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Early Connections received a Gold ECCO award for Excellence in Community Communication and Outreach (ECCO) awarded by SAMHSA.

Breaking Barriers Early Connections, a systems change initiative at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services recently received a Gold ECCO award for Excellence in Community Communication and Outreach (ECCO) awarded by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration). The award was for the under nine minute bilingual film ‘The Co-learning Project’ ( The Co-learning Project conveys an innovative approach to bringing parents and early childhood service providers together to partner as peers to support early childhood wellness--- across the complex dynamics of race, class, power and privilege.
SAMHSA Early Connections is funded by SAMHSA and is building Co-learning projects across early childhood mental health and early education programs in Alameda County. Through Co-learning parents and service providers jointly develop culturally responsive curriculum, events, workshop, learning tools that support early childhood wellness and family voice and choice. Beth Sauerhaft of Early Connections co-produced this film with parents and provider members of the Early Connections Co-learning Collaborative, in collaboration with Oakland based One Bay Creative production company. Early Connections is supporting the expansion of Co-learning in Alameda County. Participating agency partners include Children’s Hospital Early Childhood Mental Health Program, Brighter Beginnings, Through the Looking Glass, Our Family Coalition, The Hume Center. Early Connections received this prestigious ECCO award in July 2014, at SAMHSA’s Georgetown University Training Institute near DC, attended by over 2500 folks from children and youth systems of care across the country! For more information about Co-learning go to or contact Beth Sauerhaft, Coaching and Capacity Building Coordinator for Early Connections at