To improve kindergarten readiness (one of eight 2020 Vision indicators) the City successfully applied for a First 5 Alameda County Grant and created Pre-K Power Play. The program is free for participants and is designed to develop self-regulation and literacy skills for young children ages 3-5 years old. In its first eight sessions, this program has served 288 children and demonstrated very promising results for increasing self-regulation, literacy, self-care, and motor skills, all of which are important for a child's readiness for kindergarten.
For more information, go to: www.CityofBerkeley.info/Recreation
Business Improvement Districts (BID) are one way that the City and local businesses work together to improve the vitality of retail neighborhoods. When a BID is established, the City continues to provide baseline services, and the business and property owners pay for enhanced maintenance and beautification services. Berkeley has several examples of successful BID partnerships:
Downtown Berkeley, which just started operations this year, has already done much to beautify the Downtown, including installation of 180 flower baskets and 88 colorful street banners, as well as steam-cleaning sidewalks and daily litter pick-up.
North Shattuck continues its tradition of great public events such as the Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival. This year North Shattuck introduced Off-the-Grid, an eclectic assortment of food trucks that assemble on Shattuck at Rose Street and serve a popular assortment of ethnic and gourmet foods.
Telegraph received a U.C. Chancellor's Grant to design and implement a new decorative lighting project to produce a better pedestrian experience and provide WIFI to local shoppers and visitors.
Solano was reauthorized by the Council this year. The new BID Board plans to use its funds for special public improvements including installation of new street trees, treewells, and landscaping to provide an attractive experience for residents and shoppers.
Elmwood was originally created to finance the purchase and restoration of the historic Elmwood theater. That goal was successfully met and the area continues to thrive.
Using State funding, the City is working with community agencies on Innovation Grants designed to provide increased access and new approaches to mental health services. Some of Berkeley's Innovation programs include:
African American Community Empowerment Academy for South Berkeley residents which draws on cultural heritage, creates peer mentors, and empowers community members.
Wellness Strategy for Asian Pacific Islanders to co-locate new mental health services with other existing health and community services.
Re-entry Program for Veterans and for Ex-Offenders which utilizes informal community building and peer mentoring.
Improved Access Project for LGBTQ Individuals that provides training to staff and utilizes supervised interns to provide free mental health services at existing service sites.
Adult/Older Adult Board and Care Nutrition Project which partners a local culinary school with board and care facilities to assist mental health clients in creating better nutritional habits and better treatment outcomes.
Senior-to-Senior Program to reduce isolation and increase access to services for older adults through social media technologies and associated peer support.
Trauma-Informed Holistic Health Care Delivery Model for Transition-Age Youth which provides tangible skills to help prevent future trauma.
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