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First 5 Riverside County Accepting Nominations For 2024 Champion For Children Award

Wed, 10/01/2024 - 04:00

Every child needs a champion, and each year First 5 Riverside County (F5RC) recognizes the difference-makers in our children’s lives. The annual F5RC Champion for Children Award is now open for nominations for individuals and organizations dedicated to the crucial and rewarding work supporting young children and their families. The winner will be recognized broadly and by the F5RC Commission. To celebrate their award, the selected Champion will be granted a $1,000 sponsorship in support of a community event of their choice. Nominations are due by Wednesday, February 21.

Past Champions have exemplified the F5RC vision in ensuring young children have the best start in life. They include:

  • Carmela Garnica – Director, Escuela De La Raza Unida, Blythe, CA. Every day Carmela changes the lives of children by providing fun, safe, and nurturing educational environments in the Palo Verde Valley.
  • Desiray Taylor – formerly a Child Care Director in Perris, Desiray organized community events and introduced the center’s first lunch program to ensure all children had healthy food to eat.
  • Solange Signoret – Advocate, First 5’s youngest Champion and now in her first year in college, Solange’s anti-bullying advocacy in high school extended throughout Riverside County, and nationally with speaking engagements in Washington D.C.
  • Betty Bash – Founder and Director, Town and Country Day School. Betty is an early education pioneer who founded Town & County in Norco in 1961. Her leadership emphasized quality education for children before California Head Start brought greater recognition to this approach.

The next Champion for Children will be approved by the F5RC Commission in May and formally recognized in July. Nominees must be a resident of Riverside County and have lived/worked within the county for at least two years. The recipient selected will have achievements that align with F5RC strategic goals, including quality early learning, comprehensive health and development, and resilient families. 

Visit for the complete nomination process and form. For additional information, please contact F5RC Public Information Specialist Sean Pravica at (951) 203-3097.

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First 5 Riverside County, the Riverside County Children & Families Commission, is funded by Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues. First 5 Riverside County supports early childhood development through educational outreach, partnerships and funding for services that benefit children, from prenatal through age 5, their families, and communities. For more information about First 5 Riverside County programs and other funded services, call 800-266-3880 or visit