Supervisor Yee Supports Universal Child Care for SF

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Sixteen thousand signatures were collected and given to San Francisco’s Department of Elections to get Universal Child Care on the June 2018 ballot.  

Supervisor Norman Yee sent this message to Early Childhood Education advocates:

Yes. We. Did.  We completed the seemingly impossible task of placing the Universal Child Care initiative on June's ballot in less than 20 days!   This could not have been possible without the support of a super army of volunteers and organizations that got the job done.

About two weeks ago, we were approached with a challenge: Collect 16,000 signatures from registered San Francisco voters to support placing the Universal Child Care initiative on the June ballot. Normally, a decent signature campaign takes a good month to organize; an excellent campaign can take up to two months.  But, time was not on our side.

We were skeptical if our efforts would be futile, but I remained optimistic--I believed we could do it. The stakes were just too high not to make an attempt. San Francisco is losing families with children at a rapid pace. There are just not enough affordable quality early care and education programs for our working families with babies 0-5. We had to give it a shot.  But, all the elements had to align perfectly. Would we raise enough funds to kick off a strong campaign? Would the weather during our two-week stint be in our favor?  Would we get the official petitions in time to collect signatures at the Women's March? And most importantly, could we mobilize a devoted volunteer base to work effectively and efficiently to hit our goal? Little did we know that the answers to all of our fateful questions would be astoundingly yes, yes, yes and YES!

We have so many incredible people to thank for this feat. Organizations like the San Francisco Child Care Providers Association, Parent Voices, Family Child Care Association of San Francisco, and numerous other early education and community organizations jumped into the campaign in a FLASH!   I especially want to thank Sara Hicks-Kilday, Erica Maybaum, Maria Luz Torres, Mary Ignatius, Ivy Lee and Tim Hudson. They, in particular, worked tirelessly over the last two weeks.

We are powerful beyond belief because of our deep commitment to the children and families of San Francisco. Please join us on the big next step: PASS the Universal Child Care Initiative in San Francisco! Let's make quality early education programs affordable for all families and increase the wages of our underpaid educators.

Yours truly,
Norman Yee

2018: Still Fighting for Our Civil Rights

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Dear Wu Yee Community,
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we are reminded that our civil rights did not come without sacrifice from individuals who dedicated their lives to improve the lives of others - who rejected the status quo and dared to dream of equality for everyone. We must remain relentless in our pursuit of justice for all, particularly for each of our children who deserve a safe, healthy, and happy start. We stand in solidarity with all hard-working parents, early educators, and social workers and recognize their important work in raising our next generation of leaders. If we are serious about addressing the growing rates of disparity that we see around us, then we must start with our kids. Every day we think about how we can honor our founders and continue the legacy that they entrusted to us, to raise up the most vulnerable children and families and strengthen our entire community.

Today, we are reminded that we were founded as the Association for Children's Rights and Services, and we continue that legacy as Wu Yee, "Protectors of Children".

Thank you to our founders, Catherine Ko, Ruth Yee, Miranda Li, Yan Wong, Siu Yip Wong, Alice Lau, Stella Chan, Karen Chin, and Sai Ling Chan Sew and countless others for paving the way for our children.

See what some of our founders, parents, and community members have to say about Wu Yee on our outgoing digital installation,  Our Children, Rising Project. Then, share your story with us by using the hashtag #OurChildrenRising, on social media.

Sincerely,

Monica Walters
Chief Executive Officer

Joy Lok FRC Holiday Celebration

The Bubble Lady delights children with her interactive show.

The Bubble Lady delights children with her interactive show.

The Joy Lok Family Resource Center's Holiday celebration took place on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School.  

The event began with children singing holiday songs to welcome families to the event.  Children and families participated in carnival-style games such as reindeer ring toss, pin the nose of the showman, and a train ride. A face painter and balloon animal maker contributed to the entertainment, but the star of the show was The Bubble Lady.  The Bubble Lady prepared an interactive show for all ages, delighting the crowd with dancing bubbles, trick bubbles, spaceship bubbles, bubble haircuts, dragon and whale bubbles, universe bubbles and people in bubbles, to name a few.

A total of 168 children and 147 parents/caregivers attended the event and were treated to a brown bag lunch.  Each child was given a present that were donated by AT&Ts employee group, inspirASIAN, with toy donation efforts led by June Tom, Regional VP of San Francisco.

Lena Yu, Joy Lok Manager said of the event, "We had tremendous turn out this year with many families celebrating with us for the first time. There was excitement and happiness all around."

Children and families enjoy  

Remembering Mayor Edwin M. Lee

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The Board of Directors, staff, and the entire family at Wu Yee Children's Services join the community in mourning the loss of Edwin M. Lee, the first Asian American Mayor of San Francisco.

We are proud of his accomplishments in fighting for the rights of children, families and immigrants. Mayor Lee's involvement was critical in demonstrating San Francisco's sanctuary city status to the global community and for standing by its immigrant residents.  He worked for many social justice causes, starting his career at the San Francisco Asian Law Caucus, where he was an advocate for affordable housing and the rights of immigrants and renters. As mayor, he was a champion of raising the minimum wage, co-chairing the campaign to raise California's minimum wage to $15 per hour, which will become law in 2022.  

Mayor Lee also supported San Francisco's children and families, and supported Wu Yee's mission.  As a result of Mayor Lee's advocacy for child care funding, many generations of San Francisco's children will be able to receive child care and be better prepared for school and the future.

Mayor Lee was a friend to Wu Yee and we will carry on his legacy of social justice for those in need.  He will be greatly missed.  

Bring Nature to Wu Yee's Infant Toddler Playspaces

Wu Yee Children’s Services has launched our first crowdfunding campaign, Bring Nature to Wu Yee’s Infant Toddler Playspaces.  

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support kids' gross motor development, and improve their mental and emotional wellness by renovating five of our Child Development Center playspaces by bringing in nature and natural elements such as rocks, tree stumps and water.

The urban children Wu Yee serves often don’t have opportunities or resources to experience nature and natural materials. Wu Yee has received partial funding from San Francisco’s Infant Toddler Outdoor Development Project and needs an additional $10,000 to fully install and update 5 Child Development Center playspaces

Thanks to our generous backers, our goal is 81% met, but we still need your help to get to 100%.  Bring Nature to Wu Yee’s Infant Toddler Playspaces ends on December 31, 2017, please help give San Francisco’s most underserved kids a safe, natural, and creative place to play!

We have some great perks for supporting our campaign. These include:

  • Special edition Wu Yee T-Shirt designed by artist, Saya Iwasaki, Aril Studios.
  • Tickets to attend an exclusive VIP donor appreciation reception and piano concert featuring mother and son duo, Christopher and Michelle Kuo, on their benefit tour. 
  • Garden party and ribbon-cutting ceremony at one of our newly renovated playspaces.

Announcing our Referral Contest!

First person to refer a $1,000+ donation  
AND/OR
First person to refer 25 donations

Two tickets to see the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Tennessee Titans in a Luxury box at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on December 17, 2017.
OR
Two VIP seats to Wu Yee's Donor Appreciation Reception and Piano Concert featuring mother and son duo, Christopher and Michelle Kuo on January 20, 2018.

Highest total donation amount referred
AND/OR
Highest number of donations referred

Four tickets to see the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Tennessee Titans in a Luxury box at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on December 17, 2017.
OR
Four VIP seats to Wu Yee's Donor Appreciation Reception and Piano Concert featuring mother and son duo, Christopher and Michelle Kuo on January 20, 2018.

Income Disparities in SF: Closing the Gap

California State Assemblymember David Chiu, Anda Kuo, MD, Bertam Lubin, MD, and Wu Yee's CEO, Monica Walters

California State Assemblymember David Chiu, Anda Kuo, MD, Bertam Lubin, MD, and Wu Yee's CEO, Monica Walters

Did you know where you live in San Francisco can determine when and sometimes how, you will die?  In a discussion about income disparity in San Francisco and how to narrow the gap between the rich and poor, Anda Kuo, MD, professor of Pediatrics and Co-Leader of the UCSF Child Health Equity Institute, spoke of how one’s zip code can determine outcomes such as education level, income level and general health.

On October 26, 2017 Wu Yee Children's Services hosted a speaker luncheon titled Income Disparities in SF: Closing the Gap through Early Childhood Education at The City Club of San Francisco. The luncheon featured Bertram Lubin, MD, Associate Dean of Children's Health, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Anda Kuo, MD, as moderator, and California State Assemblymember, David Chiu.  

In their talks, Dr. Lubin and Dr. Kuo spoke of the health crisis that affects low income families in San Francisco.  They both emphasized that poverty and disadvantage are the most powerful epidemiologic predictors of health outcomes.  Dr. Lubin spoke of the many health consequences to poverty including increased infant mortality, increased incidence of chronic diseases such as asthma and obesity, and poor nutrition and delayed developmental growth.  

Dr. Kuo noted in the United States, 50% of children live near the poverty line.  She made a comparison between two San Francisco neighborhoods: Russian Hill, a wealthy neighborhood, and Bayview-Hunters Point, a low-income neighborhood.  Compared to a child living in Russian Hill, a child living in Bayview-Hunters Point, is two times as likely to be born premature, seven times as likely to be born into poverty, and is expected to die 14 years earlier, than his or her Russian Hill counterpart.

Assemblymember David Chiu focused on the politics and policy side of income disparity in San Francisco and solutions to close gaps in education, health, and opportunity.  Chiu added that he had a personal connection to Dr. Kuo’s San Francisco neighborhood comparision, living in Russian Hill before his son was born, and moving to Bayview-Hunters Point after not being able to afford a home in Russian Hill.  

Chiu mentioned some policy solutions that are being made in the California State Legislature.  For example, improvements in health care access and dental care for undocumented immigrant children and regulations regarding skyrocketing prescription drug prices.  Chiu mentioned the need for increased funding for trained and capable early childhood education professionals and child care providers. Housing, economic self-sufficiency, education, and prison reform were used as examples for what needs to be changed at the State level in order to support the narrowing of the income gap.  

The event closed with a question and answer discussion between Dr. Kuo, Dr. Lubin, Assemblymember Chiu and attendees.  Advocacy for early childhood education, mental health, and parental leave was discussed and participants left the event with hope for children of the future.     

For more information on the USCF's Child Health Equity Institute click here

The Great ShakeOut!

A teacher demonstrates how to protect one's self in an earthquake to the children at Wu Yee Children's Services Lok Yuen Child Development Center

A teacher demonstrates how to protect one's self in an earthquake to the children at Wu Yee Children's Services Lok Yuen Child Development Center

On October 19, 2017 at exactly 10:19 am, over 18 million people participated in The Great ShakeOut, a global earthquake preparedness event.  The Great ShakeOut is an opportunity to learn and practice what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

All Wu Yee Children's Services offices and Child Development Centers participated in the earthquake drill, which emphasized what Federal, state, and local emergency management experts and official preparedness organizations all agree on: “Drop, Cover, and Hold On".  

  • Drop where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

  • Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand, and stay on your knees bending over to protect vital organs.  

  • Hold on to shelter with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.  If not under shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

So King Szeto, Family Advocate at Lok Yuen Child Development Center said all Wu Yee Child Development Centers participate in monthly earthquake and fire drills, so most children are familiar with the procedure.  "Some of them understand the seriousness, but the little ones may need a teacher to help them out", she said.

Substitute teacher, Annie Li helps children drop, cover, and hold on

Substitute teacher, Annie Li helps children drop, cover, and hold on

The Earthquake Country Alliance, a public-private partnership of people, organizations, and regional alliances that work together to improve preparedness, mitigation and resiliency; recommends seven steps to earthquake safety.  In the third step, they recommend everyone to have disaster supplies kits stored in accessible locations at home, at work and in your vehicle. Having emergency supplies readily available can reduce the impact of an earthquake, a terrorist incident or other emergency on you and your family. Your disaster supplies kits should include:

  • Medications, prescription list, copies of medical cards, doctor’s name and contact information

  • Medical consent forms for dependents

  • First aid kit and handbook

  • Examination gloves (non-latex)

  • Dust mask

  • Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses and cleaning solution

  • Bottled water

  • Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)

  • Sturdy shoes

  • Emergency cash

  • Road maps

  • List of emergency out-of-area contact phone numbers

  • Snack foods, high in water and calories

  • Working flashlight with extra batteries and light bulbs, or light sticks

  • Personal hygiene supplies

  • Comfort items such as games, crayons, writing materials, teddy bears

  • Toiletries and special provisions you need for yourself and others in your family including elderly, disabled, small children, and animals.

  • Copies of personal identification (drivers license, work ID card, etc.)