Keep Families Together

On June 19, 2018 a diverse group of San Franciscans attended a rally and protest at the city’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Headquarters, to express their horror and anger at the hard-line immigration policies that are separating children from their parents at the Southwest border and causing outrage and debate on Capitol Hill and around the world. Wu Yee Children's Services stands in solidarity with keeping families together. 

Photos from the protest at ICE Headquarters, San Francisco on June 19, 2018.

Family Fun in the Sun!

Around the world, Children’s Day is celebrated in June, and on Sunday, June 3, 2018, Wu Yee Children’s Services hosted an International Children’s Day Festival at the Bayview Opera House.

It was a warm, sunny day for hundreds of people attended the event.  Families with children joined community partners for family-friendly activities including a bicycle-powered smoothie station, a photo booth with fun props, interactive children’s music, a pop-up playground, hands-on crafts and games, face painting, and food and snacks.  Attendees accessed community resources from Open Door Legal, the San Francisco Library (Bayview branch), City of Dreams, Jubilee Legal, the Museum of Craft and Design, City College of San Francisco, CYC’s Seismic Safety Outreach Program, and the Boys & Girls club.  Festival-goers were treated to delicious food served by Moro Tacos Truck and Soul Bowlz.

A very special thank you to all of our generous volunteers and 2018 Event Sponsors: Heffernan Insurance Brokers, North East Medical Services, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Cooperation, RONY Commercial Maintenance, LLC, Sutter Health CPMC and USI.  

Report Shows Shortage of Infant/Toddler Care in SF

 Left to right, September Jarrett, Executive Director of San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education, Bev Melugin, Chair of CPAC Quality Committee and Executive Director of C5 Children’s School, Supervisor Jane Kim, Supervisor Norman Yee, Wu Yee CEO Monica Walters and Graham Dobson, Senior Policy Analyst of San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education with children from C5 Children's School.  

Left to right, September Jarrett, Executive Director of San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education, Bev Melugin, Chair of CPAC Quality Committee and Executive Director of C5 Children’s School, Supervisor Jane Kim, Supervisor Norman Yee, Wu Yee CEO Monica Walters and Graham Dobson, Senior Policy Analyst of San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education with children from C5 Children's School.  

San Francisco Child Care Planning & Advisory Council (CPAC), released its 2017 Community Needs Assesment at a press release event at C5 Children's School today. Monica Walters, Wu Yee's CEO and CPAC chair highlighted the significant unmet needs for licenced centers and family child care homes that serve infants and toddlers, and critical workforce investments are required to attract and retain qualified early education educators.  

CPAC is a state-mandated body charged with identifying local priorities for quality, affordable and accessible early care and education services.  The report, issued every five years, provides an important planning tool for understanding the city's early care and education landscape.  

Supervisors Norman Yee and Jane Kim spoke of the need for this assessment, "We must leverage the data that we have, support our quality early education system, our early educators and our low to middle-income families so that they can stay and thrive in our City" said Supervisor Yee. 

Jennifer Delos Reyes, Program Director for Compass Children's Center said the report will bring awareness of child care and early childhood education in San Francisco.  She spoke of the changing face of the City and all the abundance in San Francisco, yet our teachers and providers are paid so little.  

Monica Walters echoed her sentiment by saying, "every day there are children who are not recieving the qualiy care and education they need, and every day is a missed opportunity for our city."

Read the press release here

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Click here to read the Media Advisory

MEDIA ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

Press Contact: Monica Walters, CPAC

P: 415.913.7463 | C: 415.508.3459 |  communications@wuyee.org

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Report to be Released on the State of Early Child Care and Education in San Francisco

Organization’s report shows San Francisco is a model in providing preschool subsidies, but more progress is needed to meet families’ young child care needs, as well as workforce investments that are necessary to retain quality early educators               

WHAT:         

The San Francisco Child Care Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC), a state-mandated organization that studies and advocates for a system of quality, affordable and accessible early care and education services in the city, will release its much anticipated community needs assessment on Thursday, May 31.

The report will highlight that although great progress has been made in recent years in offering subsidized high quality education to preschool-aged children, there are still significant unmet needs for licensed centers and family child care homes that serve infants and toddlers. In addition, critical workforce investments are required to retain quality early education teachers.

WHO:            

Beverly Melugin, Chair of Quality Committee, CPAC and Executive Director of C5           
Children’s School

Monica Walters, Chair of CPAC and CEO of Wu Yee Children’s Services

Supervisor Jane Kim

Supervisor Norman Yee

Jennifer Delos Reyes, Director of Compass Children’s Center

Parents and early educators

WHEN:         

Thursday, May 31, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

WHERE:      

C5 Children’s School, SFPUC Building, 525 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102

###

Chinatown Rally for YES on Prop C!

On Saturday, May 12, 2018, Wu Yee Children's Services joined a crowd of parents, child care providers, early childhood educators and supporters at Portsmouth Plaza in Chinatown for YES on Prop C rally.  

Proposition C will establish a fund to:

  • Make early care and education affordable and available to all San Francisco families earning up to 200% of the area median income.

  • Clear the existing waitlist who have been stagnating on the City’s Early Care and Education (ECE) waitlist.

  • Increase wages for early care and education providers to better ensure a well trained, stable and quality workforce.

  • Invest in comprehensive ECE services that support the physical, emotional, and cognitive development of children under the age of 6.
    (https://www.earlyeducationsf.com)

The fund will be maintained by gross receipts tax on commercial rents. The tax can generate between $100 and $150 million annually, enough to accomplish all 4 goals
(https://www.earlyeducationsf.com)

Monica Walters, Wu Yee's CEO, emphasized the importance of voting YES on Proposition C on June 5th.  She said, "There are 2,500 eligible children on the waitlist right now. We need more spaces for San Francisco’s kids. This is unacceptable."    

After the rally, supporters canvassed District 3 including Chinatown, North Beach, Russian Hill, and Nob Hill,  dropping off door hangers, signs, campaign literature, and encouraging voters to vote YES on Prop. C.

Click to learn about other YES on Prop. C events.

Supervisor Norman Yee and Dr. Emily Murase Discuss Leadership and Activism

On May 9, 2018, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Wu Yee Children's Services hosted a reception and panel discussion on leadership and how to make a lasting impact and improve lives in the community. Wu Yee's CEO, Monica Walters, moderated the discussion which featured San Francisco Board of Education Commissioner, Dr. Emily Murase, and District 7 Supervisor, Norman Yee.

When asked what motivates them to public service, Supervisor Yee answered, "Every time I see a situation that is not just, I look at the little things I can do.  I look at the question of why ECE teachers get so little pay, that is what keeps me motivated."  

Responding to the same question, Dr. Murase spoke about being part of the policial process, "...these people are going to make decisions and I want myself and my community to be part of that process."

After the discussion, board members, Wu Yee staff and teachers mingled with volunteers and guests over appetizers and drinks and deliberated over the state of San Francisco's early childhood education and political climate.  

Thank you to all who attended, and Dr. Murase and Supervisor Yee for being leaders in this important conversation.  

Wu Yee Walks Around the Block for Increased ECE Funding

On April 18, 2018, as part of the Week of the Young Child, children, teachers and advocates from Wu Yee’s Golden Gate and Cadillac Child Development Centers participated in the 8th annual “Walk Around the Block”.  The event drew hundreds of children, parents and early care and education (ECE) providers and advocates to San Francisco City Hall’s front steps to rally for pay equity for ECE teachers, and to implore local leaders to fully fund the true cost of quality care in ECE programs.

The rally drew support for Proposition C, a San Francisco ballot measure that will make high-quality ECE available and affordable for San Francisco families earning up to 200% of the area median income by clearing the City’s stagnating ECE waitlist. The proposed ballot measure will increase wages for ECE providers ensuring a well-trained, stable and quality workforce, and invest in comprehensive ECE services that support the physical, emotional, and cognitive development of children under the age of 6.

Veronica Figueroa, Golden Gate Center Manager said, "Children who attend high-quality early education programs are more likely to do well in school, find good jobs and succeed in their careers than those who don’t. And they are less likely to drop out of high school. In order to have high-quality programs we need high-quality teachers and by providing a higher wage for early educators will help maintain qualified teachers in our preschool programs."

Other Wu Yee Child Development Centers participated in Walks Around the Block in their neighborhoods, increasing visibility for the need for increased ECE funding and Proposition C.

Thank you to First 5 San Francisco for providing bags containing books for kids and San Francisco Child Care Providers’ Association for organizing this event and rally.    

Christine Sarigianis: Artist and Educator

 Christine Sarigianis with her painting,  In the Moment of Learning

Christine Sarigianis with her painting, In the Moment of Learning

Christine Sarigianis, Early Education Career Pathway Program Coordinator with JVS generously donated her three-panel painting titled In the Moment of Learning to Wu Yee Children's Services.  Inspired by her work with educators and toddlers in China, the painting proudly hangs in the lobby of our Administrative Offices.  Thank you, Christine for sharing your work!

Read Christine's artist's statement below:

Title: In the Moment of Learning
By: Christine Dryer Sarigianis
Material: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Three Panels 62 in X 48 in

In my early adulthood, I studied and experimented with oil painting and figure drawing as a means to express and understand myself. Becoming an early childhood educator I was eager to share this passion with my students. Through teaching art to young children, I observed that moments of unscripted exploration were when children’s eyes lit up and the magic of development and learning revealed itself.

In the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to conduct an experimental abstract art curriculum with a preschool classroom in Chengdu, China. Working with the teachers of the school we created a curriculum that guided and allowed the children to explore the materials of art freely. During this time the teachers and I saw that the children were using the open-ended materials of paint, brush, buckets, canvas, and even their own bodies, to express themselves in ways we could not have predicted. I created this painting in response to my experience with these children. Inspired by their use of materials to develop new forms of understanding, I followed their path.

The three children are completely engrossed by the pigment, water, and buckets that surround them. The classroom has become a radiant environment for their stream of conciseness. Paint and water pool at their feet as they dip and pore to create new hues with their stained hands. They have heard the guidance of their teachers and seen the art of Pollock and Rothko. Now they do the work of the young child; learn, grow, and thrive.

Race and Equity Community Dinner Series

 Jasmine Villanueva (right) and Jessica Goodman (left) provide childcare so parents can attend the Race and Equity Community Dinner Series.

Jasmine Villanueva (right) and Jessica Goodman (left) provide childcare so parents can attend the Race and Equity Community Dinner Series.

Wu Yee Children's Services has partnered with Bayview Underground and Andrea Baker Consulting, to provide childcare for a Race and Equity Community Dinner Series.   

On Thursday, March 29th, at the Bayview Opera House, moderator, Theo Ellington, led a conversation about People of Colors’ experience in the San Francisco Bay Area around finance and wealth planning. The all native San Franciscan panel included Saundra Davis, Executive Director and founder of Sage Financial Solutions; Jeannette Fisher-Kouadio, a generational wealth attorney specializing in estate planning, probate, and trusts; Deven Richardson, Director of Real Estate Development at San Francisco Housing Development Corporation; and Dasarte Yarnway, Co-Founder and CEO of Berknell Financial group.  

Various topics surrounding financial planning were discussed including how to use San Francisco’s free financial resources, how to save for the future when debt is greater than income, and how to take control of one’s finances, no matter what life stage or circumstances. 

A delicious and healthy meal was provided courtesy of Nigel Jones, Chef and Owner of Kaya Restaurant, in San Francisco and Kingston 11 in Oakland.

There will be two additional dinners with panel discussions led by a moderator in this series. Stay tuned for more information!

Pop-Up Playground!

On Saturday, March 10, 2018, Wu Yee’s New Generation Child Development Center hosted volunteers from University of Southern California's (USC) Bay Area Asian Pacific Alumni Association for the USC Alumni Day of SCervice, an annual, international volunteer day.

Children, together with their families and volunteers, created a pop-up playground using empty cardboard boxes, beach balls, bubbles, hula hoops, tape, and paint. Activities included water play, sand play, dancing, games, and structure building.

Wu Yee Children's Services Board Member and USC Alumna, Catherine Ngo, said, "We're happy to continue our 4th annual collaboration with Wu Yee for SCervice Day. Our USC Alumni volunteers were excited to engage in play-based learning with the children of the New Generation center and to explore the pop-up playground developed from the children's creativity and imagination.”

Children and families from the center had a great time playing and building at their school, joined by staff and volunteers.   See you at next year’s Day of SCervice!

Celebrating Wu Yee's Founders and Welcoming New Friends

  Supervisor Norman Yee with founders Alice Lau (left) Catherine Ko (right), and Wu Yee CEO Monica Walters

Supervisor Norman Yee with founders Alice Lau (left) Catherine Ko (right), and Wu Yee CEO Monica Walters

On March 7, 2018, Wu Yee welcomed back founders and greeted new friends with an open house and reception celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Dog.  Held at Little Sprouts Chinatown Infant Center, Monica Walters, CEO, welcomed guests to the Little Sprouts Chinatown Infant Center and recognized the extraordinary women who brought the importance of early care and education to light for underserved families.  Two founders, Alice Lau and Catherine Ko, spoke of the early days of Wu Yee.  They recognized Wu Yee’s importance and necessity since it was more than just child care, it also provided resources for the parents.  Resources that are still needed today.

Guests toured the newly opened Nature Room and classrooms at Little Sprouts Chinatown Infant Center. Jenny Yu, Regional Manager, and Eric Chen, ERSEA manager, explained the significance of nature in children's social, emotional and physical development.  Jenny emphasized that many children who attend Little Sprouts don't have access to safe play facilities and studies have shown that children who play in spaces that incorporate natural elements like logs, trees, and flowers tend to be more active. Children also access their imaginations more and play more cooperatively and collaboratively.  The natural environment can also help calm children who have been exposed to trauma.

Monica introduced San Francisco Supervisor (District 7) and former Wu Yee Executive Director, Norman Yee.  He spoke of Wu Yee’s early years and the need for affordable child care in San Francisco. When educators are better compensated, they are better equipped to continue working in this field and support their own families.  This results in higher retention rates of high-quality, experienced educators serving our children in the classroom.

Current and former board members and guests perused photobooks of Wu Yee children, staff, and events, identifying themselves and reminiscing.  

Wu Yee celebrates the work of its founders, current and former board members, and welcomes new friends and supporters in the New Year of the Dog.  


 

“Every child deserves access and every parent deserves support”

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Wu Yee's CEO, Monica Walters, joined San Francisco Supervisors Norman YeeSandra Lee FewerJane Kim & Assembly members David Chiu and Phil Ting at San Francisco Child Care Providers' Association Early Care & Education Issues Breakfast, speaking on the importance of increasing ECE funding. 

Click here to read a SF Examiner article about establishing Universal Childcare in San Francisco.  From the article,

 "Parents and educators who gathered in support of the early care and education measure said that the funding would make a difference the lives of many. Recounting her family’s struggle to obtain quality child care brought June Lynn Kealoha- Hall, a mother of two and advocate for Parent Voices, to tears. Faced with tuition as high as $1,300 per month, she could barely make payments for both of her children. “I believe that regardless of one’s socioeconomic background, you still have a right to quality care,” she said. “Every child deserves access and every parent deserves support.”

人日快乐 Happy Human Day!

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Dear Wu Yee Community,

In Chinese culture, it is the Year of the Earth Dog, a year that reminds us of our values which are rooted in diversity, community, and solidarity with those who are marginalized. This is a year for prudent action, to continue providing all children in San Francisco with a safe and healthy environment to grow and learn. As we forge ahead to build a more inclusive future for the next generation, we celebrate our accomplishments, growing from one child care center with 35 children in Chinatown to now serving 570 children in our 12 child development centers and Head Start/Early Head Start program, over 700 family child care providers, and providing nearly 9000 child care referrals to families citywide.

Lunar New Year is celebrated over 15 days, this year starting with New Year’s Eve celebrations on February 15, with each day dedicated to practicing various customs like visiting different family members and honoring our ancestors. According to ancient Chinese mythology, each of the first 6 days of the new year represents the creation of a different animal. On the 7th day, called yan yat (人日) or “human day,” humans were created. Traditionally, it is a day to gather and celebrate friends, family, and community. This year on yan yat, we would like to honor those who unify our community, committed to protecting our diverse children and families.

In Asian cultures around the world, red envelopes with monies are distributed to express well wishes for luck and prosperity. Please accept our red envelope to you to express our gratitude for your commitment to children and families in San Francisco. In the spirit of yan yat and the new year, we invite you to make a gift, in any amount, to wish our children, teachers, and families well for the year ahead.

Sincerely,

Virginia Cheung
Director of Development and Communications

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.)