PCA Florida logo
February 2015 
Pinwheels For Prevention

pinwheels for prevention logo
hose of you planning your Pinwheels for Prevention 2015 events, please remember to submit your event details to us online by visiting the following link,  www.ounce.org/capevents.html      

Most of you already ordered your pinwheels for your 2015 events and you can expect them to be shipped early March. If you need additional pinwheels or you have forgotten to let us know your need, please e-mail Anita Odom at aodom@ounce.org as soon as possible.

The Pinwheels for Prevention printed materials you requested (Caregiver's Guide and Advocacy Guide) in English, Spanish and

Save the date, wear blue Creole and the Implementation Toolkit CDs are going to be shipped to you by March 27, 2015 to ensure you will have them for your events and activities. 


Florida Youth Commission Applications

Florida Youth Commission logo The Florida Youth Commission is comprised of youth across the state and serves as an advisory group to the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet (www.flgov.com/childrens-cabinet). The objective of the Florida Youth Commission is to unite youth across the state in order to identify key issues facing Florida's next generation. The Florida Youth Commission aspires to not only connect Florida's youth, but also to guide and cultivate our future leaders.


Florida Youth Commission applications for the 2015 - 2016 school year are now open! There are two application forms, a Nominator and Student form - only one needs to be submitted. Both application forms can be found here, where they must also be submitted electronically when complete. The application deadline is Friday, May 1, 2015, and the selection notification will be no later than Friday, June 19, 2015.

If you have any questions about the Florida Youth Commission, or the application process, please contact Caitlin Camechis, Florida Youth Commission Manager, 

(850) 717-2700, FloridaYouthCommission@djj.state.fl.us


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Circle of Parents
PCA America Video

PCA video  

We are happy to share Prevent Child Abuse America's new video with you.





Celebrating and Recognizing Parent Leadership in Florida


Cipriano Mejia with his Children

Parent Leadership is a strengths-based approach to family support founded on the belief that parents are most knowledgeable about their families and communities.  They can provide valuable insight into programs and community efforts that will benefit all children and families.  Parent leadership begins when organizations support the development of leadership skills in parents at the initiation of services and promote active parent participation in the organization's program planning, program implementation and continuous quality improvement activities. How are we celebrating this year in Florida? Our Circle of Parents facilitators nominated two parent leaders for this year's recognition. We recognized Michelle Hoehn and Gail Dush from groups 327 and 328 from Ocala with a Parent Leadership Certificate and provided a gift card for these two groups. Congratulations to both of you!

We would also like to recognize three of our parent leaders from the Florida Redlands Christian Migrant Association. 


Javier Hernandez was born on August 8, 1985 in Mexico City.  He immigrated to the United States when he was 19 years old and started working in the fields, picking strawberries,

Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez

something he had never done before.  Javier got married when he was 21 years old and has four children.  He continues to follow the harvest of crops, crossing state lines in search of agricultural work, migrating from Florida to New York every year.  He got involved at the Florida Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) about 5 years ago when he enrolled his kids in the Migrant Head Start (MHS) program. He started participating at his children's center as a parent representative of the MHS program and was later elected as the President of the Policy Council at the state level.  This is the year he took the Parent Leadership Ambassador Training (PLAT) which he believes gave him an awareness that he did not have before.    He currently serves, as a Parent Ambassador at the Policy Council and serving as an advisor to the Parent Executive Committee.  Javier states that "this position continues to give me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and mentor other parents. I am very grateful to RCMA, this organization has helped me in many ways like become a better parent and how to help my children in school."  


Cipriano Mejia emigrated from Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico,  to the United States with his family several years ago.  He works harvesting strawberries in Plant City, Florida with his wife.  He is the proud parent of three wonderful children, who attend the Migrant Head Start programs at the Florida RCMA.  Cipriano is part of the parent executive committee at state level.  He is the parliamentarian, whose role is to ensure that order is kept at the state level Policy Council meetings.  Cipriano took the Parent Leadership Ambassador Training in 2014 and has continued to ask for leadership opportunities at RCMA.  He conducts the meetings at the center and trainings at the Policy Council. He has served RCMA in various capacities, at the center level and as a trainer to other parents and staff.  He loves that RCMA has given him the opportunities to develop his skills and states that RCMA has given a voice to the migrant population who lives in oppression.  Cipriano and Javier Hernandez have started a Folkloric Dance Group in their community.  Cipriano is very active in his community.   Cipriano is also a trainer for the Abriendo Puertas Literacy Curriculum.


Filomena Ramirez is a former parent and a member of the Policy Council as a Parent Ambassador.  Filomena will soon be a parent instructor for the Abriendo Puertas Literacy Curriculum. Filomena is a farmworker who works in the harvest of strawberries in Plant City, Florida.  She is a mother of three, with her oldest child living in Oaxaca, Mexico.  She started with RCMA three years ago and attended the parent meetings and volunteered at the center.  During the parent meetings, the staff brought different speakers to talk about topics that help developed her skills and knowledge.  In 2011, she was elected by the other parents as the Parent President and served in the Policy Council, where she became part of the executive committee and served as treasurer.  She was involved in the agency's federal review and self assessment processes.  She participated in the Parent Leadership Ambassador Training in 2013.


In February 2015, these three parent leaders that have gone through the Parent Leadership Ambassador Training provided by Prevent Child Abuse Florida, presented three workshop sessions on building protective factors at the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association Conference in Tampa, Florida.  Congratulations to RCMA and to these wonderful parent leaders!  We are so proud of you!               

Grant Opportunity for Drowning Prevention

Across our great state, we are fortunate to have almost year-round pool weather. However, such a benefit comes with a severe consequence: in 2014, Florida had the highest rate of drownings among children ages 0-14 than any other state.  Little boy in Pool


To combat this alarming tragedy, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) authored the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which includes grants to state and local governments to implement enforcement and education programs aimed at preventing the drowning and drain entrapments of children in pools and spas. To find out more about this opportunity visit the following link: http://poolsafely.gov/grants/VGBFY15/ 

Kids Count Policy Report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Kids Count Policy Book cover KIDS COUNT policy report, describes a new approach to reducing poverty, which calls for connecting low-income families with early childhood education, job training and other tools to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty, and recommends ways to help equip parents and children with what they need to thrive. 


Access the full report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-CreatingOpportunityforFamilies-2014.pdf 

Childs Trends report on "Measuring Elementary School Students' Social and Emotional Skills"

Tauck Family Foundation logo High-quality measures of social and emotional development in early childhood are needed for federal and state data collections, as well as early childhood programs. This report, funded by the
Tauck Family Foundation, highlights research on the importance of five social and emotional skills to academic success, summarizes the process we used to develop a measurement tool to assess these skills, and suggests options for incorporating these measurements into regular classroom data collection. 

Zero to Three - MIECHV report 

Zero to Three logo Zero to Three released a publication outlining how the MIECHV funding has helped to build programs in select states.  Check out what your state and others across the country are doing with MIECHV funding!

To view the report click here: http://www.zerotothree.org/policy/homevisiting/docs/ztt-homevisiting_final.pdf 

2015 Children's Week in Florida

Children's Week LogoJoin us at the Capitol for Children's week between April 12-17, 2015 where we'll have a booth offering resources and fun activities for all! Be sure to check out the pinwheel garden in the front lawn of the Capitol and let us know how your community is celebrating and making children a priority!


For more information please visit: http://www.childrensweek.org   where you can find out detailed information about all the activities and events that are planned during Children's Week in Florida.  

Volunteer Opportunities - Planting Pinwheels Gardens in Tallahassee

We need your help to plant pinwheels!  Please come and help us making children a priority! 

  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015 11 a.m. at the Marzuq Shrine (corner of N. Monroe and Tharpe St.) 
  • Sunday, April 12, 2015 2 p.m. front of the Old Capitol

Girl with Pinwheel

If you are interested in volunteering, please show up at the above mentioned locations/times and be sure to bring a screwdriver with you, which is needed for planting a pinwheel garden. If you need your volunteer hours to be documented please e-mail aodom@ounce.org  in advance so that we can have your volunteer form ready on the day of planting.  Thank you!