Programs

The Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation works to set up both ongoing programs for the youth within our facilities, such as our dental and garden programs – and assistance to becoming a self-sufficient adult with our scholarship program.

The Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation Education Fund Scholarship Program was established by Dianne Edwards, Director of Human Services Department, Sonoma County – now retired. Dianne was interested in establishing a fund that individuals, community and business groups could support, that would provide scholarships for former foster children of Sonoma County. The fund is administered by the Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation; a non profit corporation dedicated to assisting current and former foster youth in achieving their goals and potential.

The needs of former foster youth making the transition to independence has been well documented. This program takes an important first step in helping some motivated former foster youth take advantage of higher education.

Initially the scholarship fund will provide scholarships to students who are former foster youth of Sonoma County. Currently,scholarships will be in the minimum of $1,000 for each successful applicant. The application process is competitive and is limited to former foster youth who have participated in ILPServices (Independent Living Skills Program) in Sonoma County. Successful applicants may receive a second scholarship in year two of their education if they continue to meet the criteria established for new applicants.

NewScholarshipApp

For any questions about scholarship form, please contact Meg Easter Dawson at: vmcf.courtney@gmail.com

The Valley of the Moon Children’s Home Garden has been existence for over 11 years.  During that time is has continued to grow and develop as both a therapeutic and educational program for the children who come to stay at Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.

The Valley of the Moon Children’s Home Garden provides an opportunity to to connect school curriculum with real life experiences in the garden.  It is also a chance for participants to be physically active in the out of doors, and develop a respect and appreciate for the interconnectedness of our natural world.  Participants are able to connect the food they eat at meal time with the plants they are growing in the garden.  They learn to work collaboratively, and understand that living things require nurturing in order to grow and thrive.  These are invaluable lessons that can be carried throughout their lives.

The children participate in everything from weeding, choosing what plants to grow, planting, watering, to harvesting.  Some of the produce they grow is used in cooking classes so the children learn how to transform what they have grown into meals.  It is also used in the Valley of the Moon Children’s Center kitchen in the meals prepared by our chef and cooks for the children.  A lot of it is also eaten during garden time as the children pick it right from the plants and learn how good fresh, ripe food tastes.  Their favorite part of the garden is watching things grow from week-to-week and harvesting the vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

The children participate in the garden as part of their school day.  The teens (ages 13-18) work in the garden on Mondays from 8:30am-10:00pm.  The preteens (ages 6-12) work in the garden on Wednesdays from 8:30am-10:00pm.  Teacher’s Assistant, Patty Hoffert, along with VMCH direct care staff accompanies the children to the garden.

Music for Life has developed a Music Program at the home where the children have access to instruments, lessons, videos, and a resource library of music books. Music is good for the soul.

Bret Martin also has led the efforts to bring music to the home by providing the children with Ukulele’s and lessons on how to play them to create beautiful music. The children really love to play.

The Valley of the Moon Children’s Center (VMCC) Dental Program was established in 2011 to serve the oral health needs of children entering emergency foster care in Sonoma County.  Every year the VMCC provides short-term, emergency care for over 500 children that are not able to live with their caregivers due to allegations of abuse or neglect. Medical services are provided on-site through a partnership with Sonoma County’s Public Health Division with all children medically screened at admission. Since July of 2011, we have also been able to provide dental care on-site through our Dental Program using the services of a Dental Director (Dr. Jack Sherman, DDS) and volunteer dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants.  When a child is admitted to VMCC they are referred to the Dental Program for an initial dental evaluation. Since opening in July 2011 the VMCC Dental Program has provided care to over 120 children.

Children in foster care have high incidences of chronic dental issues. The American Academy of Pediatricians estimates that about 35% enter foster care with high prevalence of undiagnosed or under-treated acute and chronic dental or oral health conditions.  The VMCC Dental Program allows us to identify dental needs of youth entering emergency foster care and ensure that these needs are addressed in a timely manner.  The services provided through the VMCC Dental Program include, but are not limited too: dental evaluations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, extractions, addressing dental emergencies, and developing community resources to address higher level dental needs.   In addition, the program provides an opportunity for educating children about the importance of their oral health and the role they can play in staying healthy with daily brushing, flossing, and eating a healthy diet.

For more information please contact Meg Easter-Dawson at 707-565-8383 or measter@schsd.org.