes, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

  • 1:00pm WelcomeApprove the minutes from the November 10, 2014 meeting.
  • Introductions and Announcements from AgenciesMembers are encouraged to share new program or staff changes, important dates, and other pertinent information to the Collaborative.Wendy David, City Councilwoman: Newly elected, learning a lot. First 5 El Dorado, Chairperson: No update.Karen Russell, Lilliput: Kinship Support program. Busy during holidays with toy donations. Brought flyers for relatives raising relatives, refer them to her.Tina Barna, Choices For Children: Nothing new. No new monies from state governor. Locally, more families coming in for free clothing, emergency diapers. There is a need for child care providers operating in the evenings and weekends.Jane Flavin, Live Violence Free: It has been very busy, maybe because of holidays. They are almost full in their safe house. Have a new attorney on board, speaks Spanish, helps with divorces, restraining orders, child custody. Jude Wood, Boys and Girls Club Lake Tahoe: Thank you to this group. Her limited time as a member has brought huge benefits and great partnerships. They have new programs. They will offer five activity summer camps open to members and non-members, as a way to diversify the product they offer at the Club. Have front desk job open at Bijou, 3-4 hours/afternoon, bilingual, refer anyone their way.  They were open for couple days across both holiday weeks. Had a great holiday party.  For more information, contact- Megan Buchanan, El Dorado Community Foundation, Donor Services Coordinator,, 530.622.5621.Nicole Zaborsky, Lake Tahoe Collaborative: Passed out “Postpartum/Baby Blues” brochures and “0-6 month Community Resource Guide”. Contact her if you would like more copies.Contact her with presentation ideas for the June Forum.Diana Lozano, South Lake Tahoe Library: She will speak later in the meeting.Liz Barnekoff, Family Engagement Coordinator, El Dorado County Office of Education: They are short on teaching staff in South Lake Tahoe. Scrambling for qualified teacher aide positions, and always can use substitute teachers. Keep them in mind and spread the word.Elizabeth Blakemore, El Dorado County Office of Education: Together We Grow program provides developmental screenings; High 5 for Quality program-there are 152 licensed providers in the County, their program is touching about 75 providers in improving their services. If you know of licensed providers not yet engaged, get the word out.Lynnan Svensson, El Dorado County of Health and Human Services: Measles outbreak started at Disney Land, if they have a rash and fever, seek their medical provider. Have 16 confirmed cases in Ca and 4 in other states. Most are from those who were unvaccinated. Offering flu vaccines at Health Dept. increased activity at school and a facility.  Stay home when sick. They have plenty of supply.Jalia Kizito, Student, Samuel Merritt College: Observing.Josefina Solano, El Dorado County Health and Human Services: Coordinate medical for those with income under $40,000, and with Medi-Cal.Theresa Papandrea, SOS Outreach: Registering this month. They are in full gear on six different mountains. If you have kids who would like to join,  registrations are January 13 Bijou from 5-6:30 pm; and Tuesday January 20th at South Tahoe Middle School Rm 27 at 5pm for Middle School and High School students. If kids are not able to come, she can mail paperwork. Alexis Foley, Court Appointed Special Advocates: April 28th is their Spring Training to add more advocates for their program. Train and recruit volunteers that help kids who come to the court system.  If you know of anyone would be a good fit, sent them their way. Have flyer with training dates, and one with explanation on CASA.De-Anne Hooper, South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center: Happy New Year! Served so many families over the holidays. Thanks for everyone for supporting their programs. Toys for Tots served 94 families. 150 gift certificates went out for food for Safeway and Grocery Outlet.  Sabrina Owen, El Dorado County Mental Health: Rumor that they don’t provide 24 hour crisis intervention. They no longer go out to hospital during certain hours. They will not go to the hospital for adults that are at the hospital from 11pm to 8am and need to be cleared medically. If it’s an adolescent or child, they will meet them any time at the hospital. Provide phone response 24 hours a day. Provide therapy for severe mental health issues. Mild to moderate mental health patients are served at Barton. El Dorado County assists those with Medi-Cal or who have no insurance at all. Hector Ochoa, University of California Cooperative Extension, Nutrition Program: Their curriculum is research based. They are working with a couple of programs in community already. Starting to get garden-based nutrition at Sierra House at the growing domes, will get seeds in soon, and doing educational programs.  Want to have more gardens in the area. Finishing up at Bijou Family Resource Center and other programs. Talk to him if interested in classes.Shelly  Martinez, Kahle Community Center: Recreation activities for children birth-adults. Provide free meeting space to non-profits. If need space, make a reservation, fill out a form.  Little conference room for 8 people, other room for 100 or more.  Tuesday morning program, birth to three year olds, for those (nannies, grandparents, friends) with children, 9:30-11am, provide non-structured activities with a facilitator to chat with adult to provide some structure. They do this in winter months to support families who can’t get outside. $7/family, and have scholarships. Heather Avila, El Dorado County Office of Education, Family Service Specialist.Tracy Thomas, Lake Tahoe Community College: Underrepresented student liaison. Classes started last week. Have some late-start classes beginning in February.Su Briggs, El Dorado County Health and Human Services, Child Protective Services: Happy have 2 new social workers, at full staffing capacity. Koko Green, El Dorado County Health and Human Services, Employment Services: Open enrollment now for Covered California, can register: “,” 800-300-1506, come in office 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd, first floor.Pat Lahey, El Dorado County Health and Human Services, Heating and Energy Assistance Program (HEAP):  Energy assistance (electricity, oil, wood, pellets, gas) to qualifying households, help with utility bills, accepting applications for 2015 and 2014. They offer for a one-time payment/year. Eligibility: Depends on priority points. Priorities to those with children 0-5, seniors, disabled. Applications at 1360 Johnson Blvd., Suite 103.  Starting new this year, providing bilingual staff assistance at Family Resource Center office  January, 14th 9-12pm. More dates may follow.Amanda Morozumi, Tahoe Turning Point: All beds are full. There are three individuals in transitional housing in South Lake Tahoe. Their other services include: outpatient clinic, mental health services and substance testing.Molly Hucklebridge, Barton Health: Smoking Cessation class, research-based through Lung Association, begins this Thursday. Have Birthing Classes. Covered California, support available: “” Hiring for a Digital Marketing Specialist, with web design, social media and marketing experience.  Wellness Lectures: This Thursday, Low Back Pain, 6-7pm at Lake Tahoe Community College, Board Room. Sleep Apnea and Cardio Disease Thursday February 12, 6-7pm, Lake Tahoe Community College, Board Room.Sara Conrad, Barton Foundation: Just had “Festival of Trees and Lights”, and excited to say it raised $71,000 for Barton Hospice, more than they have ever raised. The Gala raised $62,000 for Community Health Endowment.  Community Advisory Committee meeting was held last week and having the Mental Health Forum this year to address gaps in services (awareness and gaps last year). Feb 5 at South Tahoe High School, all day event. Goal is to come with action elements.  For more information, contact: sconrad@bartonhealth.orgKaylie Arnold, Girls on the Run Sierras: Has flyers, South Lake Tahoe program starts in March, have a new site at Boys and Girls Club Lake Tahoe, Jude has coaches covered. She handed out flyers calling for volunteer coaches at Bijou, March 16-June 6, 1.5 hours after school, one day/week.Savannah, with El Dorado County Office of Education: Observing.      Print Motivation: Joy of learning and reading. If reading and learning is not fun, they don’t want to do that. Narrative skills: Ability to listen to stories, retain information, recite it back. Phonological Awareness: Ability to break down and listen to smaller sounds in words. Apple has two sounds, “a” and “pple”. If a child can’t differential the sounds, reading is difficult. Hone this skill by singing.  1. Read: Reading on a daily basis supports all Early Childhood Literacy skills.3. Singing: They remember words easier when you sing to them. Helps with phonological awareness. 5. Play: Opens science, math, literacy skills.Why are Early Literacy Skills and 5 Best Practices important? By 3rd grade, children are reading to learn. Prior to 3rd grade, they are learning to read. If don’t read by 3rd grade, a child is 4 times more likely not to graduate from high school. 40% of low performing students come from low income students. What predicts 3rd grade reading levels? Vocabulary development from 2-4 years old. Low income youth age 5 recognize 9 letters, a typical middle class child recognizes 33. High school dropouts are more likely to be involved in crime or have a teenage pregnancy.Jude: Do you have resources on how to make learning fun? How to be less teacher-ish?      Trends right now: They have 300 families who want budgeting services, employment. Empower staff and families. If we reinforce what families can do to support their children, it helps them and the community.Poverty is cyclical and passed to the next generation. Every parent wants their child to be successful. Their job is to explain how parents have to do things a little differently to bridge a gap and have a different trajectory for their kids. When this gap is present when a child enters school, it persists and grows. Reading and language exposure. If you have been told or conditioned negatively, you are setting a child up to come into a classroom that doesn’t have self-confidence and knowledge. Low income children hear fewer affirmations and more discouraging statements made. And when spoken to it’s in one or two sentences. Encourage parents to speak in their home language. Culturally, many families don’t speak a lot to children. Maybe they don’t have a lot of time when they are working a lot. Stressors can consume time, too. How can we help families find time to speak, play, sing? It takes 11 positive things to erase 1 negative thing.1. Use positive discipline: They host monthly parent meetings at each site, publish newsletters, and have in-kind parent volunteer time. Redirect your child by explaining what you would like him or her TO DO, and why it is important, instead of simply saying what NOT to do.3. Establish Family Routines: Low income families are stressed and give up the routine. We want them to understand the importance of getting the child to school on time. What is your morning routine, evening routine?  Stanford research: What makes a Valedictorian? One common thread was having dinner with family regularly. Also, routines help children self-regulate and help with impulse control.BOTTOM LINE: Parents make the difference. Spend 20 minutes reading to your child every day…you will read 120 hours in a year, 240 hours over two years and you can close the achievement gap.   Liz: Have sliding point system for enrollments each year.  Jude: Boys and Girls Club focuses their curriculum on writing and reading. Please use BGCLT as a resource for an hour of art, writing, reading.Liz: On Family Development Matrix, shows high risk targets and interventions. She has leads for fast easy great tips and will share with Nicole and how to use research-based tips. With Wendy’s new position, she has facilitated LTC for ~16 years and in June, when she segues into new responsibilities, we’d like to find a new facilitator. Looking to find a new person for this position. See Nicole or Wendy to talk more about it. Thank you to Jane Flavin and Amanda Morozumi who have stepped up to co-facilitate for FY 2015/16. 5.  Discussion-LTC Attend EDCF Seminar  
  1. 6. 2:30 pm Adjourn
  2. Nicole Zaborsky, Wendy David, and Jude Wood are going and will sit on the panel. Others are invited, email Nicole to coordinate.
  3. On February 20th the El Dorado Community Foundation is hosting an all-day seminar for the nonprofit community, at their new community center, Cameron Park. During the day, there will be a series of breakout sessions.  One of those sessions they would like to have is on the South Lake Tahoe Collaborative. Would we be willing to tell the story of the collaborative, how it works, how participation is involved and how issues are addressed?  Who will attend?  We can use a panel, members of the collaborative, to also talk about some of the issues we have had, and some of the lessons learned.  They will of course pay for your mileage. The time frame they have for us is from 2:15 to 3:15pm.
  5. 4. Discussion-revisit who will facilitate/co-facilitate the LTC in 2015
  6. Elizabeth: California School Aged Consortium, after school programming for kids, has research-based information. They have components on that content area. She will also forward some information to Nicole. They will also come do free staff training.
  7. Theresa: Many times she works with kids who did not have strong foundations, and core values. Are there things that can help them with that?
  8. Tina: Some families have so many stressors and their work hours may not fit with Early Head Start’s schedule.
  9. Elizabeth: All of the Head Start and Early Head Start families get this service. Any average family can get this information from Library and Together We Grow staff. El Dorado County Office of Education staff can work with Tot Spot, Kahle, groups of families. Best Beginnings, Barton, can reach out and be a first line of outreach.
  10. Wendy: How are we identifying families? For those in this room, how can we recommend or refer?
  12. Resource, “The Achievement Gap and what YOU can do about it: A Guide for Parents and Families,” Acelero Learning, Acelero Learning Website: &  Achievement Gap Website:
  13. Narrative structure, reading has narrative structure with beginning/middle/end. Low income families get stuck in circular narrative structure. Reading helps build foundation to tell a story in this format.
  14. 4. Read with your child! Give tutorial guides to parents. Limit screen time. Engage with child at their height level. High 5 For Quality and Race to the Top programs have librarians going to licensed child care providers, have family engagement component, send things home to families. Do reading, activities to build early literacy skills.
  15. 2. Provide Language-rich Experiences: Every organization can talk about narrating their child’s life. Example: “Okay, here we are going to the changing table, taking the diaper off, taking the new diaper out of the package, wiping the baby clean, laying out the new diaper.” For many parents, this is unnatural.
  16. They want to empower their families. A parent is a child’s most important teacher. Give parents some ideas, close achievement gap, so all children, regardless of family background, enter Kindergarten ready to learn.
  17. Why is this so important? Its reading, expression, language, conversations. Parents are gatekeepers to this.
  18. Cognitive development from 0-5 years is a strong foundation.
  19. This gap has nothing to do with how smart children are! This gap doesn’t mean that children from low-income families can’t succeed at school.
  20. Research shows that by time children begin Kindergarten, there is a difference in literacy from low-income to high-income families. On average, a child from low income family shows less developed skills in the areas necessary for success in Kindergarten and beyond.
  21. One focus and goal is to know low income families are facing multiple stressors that can alter the direction of their lives and choices they make in a day. Often don’t have experience and modelling to have techniques in place to move through hardship. They help them understand the research. What happens to children before they enter school? Made it their mission to teach families about Achievement Gap. Pass out booklet to them in English and Spanish.
  22. They have a team of Family Service Specialists with their grant. They partner with their families, each specialist’s caseload is about 40 families. They link families to services in the community, partner with community organizations and bring together data on family assessments. What are our trends? Where do our families need support?
  23. The El Dorado County Office of Education’s Child Development Programs and Services is influenced by the research that supports the effort to close the Achievement Gap, so that all children, regardless of family or community background, enter Kindergarten ready to learn. Our Family Service work is organized around 4 areas that the research suggests have the greatest impact on family circumstances directly linked to positive child outcomes.
  24. Elizabeth Blakemore, Early Care and Education Planning Council Coordinator, El Dorado County Office of Education,
  25. Liz Barnekoff, Family Engagement Coordinator, El Dorado County Office of Education,
  27. Diana: Don’t be embarrassed. Sing.
  28. 4. Talk: Talking to kids every day. Don’t dumb down words. Use big words. Learn words and build vocabulary.
  29. 2. Write: Write with kids every day. Build small hand muscles through sensory activities. Give them a paintbrush, playdough, markers.
  30. BEST PRACTICES: 5 things they tell every family at storytime:
  31. Before you can master any skill you need a foundation.
  32. Letter Knowledge: Letters can look different but can be the same (upper case and lower case).
  33. Vocabulary: Knowing what words mean. Talk to children at an adult level.
  34. Print Awareness: Noticing that print is everywhere. It is powerful and has meaning in society. Noticing signs, knowing different parts of the book (cover, back, spine, author’s job, illustrator’s job, in America we read from left to right).
  36. Background: She partners with: First 5 El Dorado, Ready to Read at Library-storytime in English and Spanish- to empower families to read to children and reduce social isolation. It’s difficult with small child to get out of the house and socialize with other families/children. Their programs are free; El Dorado County Office of Education, Race to Top.
  37. She will be covering the stages, best practices and the importance of early literacy development in children ages birth to five.
  38. Diana Lozano, Early Childhood Literacy Specialist, El Dorado County Library,
  40. 3. Presentations
  41. Next month’s Lake Tahoe Collaborative meeting is at Lake Tahoe Community College.
  42. El Dorado Community Foundation: They are beginning to work on ‘Give Where You Live’. This is their 2nd annual 24 Giving Challenge for 501 (c) (3) nonprofits in El Dorado County. Last year about 50 nonprofits participated and $152,000 was raised. More than anything, however, this event showcases the work of nonprofit organizations in our county. This year it will take place on April 23rd. She’d like every nonprofit in the county to feel included in this event!
  43. Tahoe Magic: passed out business cards, serve families in crisis, one time only, and work directly through referral agencies. Busy year already. Families are suffering. Clients are passing along information and are contacting Wendy directly. She turns down folks who contact her directly. She requires a contact from agencies so there is a referral.


  1. Next LTC meeting February 9, 2015, Lake Tahoe Community College Board Room, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 1-2:30pm.