Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel Partners with Child Development Institute to Provide San Fernando Valley Families with Back to School Necessities

Collaboration Follows Recent State Budget Win Providing Funding for CDI’s New Early Learning Center in Reseda

For immediate release:

LOS ANGELES, CA — Today, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Woodland Hills) co-hosted the 2021 Back-to-School Health and Safety Fair and backpack drive for families in need in Canoga Park. The event was organized jointly with the Child Development Institute (CDI), a local nonprofit that specializes in the holistic development of children and families in the west San Fernando Valley.

At the fair, children and families from the surrounding community participated in health and developmental screenings and received backpacks, school supplies, and COVID-19 vaccinations. All of these items and services were provided at no cost to families in need.​​

“As the father of three kids, I know how important it is that young people have the tools and resources they need to succeed in school,” said Assemblymember Gabriel. “I’m excited to partner with the Child Development Institute to provide vital school supplies and healthcare to so many wonderful kids and families in the west San Fernando Valley.”

“With generous support from elected officials, partners, and local organizations to plan and execute the Annual Back to School Health & Safety Fair, children in our community can start strong for the upcoming academic year,” said Dr. Joan Maltese, President and CEO of the Child Development Institute. “Our goal is to help families prepare their children for a successful school year, and provide the valuable opportunity for our neighbors to learn about the vital resources in their own community. CDI is proud to address the needs of every child through its vision to invest in underserved communities for a brighter and healthier tomorrow.”

Today’s event builds on Assemblymember Gabriel’s longstanding efforts to assist children and families in the Valley, including his work to secure $1.5 million in the state budget for the development of the CDI Early Learning Center in Reseda. The new Center, which opened recently, will provide space for early intervention programs, child care, and collaboration with local partners to bring comprehensive child and family social services to more of the San Fernando Valley. Leaders at CDI anticipate that, thanks to the budget allocation, they will be able to serve an additional 100,000 children and families in the surrounding area.

CDI was founded in 1995 to provide early childhood development and intervention services for young children in the San Fernando Valley. With its mission to help youth reach their full potential by supporting the relationships and environments that shape early development, CDI focuses its efforts on the promotion of early learning, prevention of developmental delays, and intervention with therapeutic services to ensure that families and community members have the resources necessary to provide responsive care that will uplift their children.