More than 100 people attended a first-ever open house at the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children (CPHC) last week which gave a peek at the services offered to strengthen families.
Located at 2908 Fourth Street, CPHC was established in 1994 as a community collaborative and Family Resource Center dedicated to supporting children and families in Ceres and Keyes.
Attendees learned about Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children's programs and services, from 4-7 p.m., on Wednesday.
"A lot of people don't know what we have to offer," said Program Coordinator Jennifer Rangel. "Everything is free. You don't have to be in a crisis to walk through our doors."
CPHC's staffing includes program coordinators, family advocates, mental health clinicians, family resource specialists and program specialists.
The Nutrition Education display captured Modesto nine-year-old Cristal Tizoc's attention.
Classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
"We try to have different topics every week," said CalFresh Program Specialist Nang Yang.
CPHC's Safe Routes to School program was founded a year ago to provide a safe, non-polluting and convenient option for children to get to and from school, encourage development of strong, safe, friendly and supportive communities and get children and adults more physically active.
Participating elementary schools include Adkison, Caswell, Don Pedro, La Rosa and Sinclear.
"It's going to run for three years," said Program Specialist Imelda Castellanos. "We're trying to prevent childhood obesity by having them be more physically active."
Program Specialist Rosa Hernandez answered questions about the Pickles and Ice Cream program, an educational support group offered to pregnant women and new mothers with children under the age of 12 months. Sessions are held in English and Spanish on Thursdays, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in the Family Resource Center.
"We talk about different topics," said Hernandez. "They all build their own friendships. They get to share their experiences."
Family Advocate Juanita Aguirre had a display consisting of canned foods, tooth paste, hand and dishwasher soap and laundry detergent set up in the Ceres Case Management Office.
"We fulfill needs by providing resources and referrals," said Aguirre. "The purpose of the program is to empower families to become self-sufficient."
CPHC's programs and services are designed to improve the quality of life for children through strong families, safe neighborhoods and a caring and supportive community.
"There are a lot of great things happening here," said Rangel. "We do parent-child classes. We're trying to increase literacy at home. Children can check out books. They keep track if their parents read to them or if they're reading. Everything is open to the community."