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El Concilio California Kicks Off Book Project

Announcing a collaboration with Blue Shield of California, El Concilio California (ECC) has kicked off the agency’s My First Books Project in San Joaquin County.

My First Books has been designed to seamlessly integrate with the agency’s home visitation programs, which are focused on proper child development, health, and education for families caring for children 0-5 years.

As a part of the agency’s Health and Well-Being department’s parenting and child development, health, and education programs, ECC’s My First Books Project aims to provide over 100 children and families, who are participating in its home visitation programs, with five new, high-quality books to keep, as their own, as a part of the programs’ early reader component. ECC’s My First Books Project is the first of the agency’s 2022 Early Outlook Initiatives focused on innovative family-childhood development projects to be rolled out to the public.

“El Concilio California’s My First Books Project engages children with a love of reading and education, a known precursor to life-long healthy living habits and long-term economic success,” said ECC president and CEO, José R. Rodriguez. “We are proud to have Blue Shield of California join us with a $1,000 start-up grant as a committed partner.”

The My First Books Project has a first-year budget of $3,500. If you would like to know more about the project, or would like to become a My First Books corporate sponsor, contact Mark Apostolon at

“Blue Shield of California is honored to help get books into the hands of children across San Joaquin County,” said James Cruz, M.D., chief medical officer at Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. “We know that literacy and education are key to improving the physical, emotional, educational and economic development of children and their families, which is why we’re proud to provide this support to El Concilio California.”

In continual operation for 54 years, El Concilio California is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit multi-service agency with the mission to uplift and advocate for California’s marginalized, minority, economically segregated, and communities of color by providing access to crucial services, programs, and resources to over 75,000 individuals and families annually.

Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with over 4.5 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $21 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid, and Medicare healthcare service plans in California.