Archive for the ‘ Target Audiences ’ Category
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:
PH (336)387-6161 ext. 2288
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.
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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!
Guiding Healthy Behaviors in Early Childhood and NC Pre-K host Mindfulness workshop for Early Childhood Professionals
What: A FREE workshop for Early Childhood Professionals (see “register here” link below for more information)
When: March 5, 2016 from 1:00 pm—4:00 pm
Where: Friendly Avenue Baptist Church, 4800 W. Friendly Avenue Greensboro, NC 27410, Multipurpose Center Classrooms 4 & 5. Please enter via Westridge and park in adjacent lot.
What You’ll Learn & Receive:
- Learn about the benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion for well-being & positive relationships
- .3 CEU’s ($6.00) or In-Service training credit at no cost
Register : Register here
Questions: Contact Trish Nelson, (336) 274-5437, ext. 212 or Trician@guilfordchildren.org
Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool will serve as demo site for child care in N.C.
Article by Alice Owens, a freelance writer and photographer who lives in High Point.
Kids love to play in the dirt, but many are disconnected from nature, plugging into computers, smartphones and tablets.
They’re losing their love for dirt and connection.
Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool wants to get youngsters back in the dirt through a partnership with Shape NC.
Shape NC, supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield, aims to boost the number of young children who start kindergarten at a healthy weight.
The interdisciplinary initiative brings together leading experts in early childhood education, nutrition, physical activity and landscape design to create 18 model child care centers across North Carolina.
From those 18 model centers, six were chosen as demonstration sites where other child care (centers) can see how the program works. Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool was named one of the six demo sites on June 19.
“It’s a really big deal to be a demonstration site,” said Sandy Johnson, preschool director.
The preschool boasts large outdoor spaces with blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and pears. The garden also offers tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, squash and a large herb garden.
In addition to the edible garden, there’s a fairy garden where children sit among the trees, read books, dig in the dirt and let their imaginations run wild.
“We were designed to care for nature and to be in nature,” Johnson said.
Preschoolers buzz around the outdoor space, water plants, harvest crops and even plant trees. The teachers coach and assist, but the children are heavily involved in the actual work of planting and tending the garden.
“In the garden, every aspect (of education) is happening–reading, math and social development,” said Trish Nelson, who works with the Smart Start agency in partnership with Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool and has administered the Shape NC grant money since 2011.
Children must read, measure and count when planting, Nelson said.
“This is a whole new way of viewing childhood–a more holistic approach,” said Nelson.
Johnson said a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2011 helped them change their environment. First, they transformed the outdoor space. Then, with grant money and funds raised, they created the new “classroom,” trained the staff, got technical support and landscaped the area.
Professional development helped the staff branch out from a traditional preschool structure.
“We are designed to be active learners, not to sit and have information uploaded to us all day,” Johnson said.
Children at Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool are ensured 120 minutes of movement each day and never sit for more than 14 minutes at a time. Screen time is limited and only available to the older children who will need to use it for elementary school.
When learning about trees, the students designed benches and seats for the classroom. Parents made the benches, which are used daily in the classroom.
“It’s not all about the garden,” Johnson said. “It’s also about bringing outdoor elements indoors and providing an atmosphere that promotes health.”
Kids learn about nutrition, too. Each meal and snack are served “family style,” and the children set the table, put food on the table and serve themselves, choosing foods and how much of each to eat.
“This helps teach them to learn when they are full and to read hunger cues, skills that many adults never learned,” Johnson said.
Much of the food the children eats comes directly from the garden that they planted. Families are given new, healthy recipes to try and are given herbs to use in those recipes. The goal is to help the families learn new ways to cook and enjoy food that will result in better health.
“One father told me he took his child to the grocery store and couldn’t get his son out of the produce aisle. This is our greatest success story,” Johnson said.
(Cindy Watkins, President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, opened the celebration.)
On Friday, June 19, Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool in Greensboro was formally designated a Shape NC demonstration site, one of only six sites in North Carolina.
Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Young Children is a six-year, $6 million initiative of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation and The North Carolina Partnership for Children created to increase the number of children starting kindergarten at a healthy weight and ready to learn.
Shape NC assists communities across the state to promote healthy eating and active play among North Carolina’s youngest children, from birth through age five. The initiative works with child care programs like Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool to instill healthy behaviors early on, creating a solid foundation for a healthy life.
(Sandy Johnson, Director of the Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool, shared her passionate Shape NC journey with an attentive crowd.)
“When we began this work in 2011 we were hoping to make improvements to our outdoor classrooms,” said Sandy Johnson, Director, Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool. “At that time we had no idea how participating in this journey with Shape NC would be the catalyst for totally revolutionizing the way we view early education and what a profound impact it would make in the lives of our children, families, our staff and our school.”
“We’ve seen children develop a passion for growing healthy foods and trying new foods that their parents never thought they would eat,” she continued. “As a school family we have grown in our understandings of what a healthy life looks like, not only in what we eat but how we move as well. As a result, the children will be better prepared for their future, and our families and staff benefit too.”
Several speakers shared their stories about the transformation at Friendly Avenue Christian Preschool and the importance of the work of developing healthy behaviors early in a child’s life.
“North Carolina is leading the country in helping our youngest learners develop healthy behaviors from birth,” said Jennifer MacDougall of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina. “People from across the country, including the White House’s Let’s Move initiative, are looking to places like this and people like you to lead the way.”
Cindy Watkins, President, North Carolina Partnership for Children, shared stories about the important role outdoor learning has played in her life and committed to making this opportunity available to more children across North Carolina. Rich Rairigh, Director of Be Active Kids, commended Ms. Johnson and her staff on prioritizing good health and called the center “a beacon for the whole community.”
Students and teachers performed a routine to Pharrell’s “Happy”, then Greensboro City Councilwoman Nancy Hoffmann and two preschool students cut the ribbon to officially open the outdoor space. While eating healthy snacks, guests toured the preschool outdoor learning area, as well as the infant and toddler areas.
Trish Nelson, Program Specialist for the Guiding Healthy Behaviors in Early Childhood at the Guilford County Partnership for Children, has worked with Johnson and her team for several years to help them reach this goal.
“We are so proud of the work that has been done here and their new demonstration site status,” said Nelson. “It makes my heart joyous to see healthy, happy, active children and families! We’re excited to share this newly designated Shape NC Demonstration Site with Early Childhood Educators throughout Guilford County, and to spread the good news that together we can take steps promoting health starting with our youngest children.”
(In line with Shape NC healthy, delicious snacks were served to all.)
By John Newsom, email@example.com News & Record March 4, 2015
After more that three decades, Guilford Technical Community College is closing its on-campus day care center. The GTCC Children’s Center has cared for the preschool-aged children of GTCC students, college faculty ans staff members ans Guilford County residents since 1979, It has a five-star rating from the state.But the college says enrollment has slumped and the center isn’t bringing in enough money to stay open. It will close June 30.
“It’s supposed to be a self-sustaining entity,” GTCC President Randy Parker said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “In the last several years it has not been self-supporting. If it’s not going to support itself, we don’t have other money to continue to pour into it.”
Some parents are dismayed at the center’s demise.
Karen Sylvester, a High Point parent whose 4-year-old daughter remains at the center, said it has provided good care and had little staff turnover. Many of the teachers who cared for her son, now 13, 10 years earlier still worked there when Sylvester enrolled her daughter there.
For years the college used tuition payments from parents to keep the center going. Monthly tuition charges for all-day care range from $725 and $820 per child. In recent years, GTCC has used state and federal grants to make up budget shortfalls.
According to GTCC records, the 2011-12 academic year was the last time the center’s revenues outpaces expenses. The center lost money in 2012-13 and again last year – even after the college pumped in nearly $67,000 in grant subsidies two years ago and $79,000 more in 2013-14.
The center ran a deficit last year of $104,412. The college covered the shortfall by dipping into the center’s fund balance. The reason for the financial trouble? Enrollment is too low. The center is licensed to care for 61 preschool children between ages of 6 weeks to 5 years. The college says the center needs 56 children to remain profitable. But enrollment hasn’t been above 50 since at least 2011, when 46 children were enrolled, according to the college. Enrollment dropped to 41 last year.
Parker said there’s not as much grant money available to run the center. The center’s fund balance has declined by 50 percent since 2011, and Parker says the college might have to spend the reaminder $145,000 as of November – to keep the center open through June 30.
“We are saddened to have to close the day care center after 35 years,” Parker said, “But it is a business decision for the college.” Parker notified parents in September that the college was reviewing the center’s finances and were thinking about closing it.
The center’s director put together a proposal to offer after-school care for older children. Parker said college officials rejected the plan as unsustainable.
Some parents have explored other options to keep the center open and unsuccessfully lobbied college trustees at their December meeting. Trustees voted in January to close the center at the end of the academic year.
Enrollment sagged, meanwhile, as parents learned about the potential closure and sought child care elsewhere. The center was down to 30 children in October and 22 in November.
As of Monday , the Children’s Center had just 11 children and five employees.
“It wasn’t because (parents) wanted to leave,” Sylvester said. “They wanted to find quality care to take care of their children.”
Although parents understand the center’s precarious finances, Sylvester said she and some others are disappointed in the way the college handled the process. they said they got little information from college officials, were rebuffed in their attempts to meet with Parker (though they did meet with a college vice president in October) and did not know that trustees had scheduled a vote on the center’s fate until shortly before the December board meeting.
“I think we all felt like the way it went down didn’t reflect the values the community college allegedly holds itself to,” Sylvester said.
Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312, and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.