First 5 uses fotonovela to help new parents

In an effort to increase awareness about the valuable resources available to Spanish-speaking families, First 5 Tulare County has developed, in association with Eduvision, Inc. a fotonovela, a colorful picture-book style brochure packed with information about its, "Kit for New Parents" and tips for keeping kids healthy.

Popularized in Mexico and Latin America, the fotonovela has been successfully used to address health issues all over the world.

Throughout First 5 Tulare County's eye-catching, easy-to-read fotonovelas, brief parenting tips are inserted along with information about other local resources available to parents. The back cover has a list of locations where kits can be picked up. The fotonovela is now available at a wide array of locations across Tulare County including laundromats, Women Infants and Children (WIC) offices, libraries and medical clinics.

The Kit for New Parents is available in English and Spanish to all parents, caregivers and those involved in the lives of children ages 0-5. Each kit contains videos, brochures, a parent guide and a children's book. First 5 Tulare County adds specialty items from time to time, which may include an infant-to-toddler oral hygiene kit, a copy of the book, "What to do when your child gets sick," a copy of Parent Express and a refrigerator magnet with services. Since 2002, more than 16,000 kits have been distributed to new parents and those involved with children ages 0-5 in Tulare County and over 1 million statewide.

The Kit for New Parents can be obtained by calling First 5 Tulare County at 622-8650, by visiting the office at 310 N. Church street in Visalia or by calling 1-800-KIDS-025 for English and 1-800-50-NINOS for Spanish.

Research shows that a child's brain develops most dramatically in the first five years and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child's growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life.

Based on the research, California voters passed Proposition 10 in 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes to support programs for expectant parents and children ages 0-5.

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