Thursday, December 6, 2012

How can children volunteer during the holiday season?


Q: This holiday season, my child will spend time with family, attend some events and open gifts. I want him to enjoy every moment, but I’d also like him to understand that giving back to our community is just as important. Do you have any sugges­tions for volunteering with a five-year-old child?

A: Your child is at a great age to begin building caring hab­its. There are many ways a family with a young child can get involved in helping others this holiday.

Here are some ideas:

Find out if a local food bank needs help sorting donations. Spend an afternoon helping out as a family. Your child will also be working on his sorting skills!

Collect and donate clothing that everyone in your family has outgrown. Ask your child to look through his closet, too.

Make holiday cards with your child. Take them to a local nursing home. You can also bake some cookies to go with the cards.

Talk with your child about the fact that some children won’t get any gifts during the holidays. Think of a small gift that you can make together and take it to a donation site.

Don’t forget to tell your child you are proud of him for helping someone else have a happy holiday!

Read more ideas from Helping Children Learn newsletter.


Copyright
© 2012, The Parent Institute®, www.parent-institute.com

Monday, November 19, 2012

2nd Annual Gingerbread House Making Party


2nd Annual
Gingerbread House
Making Party
When: Saturday December 1st , 2012

10am-12pm

Where: Alexander County Partnership for Children Office

1565 NC Hwy 90 W

Taylorsville, NC 28681

We look forward to seeing your family there!!
 To reserve your space please call (828)632-3799 or email andrea@alexanderchildren.org

Welcome Our New Professional Development and Literacy Coordinator!


Natasha Beckner is the new Professional Development and Literacy Coordinator for the Alexander County Partnership for Children.  She will be coordinating Raising A Reader, Reach Out and Read and Professional Development for the county. Raising a Reader is an early literacy program that serves children ages 3-5 in 4 and 5 star child care facilities. Reach Out and Read is a literacy program that provides children with a free age appropriate book at their well child visit to the doctor. We currently have two doctors' offices that participate in Alexander County, the Alexander County Health Department and the Family Care Center.  Natasha will also be supporting child care professionals in the county who want to continue their education.

Natasha has been a resident of Alexander County for 15 years.  She has worked in the child care field for 6 years, beginning as her early childhood career as an infant-toddler teacher then moving into the role of a two year old teacher. The last five years, Natasha has been  an NC Pre-K teacher during the school year and a school age provider during the summer.   Knowing how important the first few years of a child’s life are to their learning and development, the Alexander County Partnership for Children  is excited to have a person on board that brings both a wealth of early childhood experiences and a passion for working with young children and their families.  Stop by the office and welcome Natasha to our Partnership team. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank You Rev. Tim Marsh


Alexander County Partnership for Children recently recognized Revered Tim Marsh for his service to the partnership board and the children of Alexander County.  Reverend Marsh served on the board of directors for over 4 years and most recently served as vice-chair.  Pictured is Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership (L) presenting  a recognition plaque to Reverend Tim Marsh (R ).    For additional information about the Partnership for Children visit our website www.alexanderchildren.org.  The Partnership for Children is a Smart Start and United Way agency.

Sweet Potato Discovery

The Alexander County Partnership for Children got a surprise last week when they found a sweet potato that weighed in at 19 lbs. 9.7oz in the straw bale garden in front of their office.  A single, large sweet potato was not the crop the Alexander County Partnership for Children anticipated from the sweet potato vine that has been growing since May of 2012.  It is currently on display in front of the Alexander County Partnership Office. The straw bale garden is part of the Partnership’s healthy living initiatives. There are currently 11 child care centers, family child care homes and community groups who have received gardening grants from The Alexander County Partnership for Children.  If you are part of an organization that would be interested in creating a community garden in the Spring please contact the Alexander County Partnership for Children at 828-632-3799 or visit our website www.alexanderchildren.org.  Alexander County Partnership for Children is a United Way organization.

 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Circle of Parents


Are you a parent or caregiver of a child 6 months to five years of age? Would you like to talk with other parents and caregivers about parenting?  Do you ever find yourself stressed with your children and wish you had another parent to talk with? Would you like your child to have an opportunity to play with other children in a high quality learning environment?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Circle of Parents might be for you!

 Alexander County Partnership for Children has started a parent support group that meets weekly at their offices on Highway 90. This support group is open to all parents and caregivers who are residents of Alexander County and who have children 6 months to five years of age and has a corresponding children’s playgroup where children can play while their parents meet and talk with other parents.

The Circle of Parents support group helps build friendships with other parents and caregivers who share common challenges and experiences in parenting. It’s also a place for parents and caregivers to be able to share their successes with one another. The weekly group is co-led by parents and a trained group facilitator. The group is an open place for parents and caregivers to share their experiences and find strength in each other.

What can you hope to gain from this group? You can have a feeling of belonging and relief while you learn that you are not alone in the challenges of parenting. You will learn about opportunities and other resources within the community and listen to others as they share their stories. You will also get a chance to learn how to become an advocate for yourself and others while giving and receiving support.  The best part of this group is that the parents involved make the decisions about what the group will discuss. 

The weekly meetings take place at Alexander County Partnership for Children on Thursday mornings from 10-11:30. In addition to the parent group, the children have a wonderful playroom filled with toys and activities that promote early learning and development as well as giving children the opportunity to play with other children and learn social skills that will help prepare them for kindergarten. 

The Alexander County Partnership for Children is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services for families and children in the County.

If you or someone you know needs parenting support, or if you would like more information about this program, please stop by the Partnership at 1565 NC Highway 90W in Taylorsville, call 828-632-3799 or visit http://www.alexanderchildren.org/

 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Family Fitness Event

 Join Us For An Afternoon of Family Fun!

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

4:00- 6:00 pm

YMCA Playground

260 Black Oak Road,   Taylorsville, NC

 

All activities are FREE for families.

 

The Alexander County Physical Fitness and Nutrition Coalition invites you to Fall Family Fitness,

Monday, October 15th,4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the new YMCA playground!

 

This event will offer families and their young children an opportunity to enjoy an evening filled with fitness fun, free activities and active entertainment.

 

 

A variety of agencies and businesses will offer information to families about services and provide an activity that promotes fitness and health.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Star Providers for August and September Shine!!


Mrs. Johnson is one of the four year old teachers at Millersville Child Development Center. She has devoted some extra time to making the Creative Curriculum easier for her to utilize and organize.  Mrs. Jeannie wanted to have a way to ensure that each objective and dimension to the Creative Curriculum was being seen for each child.  She created a documentation sheet that allows her to check off each objective and dimension for every child, every three months.  This took extra time and effort however the reward will be in knowing that each child’s development is being documented.  Thanks to Mrs. Jeannie for going above and beyond.
Ms. Rinehardt and Mrs. Bowman are the teachers in the infant classroom at First Baptist Child Development Center. The team, Ms. Bowman and Ms. Rinehardt, worked together with the support of several other staff in the center to create their own blocks.  They utilized the website www.pinterest.com to locate a pattern for blocks that would be safe and fun of the children in the classroom.  This team of teachers has spent many hours sewing their new blocks and took it one step further to include a bell inside each block to encourage the children’s curiosity. The teachers have been hard at work thinking outside the box.  Thanks ladies!!

Fall Family Fitness Event Rescheduled

Monday, October 15, 2012

4:00- 6:00 pm

YMCA Playground

260 Black Oak Road

Taylorsville, NC

The Alexander County Physical Fitness and Nutrition Coalition invites you to Fall Family Fitness, Monday, October 15th,4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the new YMCA playground! This event will offer families and their young children an opportunity to enjoy an evening filled with fitness fun, free activities and active entertainment.
Agencies and businesses will offer information to families about services and provide an activity that promotes fitness and health. All activities are FREE for families.

Help Us Read For the Record Oct 4th!


Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, will take place on October 4, 2012. This event is sponsored by the Alexander County Partnership for Children.  Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is an annual reading celebration that highlights the need for quality early education in America by mobilizing adults and children to set a record for the largest shared reading experience.

On Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 9:30am volunteers will gather to mobilize at the CVCC-Alexander Center in preparation to “Read For the Record”. After reading the book “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad” by David Soman and Jacky Davis, volunteers will head out to local child care centers to “Read For the Record” to children in four year old classrooms.

”Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a call to action to Americans to recognize the importance of quality early education, especially for our most vulnerable children,” said Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of the Alexander County Partnership for Children. “When children start behind, they tend to stay behind. Alexander County Partnership for Children is proud to support this campaign in Taylorsville and other communities in Alexander County.”

Volunteers are needed for this event!   Please consider volunteering an hour of your time to read to our young children.  Please contact Susan Cogdill at susan@alexanderchildren.org or 828.632.3799 to be a part of this exciting event!

Since the campaign’s inception in 2006, more than seven million people have joined local Jumpstart’s Read for the Record reading celebrations; Jumpstart has raised more than $7 million to support its year-round work in preschools in low-income neighborhoods.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pre-K Roundup is Returning


Tuesday, October 23rd
6:00 to 8:00pm
First Baptist Church
Davis Hall
 
Children entering Kindergarten in the
Fall of 2013 will want to be a part of the
 Roundup and meet teachers and
other school staff while learning more
about their school!   
 
Join us for the excitement and fun!
 
Free Books  For Children!

Fall Fitness Event Announced!


 

National Seat Check Monday!


Alexander County Partnership for Children and Alexander County Sherriff’s Department today announced it will conduct a “National Seat Check Monday” event on Sept. 17th at Alexander County Family YMCA.  Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 4:30-6:30pm to check car seats for proper installation and advise parents and caregivers how to choose the right car seats and install them properly in their vehicles.  The event, part of Taylorsville’s participation in Child Passenger Safety Week on Sept. 17 is free to the public.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13.  Crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2010 shows that about 2 children 12 or younger were killed and 325 were injured each day in passenger vehicles.

 “You can never predict or control what other drivers might do or how the weather might change the safety of a roadway,” said Leah Bumgarner. “The best way to protect your kids is to put them in the right car seats for their age and size and use those seats correctly on every trip, every time. By attending Taylorsville’s car seat event on National Seat Check Monday, parents and caregivers can be sure their kids are riding as safely as possible.”

She also urged parents to follow NHTSA’s car seat recommendations that recommend parents and caregivers keep children in their restraint types for as long as possible according to manufacturer instructions before moving them to the next type. For maximum safety, a parent or caregiver should have the car seat installation inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure their children are in the right seats for their age and size.  Children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat. 

Birth – 12 months

For the best possible protection, your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 years

Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until the child reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

4 – 7 years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until the child reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 years 

Keep your child in a booster seat until the child is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.

Remember:

·         Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it on every trip, every time.

·         Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.

·         To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.

·         Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Car Seat Clinic Announced

Alexander County Partnership for Children announces a Car Seat Clinic at Salem Sloan Child Enrichment Center, 4485 Old Mountain Road, Stony Point, on Tuesday, August 21st, 3:30 to 5:30.  Appointments are not necessary.  Call the partnership office at 828-632-3799 for more information.

Outgoing Board Members Recognized


Alexander County Partnership for Children recently recognized outgoing board members Dale Clary, Maria Southers, and Paula Daniels.  Susan Cogdill, Executive Director, thanked outgoing board members for their service and dedication to the young children of Alexander County.  Collectively the outgoing board members provided sixteen years of service.  The Alexander County Partnership for Children is a local Smart Start initiative that works to ensure children enter school health and ready to succeed.  For more information visit the partnership website:  www.alexanderchildren.org.  Alexander County Partnership for Children is a United Way agency.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Stars Just keep Shining in June


Ms. Dara Grinton is the assistant teacher in the infant classroom at Lulu’s Child Enrichment Center.  She has been observed consistently performing an appropriate diaper change and hand-washing procedure. Dara is aware of the developmentally appropriate milestones for all of the children she provides primary care giving for on a daily basis.  It is obvious to outside observers that Dara enjoys her position and that the children she cares for are greatly loved!

 


Mrs. Sheri Hamrick is the owner of All God’s Children Family Child Care Home. She has been observed being consistently loving of all the children in her family child care home.  Sheri consistently utilizes the proper hand-washing technique.  She ensures that children get beyond the allotted one- hour time frame of outside/ active play daily.  The active play time ensures that all children learn from an early age the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Star Providers Named for May


Mrs. Barbara Hildebran is the lead teacher in the one year old classroom at First Baptist Child Development Center. Mrs. Hildebran was seen patiently, lovingly and quietly entertaining a child who was unable to sleep during rest time.  This was a wonderful reminder that all children do not sleep and Mrs. Hildebran was happy to play with him instead of insisting that it was rest time.  This was an inspiration to see!!

Mrs. Dawn Burns is the lead teacher in the infant classroom at Lulu’s Child Enrichment Center. Mrs. Dawn has taken many changes in her classroom in stride.  The classroom is full of babies who enjoy individualized care and developmentally appropriate centers.  Mrs. Dawn, we applaud you for the progress you have already made and look forward to seeing what the future holds. 

Alexander Leaders Travel to Raleigh

 On Tuesday, June 18, 2012 child care professionals, parents and business leaders 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 the Alexander County legislative delegation and asked members to restore $18.8 million to Smart Start. In 2011, Smart Start funding was reduced by 20% ($37.6 million), disproportionately more than any other component of the education system. As a result thousands of children are no longer benefiting from much-needed early childhood programs.

“There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when that child shows up in for the first day of kindergarten,” said Alexander County delegation member Dale Clary who is board chairman of the Alexander County Partnership for Children.  “We’re meeting with legislators to discuss the needs of children in our community, the science that supports programs like Smart Start, and why investing in our youngest citizens is a wise investment for families, the economy and our society as a whole.”

State funding for Smart Start has been cut by $80 million over the last decade. These cuts are occurring at the same time that economists, military leaders, law enforcement and business leaders are advocating that investments in young children are one of the strongest investments for sustained growth and job creation, protecting our national security, and providing children with the opportunity to reach their potential.

Created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1993, Smart Start is a network of 77 nonprofit local partnerships led by a state-level organization, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. working together measurably to measurably increase the health and well-being of young children, building the foundation for all future learning, by: 
·         Improving children’s early care and education programs so that they are safe, healthy and provide opportunities for children to learn skills they need for success in school.
·         Providing parents with tools that support them in raising healthy, happy, successful children.
·         Ensuring that children have access to preventive health care.

Local residents traveling to the North Carolina General Assembly today included:  Dale Clary, Reverend Tim Marsh, Natasha Beckner, Melissa Summers, and Susan Cogdill   The residents met with Senator Dan Soucek of the Alexander County legislative delegation and visited with Representative Mark Hollo’s legislative assistant.  Representative Hollow was unavailable due to a change in a committee meeting schedule.  

Reach Out and Read Adds to Literacy Focus!


Medical providers are giving a prescription for reading to their young patients at Alexander County Health Department and Family Care Center PA.  An age appropriate book is given as part of regular pediatric checkups at these two medical practices.  Joining more than 4,779 programs nationwide, these medical practices are preparing America’s youngest children to succeed in school through participation in Reach Out and Read.  

Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model is included in regular pediatric checkups by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children.   The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5. Families served by Reach Out and Read program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and better prepared to achieve their potential.

Alexander County Partnership for Children is one of 14 Smart Start partnerships selected to implement Reach Out and Read and works with Alexander County Health Department and Family Care Center PA.  In addition to receiving books to distribute to children, a Literacy Corner was furnished at each office with materials funded from Smart Start's Reach Out and Read program activity.  The Literacy Corner is filled with books for children to read while waiting for their medical visit.  The corner also has puppets, flannel board stories, and other literacy enhancement materials.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Parent-Child Outreach Garden is Growing!

The "Growing A Future" garden at the Partnership office is growing!
 Children and their parents have enjoyed picking lettuce, basil and oregano for salads. Stevia, orange mint, sweet mint and spearmint leaves are used to flavor water bottles.
As with any garden, some of the plants are growing well and some, not so well. Some plants need to be moved  and some just need some extra TLC.
Posted below are some changes that have been made to the garden.


Our potatoes are growing ! It is now time to add more straw and soil.
We began the potato "nest" by lining the inside of the laundry basket with straw and added about 12 inches of soil. Potato eyes were placed around the inside of the basket and covered with soil for the first layer. Additional eyes were placed in the center of the basket and covered with soil for the second layer.




We lined the laundry basket with straw in a "nesting" form, leaving room in the center for soil.The plant looks a bit droopy because it needs more water. Now that the potato nest is complete , daily watering is required.





A strawberry plant and a bean plant have been added to the swimming pool garden. The strawberry plant and bean plant have been moved from the straw bales to see if they will grow better.Other plants included are basil, lettuce and oregano. Straw is added to help retain moisture.



The orange  mint planted in the straw bales has begun to grow runners . Mint does not require a lot of water and enjoys the warm sun shine.




A hanging liter bottle planter holds some of our mint. The other plants are growing so well , we thought we should try other ways to grow the plants. It looks pretty cool hanging from the bamboo tee pee .The plant hangs low enough for the children to water the plant and harvest the leaves.




If you look closely you will see beans on the bean plant. Fertilizer and more water will aide in their continued growth.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Alexander County Paper Dolls Headed to Raleigh


A special thanks to the 53 children attending Salem Sloan Child Enrichment Center who traced and designed paper dolls in their likeness.  These paper dolls will represent Alexander County and be part of a display during the May legislative session in Raleigh.  This effort coordinated by MomsRising will call attention to the importance of children’s issues and encourage legislators to Stand Up for Early Learning.  While the dolls may be two-dimensional, our children aren’t.  Well-rounded, quality care is important to the future of each individual NC child.  NC mothers and families support funding quality early learning programs, and we encourage our legislators to ensure that these important programs receive adequate funding in the budget.  There will be extensive media outreach on the day of the display to garner media attention in Raleigh. 

ACPC Board Member Margo Mosley is Honored

Margo Mosley, an Extension Agent in Family and Consumer Sciences at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, was awarded the  Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award at the 2012 National Smart Start Conference. The award, named for Smart Start’s former president, recognizes outstanding service to young children and families in North Carolina.  Mosley was nominated by the Alexander County Partnership for Children. A $1,000 cash award will be made to the partnership in her name.


For more than 27 years, Margo Mosley has worked on behalf of the children and families of Alexander County. She served on the original Smart Start planning group that held nightly meetings at a local restaurant to develop Alexander County’s plan to bring Smart Start to the community. She has never looked back—serving as board chair twice and leading or being a member of almost every committee at the Partnership.


In addition to Smart Start, Mosley has been instrumental in establishing and enhancing numerous efforts in the community. She helped create the Alexander International Center, an organization that works with the international residents of Alexander County.  She volunteers with Forgiven Ministries, working with the children of prisoners when they visit the prison.


In August Margo will retire as Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences with the NC Cooperative Extension. In nominating Margo, the Alexander Partnership noted, “While a void will be felt through Margo’s retirement there is comfort in knowing that Margo’s work in Alexander County has made Alexander County a much better place.  It has often been said it is important in one’s life to use everything you have.  Margo Mosley has certainly used everything she has for the children and families of Alexander County.   Her legacy will continue long after her retirement.”

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Garden is Open


The “Growing A Future” Outdoor Garden, in celebration of the Week of the Young Child, officially opened at the Partnership office on Thursday, April 18th. A ribbon cutting was held as children helped plant. Stop in and visit our unique garden!

Spring Fling-Fitness Fun is Coming!!!


The Alexander County PartnershipChildren (Smart Start) and the LICC (Local Inter-agency Coordinating Council) invites you to the Annual Spring Fling! It will be held on Thursday, May 17th, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Matheson Park! This event will offer families and their young children an opportunity to enjoy an evening filled with fitness fun, free activities and active entertainment. Agencies and businesses will offer information to families about services and provide an activity that promotes fitness and health. All activities are FREE for families. Our theme this year is “Fitness is Fun.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Growing a Future and Blooming at ACPC

Alexander County Partnership for Children invites you to join us on Thursday, April 19th at 10:00 am for the reveal of the Parent-Child Outreach “Growing A Future” Outdoor Garden in celebration of the Week of the Young Child. Parents and their children who attend Parent-Child Outreach each month have been learning to grow common garden seeds and plants in some very uncommon places.

Enjoy seeing: green bean tepee, swimming pool salad garden, potatoes growing in a laundry basket and a straw bale herb cutting garden to name a few of the unique ways we have discovered to grow fresh fruits and vegetables for our families.
Rain Date-April 23rd

Pinwheels for Prevention

Pinwheels line Highway 90 West in front of Alexander County Partnership for Children(ACPC). This display is in recognition of Pinwheels for Prevention. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Alexander County Partnership for Children is hoping to bring recognition to the month. The Partnership for Children encourages other agencies, businesses, and families to place pinwheels for prevention.

Over $4,300 Raised for Wellness and Literacy

Recognizing an unfilled need and taking action requires dedication and commitment. Dale Clary recognized the need at Alexander County Partnership for Children to fund raise as a means to fill the gap incurred in funding reductions from Smart Start. Dale is completing his second term as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alexander County Partnership for Children. He decided to work to raise funds and use his participation in the Myrtle Beach Marathon as a fundraising opportunity for the Alexander County Partnership for Children.

With the support of Carris Reels, where Dale is General Manager, he worked with his employer, organizations, companies, and individuals to support him in the effort all the while training diligently to run and complete the 26.2 mile race. In his efforts Dale successfully completed the marathon and raised over $4,300 for the Partnership for Children.

This funding will be used to enhance “Wellness and Literacy” activities promoted and offered by the Partnership for Children. This will be funding source that will be used throughout the upcoming years for activities such as the upcoming “Family Fun Fitness Day” (formerly Spring Fling) at Matheson Park on Thursday, May 17th from 4:30 to 6:30. The Partnership for Children will provide books on health and fitness to children attending the event.

The Partnership for Children will collaborate with the Alexander County Public Library to offer health and fitness books for children at local child care centers and preschool. During visits by Ms. Mel, Children’s Librarian, books will be distributed for children to take home and share.

Literacy Corner Ribbon Cutting

On April 2nd Alexander County Health Department was the site for a ribbon cutting event to introduce the Literacy Corner. Children listened the book Llama, Llama Red Pajamas read by the Community Partnership Outreach Facilitator Belinda Bost and received a “Llama, Llama” book along with a stuffed llama. The Literacy Corner is furnished with materials funded from Smart Start's Reach Out and Read program activity. Alexander County Health Department's Reach Out and Read clinical location joins more than 4,779 programs nationwide that are preparing America’s youngest children to succeed in school.

Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model is included in regular pediatric checkups by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5. Families served by Reach Out and Read program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and better prepared to achieve their potential.

Zumba Raises Money for ACPC!

On Thursday March 29th the Hickory Girls Fitness class hosted a fundraiser night for the Alexander County Partnership for Children. Hickory Girls Fitness is a class that is located on Highway 70 in Hickory that plays hosts to a room of women and men who are ready for a workout. Each month they work with a non-profit agency associated with children to raise money for their program. The funds raised will be allocated to a program called Reach Out and Read that will provide a free, age-appropriate book to children attending their well-child visits at the Health Department and Family Care in Alexander County. Alexander County Partnership for Children greatly appreciates the time, effort and enthusiasm Hickory Girls Fitness has for the children in their community!

Child Care Directors Learn About Mining

The Hiddenite Gems- Emerald Hollow Mine hosted a group of Alexander County child care center directors and Alexander County Partnership employees on March 23 for a mining education. Mr. Benny, from Hiddenite Gems-Emerald Hollow Mine, gave the group an introduction to the mine at the sluicing table. When the sluicing began so did the excitement and the laughter. Everyone was experiencing true hands-on learning as they sifted through the dirt to find various gems. The group enjoyed a trek in the creek to look for gems and learning about how erosion contributes to successful mining. Alexander County Partnership for Children greatly appreciates the Hiddenite Gems-Emerald Hollow Mine for the opportunity to come out and learn a part of the history ofAlexander County. For exciting opportunities at the Emerald Hollow Mine you can visit their website at http://www.hiddenitegems.com/ or call 828-632-3394.

Training Event Held

Alexander County Partnership for Children recently hosted a Creative Curriculum training that was made available to four and five star centers in Alexander County. The training held at the Hollifield Leadership Center, Conover, was held on two consecutive Saturdays in March. Fifty four early childhood educators from LuLus Child Enrichment Center, First Baptist Child Development Center, Salem Sloan Child Enrichment Center, and Millersville Child Development Center participated in the training event.

Creative Curriculum is a research-based system that offers comprehensive resources to help early childhood educators build exceptional high-quality programs. Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive collection of knowledge-building and daily practice resources explaining the “what,” “why,” and “how” of teaching.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Parent-Child Outreach Outdoor Learning Environment



We have been busy at the Alexander County Partnership for Children creating an Outdoor Learning Environment designed to teach parents and their children how to grow common garden plants in uncommon places. This week with the help of a very special volunteer we created the first element of our Outdoor Learning Environment, a bamboo bean pole tee pee. Thank you Steve Bost for sharing your tee pee building knowledge! Below are pictures and descriptions of the process.

Six bamboo stalks were used to form the tee pee. Gather all of the stalks together and using strong string, twine, etc. weave in an out of each stalk to from a a tight space for the stalks to stand up together. Stand the tee pee upright and form the triangular shape adjusting the width of the legs. It is helpful to have two pairs of hands for this. If the tepee is loose at the top where you have wrapped with string, re wrap.......it took us three attempts to get the tightness that was needed.

Straw bales are placed on three sides to hold the bean plants. As you can see, we are blessed with an abundance of white gravel so we will not be planting in the ground as one normally would.
An opening in the front of the tee pee will allow you to have access to the inside.

Children and their parents planted bean seeds several weeks ago during Parent-Child Outreach, held at the Partnership. Planting cups made from newspaper held the soil.

This picture shows the different stages of growth. Two different Parent-Child Outreach groups planted organic seeds. Planting at different times allowed the staggered development of the plants. These plants are three weeks old.
Opening the bottom of the newspaper cup reveals the bean plant roots and will allow them to stretch and grow in the straw .

Form a hole in the straw bale and fill it with soil. Insert the newspaper planter . Cover with soil. Water.

We removed the newspaper cup from one of the plants and planted directly in the straw bale.

Wrap string around the bamboo to give the bean stalk something to vine onto. We placed three plants in each straw bale. According to the seed packet, our plants should produce beans in 54 days.