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Hero Awards
2016 Mariposa County First 5 Hero Awards
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First 5 Mariposa honors three volunteers:

1) Jessica Meisner, instructional aide for the Transitional Kindergarten classroom at Mariposa Elementary School; 2) Jerry Moore from Sierra Foothill Charter School for his service as a volunteer fire fighter for Mariposa County and visits to the school to work with the TK classroom and preschool children, allowing them to learn about the fire equipment. In addition, Jerry has been involved in the Mariposa County Fire Department’s Fired Up for Reading Contest—encouraging children to read as many books as possible; and 3) Jonathan Lewis, Lake Don Pedro, who is a stay-at-home Dad and comes with his daughter, Tiffeni, to the preschool to help with breakfast and read to the children. 

The Mariposa Board of Supervisors presented the Heroes with certificates of appreciation on April 26, 2016?


2015 Mariposa County First 5 Hero Awards
2015 Hero Awards

Mariposa County First 5 is part of a Regional First 5 effort to recognize volunteers who serve children 0 to 5 years-of-age as “Heroes.”  The region is made up of Fresno, Mariposa, Madera, Merced, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties.  Each county is recognizes its “heroes” with various festivities and commendations.

The recipients for the year 2014-2015 for Mariposa County First 5 are:  Caroline Korn, Jon Paul Salonen and Jim Sandlin.  The heroes were recognized by the Mariposa Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 28th.

Caroline Korn volunteers at Sierra Foothill Charter School and makes a difference in the lives of children by the way she works with them on garden projects.  Caroline works with all grade levels and introduces the children to gardening—emphasizing ground and plant care.  She likes to see the children learn all the various aspects of gardening and the names of different plant species.  She is patient and allows the children to ask questions and explore the plant life in the school’s garden.

Jon Paul Salonen
volunteers at Sierra Foothill Charter School by teaching Yoga at all grade levels, including the Transitional Kindergarten classroom.  He has the TK children do movements with their arms and legs similar to the Hokey Pokey--but Yoga style.  In addition, he is the DJ for the school’s dances which includes all the children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.

Jim Sandlin, as a volunteer at Lake Don Pedro Preschool, has made a birdhouse with his adopted granddaughter and donated it to the preschool.  He supplies snacks for the preschool and brings his granddaughter to school every day.  He is always willing to fix anything that needs fixing at the school—donating time and effort to keep the preschool in good condition.

2014 Mariposa First 5 Hero Awards
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Mariposa County First 5 is part of a Regional First 5 effort to recognize volunteers who serve children 0 to 5 years-of-age as “Heroes.” The region is made up of Fresno, Mariposa, Madera, Merced, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties. Each county is recognizes its “heroes” with various festivities and commendations.

The recipients for this year for Mariposa County First 5 are Becky Collins, parent volunteer and Girl Scout leader, and Merenda McCulloch, for her work with the Lake Don Pedro community.  First 5 is honored to recommend these two “heroes” to the Board of Supervisors for recognition and a certificate of appreciation.  Becky and Merenda were nominated by Marie Pretzer and Shirley Serrato, respectively.
 
Becky Collins has been a Girl Scout Leader in Mariposa for 39 years. Around 30 years ago a Daisy program was started for four year olds. Early on, Becky volunteered as a leader. When you are a Girl Scout, you earn badges, and with each badge you must show evidence that you have reviewed each subject. It can be as simple as hospitality, manners, dental health, being polite or how to start your own campfire. Becky is firm, yet gentle, with each and every girl in her troops.  She has been a Girl Scout Leader with over 104 different troops during her years as a leader.  She has seen children go full circle. Some of the girls in her troops now have grandmothers who were in Becky’s scout program.
 
Merenda MCulloch recently took on the task of campaigning for a new improved park. The 21 acre park had long been forgotten.  There have been broken benches, overgrown grass and no equipment for the children to play on. Merenda approached the homeowners association and convinced them to purchase playground equipment and the bark required for safety. She then started a committee to turn the 21 acres of overgrown grass and broken benches into a beautiful inviting park for the community.  The families help by purchasing items needed for the park in honor of their loved ones.  



2013 Mariposa First 5 Hero Awards

The recipients for 2013 for Mariposa County First 5 are: Angela Burke, parent volunteer in Greeley Hill Charter School, and Marie Pretzer, owner and operator of the Kid Korral Day Care, who supports good dental care, education and nutrition. First 5 is honored to recommend these two “heroes” to the Board of Supervisors for recognition and a certificate of appreciation.

Angela Burke is very active in her children’ lives, making their education the highest priority for her and her husband Mark, is a disabled veteran. She worked in the Greeley Hill Preschool classroom every Monday and Tuesday, even when she was pregnant with her second child. After her son Dylan graduated from preschool and moved on to kindergarten, she saw the need for implementing and starting the Charter School in Greeley Hill. She attended all meetings, giving countless hours of labor by painting the classrooms and digging dirt for planting trees. She was there every day and worked on preparing the school for the September, 2012, opening day. Angela continues to be available to do whatever is asked of her and is eager to make the school a more inviting and enriching place for children.

Marie Pretzer goes above and beyond in supporting children in Mariposa County. She provides education and hands-on opportunities regarding dental health, good nutrition and daily exercising such as running and playing outdoor games. She shows the children a tooth model and demonstrates how to brush and floss. She encourages drinking water instead of beverages like juice or soda and provides nutritional snacks and lunches. In addition, every year Marie schedules the Dental Health Hygienist at the day care. The hygienist conducts presentations, provides toothbrushes and floss for each child and arranges for dental screenings. Marie is excellent with children, preparing them for kindergarten and encouraging parents to read and play with their children. Her center and play area are children-friendly and provide opportunities for both fine and gross motor skill development. As part of the program, she encourages social skills, manners and learning to play together—all in preparation for school.

2013 Hero Nomination Form (doc)

2012 Mariposa First 5 Hero Awards

This is the second year that Mariposa County First 5 has been part of a Regional First 5 effort to recognize volunteers who serve children 0 to 5 years-of-age as “Heroes.” The region is made up of Fresno, Mariposa, Madera, Merced, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties. Each county is recognizing its “heroes” with various festivities and commendations.

The recipients for this year for Mariposa County First 5 are: Jeannine Andre, Gussie Kidd, Anita Petrich and Sherry Peters. First 5 is honored to recommend these “heroes” to the Board of Supervisors for recognition and a certificate of appreciation. They will be recognized by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at the meeting with a brief reception to follow.

Jeannine Andre is a preschool teacher who makes a difference in the lives of children by preparing them for kindergarten. She enjoys working with the children and their families. She makes the children and parents feel welcomed and valued by working to provide creative, developmentally appropriate and hands-on activities for the children. She loves to read them stories, take them on field trips and provide a wide variety of activities and curricular experiences.

Gussie Kidd is a retired advocate and tireless worker with children and families. She provides a Monday playgroup which is open to all families in Lushmeadows. Gussie provides activities to make the time extra fun by preparing activities with “hands-on” learning. She volunteers in the classroom at Woodland Elementary School in a 2nd Grade classroom. In addition, Gussie runs the NET (Never Enough Time) Program for moms (any parent or caregiver) to come with their children and network with other families. She is part of the volunteers that work with 2 to 12 year old children at the TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday) Club. The classes include Bible lessons, music, arts and crafts. Both programs are held at the Mariposa United Methodist Church.

Anita Petrich and Sherry Peters, in conjunction with Mariposa Health Department’s Ruth McKinney and Kathy Delaney of Mariposa Safe Families, started a support group entitled the “Grand Families and Kinship Relative Caregivers of Mariposa County.” The group provides opportunities for people raising their grandchildren to share experiences and learn from each other. The services are provided by a case-by-case support designed for the in-depth benefit of individual children and their caretakers whether they are parents or foster parents. The need for this kind of support was discovered by the Smart Start (grant-funded program by Mariposa County First 5) nurses, Ruth McKinney and Margarita King, who found many cases of grandparents raising small children. The Smart Start nurses discovered that these grandparents are facing both physically and emotionally challenging tasks for those in their retirement years. In Mariposa, there are currently 225 children being raised by grandparents and over 550 children being raised by family kin other than parents.

2011 Mariposa First 5 Hero Awards

Mariposa County First 5 was part of a Regional First 5 effort to recognize volunteers who serve children 0 to 5 years-of-age as “Heroes.” The region is made up of Fresno, Mariposa, Madera, Merced, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties. Each county is recognizing its “heroes” with various festivities and commendations.

The recipients for this year for Mariposa County First 5 are: Ann Harris, Dr. Thomas Wieg, Dr. Philip DeBry and Dr. Barbara Kelly. First 5 is honored to recommend these “heroes” to the Board of Supervisors for recognition and a certificate of appreciation. First 5 is in the process of requesting the Chamber of Commerce to recognize these “heroes” at the Chamber of Commerce Hero Award dinner next November.

Ann Harris is currently a Teacher’s Aide for Acorn Cooperative Preschool, where she has been working for the past four years. She makes a difference in the lives of preschoolers by the way she works with the children and families. She makes the children and parents feel welcome at the school and works to provide creative, developmentally appropriate and hands-on activities for the children. She loves to read them stories and soothes them when they fall or need a nurturing hand.

Drs. Wieg, DeBry, and Dr. Kelly are three local dentists who provide dental education, free exams for uninsured children and needed dental work for children 0 to 5 years-of-age. These dentists support, care and nurture the health and well-being of children and they provide one-on-one dental education to children and families. Thanks to these three dedicated professionals, several children with severe dental problems are now pain free and have beautiful smiles.


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