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Introducing Our Upcoming Board Chair

Posted on: June 5th, 2019 by Kim Radcliffe

As we prepare for the new fiscal year, we wanted to take a moment to let you get to know the wonderful woman who will be stepping up into the Board Chair position. Sandra Welch Boren is vice president and senior program officer at Cone Health Foundation.  She joined the Foundation in 2008, bringing 20 years of fundraising and foundation experience to the organization. She served as the program officer for the Cemala Foundation and, prior to that, was the associate director of the North Carolina Zoo Society, where she led fundraising activities.

Sandra earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Arts degree from High Point University.  She and her husband, Bud make their home in Greensboro with two rescued German Shepherd dogs (Chuck and Missy).  They have two grown daughters and three adorable grandchildren ages 9, 8 and 5. In her free time you can find Sandra on a bicycle, on a trail, or on a trip to anywhere she hasn’t been before!

She was gracious to take some time to answer a few questions for us.

What guided your decision to join our Board?

The Partnership for Children of Guilford County’s vision of each child entering school safe, healthy and ready to succeed along with a mission of supporting early learning and development to help children achieve better outcomes really spoke to me.  Couple that vision and mission with what we know about the importance of the first 2,000 days of a child’s life and it becomes clear that the Partnership has a big role to fill in our community.  We certainly have our challenges in Guilford County, but we also have an experienced, capable staff and our community is beginning to coalesce around the importance of investing in early childhood.  That’s a great combination and a wonderful opportunity.

Where do you see the Board and the Partnership heading in the coming years?

Partnership and possibility are our cornerstones.  There is a groundswell of work going on at the community level to improve the chances for EVERY child in Guilford County to succeed.  We have some great community partnerships that are essential for us achieve our mission.  That’s a powerful combination.  At the same time, we must maintain our flexibility (while staying true to our state mandate) and willingness to forge new partnerships.  I believe we will have some great opportunities in the coming years to invest and develop pathways that ensure the wellbeing of our youngest children are always a priority.

What would you say to anyone considering joining our board or one of the committees?

Dig in and learn from our staff and partners!   We need smart, passionate people at the table as we continue to build on a tradition of high-quality learning and development opportunities.

What is your favorite children’s book?

Without a doubt, my favorite children’s book is Dr. Seuss’s, Oh the Places You Will Go! This treasure of a book is filled with hope, possibility, and encouragement to try new things.  Its underlying message of taking chances and pushing past our comfort zone is what keeps life exciting.  Reading in general, and with my grandchildren specifically, is one the great joys of my life!

Helping Educators Be the Best!

Posted on: by Kim Radcliffe

Community Partner Feature

In our last Community Partner Feature, we showcased one of our Community Partners that supports families.  In this feature, we will be highlighting one of our Community Partners which supports our Early Childhood Educators in Guilford County! EQuIPD which stands for Education, Quality Improvement and Professional Development, was founded by Dr. Deborah J. Cassidy.  Dr. Cassidy had the vision to provide technical assistance differently to help make it more sustainable within early care and education programs.  The program was begun in July 2014.  EQuIPD will celebrate 5 years in July 2019! The EQuIPD program addresses a critical need in Guilford County–the improvement of quality in community child care settings. EQuIPD includes five interconnected domains. The activity provides services for family child care homes and child care centers including: 1) program enhancement through individual consultation, 2) community learning sessions, 3) workforce retention strategies, 4) peer mentoring, and 5) educational attainment and professional development. EQuIPD is a grant funded activity through the Partnership for Children of Guilford County (Smart Start) and is housed and supported by the Human Development and Family Studies Department at UNC-Greensboro.  EQuIPD has a staff of 6 who each have many years of working in early childhood in Guilford County, as well as across North Carolina.

EQuIPD’s mission is to nurture and empower early care and education professionals and programs with tools to support and sustain success. 

The program may work with a teacher on how to go back to school; a family child care provider on business practices; an ECE administrator on how to support the program through an assessment, and/or a classroom teacher on meeting the needs of the children. The program also provides professional learning sessions across the county, individualized peer mentoring and support for teachers, and works with directors on work environment issues like teachers being more involved in program-wide decision making.  EQuIPD provides a multifaceted approach to supporting and enhancing quality across a dynamic and complex child care system.

The following is one of EQuIPD’s success stories:

Robin was a protégé in the ASCEND Peer Mentoring cohort during the first year of EQuIPD (2014) which was also Robin’s first year of teaching.  For each ASCEND Peer Mentoring cohort, we pair newer teachers or family child care providers with accomplished teachers and providers and they work together on identified goals.  Over the year, we see both classrooms and individuals benefit and receive different support from the relationship and the professional development sessions that we provide.  At EQuIPD, we talk about Robin a lot because she is such a great example of our mission “to nurture and empower early care and education professionals and programs with tools to support and sustain success”.  Robin attended our first community learning event in 2014 and she was really sick with a bad cold but did not want to miss the day.  Whenever we visit her classroom, we see her implementing some of the things she has learned through the sessions she has attended with us.  She continues to grow and is currently in school to learn how to open a forest school for young children. She has started to implement some of these ideas and methods on outdoor learning in her current workplace.  At the ASCEND Peer Mentoring Focus Group in October, Robin said “there is no other organization or person that has poured more into me professionally than EQuIPD.  I look for events that have EQuIPD because I know I will learn something and they will be amazing. I know you are supporting me and proud of my work”. Robin has applied to be a mentor this year instead of a protégé and we are thrilled to see her continue to grow in her teaching with our support. 

To find out more information about the EQuIPD program, please visit:, or call (336) 315-7768.  You may also reach us at:

Requests for Proposals

Posted on: April 8th, 2019 by Kim Radcliffe

Contracted Services RFP Package – 2019-2020

Kids Don’t Come with Instruction Manuals

Posted on: February 26th, 2019 by Kim Radcliffe

Community Partner Feature

Who They Are

One of our community partners is Healthy Start, a program offered through Family Service of the Piedmont. It is a home-based support program that works with pregnant women and new parents with stress factors that make parenting an even tougher job. Healthy Start home visitors help parents to nurture their children’s development and create a positive living environment for their families.  In addition, the program provides parenting support, education, and optional in-home counseling to pregnant women and new parents to reduce the potential of child abuse and neglect.  Services are free, the program offers two parent workshops a year and provides diapers to clients monthly, as available.  They can refer families to intra-agency programs at Family Service of the Piedmont to assist with family needs.

What They Do

Healthy Start is here for any caregiver to a child residing in Guilford County that would like to increase their parenting knowledge and receive additional support.  Their goal is to increase parental knowledge, foster attachment and bonding, prepare for school readiness, prevent child abuse and neglect and help parents achieve their important life goals and learn new coping skills. 

We asked them to share one of their successes with us.

“Parent D was referred to Healthy Start indicating parent was in need of assistance with bonding and parenting skills. The Parent reported challenges with child attachment and bonding, due to depressive moods. Also reported by the parent was that they grew up in foster care not having a support system.

“The Caseworker engaged the parent in case management, parenting education, and encouraged bonding activities with the child during home visits. Throughout the course of service, Parent D was presented with a peek-a-boo activity. Parent D expressed the child would only complete the activity with a blanket, as opposed to her hands, as the activity suggested.

“In the past, the parent would have given up the activity; becoming frustrated the child was not completing the activity as suggested. Parent D was encouraged to continue working with the child providing praise when the child did something favorable. At the following visit, Parent D disclosed that the child had successfully learned how to play peek-a-boo with her hands, along with learning to walk several feet at a time. Parent D has been implementing the in-home child development activities presented by the Caseworker using the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum and Ages and Stages Questionnaires. Parent is receiving therapy to assist with depressive symptoms and is working through barriers to foster healthy parent/child interaction.”

You can contact Healthy Start via their Program Manager:
Kristy Shoffner
PH (336)387-6161 ext. 2288
Fax (336)387-9167

Board of Directors Spotlight

Posted on: by Kim Radcliffe

Meet Our Board Chair

The work that we do, would be impossible without the support of our Board of Directors.  Here, we would like to recognize our Board Chair, JoAnn Currie.  Due to changes in our organizational by-laws, we have been fortunate enough to have JoAnn as our Board Chair longer than any of her predecessors. 

Bringing it Back to the Community

A native of Greensboro, she always wanted to be a teacher or a nurse growing up. When she graduated from Grimsley High School, she attended Appalachian State University and majored in Special Education with a minor in dance.  

Doing it for the Kids

JoAnn soon found herself working at the Kendall Center with the Kendall Infant Toddler Demonstration Project, which she loved and worked there for eight years.  At which time, she began to work with Greensboro City Schools to start the preschool handicapped program which became the Exceptional Children’s Preschool Program.  In 2013, she retired from the school system, and that year she was also recruited for the Partnership’s board.

We sat down with JoAnn to ask her a few questions.

Partnership:  You’ve served a longer term as Board Chair than anyone before you. How has that unique experience been?

JoAnn: It’s definitely been a learning curve.  When I came on as Vice Chair, the Partnership was in flux with organizational changes.  I was working through that with the then Board Chair while still trying to figure things out, having only been on the board 2 years.  It felt like I was still learning.  Now I feel more confident and have grown and learned with this experience.  It has also been a joy seeing the staff that were working at the Partnership at that time and how they stuck with it and kept their passion and dedication for our young children. 

P:  What has been your favorite moment as a board member?

J:  Having the community partners present and bring us those real-life stories.  When I’ve been able to be around families or children, or in a classroom, that the Partnership has touched and made a big difference, a real qualitative difference, in people’s lives that… probably is my favorite part. 

P:  What would you say you are most proud of during your time on the board?

J:  Seeing how people come together for a common cause or common love.  From board members rolling off but still staying involved, to the excitement of new board members coming in, seeing staff grow in their positions.  The whole dynamic of people from all walks of life coming together for the good of our children.  

P:  If someone was considering joining our board or one of our committees, what would you say to them?

J: Jump right in, baby!  There are so many needs of families and children that if you have an interest in helping that is a way that directly impacts people, by giving of your time and your talent. 

P:  What is your favorite children’s book?

J:  Thinking back on the books that I enjoyed and my children enjoyed, two kind of came to mind.  I tend to like whimsical books, because whimsy shows creativity and imagination.  If you can imagine something then you can be it.  So, one book I just loved was “The Napping House”, just for the rhythm of the words and the whimsy of the illustrations.  And then “Where the Wild Things Are” because that to me shows imagination, a mother’s unconditional love, and acceptance. 

Fulfilling a Need and Focusing on Quality

Posted on: by Kim Radcliffe

NC Pre-K Provider Spotlight

Kid Appeal Learning Center has been one of our longest serving NC Pre-K providers here in Guilford County! We took a moment to ask Angela Davis, the owner, a few questions.

Why did you decide to go into childcare?

I decided to go into child care upon moving back to my hometown, High Point, NC in 1995.  My husband and I searched high and low, to no avail, for quality childcare. We were proud parents of a new baby boy and wanted a safe place with a learning environment that would allow me to return to work with the confidence that my child’s educational needs would be met in a safe, loving and nurturing environment.

As a Social Worker I had years of experience in assisting families with job placement, childcare assistance and other needed services.  I had an idea of what quality childcare should be and I had the necessary skill sets that could be used to provide parents with quality childcare. My husband wanted to start a business and encouraged me to step out on faith.  Both the entrepreneurial desires and our personal need for quality childcare intersected. We decided that we could provide our child and many other children in the local community with the same quality of care that we sought after. Therefore, in 1997 we sought out to fill that void and Kid Appeal Learning Center was created.

Why did you become a part of More at Four/NC Pre-K?

Once committed to childcare as a career path we made a total commitment to give children our absolute best.  I’ve always strived to bring the very best early educational options to the High Point community. Smart Start was an initiative started under Governor Jim Hunt and I was asked to serve on a local committee. We shared our experiences with others and learned so much from others who participated in the early developmental studies. I’ve served on the Childcare Commission appointed by the NC General Assembly; all of which contributed to my development in the field of Early Education.  I believe that my involvement on the different boards and commissions helped shape the present-day quality standards that has grown from Smart Start into More-at-Four and today’s NC Pre-K.

What do you think sets NC Pre-K apart from preschool?

What sets NC Pre-K apart from preschool is, the opportunity that NC Pre-K provides for a more in-depth needs assessment of each child. The teachers are required to visit each child’s home environment prior to starting the school year. This holistic approach adds an additional step that uncovers another layer that aids our teachers in understanding each child’s needs.

What is your favorite thing about NC Pre-K? 

My favorite thing about NC Pre-K is to witness the tremendous growth of our children. Children come to us sometimes with little to no social-emotional skills. They come with little to no classroom experiences. We meet them at the level that we receive them and expose them to a rich learning environment full of new experiences provided by the NC Pre-K program. To watch a child’s amazing intellectual growth over a short time span is very rewarding.

Do you have a “best moment” or success story? If so what?

We end each NC Pre-K school year with a graduation ceremony. This includes: cap and gown and “Pomp and Circumstance”. The proud moments of graduation, expressions of pride and joy by parents, families and friends are the special moments that I will hold near and dear for a very long time.

How would you explain the importance of early childhood education to someone?

Children’s minds develop very early in life; they are like little sponges constantly absorbing information. The earlier they are exposed to positive learning environments, the greater their chances of building a solid foundation for establishing lifelong learning, which leads to long term success.

What is your favorite center/activity in your center?

I have several favorite centers/activities in my Center. Computers and the use of technology allows our teachers to bring the whole world into the classroom. The use of technology greatly enhances the learning experience. The Dramatic Play center allows the children to develop social skills by interacting with one another. Finally, my favorite center/activity in my Center is the Arts Center where children can express themselves through writing, coloring, and drawing. Altogether, each of these centers are equally as important as the other; whereas, children are able to learn extensively through play!

Week of the Young Child 2019

Posted on: February 8th, 2019 by Kim Radcliffe

We’ve recently announced our events for Week of the Young Child TM 2019 and boy are we going to be busy April 8th through the 13th.  But you may ask…

What is Week of the Young Child TM?

Week of the Young Child TM was established in 1971 by the Nation Association for the Education of Young Children, the world’s largest early childhood education association, (or as we call them NAEYC).  This was a week to recognize and celebrate the early years of a child’s life, which we know is the foundation that future success in school and life is built on.  It is also a time for ourselves, our communities, our state, and our nation to plan on how to better meet the needs of young children and their families. 

Why do we need a week to focus on young children and early childhood programs?  According to NAEYC:

Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.

“The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.

Are you interested yet?  Below you will find our WOYC 2019 Schedule of Events, detailing the free programs that will happen throughout the week.  If you would like to volunteer or donate, please contact LouMecia Staton, Community Outreach Manager for the Partnership at:

How can I celebrate?

During Week of the Young ChildTM each day has a different theme.  Thus, we have developed a fun resource for parents and early childhood educators to help get you in the WOYC spirit!  Please check out our Week of the Young Child Pinterest Board for ideas, videos, and activities.  We will add more pins in the coming weeks, so check back regularly! And we would love for you to tag us on our social media if you post any activities inspired by our Pinterest board.  Don’t forget to use the official tag #WoYC2019

If you want to get an idea of what’s in store for this year’s celebration, check out these pictures from our WOYC celebration from 2018!

So, we hope you’ll join us as we gear up to have the best Week of the Young ChildTM yet!

A Look Back on 2018

Posted on: December 20th, 2018 by Kim Radcliffe

2018 has flown by hasn’t it?  So much has happened that it seemed that we turned around twice and the holidays are here.  We at the Partnership we wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the things we accomplished over the year and celebrate.

In March we were so happy to say, “Hello Dolly!” to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in limited zip codes in Guilford County.  Later in the year we were able to expand to all zip codes in Guilford County.  The Imagination Library will provide your child a free, age-appropriate book every month until they turn five.  If you haven’t signed your child up yet, more information can be found at the Parents as Teachers website.

Also, in March, we collaborated with the Healthy Relationships Initiative to hold our first Family Village Community Resource Fair.  The event was held at the Greensboro Public Library and included 25 community agencies. This event allowed parents to discover new resources as well as giving agencies the time and space to network.  Entertainment was provided by the wonderful Big Bang Boom!  Another fair was scheduled for April in High Point at the High Point Public Library.  If you missed these events, don’t worry…  We have more Family Village Workshops and Resource Fairs coming in 2019, stay tuned!

Unfortunately, disaster struck the beautiful city of Greensboro on April 15th, as a tornado touched down in East Greensboro, causing great devastation.  Schools, homes, and several childcare centers were damaged or destroyed.  We could not have been more proud to be a part of the community that went in to action to begin working to help our neighbors who had been affected.  We became a drop off location for donated supplies for the families and childcare centers that had been hit and we were able to collect enough donations from our generous community to hold multiple distribution events in May and August 2018.

Even as we started the long process of helping our community, we celebrated early learning, young children, their teachers, and families during Week of the Young Child 2018.  Every day that week had a theme and an event which culminated in Healthy Kids Day Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Hayes Taylor YMCA.  Families had the opportunity to enjoy the Be Active Kids Playmobile, along with several other activities and family fun as provided by Hayes-Taylor YMCA and many other community partners!  Several community agencies were also able to represent their agencies at the event, in order to provide resources and materials to assist the families.

In July, we participated in the Community Baby Shower event in collaboration with the East Market Street Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Greensboro.  Available at the event were items for expecting parents, and parents of infants including diapers, baby clothes, food, and several other items.  In addition, supplies and materials were also provided to those families still recovering from the tornado which had impacted our area in April 2018.

As Summer 2018 was winding down and the school year got into full swing here at the Partnership, we decided to have a little fun and make a music video celebrating the success of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library having expanded to all zip codes in Guilford County!  We were fortunate enough to have Ms. Taylor Gabbey of UNC-G assist us in filming and editing the video.


Finally, in November, we found out that the Guilford County NC Pre-K program had been chosen by the North Carolina Division of Development and Early Education to participate in a pilot program for the NC Pre-K Transition to K project!  This project is intended to work towards developing a standardized transition program that will make it easier for families when their children move from preschool or pre-k to kindergarten.  We are excited to be a part of this exciting program!

We hope your years was as fulfilling as ours and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Happy Holidays from the Partnership staff!

500 W. Friendly Ave. Suite 100 · Greensboro, NC · 27401