First 5 celebrates another successful year

Irene Pereyra waits for family members outside the First Five

Focus is on the healthy development of prenatal to preschool age
Gilroy – About 600 residents gathered in Las Animas Park Saturday celebrating the second annual First Five end of the year barbecue.

First Five is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the healthy development of prenatal to preschool age children.

The program supports families by funding a variety of literacy programs, libraries and health projects through a state tax on tobacco products according to Proposition 10.

Funding is allocated to each county on the basis of live births. Santa Clara County receives about $23 million per year.

“Part of our mission is to serve everybody,” said program specialist Shawn M. Weymouth. “We don’t look at ethnicity. We don’t look at economic status.”

Nearly 1,600 Gilroy residents are eligible for First Five services, Weymouth said.

Four schools in the district Antonio Del Buono, Eliot, Glen View and Las Animas had soccer teams sponsored by First Five.

The championship game was held Saturday at the barbecue.

Members of the City Council and Gilroy Unified School District board joined in the festivities.

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