Saturday saw the return of an event that supports local children and families.
Colusa County Office of Education’s Children Services held their annual Family Fair by bringing together local agencies to promote healthy families.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Fair was held in the spacious parking lot of the Colusa County Fairgrounds, where local agencies and organizations handed out information and goodies as parents and kids drove past a number of stations in their vehicles for goodies and information.
The Family Fair is held each April to celebrate “Month of the Young Child” to bring awareness largely to the services available that promote health and strengthen families, said Kayla Kennedy, local childcare planning coordinator.
The event has been held annually for the past 20 years, although the 2020 Family Fair was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is the only year we have done a drive-up event for the family fair,” Kennedy said, at Saturday’s fair. “It’s the first of its kind.”
Although the event was held in a safe manner to prevent spread of the virus, Kennedy thought the drive-by format seemed far more interactive.
Kids received goodies like children’s books, bookmarks, pencils, bubbles, activity books and crayons, while parents received information about literacy, employment opportunities, and health.
About 20 government and private agencies participated, including local law enforcement and Animal Control, Colusa County Public Health, Chamber of Commerce, Community Advocates for Parents and Children, Family Action Centers of Colusa County, ALTA California, Comfort Keepers, Colusa County One-Stop, among others.
Representatives from health agencies said the pandemic had a devastating impact on people’s health this past year, particularly those who put off routine screenings and health care.
Candy Pahua, of Every Woman Counts, said health care providers saw an 85 percent decrease in screenings for breast and cervical cancer.
Pahua said the Family Fair provided them with a great way to get out and spread the word that preventive and wellness services are available at no or low cost.
Adriana Sanchez, community promotions director for Ampla Health, said it was important for their clinics to reach out to families, especially those cut off by COVID-19.
Ampla now offers transportation services at no cost for established patients. They also provide enrollment services for Medi-Cal or Covered California and have programs for undocumented patients who can’t give coverage anywhere else, and telehealth for people who can’t come in because of the pandemic.
Kennedy said Family Fair participants did a great job on Saturday reaching the community by handing out information while giving out a lot of great stuff for the children to enjoy.
Kennedy said that while the drive-up Family Fair was a great success, CCOE hopes to bring the traditional in-person gathering back in 2022.