By Thomas Gase
It was a day of celebrating firsts on Sonoma Boulevard in Vallejo as a grand opening was held for the First5 Center, a new community gathering area designed to spark children’s creativity and love for learning by encouraging them to play and grow.
The goal of the center (which is not a daycare) is to give parents and caregivers a safe and welcoming place where they can receive information and be connected to community resources. That includes basic support services, housing employment, food, health, dental and child support services — all provided at no cost.
The event drew approximately 400 people, many of them kids under the age of five running around in a jungle gym like area consisting of a fake mushroom and ladybug as well as a bridge. Others at the event included elected officials as well as featured speakers Erin Hannigan (Supervisor District 1), Lisette Estrella-Henderson (Solano County Superintendent of Schools), Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan and Stephanie Hochman (Program Director, Bay Area Community Resources).