Friday, January 13, 2012


Alexander County Partnership for Children announces the first group of STAR providers of the month. This is a new initiative through the Alexander County Partnership for Children to reward early childhood teachers throughout the county for excellence in child care. The criterion to receive this award includes positive engagement, meaningful interactions, intentionality in lesson planning and encouragement with and for young children.

Mrs. Sharpe, a teacher at Head Start, was seen allowing the children to select the units of learning. The children are asked what they wish to study on a regular basis. Mrs. Sharpe has taken an interest in sign language and uses this throughout her classroom. This classroom is well organized with a focus on child engagement. When told she had received this award said, “Really?? Thank you so much.” In her free time she enjoys being with her family and being a Tarheel fan!

Mrs. Laws is a busy teacher of two year olds at Lulu’s Child Enrichment Center. During several visits to Lulu’s she was seen consistently playing indoors on rainy days trying to get some energy out of some very active two year olds. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two kids but loves having some down time to read a good book.

Mrs. Herman runs her own child care, Sandy’s Daycare, out of her home. She was seen on the floor teaching the children to successfully complete a somersault on a rainy day. Mrs. Herman was explaining to the children that they must look around them before they somersault to keep everyone safe from getting kicked. In her free time she enjoys stamping and sewing projects. We are so excited to see physical activity happening despite the weather.

These child care providers are from two child care centers and one family child care home. Alexander County is currently home to eleven child care centers and eight family child care homes. These nineteen facilities care for 593 children in Alexander County.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reach Out and Read To Start!

Getting books from the doctor will soon be a routine part of regular pediatric checkups at Alexander County Health Department and Family Care medical practices in Alexander County. Alexander County Partnership for Children is working with Reach Out and Read® to make books and literacy guidance a reality for children and families in Alexander County. The new Reach Out and Read clinical locations join more than 4,779 programs nationwide that are preparing America’s youngest children to succeed in school.

Susan Cogdill, Executive Director for the Alexander County Partnership for Children (ACPC), expressed excitement for the expansion of literacy efforts in the county. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Alexander County and our children. Reach Out and Read will assist in the partnership’s focus to bring books to more families and children in our county. The ACPC Board of Directors has embraced literacy as means to ensure children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.” The Partnership hopes to expand Reach Out and Read to other medical practices in the county.

Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into 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, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and better prepared to achieve their potential.

During the 2011 legislative session, The North Carolina General Assembly added a requirement for Smart Start to implement an evidence-based pilot literacy program. The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc, the organization that oversees Smart Start, chose Reach Out Read because it builds upon Smart Start’s success in working with pediatricians. Smart Start currently works with pediatric offices to provide developmental screenings during well-child visits. Smart Start has always included a focus on developing early literacy skills and has been implementing the evidence-based program, Raising a Reader since 2007.

Alexander County Partnership for Children is one of 14 Smart Start partnerships selected to implement Reach Out and Read. The others include Anson County Partnership for Children, Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County, Inc., Smart Start of Davie County, Inc., Down East Partnership for Children, Duplin County Partnership for Children, Franklin Granville Vance Smart Start, Madison County Partnership for Children and Families, Inc., Randolph County Partnership for Children, Region A Partnership for Children, Rockingham County Partnership for Children, Inc., Smart Start Rowan, Inc., Children’s Council of Watauga, Inc., and Wilkes Community Partnership for Children.