iFest Annual Event Brings Many Cultures Together

By Cordova Community Council  |  2018-05-18

Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Take a trip around the world without even packing a suitcase as the 11th Annual iFest International Festival returns to Village Green Park from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 12. Admission is free of charge, as are all children’s attractions and cultural experiences.

Join the City of Rancho Cordova as they host a quinceanera – the traditional Mexican celebration for a girl’s 15th birthday.  That synchs up nicely with the 15th Anniversary of the City, being observed all year long in Rancho Cordova.

It’s a world of good tastes, great performances and exceptional experiences for all ages during iFest.  Be sure to come early and stay until the end to watch an exciting line-up of cultural performances which will transport you on an international adventure. The event is produced by the Cordova Community Council and an amazing army of volunteers.

For kids, there are Mexican pinatas to be smashed, cultures to be explored with the Children’s Museum, rock wall to climb, obstacle course to conquer, and Wild Things Bird Shows to watch.  Ever take a llama for walk?  Now is your chance!  Henna art, palm readings, pedicab rides and offerings from more than 40 exhibitors make it a party.

The action is non-stop on stage as Andy Gee hosts a whirl wind tour of music and dance of 11 cultures from all corners of the globe.  From China to Croatia, from Korea to Ireland, and more, the stage show is at the heart of iFest.   

Here’s the line-up:  Chinese Lion Dance Troupe, Skalinada Croatian Ensemble, Korean Cultural Center, University of the Philippines Alumni Assoc. & Sinag-Tala Filipino Theatre, Balliamo! Italian Dance, Sacramento Telangana (India), McKeever School of Irish Dance, Ukrainian Bandura Ensemble, Rosna Kitka (Bulgaria),Vahana and Jewels of the North (Middle Eastern) and the City of Rancho Cordova Presents – Mexican Quinceanera!

Some of the best seats in the house are in the Wines of the World venue, hosted by KP International Market.  This is an adults-only setting, where $20 buys a ticket for 12 tastings of wines from around the world. 

Not a wine-drinker?  International beers will be offered this year, as well.  Purchase tickets in advance at www.cordovacouncil.org to assure you get your own engraved iFest wine glass – while supplies last.

Rancho Cordova's History

SMUD, CDFW Stock Thousands of Trout in Reservoirs

By SMUD  |  2018-05-22

Some of the 10,000 pounds of trout being delivered to Union Valley Reservoir while a television news photographer shoots video. This is the fourth of 50 summers SMUD and CDFW will stock three Crystal Basin Recreation Area reservoirs with at least 25,000 pounds of fish. The fish stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its federal license to operate its Upper American River Project hydroelectric facilities. Photo courtesy SMUD

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting will run through August with 25,000 pounds of fish stocked into Union Valley, Ice House and Loon Lake reservoirs in El Dorado County. The amount of fish stocked can number as high as 50,000 pounds in a given year, depending on matched stocking by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is the fourth consecutive summer SMUD and CDFW have combined efforts to stock the reservoirs.

The trout planting is intended to enhance angling opportunities for the public. According to surveys, fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreation Area. On average, the stocked trout weigh one to two pounds each, with a handful of trophy fish included. This year SMUD is working with the owners of the Ice House Resort to install a board where anglers can post pictures of their catch from Crystal Basin reservoirs.  The “Crystal Basin Bragging Board” will offer anglers the opportunity to show off a photo of any catch they think is worthy. A scale will be made available as well if anglers wish to weigh their catch and claim biggest fish bragging rights. 

SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where many SMUD employees call home and work, and where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project (UARP), a system of hydroelectric generation facilities.

In 2014, SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydro power, enough to provide about 15 to 20 percent of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

SMUD will coordinate six separate trout plantings from June through August. Union Valley, the largest of the three reservoirs, will get 10,000 pounds; Ice House, 8,750 pounds; and, Loon Lake, 6,250 pounds. The fish provided by SMUD will come from Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts the very popular Trout Derby.

Fishing licenses are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

For more information about UARP and associated projects as well as current reservoir and stream release conditions, please visit smud.org and the Community and Recreational Areas Web pages.

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County Fair, Sutter Health to Make-A-Wish Come True!

Sacramento County Fair Release  |  2018-05-21

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Terrell, 14, who battles leukemia, wished to have his very own carnival and thanks to his Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors, Sutter Health, his wish is coming true! This year, the Sacramento County Fair will be powering up their rides one day early for Terrell to experience the magic of his own carnival.

“Terrell is one brave young man. He is an inspiration. We are proud to open our fair a day early to make his wish come true,” says Pamela Fyock, CEO of the Sacramento County Fair.

Not only does Terrell show bravery by fighting his critical illness, but he recently saved his neighbors in their apartment building after it caught on fire in Stockton. At his carnival, Sutter employees will be there to support him in his wish coming true as well as the Stockton Fire Department to recognize him as a local hero.

“Wishes would not be possible without the collective support of our local community,” said Jennifer Stolo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. “Because of Adopt-A-Wish sponsors like Sutter Health and lending lands from the Sacramento County Fair, Terrell’s wish is going to be a magical experience for him and his family.”

Make-A-Wish® creates life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses and are on a quest to bring every eligible local child’s wish to life. Research has shown that a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada was established in 1983 as one of the early local chapters of Make-A-Wish® America. For more information, call 916.437.0206 or visit necannv.wish.org.

Doors to the Sacramento County Fair are open to the public May 24-28. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.sacfair.com or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Adult tickets are only $6.00, kids 12-and-under are FREE, and select events are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit www.sacfair.com and #ShareTheFair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/, Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

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Monster Trucks are BACK, Bigger Than Ever at the Fair!

Sacramento County State Fair Release  |  2018-05-21

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) -  If you haven’t already, you will soon feel the rumblings of the Toughest Monster Truck Tour making its way to the Sacramento County Fairgrounds. On Friday, May 25that 7 p.m., some of California’s quickest Pro-Arena Trucks will take over the Grand Stand to give fairgoers a non-stop thrill ride. That's right, real, full-sized 1,500 horsepower monster trucks are back at the Sacramento County Fair!

Fairgoers will witness iconic monster trucks go head-to-head as they battle through obstacle courses, ramp over cars, perform freestyle stunts, and much more! Guests will not want to miss the main attraction, legendary DRAGON SLAYER, driven by Kreg Christensen as he takes on Quad Chaos, Dirt Crew, and Kamikaze! Not to mention all of the other Toughest Monster Trucks in the lineup: Wrong Way Rick, driven by Rick Swanson, Obsessed, with Eric Swanson behind the wheel, and Joe Cypher driving Airborne Ranger.

“The big boys are back,” says Brian Manson, owner of MTX Event Production, the production company for Toughest Monster Truck Tour events. Pamela Fyock, CEO of the Sacramento County Fair is just as eager to have these ‘big boys’ return to the Fair. “What better way to kick off Memorial Day weekend than with the Toughest Monster Truck Tour at the Sacramento County Fair? Trucks are louder and bigger than ever, bringing kids of all ages the classic Fairground entertainment that we all crave,” says Fyock.

Guests will get the chance to meet the drivers, get autographs, take photos, and even touch the trucks during the Pit Party from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.! The Pit Party is FREE with event admission. Tickets for the Fair and Grandstand events will be available for purchase online at www.sacfair.com or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Kids 12-and-under are FREE every day of the Fair, and adult tickets are just $6.00! Be sure to check out the select events that are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

As an added bonus this year, the Sacramento County Fair is partnering with Make-A-Wish® Foundation to host Terrell and his Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors, Sutter Health. Terrell, 14, who battles leukemia, wishes to have his very own carnival, so the Sacramento County Fairgrounds will open one day early so Terrell’s wish can come true.

Not only has Terrell has shown bravery by fighting his critical illness, but recently he was recognized as a local hero for saving neighbors in their apartment building after it caught on fire in Stockton. At his carnival, Sutter employees will be there to support him in his wish coming true as well the Stockton Fire Department to recognize him as a local hero.

“Wishes would not be possible without the collective support of our local community,” said Jennifer Stolo, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. “Because of Adopt-A-Wish sponsors like Sutter Health and lending lands from the Sacramento County Fair, Terrell’s wish is going to be a magical experience for him and his family.”

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit www.sacfair.com and #ShareTheFair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/, Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

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SMUD’s Shine Program is Now Accepting Applications

By SMUD  |  2018-05-21

Interested Nonprofits Must Apply by June 25

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD announced today that the application period for its Shine program is now open. Shine is a community development program designed to improve and revitalize neighborhoods in the Sacramento region.

Shine awards will range from $5,000 to $100,000 and are very competitive. Any nonprofit organization—501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)— within SMUD’s service territory is eligible to apply.

Shine awards are available at three funding levels: Spark (up to $10,000), Amplifier (up to $50,000) and Transformer (up to $100,000). Applications will be accepted through Monday, June 25.

While SMUD will consider a broad variety of potential projects, it is primarily interested in proposals within the following areas:

• Neighborhood revitalization or clean up

• STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

• Environmental, energy efficiency, energy conservation or greenhouse gas reduction

• General beautification

“We were thrilled by the response we received to the launch of the Shine program last year,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard. “Our community is very lucky to have a large group of dedicated nonprofits focused on improving our neighborhoods, and we’re excited to help them continue their great work in 2018.”

In 2017, SMUD awarded over $400,000 in Shine sponsorships to twenty local nonprofits. SMUD received a wide range of applications, and the selected projects were able to successfully demonstrate collaboration and the potential for broad neighborhood impact.

For more information about the SMUD Shine program, including a list of last year’s winners and a link to the 2018 application, visit smud.org/Shine.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) -  Seven Sacramento area museums will participate in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families starting the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (May 26) and continuing through Labor Day (September 3), 2018. The seven local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, Powerhouse Science Center and the Sacramento History Museum.

This year’s participating Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, zoos, nature centers and children’s museums. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.  
 
Before planning a visit, please contact the individual museums for hours of operation and note some are normally closed on Mondays and in observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information or a complete list of participating Blue Star museums, please visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.
 
About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 2018 through Labor Day, September 3, 2018. The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as Active Duty and Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.
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Railroad Museum to Dazzle & Delight during a “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” on Father’s Day Weekend

By T-Rock Communications  |  2018-05-21

About the California State Railroad Museum Foundation
The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation have exciting plans to dazzle and delight visitors with a special “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” on Father’s Day weekend - Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17, 2018. 
 
This family-favorite small train extravaganza showcases a magical assortment of trains, hundreds of feet of track and an array of buildings and accessories. For the “BIG Weekend of Small Trains,” local organizations and devoted enthusiasts will set up shop in the Museum, filling the Roundhouse with delightful model and toy train layouts of every description while being surrounded by impressive full-scale locomotives. Visitors of all ages will marvel at the variety of locomotives that pull pretend passengers and scaled-down shipments through all kinds of scenery, whether modeled on real places or created in the imaginations of the collectors.
 
“BIG Weekend of Small Trains” visitors are also encouraged to explore the Museum that is home to 225,000 square feet of exhibits and beautifully restored railroad cars and locomotives that illustrate railroad history in California and the West.
 
All “BIG Weekend of Small Trains” activities are included with Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about this special event or the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280 or visit https://www.californiarailroad.museum/
 
Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at info@parks.ca.gov or via RSS feed.
 
California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.
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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Beginning in the next school year, several Folsom Cordova sites will be welcoming new leaders who look forward to the opportunity to grow the achievements of our schools and to build strong relationships with our students, families, and staff. 

The Board of Education approved the following selections at its May 10 meeting:

Director of Athletics: Peter Maroon
This newly created District position will support student athletes, athletic programs and school staff by supporting the use of athletic facilities, ensuring compliance of programs, and serving as a liaison between site athletic directors, administrators, booster programs, families, and other related groups. Maroon has served for the last decade as the principal of Mills Middle School in Rancho Cordova. In previous roles, he has served as the athletic director for Folsom High School (2000-2006), vice principal at Folsom High School, teacher at Folsom Middle, and he also has coached football and basketball at Folsom High. 

Principal, Mitchell Middle School: Dan Anklam
Anklam, who has served as the principal of Cordova High School since 2010, will become the new principal at Mitchell Middle School. He fills the vacancy that will be left by Jim Huber, Ed.D., who was recently selected as the District’s new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. At Mitchell, Anklam will continue to support the campuswide International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, whose students continue on in the program at Cordova High. Anklam began his teaching career in 1988 at Mitchell before moving on to Cordova High, where he spent the last 25 years of his career. 

Principal, Cordova Gardens Elementary: John Bliss
For the last four years Bliss has served as the principal of Folsom Middle School, and he fills the vacancy at Cordova Gardens that will be left by outgoing Principal Karen Redfield, who is retiring. Bliss joined Folsom Cordova in 1998 as a teacher at Cordova High School. In addition to his tenure at Folsom Middle School, Bliss has previously served as a vice principal at Folsom High School. 

Principal, Folsom Middle School: Larry Mahoney
Mahoney has served as the principal of Rancho Cordova Elementary School since 2013 and will fill the vacancy left by John Bliss, who has accepted an opportunity to become principal at Cordova Gardens Elementary. Before leading Rancho Cordova Elementary, Mahoney was a teacher and department chair at Russell Ranch and Cordova Lane elementary schools.  

Principal, Rancho Cordova Elementary School: Jessica Hutchinson 
Hutchinson joins Rancho Cordova Elementary as its next principal after five years as the principal at Cordova Villa Elementary. She replaces outgoing Principal Larry Mahoney, who will lead Folsom Middle School starting next year. Hutchinson began her tenure with Folsom Cordova schools in 2002 as a teacher at Cordova Lane Elementary and has also taught at Rancho Cordova and Theodore Judah elementary schools.  

Principal, Cordova Villa Elementary: Richard Tapia, Ed.D.
Since 2014 Tapia has led the campus of Empire Oaks Elementary in Folsom and previously was the principal of Cordova Gardens (2010-14) and Cordova Lane (2004-10) elementary schools. He will fill the vacancy left by Principal Jessica Hutchinson, who has accepted the principal position at Rancho Cordova Elementary. 

Principal, White Rock Elementary: Canen Peterson
For the last seven years Peterson has served as the principal of Theodore Judah Elementary School in Folsom. Peterson joined Folsom Cordova schools in 2000, when he was a teacher at Gold Ridge Elementary School in Folsom. Previous positions have included teacher at Cordova Villa Elementary and Principal of Natoma Station Elementary. 

Principal, Theodore Judah Elementary School: Sandy Spaulding
Spaulding has been with the school district since 2009, when she was a teacher at Cordova Lane Elementary. Since 2012 she has served as the principal at White Rock Elementary in Rancho Cordova.  Previous positions have included Mitchell Middle School interim assistant principal (spring 2011) and assistant principal at Cordova High School (2011-12). 

Assistant Principal, Cordova Meadows Elementary: Lynn Blodgett
Blodgett has been a teacher with Folsom Cordova schools since 2001 when she joined Mills Middle School. She has also served as an English-language arts (ELA) teacher at Cordova High and as a district secondary lead teacher for ELA. 

Retirement: Mike Dobson, Assistant Principal, Mills Middle School
Dobson joined Mills Middle School as a teacher in 1998. From 2010-18 he has served as one of the school’s assistant principals. 

Open Positions: 
The District is in the process of searching for candidates for the following positions:

  • Principal, Cordova High School
  • Principal, Empire Oaks Elementary
  • Principal, Mills Middle School
  • Assistant Principal, Mills Middle School
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From Mather Air Force Base to Rancho Cordova Police Department

Ashley Downton, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2018-05-18

Donovan recently received a 25-year service award plaque at the RCPD Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova resident Karen Donovan moved to our community with her late husband, Don, in 1959 from Hastings, Nebraska. The two were looking to join family in what was at the time the new and small community of Rancho Cordova.

In 1960, Donovan’s husband worked at the Rancho Cordova Post Office and a spouse of one of his co-workers worked at Mather Air Force Base. Donovan learned about the base and became interested in working there. So, she took the typing test, passed after the second round, and started her new job.

At the time, the base was an aerial navigation training school and much of the information being processed was classified. Donovan remembers having an officer oftentimes seated next to her dictating as she typed. After around one and a half years, she was promoted to secretary to the Commander of the 2034 Communication Squadron. She stayed in that position for 32 years until Mather Air Force Base closed in 1993.

“I loved being a secretary and all the different people I was able to work with,” Donovan remembers. “I built a lifetime of friendships at Mather Air Force Base and am still in touch with three of the bosses I worked with.”

When the base closed, Donovan began volunteering at Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center. One day, her daughter called to tell her that she’d heard the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department was opening its first service center in Rancho Cordova, and encouraged her to start volunteering there. Donovan decided to start volunteering with the Sheriff’s Department on September 1, 1993. Two thoughts made her decide to stop volunteering with Kaiser after volunteering in both jobs for a couple years.

“I thought why drive when I could work in my own community,” she said. “And I’d rather work with young hunks than old ladies.”

For the next 25 years, Donovan has volunteered to serve the Rancho Cordova community through a variety of responsibilities. At the Sheriff’s Department, she helped with administrative duties such as entering statistics for the gang unit, in addition to participating in ride-alongs and prison tours at San Quentin State Prison and Folsom State Prison.

Now at 85 years young, Donovan is giving back at the Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) by helping with administrative duties. She assists the Traffic Unit by entering all citations including those for driving under the influence (DUIs) into the database and filing traffic collision reports. Donovan logs and completes quarterly reports for trespassing notices, processes paperwork and citations for charged shoplifters, takes phone messages from the Red Light Ticket Line, and maintains statistics for the Crime Suppression Unit. In addition, she is the go-to person at RCPD when anyone needs a proofreader!

Donovan has built great relationships with the officers over the years. She has been honored to see many get promoted and then come back in other ranks.

“I am so grateful to be able to volunteer at the Rancho Cordova Police Department,” said Donovan. “I’ve always said I need people. What I do for them, they do just as much for me. The police officers keep me young of heart.”

Donovan has been recognized for her volunteerism through a variety of awards, including RCPD Employee of the Month in January 2010, Sheriff’s Volunteer of the Year by the Cordova Community Council from 2002-2003, and outstanding service to the community by the Sacramento Citizens Crime Alert and ASIS Sacramento in 2008.

On April 19, 2018, Donovan received a 25-year service award plaque at the RCPD Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. In addition, she was recognized by the Rancho Cordova City Council for her years of service at the May 7, 2018 City Council meeting.

“Karen Donovan isn’t just our longest serving volunteer, but she is an integral member of the Rancho Cordova Police Department team,” said Chief of Police Chris Pittman. “Karen is someone you can depend on, and we are extremely lucky to have her as part of our team.”

In her free time, Donovan enjoys spending time with her two children, two grandchildren and four great-children, reading mystery novels, and playing crossword puzzles.

RCPD is looking for volunteers to support its team! Volunteer by visiting https://www.sacsheriff.com/Pages/Organization/Volunteer_Services/VIPS.aspx, downloading and completing the Volunteer Application and Volunteer Agreement, and submitting these and any other requested documents via the information provided on the application.

The Rancho Cordova Police Department thanks Karen Donovan for her 25 years of service to the Rancho Cordova community!

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New Mental Health Program Targets Pre-teens

By Sac County News  |  2018-05-17

​​SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has awarded Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services more than $2 million dollars in grant funding as part of Senate Bill (SB) 82 Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act third round crisis triage grant funds. ​

Sacramento is one of 11 counties to receive this third round grant funding aimed at increasing mental health services in schools for youth ages 11-14 years. 

“As we continue to build out our services continuum, we are including more services targeted at youth,” says Uma Zykofsky, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director. 

This funding will allow Sacramento County to position three, two-person mental health service teams in three targeted middle school campuses within Sacramento County. Sacramento County’s Children and Youth Crisis Service Needs Assessment revealed gaps in the existing service continuum on school campuses for students, including a lack of awareness of mental health issues for children and crisis services. This program aims to​ close these identified gaps. 

The new program, Safe Zone Squad, will consist of a Youth Advocate Mental Health Worker and a Mental Health Counselor. Each team will have designated and consistent office hours to support walk-in crisis needs and to create a dependable presence. Each middle school campus will have a dedicated team so that students see the same team members throughout their days. The teams will work with students, faculty and parents to help demystify and destigmatize mental illness, provide education on managing escalating stress and learning how to identify and help someone who is distressed. 

"This grant is very important to Sacramento County. We are making great strides in creating a more complete responsive continuum of care for our community,” adds Zykofsky. “This grant helps bring education and behavioral health services together."

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