Friday, November 19, 2010
Alexander County Partnership for Children is pleased to announce Amy Childers, RN, NCSN as the coordinator of the Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Project. ABCD is an initiative that improves the quality of child development services in primary care medical practices by enhancing developmental screening and referral for children ages 0-5 in their medical home. The project provides training and on -site technical assistance to medical practice sites to assist in the identification of children who may benefit from early intervention services. Services are provided to physicians and their staff to support the inclusion of a developmental screening and referral into well-child visits.
Amy is a BSN graduate of Lenoir –Rhyne University and has extensive experience in child health including serving as a pediatric nurse in local pediatric offices, a school nurse in the Alexander County Schools, and a public health nurse at the Alexander Health Department. She is a member of the Mu Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership for Children is pleased to have Amy as the ABCD Project Coordinator. “Amy’s pediatric background along with her knowledge of developmental issues in young children is an asset to the position. Amy has spent her professional career working with children and is committed to the mission of Alexander County Partnership for Children’s goal, ensuring Alexander County children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.”
Amy is a life-long resident of Alexander County resides in the Vashti community with her husband and two children.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
ACPC has switched to a program offered by the American Heart Association called Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid. The Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid Course contains information on how to manage illness and injuries in a child in the first few minutes until professional help arrives. Topics include First Aid Basics, Medical Emergencies, Environmental Emergencies, Adult and Infant CPR. This course was designed to meet regulations for day care centers in all 50 states. It is a 4 hour course that includes First Aid and CPR, and will be the same whether you are obtaining your initial certification or renewing your certification. The certification does have to be renewed every 2 years. We will offer this course at the ACPC office or it can be an on-site training at the child care center. To request the training on-site, the center must have 6 participants. Space is limited in every class so call early to register.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Written By: Harold Sellars
RALEIGH -- Early childhood education has a tremendous impact on the national economic security and the viability of the American dream."
These are the words of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - not typically known for speaking on behalf of children's issues.
Yet business leaders and economists are becoming some of the best advocates for young children. They know early childhood investments are critical to keeping the United States competitive in a global market. After all, their future workers are today's newborn babies. Building a strong and productive labor force largely depends on how well we baby-proof the economy today.
Just as parents baby-proof the top of the stairs to prevent a dangerous fall, policymakers must protect the economy from making a major misstep. Investments in early childhood education are the economic equivalent to investments in gates for stairs and covers for electrical outlets.
So what does economic baby-proofing look like? It starts with investing in high-quality early childhood programs. Science has shown that early experiences have biological consequences.
For instance, these experiences shape the brain's wiring, determining whether a child's brain architecture will provide a strong or weak foundation for all future learning. In addition, brains, like houses, are built from the bottom up. You can't put the second story on until you have built the foundation. This is why remediation is less effective and more costly than providing what children need to thrive from the get-go. Simply put, the building blocks for learning are well established before a child enters kindergarten.
The Chamber's new report, "Ready, Set, Go! Why Business Should Support Early Childhood Education," addresses these essential building blocks. It recommends that states support hiring qualified and effective early childhood educators, integrate early learning and care systems for children from birth to age 5, develop seamless transitions from the early childhood education system to the K-12 system and increase the availability of high-quality programs that support working parents.
Fortunately, beginning with the leadership of Gov. Jim Hunt in the early 1990s, North Carolina has led the way in early childhood. With Smart Start, North Carolina became the first in the nation to create a statewide early childhood system. It was one of the first to create a statewide high-quality pre-kindergarten program. And it was the first to develop a Quality Rating and Improvement Systems - the star-rated license. All are national models. The Chamber report highlights North Carolina's work as one of five promising practices included in the report.
The bad news is that even as the state's population of children birth to age 5 increases, funding for early childhood programs like Smart Start has been declining for the past decade. The consequences are magnified further as the percentage of children living in poverty also has increased significantly. The most recent census data found that almost a quarter of all North Carolina children are living in poverty. These are the very children that benefit most from high-quality early childhood programs.
Cutting effective early childhood programs hurts all of us. Our future depends on ensuring that today's children are tomorrow's successful and productive adults. We will be relying on them as our next generation of leaders, workers, parents and taxpayers.
But there are short-term benefits as well. The average working parent misses five to nine days of work per year because of child care problems, costing U.S. businesses $3billion a year in lost productivity. Such public investments also help attract new business. In addition, many child care programs are small businesses, and together they employ thousands of North Carolinians.
The Chamber's report concludes with an ominous warning:
"With current early childhood education resource levels, too many kindergarteners will continue to begin school ill-prepared, language skills and achievement scores in math and reading will likely remain at mediocre levels, costs for interventions during the K-12 years and after will continue to rise, high school graduation rates and postsecondary degree completion rates will likely remain unchanged, and businesses will lack the necessary workforce to fill the jobs of the future."
Let's be sure we baby-proof the economy to prevent such a tragedy from taking place.
Harold Sellars is senior vice president at Mechanics & Farmers Bank and a board member and secretary of The North Carolina Partnership for Children Inc.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Parents will have another opportunity to sign up for a FREE playgroup for their, two three four and five year olds as well as younger siblings. Sessions are set to begin October 26th 2010 and will be throughout the school year. Classes will meet one time a week on Tuesdays from 10 to 12.
Play to Learn will be held at Mt Wesley Wesleyan Church, 403 Mount Wesley Church Rd. Hiddenite NC 28636. The two hour playgroup will meet on Tuesdays from 10am to 12 noon. Registration is currently being conducted for this FREE program. Interested parents are asked to register by calling the 828-632-3799 to receive a registration form or by emailing Tiffany.email@example.com
Activities will be based on the Creative Curriculum for the children and help parents/caregivers by providing age appropriate adult/child interactions through play. Information on child development and community resources will be available along with ideas for activities to be used at home. Children will be introduced to visual arts, creative drama, creative movement, and music with a literacy enhancement component. Sessions will include themes that allow children to receive take home materials to extend the session into their home with parental support.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Alexander County Partnership for Children placed an exhibit at the 2010 Alexander County Fair. The theme for the exhibit was Nursery Rhymes-cultural touchstones to build children's literacy. The exhibit showed displays of classic children's nursery rhymes including Hickory Dickory Dock and Little Boy Blue. The exhibit was well received by fair goers!
Children and families gathered at the Hiddenite Center on Saturday, September 11th to celebrate the arts. Children's art work was displayed along opportunities for experiencing art. Activities included stamping, foam art, wikki art, picture frame making, model magic, origami, canvas painting, art rubbings, and scratch art. Music was a part of the festival as children sang, danced and participated in creative movement. This fun fill celebration was a component of Start With the Arts Alexander a program funded by the LEGO Children's Fund.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Have you ever wished for a place for you and your child to go to meet other children and their families? Do you want your child to meet other children? Would you like for your child to have new and different educational toys to play with?
Alexander County Partnership for Children (ACPC) announces the arrival of new opportunity for parents and their young children. Terrific Tuesdays and Thursdays begins September 7th and 9th in the Fantastic Families Room, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, one mile past Food Lion, in Taylorsville
The Fantastic Families Room at the Partnership for Children is a new and inviting room for children and their parents to gather each week. This room is designed with the parent and the preschool child in mind. Children can play independently or play together with educational toys that are rotated on a weekly basis.
Hours of operation for the Fantastic Families Room are Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 to 11:30. Drop in for a few minutes or stay the entire time. Children birth to five and their family are welcome! It is not necessary to reserve a spot but it is suggested. Space is limited and on a first come first serve basis each week!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
This session is a must for all parents who need assistance in teaching potty training! Come learn practical information, and proven techniques to ensure the best potty training experience for your child and you. Potty training takes teamwork between parent and child. Success depends on patient, understanding adults and a child who is physically, intellectually, and emotionally ready. Between the ages of 18 and 30 months, a child begins to show the readiness signs. Come learn practical information, and proven techniques to ensure the best toilet-training experience for children and parents. Class will be taught by Tiffany Shumate on September 2nd, at 6pm. Parent Trainings are held at the partnership office, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville-one mile past Food Lion.
Parent Trainings are for parents of children in Alexander County 0-5. Child care can be made available upon request and no later than two days before the meeting. Registration is currently being conducted for this training; interested parents are asked to register by calling 828-632-3799.
Alexander County Partnership for Children will host another “Parents Supporting Parents” meeting on Monday, August 30th at 6pm. Meetings are held at the partnership office, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville-one mile past Food Lion. Anita Ledford, Disabilities Specialist with Smoky Mountain Center LME, will present information on services for children with special needs.
“Parents Supporting Parents” meetings are for parents of children with special needs, birth to high school. Snacks are provided for participants. Child care can be made available upon request (call 632-3799) and no later than two days before the meeting.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The More At Four Program has openings for the upcoming school year. More At Four is a preschool program designed to prepare four year olds for Kindergarten. Your child must turn 5 on or before August 31, 2011. Eligibility is based on income. Call Alexander County Partnership for Children at 632-3799 for more information.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The Alexander County Partnership for Children is pleased to announce Charity Reese has successfully passed the North Carolina Child Care Health Consultant Training Course though NC Division of Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health and is certified as a Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC). The course provided information, resources and learning opportunities for Mrs. Reese and included web-based distance learning, face-to-face training, and a final project.
As a CCHC, Mrs. Reese is a health professional who knows about child health, child development, and health and safety in child care settings. Mrs. Reese works together with child care staff to promote healthy and safe environments for young children in Alexander County.
A Child Care Health Consultant has expert information, resources, and referrals to offer. Through onsite and telephone consultation, health education and technical assistance a CCHC works with individual child care facilities to help create environments that best support the healthy growth and development of young children. The CCHC partners with child care providers to:
• Assess the health and safety needs and practices in the child care facility.
• Develop strategies for inclusion of children with special care needs.
• Establish and review health policies and procedures.
• Manage and prevent injuries and infectious diseases.
• Connect families with community health resources.
• Provide health education for staff members, families and children.
Child Care Health Consultants interpret NC Child Care Rules and the National Health and Safety Performance Standards to provide guidance to child care programs. They are not responsible for regulating child care facilities. Mrs. Reese works is housed at the Alexander County Partnership for Children and her position is funded with NC Smart Start monies. Congratulations to Charity!!!
Young children and their families are invited to participate in the Start With the Arts Festival on Saturday, September 11, 2010 from 10:30 to 12:30 at the Hiddenite Educational Center. The festival will include dance, music, and special art activities along with displays of children’s art, food and fun! You will not want to miss this exciting opportunity designed with children in mind. All activities are FREE! The Start With the Arts Festival is the culmination of Start With the Arts Alexander, funded by the LEGO Children’s Fund which provided a $5,000 grant to the Alexander Partnership for Children for Start With the Arts.
The Start with the Arts Program was developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and followed a curriculum to introduce the participating children to visual arts, creative drama, creative movement, and music with a literacy enhancement component. Four sessions that lasted eight weeks were held during the past year. Each session included a theme that allowed participating children to receive take home materials to extend the session into their home with parental support. Parents and children participated in each session together. Martha Burgin, artist with the Hiddenite Center taught the classes which reached out to over sixty children and families in Alexander County.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Beginning August 1st parents and legal guardians requesting a car seat inspection at the Alexander County Partnership for Children will need to make an appointment for this service. This change is being made to allow adequate time and resources for this valuable service. ACPC recognizes the importance of children riding safely and works to ensure this safety by providing free car seat inspections.
Alexander County Partnership for Children, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville is a Permanent Checking Station that inspects child passenger safety seats for appropriateness and correct installation. If the technician determines that the seat must be replaced due to damage, age, missing manufacturing information, recalled child passenger safety seat, improper fitting in car, improper weight and/or height requirements or any other reason based on technician’s knowledge of child passenger safety, ACPC will exchange the seat and provide a new seat for Alexander County residents.
Replacement seats are provided with funding from United Way, Buckle Up NC, and other donations. ACPC depends on donations from recipients to assist in providing the child passenger safety seat replacement. Inspections are completed by Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and are completed by appointment only. Please call 632-3799 extension 16 to make an appointment request. Every attempt is made for the appointment at a time convenient for both the parent/legal guardian and the technician.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Play to Learn Program at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 31 Pleasant Hill Church Road, Taylorsville returns on Wednesday, August 18th. This exciting program is a FREE playgroup for parents and their preschoolers, three four and five year olds as well as younger siblings. Sessions will be held through the school year and will meet one time a week on Wednesdays from 10am to Noon.
Activities are based on the Creative Curriculum for the children and help parents/caregivers by providing age appropriate adult/child interactions through play. Information on child development, community resources and ideas for activities to be shared at home are provided to participants
The Play to Learn Program uses several ways to reach children and enrich their learning experiences. The program provides an enriched, developmentally appropriate learning environment with materials and activities to assist in the development of physical, cognitive and social skills for developing children.
Registration is currently being conducted for this FREE program. Interested parents are asked to register by calling the 828-632-3799 to receive a registration form or by emailing Tiffany@alexanderchildren.org.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Looking for that last minute back to school activity for your child? Don’t miss the final session of Start With the Arts Alexander, a FREE preschool arts program funded by the LEGO Children’s Fund and coordinated by the Alexander County Partnership for Children in collaboration with the Hiddenite Center. Classes will meet on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 beginning August 2nd with the final class on August 24th. All classes will be held at the Hiddenite Center. This is a great opportunity for three, four and five year old children.
Martha Burgin, artist with the Hiddenite Center will be teaching the eight classes. With over 20 years of experience as an art teacher Martha brings a wealth of experience and creativity to the program. She provides art lessons through the Hiddenite Center along with Art After School, Kids Summer Art classes, and educational outreach programs in local schools. When asked about the Start with the Arts Alexander program, Martha expressed her excitement to be a part of an Arts Program that incorporates all aspects of the Arts. “Parents will not want to miss this marvelous opportunity for young children. This program will help prepare children for kindergarten.”
Using the Start with the Arts Program developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Start With the Arts Alexander follows a curriculum to introduce the participating children to visual arts, creative drama, creative movement, and music with a literacy enhancement component. Sessions include themes that allow participating children to receive take home materials to extend the session into their home with parental support. Parents and children participate in each session together.
To register your child please call the Alexander County Partnership for Children at 632-3799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Carolina is the first in the nation to increase its workforce professional development standards by certifying the education of those who work directly with, intend to work with, and/or work on behalf of children ages birth to twelve. Early Educator Certification (EEC) recognizes and validates educational accomplishments of Early Educators. Individuals, children, programs, and society benefit when the education of those working in a profession increases. EEC is acknowledgement of an individual’s verified level of educational achievement, based on standardized scale.
The North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals (Institute), founded in 1993, is the certifying body for Early Educators in North Carolina. The mission of the institute is to define and advocate for the implementation of a comprehensive early childhood professional development system that provides supportive, accessible, and individually appropriate education which is linked to compensation in order to ensure high quality care and education services for children and families.
The Early Educator Certification Scale that reflects the amount of education earned in the field of early childhood education (ECE), child development (CD), and/or related fields of study. EEC is acknowledgement of an individual’s verified level of educational achievement, based on a standardized scale. EEC does not issue a personal or teacher license. For example, North Carolina Birth-through-Kindergarten licensure is granted under the authority of the North Carolina State Board of Education to individuals who successfully complete formal education and student teaching requirements through an accredited teacher program.
Currently over 41 early childhood educators in Alexander County have attained the Early Childhood Educator Certification. Centers and Family Child Care Homes participating in the certification process include: Alexander Head Start; LuLus Child Enrichment Center; Millersville Child Development Center; Salem Sloan Child Enrichment Center; and Sandy’s Family Child Care Home. Others centers and Family Child Care Homes in Alexander County are in the certification process or have obtained certification since the last certification listing. Congratulations to these Early Childhood Educators!!!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Alexander County Partnership for Children wants to expand their Play to Learn program to other sites in the county. Currently the Play to Learn program is offered at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on Wednesday mornings. The partnership hopes to bring the program to the Bethlehem area, Hiddenite/Stony Point area or any area of the county where needed.
Play to Learn is a FREE preschool educational opportunity that brings children and parents together in a community setting and provides a quality educational experience for children. Classes meet one time a week for two hours and all materials and staff are supplied by the partnership office.
Activities are based on the Creative Curriculum for the children and help parents/caregivers by providing age appropriate adult/child interactions through play. Information is provided on child development and community resources, and ideas for activities to be used at home are furnished. Children will also be introduced to visual arts, creative drama, creative movement, and music with a literacy enhancement component. Sessions will include themes that allow participating children to receive take home materials to extend the session into their home with parental support.
If your church or community organization can offer building space for the Play to Learn program and is interested in learning about this community opportunity please contact Tiffany Shumate at Alexander County Partnership for Children, 632-3799. The Play to Learn program is a great way for churches and community organizations to enrich the lives of the children and families in Alexander County.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Rhonda Branton has joined the Alexander County Partnership for Children as the Provider Support Coordinator. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for over nine years including owning and operating her Family Child Care Home, “All About Kids”, and working at The Sandbox Child Care Center in Hickory. Most recently she served as a More At Four classroom teacher at LuLus Child Enrichment Center in Taylorsville.
Rhonda holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Catawba Valley Community College. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Birth to Kindergarten education. In addition she holds a level eight Early Childhood Certification from the NC Institute for Child Development Professionals.
Rhonda will serve as the Raising a Reader Coordinator Program that is being implemented in three and four year old classrooms in Alexander County. This literacy program engages parents and children in a book cuddling activity through book rotation. Rhonda will also provide technical assistance to licensed child care facilities in Alexander County including Family Child Care Homes and Child Centers.
Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership for Children welcomes the opportunity to have Rhonda as a member of the ACPC team. “Rhonda brings a wealth of experience to the provider support coordinator position. I look forward to her immediate impact in working to assist child care facilities in our county while she seeks to improve early childhood educational opportunities for our children.”
On Tuesday, June 8th Alexander County child advocates and child care professionals from Alexander County traveled to the North Carolina General Assembly as part of Smart Start’s statewide “Tuesdays for Tots” initiative. The constituents met with Representative Ray Warren and Senator Steve Goss and asked these legislative members to “hold the line” and continue to invest in young children in Alexander County. Earlier this year more than 800 community leaders from across the state voted that access to quality early education and care was a top priority for young children.
“The Alexander County Partnership for Children, a Smart Start initative, is committed to ensuring that all local children have access to early education and health services to help them succeed in school and in life,” said Susan Cogdill. “However, while the challenges facing local families continue to grow, the funding that allows Smart Start to serve families is in jeopardy. Today’s meeting is to help legislators better understand the needs in our community and to ask that they ‘hold the line’ and continue to invest in young children and our state through Smart Start. Today’s children are North Carolina’s future leaders, parents and workers. Our state’s prosperity depends on their healthy development and growth.”
Tuesdays for Tots is Smart Start’s signature effort that takes place during the legislative session. On Tuesdays, advocates representing Smart Start’s 77 partnerships come to Raleigh for one-on-one meetings to educate lawmakers on the challenges facing young families and how Smart Start meets these critical needs.
Smart Start is North Carolina's early childhood initiative. For the past 16 years, it has been a recognized as a national model in helping ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start is a public-private initiative that provides early education and care funding to all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Smart Start funds are administered at the local level through nonprofit organizations called Local Partnerships. The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., (NCPC) is the statewide nonprofit organization that provides oversight and technical assistance for local partnerships.
Smart Start has experienced funding reductions over the past 9 years of $43.8 million. This amounts to a loss of $101.2 million when combined with the effects of inflation. These cuts are occurring at the same time that economists and other business leaders are advocating that investments in young children are one of the strongest investments not only for the short term but also for sustained growth and job creation. In fact, the North Carolina General Assembly’s Legislative Study Commission on Children and Youth concluded: "It is critical to ensure the healthy development of children in the State and improve outcomes for all children in order to ensure the future success of our State and our citizens."
Local residents traveling to the North Carolina General Assembly included Susan Cogdill, Leah Bumgarner, Tiffany Shumate, Charity Reese, Larissa Church and Bonnie Canter. The residents met with the following members of the Alexander County legislative delegation: Representative Ray Warren and Senator Steve Goss.
Friday, April 30, 2010
As part of the national Week of the Young Child, April 11-17, 2010 Alexander County Partnership for Children celebrated young children with a focus on “Keeping Alexander Children Riding Safe”. Staff visited child care centers and Story Time at the Alexander County Public Library to present a program using Buckle Bear, a cuddly teddy bear that represents buckling up when riding in a car. The book “Do Kangaroos Wear Seat Belts” by Jane Kurtz was read to four year olds. The book was presented to each class and to the public library. All children received a sticker and activity sheet along with a brochure on car seat safety to share with parents.
This safety focus was chosen as the Partnership for Children continues to be a Permanent Checking Station for car seats. Alexander County residents may stop in Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm fro car seat inspections. Inappropriate seats are replaced free of charge. Replacement car seats are made available through United Way funding. Buckle Up Kids also funds additional seats. For more information on the car seat program please call the partnership at 632-3799.
Alexander County Partnership for Children provides numerous programs and activities in addition to the car seat program. The mission of the partnership is to ensure every child in Alexander County enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership stated, “Young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which help children get a great start, and bring lasting benefits to Alexander County. Early learning and early literacy in early childhood education to young children makes a difference in children’s lives.”
“All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life, and Alexander County Partnership takes advantage of opportunities to provide quality early childhood experiences and do their part to help young children. Week of the Young Child is an example of a designated time that the Partnership for Children recognizes that early years are learning years for all young children.”
Monday, April 19, 2010
A Day For Child Care has been announced! Saturday, June 5th is a special training date designed with the child care provider in mind and is hosted by the Alexander County Partnership for Children. Join others just like you who work and care for young children in this scenic spot on Lake Hickory at Hollifield Leadership Center. Child care providers will be given a choice of Three Workshops and Six Hours of In-Service Credit. Included topics are some of the most up-to-date areas of interest in child care led by national trainers Larry Griffin and Rebecca Isbell from Kaplan Early Learning Company. You will not want to miss this special opportunity offered FREE. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited so register now to reserve your spot!
Tiffany Shumate recently joined the staff of the Alexander County Partnership for Children as the Child Care Resource and Referral Coordinator. She brings a wide array of experience to the partnership formerly serving as a teacher in the Catawba County Schools and an art therapist with an adolescent and children’s treatment program. Tiffany’s background in child care includes working at the Wilkes Community College Child Development Center, working as a classroom assistant at the Children’s Center of Wilkes, formerly Jack-n-Jill Day Care and assistant after-school director at Jenkins Elementary in Hickory City Schools. Her most recent position was serving as a case manager for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Tiffany is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College and resides in the Bethlehem Community with her husband. Susan Cogill, Executive Director for the Alexander Partnership for Children, expressed excitement on the hiring of Tiffany, “Tiffany brings a high level of energy and creativity to the partnership. She is committed to the mission of the partnership and the children of Alexander County.”
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Parents Supporting Parents will meet on Monday, April 26th at 6pm - Alexander County Partnership for Children. This meeting is for parents of children with special needs. If you are a parent or guardian of a child with special needs please make plans to join us. Our program will include information on summer programs for children with special needs. While some program deadlines have passed it is never too late to plan for next summer! Food will be available for participants and child care will be made available upon request. Call the partnership at 632-3799 to reserve your spot at the Parents Supporting Parents Meeting!
Alexander County Partnership for Children Introduces the Play to Learn Program. Parents have an opportunity to sign up for a FREE eight week session for their preschoolers, three four and five year olds as well as younger siblings. Sessions will begin April 28th 2010 and culminate in the summer. Classes will meet one time a week for eight weeks.
Tiffany Shumate will serve as the coordinator for this exciting opportunity. Activities will be based on the Creative Curriculum for the children and help parents/caregivers by providing age appropriate adult/child interactions through play. Information provided will be on child development and community resources, and furnish ideas for activities to be used at home. Children will also be introduced to visual arts, creative drama, creative movement, and music with a literacy enhancement component. Sessions will include themes that allow participating children to receive take home materials to extend the session into their home with parental support.
An eight week session of Play to Learn will begin April 28th 2010 and will be held at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 31 Pleasant Hill Church Road, Taylorsville NC 28681. The two hour playgroups will meet on Wednesdays from 10 to 12. Registration is currently being conducted for this FREE program. Interested parents are asked to register by calling the 828-632-3799 to receive a registration form or by emailing Tiffany.email@example.com.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Are you curious about the use of sign language with young children? In young children sign language can speed up the acquisition of speech as it stimulates areas of the brain associated with speech and language. A child can develop gross motor skills needed for signing before they develop the fine motor skills associated with verbal speech. Most people think sign language is just for people who have a hearing impairment.
Language stimulation and conceptual information that will enhance vocabulary development in children is provided through sign language. Areas of the brain that are associated with speech and language are stimulated through sign language.
In some cases children with special needs experience difficulty with expressive language and verbal ability. Sign language is a means to give these children access to communication and strengthen their ability to produce expressive speech.
Research has shown that through sign language there are many developmental advantages for children with special needs. Sign language enhances a child’s development of speech, language, social, emotional and academic skills. Sign language breaks down communication barriers for children with various disabilities and needs.
Join the Alexander County Partnership for Children on Tuesday, April 13th at 6 p.m. to learn basic signs needed for a preschooler and suggestions for teaching/using new signs. Come with specific questions and specific things you want to learn. Lisa Johnson, Speech Language Pathologist with the CDSA, will be leading the class at ACPC.
Research now suggests that autism affects 1 in 100 children and 1 in 70 boys. As a parent or caregiver it is important to learn the early signs of autism. As part of Autism Awareness Month, April 2010, Alexander County Partnership for Children will be hosting an educational session for parents and child care providers-“Understanding Autism”. This educational session will be held on Monday, April 12th at 6 p.m. at the Partnership Office, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorville. Aryn Williams, Early Childhood Outreach Services Program Coordinator with Easter Seals UCP North Carolina will be leading this informative session. Join us to learn early signs of autism including “red flags” that indicate the need for immediate evaluation.
It is recommended for parents and child care providers to understand the typical developmental milestones that a child should be reaching at different ages. Younger children should have their development screened at every well visit with a highly validated developmental screening tool. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician or family doctor about developmental screenings.
Register your preschooler for Start with the Arts Alexander-a free art program for three, four, and five year old children in Alexander County. The first class begins Monday, March 22nd and last for eight weeks. Sessions will be held at the Alexander County Partnership for Children, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville from 10:30 to 11:30.
Start with the Arts Alexander will provide children and their parent and opportunity to experience various forms of art including music, movement, and dramatic play. Children may be accompanied by a grandparent in the event the parent is unable to attend. Support for Start with the Arts Alexander is provided by the LEGO Children’s Fund.
Registration is limited to 15 children. If sufficient interest is indicated a second class will be scheduled on Tuesdays. Call the Partnership office at 632-3799 to get started with registration.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Alexander County Partnership for children was the site of the kick off for “March Reading Madness” on Monday, March 1st. The event was designed to spark interest in reading among preschoolers in the county. Volunteers began the morning by listening to Ms. Mel, Children’s Librarian at the Alexander County Public Library, read the book “If You Give a Moose a Muffin.” while enjoying a light breakfast of muffins, coffee, juice, and milk. Following the reading Ms. Mel provided suggestions to volunteers to assist them in reading to the children.
Community volunteers then traveled to eight local child care centers to read a favorite book of children of all ages “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” by Laura Numeroff. Children learned about a series of events that happens when a moose is given a muffin in a story of prediction. Volunteers then invited children to join in a muffin snack. The Partnership for Children provided a copy of the book for each classroom.
Over 400 children ages three, four and five were reached through this Partnership for Children outreach activity held in 29 classrooms that included the following sites: Salem Sloan Child Enrichment Center, First Baptist Child Development Center, Alexander County Head Start, Calling Kids Child Development Center, , Millersville Child Development Center, Small Hands Day Care, Alexander Central High School Child Development Center and LuLu’s Child Enrichment Center.
Organizations and businesses providing volunteers for this event included: Kohl’s of Hickory A Team, Friends of the Alexander County Public Library, Alexander Chamber of Commerce, Alexander County Partnership for Children Board of Directors, Alexander Department of Social Services, Alexander County Public Library, First Community Bank, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The Partnership for Children extends appreciation to all the volunteers who made this event a reality: Kay Hamby, Kendra Dyson, Mitzi Bumgarner, Linda Dunbar, Denise Elder, Chelsie Brady, Jordan Estes, Nancy Mecimore, Glenn Deal Jr, Kathy Riddle, Deb Grenn, Melissa Hager.
The partnership is pleased to offer this activity as literacy event that joins community partners in providing a collaborative reading effort as a means to increase interest in reading. If you or your organization is interested in participating in future community literacy events for preschoolers please call the partnership at 632-3799.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Once again Alexander County Partnership for Children is reaching out to offer another fun service for children. The Partnership will be offering a FREE FUN FRIDAY time for children and their parents and/or grandparents at the office, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville, on Friday, March 19th at 10:30 a.m. Ashley Benfield will lead the session and demonstrate how to make seasonal craft items with children. Participants will work together to make the fun crafts during the session that families can take home to enjoy. All materials are free of charge. Pre register for FREE FUN FRIDAY by calling 632-3799. Space is available on a first come first serve basis.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Does your child have a special need? Would you like to meet other parents who can relate to your situation? Do you ever feel like you are the only parent who has a child with special needs?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions the Alexander County Partnership for Children would like to invite you to join other parents of children with specials needs at the Alexander County Partnership for Children, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville on Tuesday, March 30th at 6pm. Parents like you will join together to form a group that has endless possibilities. This group can provide support for each other, provide educational programs and/or be an advocacy group among other things.
The sky is the limit for this Exceptional Group of Parents! You will not want to miss this exciting meeting! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 632-3799. Child care will be made available upon request.
Preschoolers across Alexander County will have the opportunity to participate in a county-wide reading event on March 1st sponsored by the Alexander County Partnership for Children- MARCH READING MADNESS.
Volunteers will gather at the Alexander County Partnership to kick off the event with a special reading by Ms. Mel, the Children’s Librarian at the Alexander County Public Library. Community volunteers will then travel to local child care centers to read a favorite book of children of all ages “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” by Laura Numeroff. Children will be mesmerized by the zany tale of the events that happen when a moose is given a muffin! Volunteers will then invite children to join in a muffin snack.
The partnership is pleased to offer this activity as literacy event that joins community partners in providing a collaborative reading effort as a means to increase interest in reading. Volunteers are still needed for this event. Please call the partnership at 632-3799 to be a part of this exciting event!
Alexander County Partnership for Children announces the employment of Charity Reese, RN as the Child Care Health Consultant to serve child care providers and families in Alexander County. Charity brings over 10 years of experience in health care including her most recent position serving as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia.
As a Child Care Health Consultant, Charity will provide a vital link between the children in child care and preschools, parents, providers, and community resources. Charity will assist child care providers and preschool teachers in addressing health and safety environmental needs as well as specific health needs of young children. Services will include: on-site consultations, immunization record reviews, and health and safety related educational opportunities for child care providers. Assistance with referrals to the children’s medical home and other services including Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) or Exceptional Children’s Program may occur as needed.
Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership for Children expressed excitement in Charity joining the staff of the Partnership. “Charity brings a wealth of nursing experience. I am extremely excited to have someone with Charity's experience join our staff. Charity will be an asset to the Partnership.” The Child Care Health Consultant’s office is located at the Partnership for Children, 1565 NC Highway 90 West, Taylorsville.
Imagine children spending hours each week sitting in their parent’s lap as they read a favorite storybook together. Then imagine these same children arriving at Kindergarten already in love with reading. Children in Alexander County enrolled in More at Four classrooms are going to make this vision a reality through a literacy initiative- Raising A Reader!
As a Raising a Reader affiliate, Alexander County Partnership is pleased to announce the introduction of this critically acclaimed reading program for ten More at Four classrooms and 159 preschoolers. The purpose of Raising A Reader is to foster healthy brain development, parent-child bonding and early literacy skills critical for school success by engaging parents in a routine of daily “book cuddling” with their children. One in three children entering kindergarten lacks basic pre-reading skills, which is proven to be a key factor in determining high-school graduation and lifelong success. There is a need at the national, state, and local level for effective early literacy programs.
Each week, bright red book bags filled with beautiful picture books will be rotated into homes. The book bag and its contents quickly will become a child's favorite toy resulting in an irresistible request: “Please read to me!” Raising a reader will instill a love of reading in children that lasts a lifetime. Based on a proven theory of change, Raising A Reader is a child-driven program encompassing early childhood educators, parents and librarians in a coordinated “read-aloud” effort.
Alexander County early childhood professionals attended and afternoon training at the Partnership for Children on the Raising a Reader program. Ashley Benfield, Provider Support Specialist and Raising a Reader Coordinator taught ways to engage parents in “read-aloud” strategies anchored to language development research and storytelling traditions. These approaches will help inspire families to share books with their children. The program and its materials are age-appropriate and tailored to suit the diverse cultural traditions, ethnic and linguistic demographics present in Alexander County today.
Funding for this literacy initiative is provided by More at Four. Alexander County Partnership for Children is a United Way agency.