4th Annual Night of Dreams Recognition Event Honorees

Mailing Address:
Peninsula Family Connections
P.O. Box 358
San Carlos, CA 94070
Site Locations:
Belle Haven School
Menlo Park
414 Fourth Avenue
Redwood City
1070 Beech Street
East Palo Alto
In This Issue:
Supporting Family Connections’
Graduates Through the New
Young Scholars Program
Lakas Shimizu Philanthropy Fund Grants
Touching Donation to Family Connections
2013-14 Donor List
Family Connections Agency Profile
The Playhouse That Zach Built
Note from the Executive Director
Family Connections Board
of Directors Updates
Night of Dreams Event
If you know of someone who would be interested in receiving the Report Card, please let us know. Or, if you received this newsletter and would like your name removed from
our mailing list, contact us at 650.369.6467 or [email protected] Newsletter Layout by Glen So.
4 Annual Night of Dreams Recognition Event
Honorees Announced
Our Mission
To establish the resources and broad recognition
to be the first place that low-income families
go for early childhood and parent education –
empowering children and their parents to learn,
grow and dream.
Our Vision
To foster the potential of our community’s
youngest at-risk children and their families
by giving them the skills to succeed and the
confidence to have a positive impact on the
Save the Date
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Sharon Heights Country Club
We are proud to honor the following individuals and organizations for their
meaningful contributions to Family Connections.
Outstanding Partners - The Family of Eric & Amy Sahn
Outstanding Funders - The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
Outstanding Volunteers - Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto
Please mark your calendars to join us as we celebrate our honorees and showcase
the journeys of our students and families. Don’t miss this evening of fun,
celebration, and inspiration! Tickets will be available in early 2015.
Event sponsorship opportunities of our most important fundraiser are available.
Please contact Meg McLaughlin at [email protected] for more information.
Board of Directors:
Nic Kiyasu - President
Andrea Ballard
Gretchen Cheng
Debbie Denton
Angela Espinosa
Leslie Mayerson
Meg McLaughlin
Sandy Simmons Moore
Denise Touhey
Advisory Board:
Carrie Du Bois
Alisa Greene MacAvoy
Rabbi Nat Ezray
Patricia Meyer
Don Horsley
Memo Morantes
Steven Kaufman
John Seybert
Fiona Ma
JoAnn Sokolov
Sister Trinitas Hernandez Dr. Sally Stewart
Executive Director:
Renée Zimmerman
Contact Us:
Family Connections
P.O. Box 358
San Carlos, CA 94070
phone: 650.369.6467
email: [email protected]
Pa r e n t s a n d C h i l d r e n
G r o w i n g To g e t h e r
A Parent Child Education Center
Family Connections
A Parent Child Education Center
Building a Path to Achievement
Supporting Family Connections’
Graduates Through the New
Young Scholars Program
Family Connections’ First Class of Young Scholars and Their Parents Gather for a
Summer Kickoff Event at Our Belle Haven Site
The Challenge – “How were Family Connections former
participants doing once they left our program and entered
the K-12 school system?” That was a question we had
traditionally sought to answer through our alumni survey.
The annual survey yielded some good information but
was limited in scope, particularly once the children moved
beyond 3rd grade when it became more difficult to track
progress on a broad scale basis. We found that we had a
limited ability to formally track long-term results but we
knew we always wanted more information to demonstrate
our long-term success.
On the flip side of this issue, many of the parents who
we were able to stay in contact with through our Alumni
Survey or more casually, would reach out to our teachers
and Education Coordinator for ongoing advice and
support. After multiple years at Family Connections a
close relationship was often established and many parents
expressed the desire to continue that relationship and
feeling of support beyond their child’s preschool years.
And so it was with these two realities in mind that Family
Connections sat down with Andrea and Andy Ballard to
learn of their idea for a program that would follow, support
and guide Family Connections alumni from the time
families left our program into and through their children’s
K-12 school years.
The Solution – The Young Scholars (YS) Program that was
developed out of this vision provides students with the
resources needed to succeed personally and academically
from kindergarten into college through academic support,
mentoring guidance, and parent engagement. The YS
Continued on page 2
Family Connections...continued
“The Young Scholars Program
has brought a sense of hope
for the children and parents in
East Palo Alto. We have families
who have the dedication and
interest in making better
students of our children. The
program provides support
and guidance to not only the
student but the parent as well.
Thank you Young Scholars”
sounding board, encourager, motivator and friend.
The Launch – As this new school year got underway
towards the end of August, our first group of 13 Young
Scholars had both successes as well as challenges with
their transitions into kindergarten. Some challenges
were difficult and the advice and support of the YS staff
team has been critical to helping parents resolve the
issues. Others were seemingly minor but provided key
opportunities for us to intervene and help. For example, a
couple of children were coming home very hungry after
their full day of school and when pressed it was discovered
that some of them couldn’t open the milk cartons and
were too shy to ask for help. Our YS team came up with
the idea to have the children practice opening the milk
cartons at their September Saturday session as a way to
help them become more comfortable and independent.
The Goal – Our objective is to actively engage our Young
Scholars, their families, and community partners to
– Erika Perez, YS Parent promote a culture where students are inspired to believe
in their abilities, develop their strengths, and discover
Program includes weekly one-on-one meetings with the
their passion. The Young Scholars Program will enable
Coordinator, monthly Saturday sessions with small group
students to reach their full potential so they may obtain a
activities that expand on their school week curriculum and college degree or vocational profession and give back to
parent education classes and extracurricular activities
their communities. We are excited to be in full swing with
to guide families through the various educational stages.
the YS program after two years of development and we
The YS Program does not seek to replace the wide array
are looking forward to watching it grow. If you would like
of excellent support services already available to families
to become involved either as a volunteer or supporter,
but rather to fill in the gaps and provide an underlying
please contact Program Coordinator, Miriam Yupanqui at:
consistent core of support, being the extra eyes and ears, [email protected]
“We are thrilled
to help launch the
new Young Scholars
program and we
are excited to be
able to provide
Family Connections’
children and families
with this new level of
ongoing support.”
Young Scholars enjoying summer field trip to CuriOdyssey
– Andrea &
Andy Ballard
Note from the Executive Director
Dear Friends,
This has been another busy year for Family
Connections. Not only have we spent a good deal
of time growing from within but we have also been
out and about in the community more so than ever
The newest buzzword I have come across as I meet
with other likeminded organizations is “Collective
Impact”; the concept of public/private entities
working together for the greater good, maximizing
the use of limited resources to realize greater
efficiencies while hopefully reducing duplication of
effort and increasing impact. We have always been
fortunate here in San Mateo County to have had
excellent public/private working relationships and
we are excited to see the interest shown by new and
longstanding funders to attach much needed dollars
to these ongoing efforts.
Examples of this type of collective work are: First Five
San Mateo County’s “Bridges to Success” Initiative,
the Children’s Collaborative Action Team (focusing on
child abuse prevention), the Heising-Simon’s Parent
Engagement Initiative, the Big Lift and Redwood City
2020 to name a few. All are comprised of some
type of government and non-profit partnerships with
funding attached. Central to many of these efforts is
a direct relationship and coordination between local
public school districts and the various partnering
organizations either feeding into the districts (such
as preschools) or directly supporting the districts
(such as afterschool programs). The continued and
strengthened coordination of these types of efforts
will be critical as we move into the second half of
this decade. Family Connections is looking forward to
continuing to be an engaged partner in these efforts
and we welcome you to reach out to us if you would
like to learn more about our work or how you can
support or enhance what we are working to achieve.
Cooperatively Yours,
Renee Zimmerman
Executive Director
Family Connections Board of Directors Updates
The backbone of our agency is our fabulous Board of
Directors. This volunteer policy board is responsible
for the overall fiscal health of Family Connections
as well as for the long term strategic vision of the
agency. They provide direct oversight and support to
the Executive Director and they serve as ambassadors
in the broader community advocating for Family
Connections and all interests of importance to our
work such as quality education, family support, parent
engagement & leadership.
Our Board members serve two year terms and are
eligible to serve three terms in total. We are very
fortunate to have had strong and committed board
members over the years and we look forward to
welcoming in new board members going forward.
A heartfelt goodbye to Rebecca Li , Joyce Romeo
and Amy Sahn. These dedicated women served a
combined 13 years on the board. All three volunteered
in other capacities with Family Connections prior to
their work on the board and Amy Sahn will continue
on as a Young Scholars volunteer. We wish them
all the best of luck and look forward to a continued
relationship in the future.
Finally, we would like to welcome three new board
members: Gretchen Cheng, Angela Espinosa and
Sandy Moore. Each brings specialized expertise
including among many other talents and experiences:
fundraising and HR (Angela), real estate and
finance (Sandy) and pediatric occupational therapy
(Gretchen). Please see our website for their full bios.
We are looking forward to getting to know each other
and growing as a new board under the continued
leadership of Nic Kiyasu as Board President. If you
are interested in learning more about our board of
directors or becoming a board member, please contact
us at: [email protected]
The Playhouse That Zach Built
Zach and friends unloading the new playhouse
One of the more meaningful ways that teens have been
able to support Family Connections over the years is
through their Bar or Bat Mitzvah community service
project. One such young man is Zachary de Haaff. Zach
lives in Menlo Park, attends Hillview Middle School and
likes to play basketball, the drums and swim for the Menlo
Mavericks. In addition to his many activities, Zach has
been an avid builder since he was 18 months old. When the
time came to think about his upcoming community service
project Zach learned about Family Connections through
his Hebrew teacher, Bill Futornick and then he excitedly
shared his idea to build a playhouse with our Volunteer
Coordinator, Betsy Carter.
Zach spent many hours designing, planning and building
the playhouse (all constructed in pieces at his home).
During the big installation day in late August, his parents
rented a moving truck and moved the playhouse piece by
piece to our Belle Haven site in Menlo Park. Zach is very
happy that our program will benefit from the playhouse
and he hopes that children happily play in it for years to
Belle Haven preschool participants excitedly posing in
front of their new playhouse
Thank you to the following volunteers who helped with the playhouse project:
Zachary de Haaff, Brian de Haaff, Jason de Haaff, Michelle de Haaff, Josh Lipp,
Mary Lipp, Aaron Lipp, Jeff Axelrod, Matt Feuer, Aviva Futornick
Lakas Shimizu Philanthropy Fund Grants Touching
Donation to Family Connections
Last December 2013, the Parreñas Shimizu family
experienced the sudden and heart-wrenching loss of
their 8-year old son Lakas. Lakas (whose name means
“strength” in Filipino) meant the world to his family. With
his unexpected passing, parents Celine & Dan, along with
11-year old brother Bayan, sought to find ways to honor his
memory by generously supporting others.
Family Connections was selected to receive one of their
first donations this past May. In Dan’s words, “Family
Connections truly represents many of the things that
were important to Lakas, particularly the idea of helping
others, of giving the gift of education to young children, of
learning new things and of being an inclusive, supportive
organization where everyone is celebrated for their
strengths and what they can contribute to the world around
Even in his young years, Lakas was very interested in
community service and he actively participated with
his family in outreach opportunities organized by his
elementary school. Lakas was a kind young man who would
go out of his way to include and encourage those around
him. Indeed, he even helped to create a schoolyard game of
“Infinity” tag where everyone was “It”, a game that his 2nd
grade class couldn’t wait to play at recess!
The Board and Staff are very honored by this donation.
The funds will be used to directly support our tuition-free
preschool and kindergarten readiness program during our
new school year, which began this past September 2nd. To
read a further tribute to Lakas Parreñas Shimizu, please
visit LakasShimizu.org.
Recent Foundation Grant Awards
Beth Longwell Foundation
Intero Foundation
Campbell Foundation
Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund
Facebook Community Fund
Annual Giving
The following is a list of
individual donors, foundations
and corporate funders who
made gifts received between
July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.
Every effort has been made to
ensure accuracy. Please inform
us of any errors or omissions
so that we may correct our
$20,000 + Donors
Andrea and Andy Ballard
Children’s Collaborative Action
County of San Mateo Human
Services Agency
Eric and Amy Sahn
Silicon Valley Community
Foundation (KTK Contract)
Silver Partners
($2,500 - $19,999)
Center for Speech, Language, and
Occupational Therapy, Inc.
City of Menlo Park
East Palo Alto Kids Foundation
Facebook Local Community Fund
Franklin and Catherine Johnson
Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trusts
Intero Foundation, Inc.
Annie Luetkemeyer and
Ben Coughlin
Matthew and Leslie Mayerson
Mills-Penninsula Health Services
Palo Alto Weekly
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation
Redwood City Rotary Foundation
(car raffle proceeds)
Gerald and Jenny Risk
Wells Fargo Foundation
Contributor’s Circle
($1,000 - $2,499)
Lori and Aaron Bator
Cynthia and David Becker
Shelley Brown
Beth Longwell Foundation
Janet and Richard Hart
Heising-Simons Foundation
(math grant)
Kaufman Family Fund
Nic and Dave Kiyasu
Lakas Parrenas Shimizu
Philanthropy Fund
Ruth Pinkus-Resnik
Stuart & Meg McLaughlin
Kay Melchor
Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation
Priscilla Peabody
The Reis Foundation
Lee Scheuer
The Morrison & Foerster
Denise and Carl Touhey
Family Circle
($500 - $999)
Lorena Alcayaga
Steven Anderson
John Andrews
Dr. and Mrs. George Andros
Patty Leeper and Craig Ball
Kerry Bitner and James Taschetta
Burlingame Mothers’ Club
Curtis Chen and Piming Lai
Mei and Harold Chen
Wally and Gretchen Cheng
Sian Davies
Debbie and Paul Denton
Philip and Christina Dur
Steven and Carol Elliott
Miguel and Angela Espinosa
Sally Falkenhagen
Kelly Couch
Michelle and Bill Futornick
Wendy and Jon Grad
Cathy and Joe Guglielmi
George Jaquette
Angela and Nick Kalayjian
Jonathan Kaplan
Nancy Kessler
Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto
Anne Lynde
Fiona Ma
Patricia and Bryant Macy
Kimarie and Steve Matthews
Colin McKee
Andrew and Carrick McLaughlin
Holly Myers and Kirk Neely
Lauren Pachkowski
Gina and Jess Parks
Frank and Sandy Peale
Katherine Peters
Katie Raab
Joyce & Mike Romeo
Jose Santos
Laura Larkin and Eric Saund
Mona and Nihir Shah
Martha Simmons
Jeff and Linda Starr
Katie and John Storey
Connie Tamaddon
Resource Area for Teaching
Alex and Miriam Yupanqui
($100 - $499)
Laura Abram
Betsy and Jay Adams
Jan Adams
Mimi Ahern
Lorena Alcayaga
Miguel Alvarado
Ian Bain
Jessica Mihaly and Craig Baker
Debbie and Steve Baloff
Angela Banet
Leonila Bautista
Rebecca Beck
Christopher and Allison Benjamin
Katie Bracco Comfort
Kathryn Breaux
John Floyd and Elizabeth Brenner
Janet Brooks
Bunker Hill Parent Paricipation
Nursery School
Linda & Jon Burt
Anne E Campbell
Anne Carlevaris
April Carlson
Denise and Tim Chappelle
Jan and Bill Christensen
David and Wendy Chute
Kevin Clay
Marsha Johansen
Lee Crager
Marilou Powers Cramer and
Johannes Cramer
Kevin and Zoe Crowder
Jon Curry
Joanna Dagum
Meaghan Carr and Janet Day
Decathlon Sports Club
Jacqueline Devgan
Jenni and Sina Djafari
Seth Rosenblatt and Sara Dobbs
Leslie Doyle
Carrie Du Bois
Karl and Nancy Ehat
Su-Mien Chong and Kyle Elrod
James and Susan Enslen
Shannon and Jeff Fallick
James Fazio
Dalynn May and Christopher Ferro
Simon Firth and Jennifer Summit
Matt and Renee Fischer
Donn and Nancy Forbes
Sarah Kelsey and William Forrest
Sophie and Arthur Brody
Susan Powell and Lyonel Francis
Ron Galatolo
Scott and Tina Gattey
Scott and Lauri Gibson
Girl Scout Troop 2657
Duane and Gloria Goff
Nicole and Keith Goldstein
Daniel and Catherine Gramlich
Renee Greenstein
Christian Hammond
Victor and Lisa Hanna
Monika Hastings
Roberta Held
Henry Heubach
Cheryl Hightower
Bruce Hodge
Lawrence and Pamela Hoenig
Patty Holubar
Karen Hunt
Jacqui Inglis
Angela Jaime
Saila Kariat
Sybille Katz
Samuel Kaufman
Gretta Keegan
Val and Joe Keller
Jeanette Kennedy
Nina and Christopher Keys
Vicki King-Trager
Maeve Knoth
Ferah Kutlu
Sharon and James Lahey
Jennifer Larson
Brian and Patricia Latimer
Margie Lawson
Howard Lee
Emily Lowe
Gigi Luke
Kathleen Lynch
Jill & Jeff Mannie
Laurel Mc Ateer
Trudi McCanna
Marcella McCollum
Charmaine McCrystal
Alaistair and Amy McHugh
Mark Olbert and Barbara McHugh
Mireille McKee
Mark Melbye
Nancy and Paul Melmon
Dan and Eva Miranda
Stephanie Moody
Sandy and Mark Moore
Yousef and Diana Moradzadeh
Guillermo Morantes
Laurel Morris-Wexler
Denise Mulle
Gabriela Murillo
Clarissa Naftzger and
Jorge DiMartino
Jose Nieves
Kristine and Eric Nyhus
Jane Madden O’Gorman
Carol Orton
Jennifer Overholt
April Pardini
Steve Payne
Ricardo Perez
Lynn and Jeff Pierce
Jaime and Esther Pinkus
Ulla Pironi
Tracy Plowman
Tamara and Craig Pow
Rita and Peter Redford
Kristin and Bob Reidy
Stephanie Richman
Michael Robles
Megan Rodkin
John and Michelle Rohrer
Kristy Roos-Taylor and Mike Taylor
Leslie and Daniele Rosario
Karen Manship and Dan Rubins
Dan and Anne Rudolph
Tara and Jeff Samuels
Mark and Christina Satterlee
Emily and Jim Scheinman
Heidi Schell
Amy Schwimmer and Mark Segal
Eric Sellinger
Debbie Siefert
Paige and Shawn Singh
JoAnn Sockolov
Genaro Solorio
Michelle Sours
Gregory and Nancy Sterling
Dr. Sally Stewart
Sergio and Amelia Stone
Aimee and Andy Swanson
Nancy Swanson
Celine Takatsuno
Jane and Paul Taylor
Janet Thomas
Doug Thompson
Molly and Andrew Titley
Cathy Tokic
Leslie Lian and Edward Tuttle
Mabry and William Tyson
Margarita Ventura
Loree Watanabe
Mary Watson
Anna and Jeffrey Weidell
Christine and Brian Weiss
Diane Werner and Karl Wexler
Michelle Wright
Nancy Wright
Jannie Wu
Jenny and Joe Wucher
Katherine and Steve Wurzburg
Sharon Yang
Lynette York
John and Renee Zimmerman
(Up to $99)
Kristen Anderson
Donna Avanzino
Gail Badduke
Jose and Mary Baez
Janet Barbash
Nancy Barbash-Lerner
Gary and Rosemary Behrens
Frank and Mariko Biondi
Carol Borba
Bill and Sue Carter
Dana Chaiton
Kimberly Chen Bock
Emi Chuang
Brian W. Connor
Leanne Cummins
Richard and Carol Dana
Melissa and Tim Davis
Marty and Judy Deggeller
Ian Dixon
Jo Ann Dugoni
Rita Fishman
Melissa Frank
Andrea Freeman
Karen Gemmer
Diana and Ken Gendotti
Eric and Emilee Getter
Diane Goldman
Jeff Greenfield
Rosalie Hare
Lisa Hicks Dumanske
Laura Hovden
Frank and Daniele Huerta
Carolyn Hutchinson
Ann Idzik
Marsha Johansen
Kim Overton and Carl Johnson
Nancy Wright
Judith Kerfoot
Margot Knight
Brady Knight
Hedvika Knoth
Don and Bitsy Kosovac
William and Kimberley Liss
Elisabeth and Michael Mancini
Julie and Marc Manuel
Shelly Masur
Chara Mathur
Jeanie McLoughlin
Mara Mintzer
Jill Morgan
Chris and Jennifer Morris
Robert and Harriet Moss
Mary Murphy
Regina Neu
The Nueva School
Charles and Sarah Pederson
Jennifer Pedrotti
Catherine Pieck
Ralph and Kim Pisani
Tami Raubvogel
Melissa and Casey Rivers
Jodi Rogoff
Dey and Antoinette Rose
David Silberman
Celia Skipton
Melinda Slatt-Friedeberg
Rosemary Holden Smith
Pam Songer
Regine Staufenberg
Jean and Dave Tech
Linda Teutschel
Anne V. Tick
Bonnie Velcich
Lisa and Darrow Wehara
Pearle Levine Wilborn
Victor Young
Family Connections also thanks
“Night of Dreams” sponsors
and attendees and “Rotary Car
Raffle” ticket purchasers
In Kind Contributions - Thank
you to the many individuals and
businesses who contributed
throughout the 13/14 fiscal
year. The following is a list of
larger in-kind donations:
Burlingame Mother’s Club Graduation Backpacks and
Catherine Bock Gardening Materials
Everest Charter High School Meeting Space
Hands On Bay Area volunteers
Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto Facility Repairs
Raising a Reader Book Bay
Ravenswood City School District facility space
Second Harvest Food Bank snack program
Sequoia Union High School District
- facility space
Young Men’s Service League Volunteers
Google - volunteers
Comcast - Comcast Cares Day
Family Connections
Agency Profile
2013-2014 Actual Annual Revenue. Total $860,000
Annual Giving
Special Events
School Districts Served
KTK Contract
Ravenswood City
School District
Redwood City
School District
Sequoia Union
High School District
(Sequoia Adult School)
First Five
Earned Income (rent, interest)
2014-2015 Planned Revenue. Total $894,600
(Nurturing Families
& Preschool)
Special Events
KTK Contract
Number of
Hi-Lights from June 2014 Parent Year-End Surveys
As a result of participating in Family Connections this year:
(Kickoff to Kindergarten)
Earned Income
(rent, interest)
First Five
(Young Scholars)
Annual Giving
Understand the importance of reading to my child often
I provide my child with balanced nutritious meals
Know how to discipline my child in positive ways
I understand the effects of domestic violence on my children
I feel there are more people I can count on when facing a problem
Have increased family activities that emphasize fitness
I feel a strong sense of community at Family Connections