Proposition 10

On November 1998, California voters passed the California Children and Families Act of 1998. The act levies a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products with the intent to provide funding for early childhood development programs, in addition to establishing a State Commission and local County Commissions for this purpose. 

First 5 CA




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University of California Cooperative

Desert Research and Extension Center

Farm-to-Preschool Festival


This image shows preschool children and their family members engaged in an activity that intends to involve children in the process of planting vegetables and herbs. This is just one of the many activities that were offered at the Farm-to-Preschool Festival hosted by the UC Cooperative – Desert Research & Extension Center, which took place on January 26, 2019. In the activity a Project volunteer handily demonstrates to young children how to sow and care for their own seeds.  This activity helps children to develop fine motor skills as they scoop dirt, sprinkle seeds, and spray water onto their seeds.

Preschool children are active learners who experience the world through their senses, physical environment, active play and from behaviors modeled by adults and peers.  Studies have shown that the preschool years are a particularly sensitive period in the formation of life-long habits, interactions and taste preferences.

Nutrition education at the preschool level can prove instrumental in influencing the development of healthy eating habits while developing kindergarten readiness through hands-on activities in the areas of science, math, art, and literacy.  Research demonstrates that when children ages 3-5 learn where food comes from, how it is grown, have hands-on experiences, and use their senses to understand it, they are more likely to taste new food items and accept them as part of their diet and build a foundation that promotes lifelong learning that may support healthy choices.  Through Farm-to-Preschool Festival, UC Cooperative staff and volunteers worked to engage young children and their families in activities designed to support healthy eating and foster a better understanding of where the food they eat comes from.  Aside from the “planting seeds” activity, other activities that were featured to support this day-long event included: reading children’s literature; enjoying physical movement through obstacle courses and games; enhancing fine motor skills by pulling out vegetables; singing and dancing to familiar music; participating in hands-on science activities featuring plants; and creating individual arts and crafts.  The festival provided information and activities designed to promote learning through topics that highlight where food comes from, encourage food tasting and promote an interest in home gardening.  Various community-based organizations were present to offer information about their services, this included: the City of Brawley Library – LAMBS Project, Imperial County Public Health Department’s First 5 Health Children, Healthy Lives Project, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare Center, Imperial County Office of Education, Imperial County Behavioral Health Department, and others agencies.  The Farm-to-Preschool Festival also hosted a 1-acre u-pick vegetable garden for families attending the event.  A tractor pulling a trailer would transport families out to the designated field and were allowed to pick out as much vegetables that could fit in a big orange bag.  The vegetables that were available for picking were romaine lettuce, cabbage, kale, beets, broccoli, and carrots.  In addition, the event provided participating families with supplies and equipment to start their own home gardens.  Early nutrition and food preferences have lasting impact on children.  Especially if children are introduced to at an early age this will lead to the early development of good food habits, preferences, and attitudes that will carry them all the way to adulthood.

The Farm-to-Preschool Festival is a one-day community outreach event that is targeting all the preschoolers and their families throughout the Imperial County through a grant funded by the First Five Imperial (Imperial County Children & Families First Commission).  The UC Cooperative – Desert Research & Extension Center also offers transitional kindergarten-12th grade field trip programs, camps, and community events hosted by the Farm Smart Program, which is an educational outreach program.  For more information feel free to contact the UC Cooperative – Desert Research & Extension Center’s Academic Administrator, Jairo Diaz-Ramirez at (760) 356-3065 or visit the University of California – Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources website at https://ucanr.edu/

For a listing of other Proposition 10 funded Projects featured by the Commission click here.