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Project SOARS Wins Prestigious Golden Bell Award

Program Supports Families of Children at Risk for Disabilities

Dignitaries posing with bell award
Assistant Superintendent Nancy Herota (holding bell), along with (L-R) Deputy Superintendent Al Rogers, Board Trustees Harold Fong, Joanne Ahola, Alfred Brown, and County Superintendent David Gordon accepted the Golden Bell award in San Diego.

Project SOARS—a Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) program providing comprehensive services for children at risk for potential developmental delays or disabilities—has been recognized with a prestigious statewide award. The program was honored with one of the highly respected Golden Bell awards (Early Childhood Education category) at the annual California School Boards Association (CSBA) conference in San Diego last night. The program also received a check donated by CSBA business affiliates.

Project SOARS (Screening, Outreach, and Referral Services) provides free early intervention services. Through home visits, family advocates conduct developmental screenings and provide referrals for families to receive individualized services through partner service providers. The services provided are essential in supporting the children’s growth and development, and are available to families in Sacramento County with infants and children under the age of five.

“Early intervention can have a significant impact on a child, but few services are available for children who might have critical needs,” said Sacramento County Board of Education President Brian M. Rivas. “Project SOARS helps detect developmental delays early on and that greatly benefits the child and the family.”

Project SOARS is funded through a grant from First 5 Sacramento and specifically targets families in transitional and permanent supportive housing—those at high risk due to generational poverty and lack of access to services. Referrals, follow-up, and parent education are provided to families who need them.

“Families with children who might have developmental delays often feel isolated and don’t know where to go for help,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. “Project SOARS provides families with access to early intervention services. That has a tremendous impact on changing a child’s development, on changing a child’s life.”

Program Partners

Project SOARS offers education and outreach in collaboration with the following partners:

  • Alta Regional Center
  • Child Abuse and Prevention Council
  • Cottage Housing Incorporated
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Next Move
  • Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
  • Volunteers of America
  • Warmline

For more information on Project SOARS, e-mail or phone Joan Davidson: (916) 228-2017.

Project SOARS logotype: Screening, Outreach, and Referral Services