West Sacramento Program Wins Prestigious City Livability Award from US Conference of Mayors

West Sacramento, CA Mayor Christopher Cabaldon was awarded first place honors in the 2014 City Livability Awards Program during The United States Conference of Mayors’ 82nd Annual Meeting in Dallas (Saturday, June 21 to Monday, June 24).

This is the 35th year in which cities have competed for the award, which is sponsored by the United States Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc. The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation
demonstrated by the mayors.

Universal Preschool for West Sacramento (UP4WS) Program wins City Livability Award from US Conference of Mayors. Pictured, left to right, Program Coordinator Shonna Clark, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Assistant City Manager Carol Richardson, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, and Program Director Justine Jimenez.

This year’s winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of over 200 applicants.  “Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the opportunity to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. “We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country.” Barry Caldwell, Waste Management’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, presented the awards during the annual luncheon in Dallas, TX.

Universal Preschool for West Sacramento (UP4WS) Program

Universal Preschool for West Sacramento (UP4WS), the winner of the 2014 City Livability award in the Small City category (population under 100,000), is a collaborative partnership between the City of West Sacramento, Washington Unified School District, the Yolo County Office of Education, First 5 CA and First 5 Yolo.

The Goal of UP4WS is to provide high quality preschool and childcare for all children ages 0-5 in the City of West Sacramento at little cost to residents.

West Sacramento has enabled children ages 0-5 to optimize their natural capacities for learning, social interaction and creative expression, preparing them for successful participation in the educational system.

Children who attend UP4WS preschools show consistent growth in all domains assessed, and in particular, have progressed in the areas of pre-literacy and language. Most impressive are the gains shown in English language learners, whose growth in language and literacy mirrors that of their native English speaking peers.

UP4WS originated following the formation of a Universal Preschool Task Force by Mayor Christopher Cabaldon in 2003. Each year the program has served between 450 and 600 children under the age of five. Over 3,500 children have benefited from increased quality early education opportunities in its 8 years of existence.

Washington Unified District Trustee Katie Villegas said, “I have been affiliated with UP4WS as a First 5 Yolo Commissioner, Executive Director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and now as a Trustee for the Washington Unified School District. In each of these
capacities I have seen the difference that a solid early education program coupled with family support can make in the lives of children. This award is a long overdue recognition of the work of the Mayor, the partners and the program staff.”

UP4WS Executive Board Member and West Sacramento City Council person Beverly Sandeen remarked, “I am very proud of the UP4WS program and the advancement of early childhood education in West Sacramento. I am looking forward to serving as the City’s representative on the Executive Board and working hard on expanding this important program for our community.”

Link to video about the program that was shown at the awards luncheon

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