Thoughts, Perspectives & Ideas

Creative and Strategic Approaches to Early Learning Systems-Building

There is an overwhelming unmet need for quality early learning access and supports for young children in California. To support the development of a high quality early learning system, First 5 Association of California contracted with VIVA to research and understand how states have built and expanded early learning systems. As part of this research, VIVA developed…

Photo of elephant

The Blind Men and the Elephant: Analogies for Change

I was recently sitting in a VIVA project team meeting, strategizing about how to best move forward a client’s complex, multi-party system. As with any undertaking that has many players working on different moving parts, it runs the risk of becoming fragmented without a well-designed system that supports collaboration and information sharing. To illustrate this,…


Build Trusting Partnerships: 5 Starting Points

As a child, it was easy to make friends. In the 4th grade, we were assigned seats and my classroom neighbor became my lifelong friend. As adults, we can’t necessarily count on assigned seating in our personal or professional lives, but there are other ways to forge successful relationships and partnerships. Embarking on a new…


Boldly Leading for Social Good

When Christina and I made the decision to focus the core of VIVA’s work on large-scale community impact projects, we knew that the work would never be boring. Facilitating multiple partners to address complex social issues, designing new systems and initiatives, bringing key stakeholders to the table to create a shared vision, and setting a…


How Innovative Partnerships Can Help Address the ‘Whole Child’

More and more, we hear about ‘closing the achievement gap’ and providing better access to quality early education to support children’s school readiness. At VIVA, this is a big part of our work, and we are excited that these issues are becoming more frequent conversations in the media, among policymakers, and at dinner tables across…


Early Education Achievements in Fresno County Showcased in the News

By Laura Bowen    Here at VIVA, we’re continually wowed by our clients’ commitment to making a difference in their communities, and we are thrilled when their efforts are acknowledged. At the beginning of December, a Fresno County news station teamed up with First 5 Fresno County to dedicate their Family Focus Series to showcasing…