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 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 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.