We’re hiring. Apply now!

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) is looking for a bilingual professional to join our team as Program Assistant, Family Engagement and Operations.

This position serves as the first point of contact for families, providers, and visitors, in person and over the telephone; is responsible for providing general and program-specific information for initial inquiries; provides support for program enrollment; and assists with meeting and training preparation.

Qualified candidate must be able to work well under pressure, and display a friendly, courteous, satisfaction-focused attitude at all times. Candidate must have an associate’s degree in relevant field. Four-year degree preferred.  Equivalent minimum combination of education and experience will be considered.

Interested candidates may mail resume to Jackie Lofton, Deputy Executive, Program Operations & Impact, 7820 North Point Blvd., Ste. 200, Winston-Salem, NC, 27106; or email to JackieL@SmartStart-FC.org.  Deadline for submission is 8/31.2017.  SSFC is an equal opportunity employer.

 

20th Annual Smart Start Professional Development Conference Closes Out Week of the Young Child Saturday April 29

… Join your early ed friends and colleagues at Smart Starts 20th Annual Professional Development Saturday morning April 29 at the Hawthorne Inn & Conference Center in downtown Winston-Salem …

Under the banner headline, How Are the Children? NC District Court Judge Denise Hartsfield will provide a keynote address, focusing particularly on the unique stress that poverty imposes on families and their youngest children.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., and the conference concludes with Judge Hartsfield keynote address at the 12:30 p.m. luncheon. Professional educators will earn 3.5 hours in-service credit hours for attending.

Smart Starts Professional Development Conference closes out a week of activities and opportunities to share and learn during the upcoming 2017 NC Week of the Young Child, April 24 29. A sampling of the weeks activities appear in the attached graphic, and range from surprise visits with Forsyth Countys favorite childrens champion frog, Ready Freddy, to a childrens parade!

Following Judge Hartsfield keynote, participants will be able to choose from among six workshops arrayed in two four-block sets.

Dr. Donna Gwyn Wiggins Riding the S.T.E.A.M. Train

Preschool teachers and directors will journey through multiple ways in which musical arts can help children make connections with STEM areas in developmentally appropriate, culturally enriching, and fun ways in the early childhood setting. Activities will include singing, moving, listening, playing of instruments, and team activities that will generate multiple take-way ideas.

Deborah T. Daniels Walk a Mile In My Shoes

Participants are better sensitized to different perspectives presented by students, parents, colleagues and other partners. After participating, participants learn that privilege is shaped by diverse experiences.As public servants, we must be prepared to acknowledge differences and incorporate that acknowledgement into our daily lives.

Tara J. Wallace-Boone Bridges Out of Poverty

This training will focus on answering the question, how are the children? through understanding the definition of poverty, class and language of under resourced learners entering our schools.

Rodd Smith Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome is a group of symptoms in babies or small children. They may be temporary problems, severe disabilities or death. This training will address causes of injuries and signs of trauma.

Speech Center, Inc.

The development of communication skills begins in infancy, before the emergence of the first word. Any speech or language problem is likely to have a significant effect on the child’s social and academic skills and behavior. Learn the difference between language and speech as well as the difference between a language delay and a language problem.

Tam Tam Mandingue

Come out and try the art of drumming. Tam Tam Mandingue of Winston-Salem is a branch of the worlds first international school of West African drumming. We are dedicated to preserve and transmit Mandingue musical tradition as a tool to promote tolerance, understanding, equality and international peace.

Pat Minter Engaging Preschoolers Learning in Sciences: Making It Fun

Have you been pondering how to teach the sciences in early childhood education? What does cheerios have to do with science? Want some new ideas for activities that you can do in your classroom? Then this is the workshop for you to attend!

The week of the young child kicked off locally in Winston-Salem / Forsyth County with DIAL-4 screenings on Saturday April 22 at SSFC’s offcies. Volunteer early educators spent the day interviewing children and answering questions about the NC Pre-K program, and ways to help prepare their children for the transition into classroom-based experiences and public schooling.

On Monday, Old Town Elementary was the scene for the first-ever, system-wide celebration of the week by the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County School System. The day was covered by journalists from EdNC.org. SSFC staff captured additional images of local City Council, School Board, private philanthropy leaders and Ready Freddy, addressing a hall full of enthusiastic elementary schoolers.

For more information about Smart Start’s 20th Annual Professional Development Conference, contact Sherri Jones at 336-714-4377 or SherriJ@SmartStart-FC.org .

For more information about the National Week of the Young Child, visit http://www.naeyc.org/woyc .

EdNC.org Interviews Smart Start CEO

… read EdNC correspondent Katy Clune’s full story Closing the Gaps: Smart Start of Forsyth County as part of EdNC’s on going series Focus on Forsyth

On February 1, EdNC’s Katy Clune sat down with SSFC’s CEO Larry Vellani. Follow the full conversation below. For further information about EdNC’s feature series, Focus on Forsyth, visit EdNC’s Focus on Forsyth.

EdNC: On the subject of relationships. What advice would you offer to a community who is attempting to foster a network among its early childhood education services? (This is clearly one of Winston-Salem’s greatest assets)

LV
.. overlook no one, recognize and embrace the value of the participation of a diversity of opinion; then, once you have folks gathered around the table, support active listening skills and terrific meeting management its as much about creating the space in which people can participate, and creating a culture of inclusiveness & transparency, so that folks feel respected, feel they know whats going on, feel that their concerns & perspectives are taken into account, and that the group is rallied around the same, strong, parent-&-child-centered agenda

– EdNC: What kind of programs/services does Smart Start support that touch multiple generations? (Reach out and Read is one of them, for example)

LV
with our own staff, of course, our ROR & ABCD programs, our classroom field work, our educator scholarship program through our offices and our itinerant instructor partnership with Forsyth Tech, as well as our own parent engagement & training through our family scholarship program and our subcontractors at Imprints Cares & Work Family Resource Center and Help Me Grow is an exciting, transgenerational program in its early stages of initiation

– EdNC: Are there lessons learned at Smart Start of Forsyth County you think can be applied in other counties?

… Larry engaging at the Reggio Emilia exhibit “The Wonder of Learning” at Northgate Mall in Durham, NC, January through May … for more info, visit https://www.northgatemall.com/event/wonder-of-learning-exhibit/

LV
listen to the parents, the teachers and the providers about what they need and want have a big table and dont be afraid, dont back away from asking tough questions to get at deeper understanding and deeper consensus, based upon the valuable experience and insight of each of the players and in 21st century North America, regardless of the region, state or province, that means lifting up equity, examining privilege, understanding the continuum of opportunities and access that feed the gaps we bemoan it is no accident that some parts of our educational system are doing great and others are languishing its a system: value in value out, garbage in, garbage outand Im not talking about people when I say garbage

– EdNC: Why is inter-generation support important?

LV
if by inter-generational you mean programs that provide opportunity for children and adults at the same time, as part of a family system, then doing so keeps us aligned with Mother Nature and in sync with ourselves as social animals simply put: working with the entire family is natures way, its the guarantee of the most successful outcomes for the kids and adults long term

– EdNC: Why is early childhood education so vital to brain development?

LV

… Larry engaging at the Reggio Emilia exhibit “The Wonder of Learning” at Northgate Mall in Durham, NC, January through May … for more info, visit https://www.northgatemall.com/event/wonder-of-learning-exhibit/

as walking and running and tumbling, with sufficient rest, is fundamental to physical development, so providing enriching, serve-and-return environments is key to how the human brain develops nurture launches nature early ed is about nurturing the entire child within a safe, healthy, stimulating human and natural environment when a child is fortunate to be positioned in that way, his or her brain takes off I believe as a society we owe every child the opportunity for that kind of start in failing one child, we fail all of us

– EdNC: What is one of the challenges in your work, and how do you get around it?

LV
summoning your best thoughts in the moment for a camera 😉 … more seriously, the greatest challenge is the oppressive, suffocating power of poverty, and our inability as a social and economic community to maximize market return on human capital with the same spare-no-expense commitment that we seem to approach maximizing return on financial capital and how do I deal with it? … I have limited control, in the short run, on gross economic inequalities that result in the grinding poverty in our midst I do frequently have to deal with channeling my own sense of urgency for change with an awareness of the privilege that I enjoy to be able to help create & lead change everyone is not at the same level of understanding or same level of passion for the opportunities for progress that I and others see around us how do I seek to meet & be in tune with folks where they are at in the moment, and, at the same time, know that Im in the business to help people move toward the goals we truly do share that’s often my greatest challenge each day … and, believe me, I’m a work in progress and working on it … with the support and patience of my staff, my board, and other allies and mentors in the community … but, in the end, real, lasting change can only move at the speed of trust …

– EdNC: What motivates you to keep striving when the work gets tough?”

LV
my sense that people have struggled long & hard on my behalf to help fearlessly clear the way for me in my early childhood & youth &

What’s buzzin’ with Don Quixote & Sancho Panza on Larry’s desk?

into young adulthood and that people did the same for my parents & their parents before them and they did so, because they believed I had something to contribute to the world Im here to make a difference, not to be indifferent and as long as I think Ive got the energy & passion to do that professionally in the early childhood arena then Ill be at this post and when the time for change comes, I hope Ive made this post & this organization & this community a bit better place to be for the folks who come after me

Extra:

Two brief video excerpts from a later EdNC video-taping at SSFC’s offices …

 

Brief excerpt on the importance of Birth – 3, and Serve-and-Return Relationships

 

… Larry doing his level best to work on serve-and-return with a very patient, youth-volunteer at the SSFC Children’s Area at “Christmas For the City 2016” at the Benton Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem, Dec 21, 2106 … la msica y las historias contina

Our Teaching Partners coaching program prepares for the 2017-2018 school year!

… a 9-month program for early educators to work one-on-one with a certified coach to improve interactions that impact children’s learning …

Our Teaching Partners is a joint venture of SSFC and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to develop stronger language and communication skills from birth, by improving the language-development and behavioral- interaction skills of early educators. The centerpiece of the program the MyTeachingPartnerTM (MTP) curriculum, a research-based professional development program that has been proven to boost teacher-child interactions and improve child outcomes.

MTP focuses on teacher’s strengths to enhance CLASS®-related interactions and support positive social and academic outcomes for children. Research shows that teachers who participate in MTP report higher levels of job satisfaction, increased effectiveness of their instructional interactions, and children with MTP teachers show greater gains in language/literacy development and lower levels of problem behavior.

During a 9-month coaching program, MTP teachers will work one-on-one with a certified coach to improve their interactions that impact children’s learning. Using video from teacher’s own classrooms and the CLASS framework, coaches provide individualized feedback and support through structured observation cycles. MTP teachers spend two to three hours every two weeks engaging in 5-step coaching cycles during the program: 5 StepMTP Coaching Model

To learn more about how to participate in MTP, please contact our MTP coaches:

Jib Chattrabhuti JibC@smartstart-fc.org, or
Catherine Burke CatherineB@smartstart-fc.org

Click on the following link to download an informational flyer on the program: MTP Flyer 2017-2018_Final

 

… Aplicaciones de NC Pre–K para el año escolar 2017-2018 ya están disponibles …

Aplicación 2017-18 final versión española

Pre K Application 2017 18 Color Page English Final

Where can I pick up applications in the community? Dónde puedo recoger aplicaciones en la comunidad? Where Dónde

NC Pre-K applications for the 2017-2018 school year now available …

It’s time! If you would like your child to participate in the NC Pre-K program, please download Pre K Application 2017 18 Color Page English Final for more information.

Es tiempo! Si desea que su hijo participe en el programa NC Pre-K, por favor descargan Aplicación 2017-18 final versión española para más información.

Where can I pick up applications in the community? Dónde puedo recoger aplicaciones en la comunidad? Where Dónde

DSC_0899

I want to be … Yo quiero ser …

 

 

http://smartstart-fc.org/attention-parents-atencion-padres-time-to-apply-for-the-2017-2018-nc-pre-k-program/

Early voting has begun and your vote counts!

… one area in which we truly have a consensus as a polity is investing in early education …

When considering candidates and referenda this fall, keep in mind that we are the only voice our children have.

In this mercurial campaign season, one thing remains constant: voters want Congress and the next president to work together to make quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable.img_6030

The annual national poll by the First Five Years Fund shows that early childhood education is one of the best ways for candidates to connect with voters, because it is one of our top priorities — regardless of political persuasion. These numbers include 78 percent of Trump supporters and 97 percent of Clinton supporters.

Quality early childhood education is a political winner. In fact, there is overwhelming polling support — with little opposition — for a federal plan to help states and local communities provide better access to quality early care — particularly for low and moderate-income working families.

Make no mistake: Child care and early education are critical public investments in the success of families and local private enterprise. High quality, affordable child care is a necessary ingredient for working parents to be successful on the job. It is also a primary building block for the fitness of our next generation of employers and employees.

Nearly three-quarters of the electorate support this conclusion: 73 percent favor and only 24 percent oppose such investment — 54 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents, 91 percent of Democrats. Large majorities of key swing-voter groups — including 85 percent of Latinos, 79 percent of suburban women, 65 percent of moderate/liberal Republicans, and 58 percent of Republican women — all favor investing more in early childhood education from birth to age 5.dsc_0742

How do these findings line up with the work of our state and local elected officials?

The most recent legislative session sent home a multi-million dollar, pre-school backpack, worth just south of $8.5 million ($8,390,345) — across the NC Pre-K program, children’s developmental service agencies and the Nurse Family Partnership program — along with important, follow-up study committees to bring recommendations forward in 2017 and 2018.

The investments are quite modest, but real, and garnered support across the political spectrum.

Only teacher raises and an additional $34 million toward private vouchers received more. (Is there a voice among the salons for the voucher-subsidy system to support families’ pre-k choices?)

To keep things in perspective, North Carolina’s early education system is yet to recover from the devastating bipartisan cuts in early learning that took place between 2010 and 2012, reducing overall birth-to-5 funding by more than 25 percent, from $381 million to $279 million.

As in so many other endeavors, however, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County may be growing as an innovation hub for early learning.

We know what high quality early learning looks like and how to measure it. We have a limited, but high quality, mixed public-private child-care delivery system, managed by private independent and corporate providers, as well as Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools, made possible through pooling the available federal and state Child Care Development Funds (Social Services), Head Start (Family Services, Inc.), NC Pre-K (Smart Start, Inc.) and Title I (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools) funds with parental resources.

However, for example among our 4-year-old children, these funds reach only about a quarter of our children. And there is much evidence that perhaps as many as 90 percent of households would place their children in 4-year-old classrooms, if they could afford the $8,000 in tuition costs.

Champions of children and economic development can take some encouragement from the most recent, very cautious restoration in birth-to-five state investment. However, it is not nearly what we need, and critical, local private initiative is stepping up.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has set aside approximately $2.5 million in annual spending for the next decade in its Great Expectations early education program, which begins at birth. The Reynolds American Foundation is leading a coalition of visionary corporate donors in the ambitious Project Impact to the tune of approximately $6 million annual support in Forsyth County, 4-year-old through third-grade classrooms. That about matches in Forsyth County what the legislature has managed to find for the entire state!

Is this level of private investment in early education sustainable? We doubt it. But advocates plan to work with donors to make the case for greater public commitment — local, state and federal — to early learning and pre-k funding.

The whole state is watching our local experiment. We cannot continue to short-change our families and young children. We must ensure that innovative local, private-public partnerships help more of our children succeed, our families thrive and our community prosper.

That’s the clear message from most of us to all the candidates: from City Hall to Jones Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Much of this post originally appeared in the July 22, 2016 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal, under the title, “On the road to recovery and innovation in early education.”

 

SSFC Board elects officers and new members

… bids necessary farewells to a remarkable cohort of retiring officers and members … largest in-coming governing class in this century …

dsc_0839

Retiring board secretary, Sandra Fishel-Booth addresses her colleagues upon accepting special recognition for her six years of loyal leadership-in-service.

SSFC’s board of directors elected officers and added new members, while recognizing the remarkable service of several veterans.

At its first meeting of the 2016 – 17 Board Year on September 21, the board elected the following slate of officers:

  • Elizabeth Dampier ’19, Chair
  • Matt Britt ’19, Vice Chair
  • Sabrina Hinton ’18, Secretary
  • Alvin Atkinson ’18, Treasurer
  • Doug Punger ’19, Immediate Past Chair

The board welcomed new members:

  • Bennett Bruff, CPA, Turlington & Company, LLC – fulfilling Gary Ortiz term, ’17,
  • Heather Egan, Novant Forsyth Medical Center – fulfilling Glenda Welch term, ‘17
  • Shana Heilbron, Centers for Exceptional Children – fulfilling Karla Periera term, ‘18
  • Brice O’Brien, Reynolds American Incorporated – ‘19
  • Daniela Arriola, WSFCS Cafeteria Services – ‘19
  • Diana Santos Johnson, JD, Bolton Law Group – ‘19
  • Elizabeth Perkins Lees, Forsyth Futures – ‘19
  • Katrina Tucker, parent & member NC Pre-K Committee – ‘19
  • Mona Lovett, Crosby Scholars – ‘19
  • Trey Howe, Allegacy Federal Credit Union – ‘19

Departing Board Members

dsc_0831

From the left: Lori Fuller, retiring board member, accepts token of appreciation from SSFC Board Chair Elizabeth Dampier.

dsc_0833

From the left: Sandra Fishel-Booth, retiring board member and secretary to the board, accepting special recognition from SSFC Board Chair Elizabeth Dampier.

The board recognized the outstanding service by the following departing members:

 

Gary Ortiz, Hayward Pool Products, Inc.

Glenda Welch, formerly, Early Childhood Division, Family Services, Inc.

Karla Pereira, Novant Health

Lori Fuller, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Mari Jo Turner, Hispanic League

Sandra Fishel-Booth, Winston-Salem Community Foundation, serving since 2010, fulfilling two full board terms, and four years as secretary to the board!

 

 

About Our New Board Members

Bennett Bruff, Partner, Turlington & Company, Lexington, NC

Born in Lexington, North Carolina, I am a partner in the Winston-Salem office of Turlington & Company, LLP. I have been with Turlington & Company for 18 years.  I have worked in our Winston-Salem office for the past 8 years. My wife Milenda and I live in Lexington and have two children, 5 year old twins Amelia and Eli. I graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1997 and High Point University with a Masters in Business Administration in 2004. I have in the past served as Treasurer for the Davidson County Education Foundation, been involved with the Davidson County United Way as well as currently a member of the Finance Committee of Shiloh United Methodist Church in Lexington, and a member of the Twin City Kiwanis Club in Winston-Salem. (Submitted)

Brice O’Brien, Executive Vice President – Public Affairs and Chief Communications Officer

Brice O’Brien is executive vice president of public affairs and chief communications officer R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Prior to this promotion on March 1, 2016, he was executive vice president of consumer marketing for R.J. Reynolds from Jan. 1, 2010.

O’Brien joined R.J. Reynolds as a marketing assistant in 1995 and held positions of increasing responsibility before being promoted to marketing manager on the Eclipse brand in 1998. O’Brien left the company in 2000 to work as marketing director at Suntory Water Group, returning to R.J. Reynolds as senior marketing manager on the Doral brand in mid-2001. He was promoted to marketing director in 2003 and a year later he was promoted to vice president of marketing, overseeing the company’s flagship Camel brand. In January 2006, O’Brien was promoted to senior vice president of consumer marketing, responsible for Reynolds Tobacco’s total brand portfolio. He was then appointed president of Reynolds Innovations, Inc., a subsidiary of RAI, in January 2009. Reynolds Innovations focuses on innovation, consumer and market insights, competitive assessment and maximizing trademark equity across RAI’s operating companies. He serves on the board of the Triad Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

O’Brien is a native of Isle of Palms, S.C. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Citadel and a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University. (From http://www.rjrt.com/transforming-tobacco/leadership/)

Daniela Arriola, WSFCS Cafeteria Services, Winston-Salem, NC

My name is Daniela Arriola. I like to be called “Daniela.” I’m from Mexico City, Mexico. I completed my high school studies at Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos Industrial y de Servicios (CETIS) 4 in Mexico City. I have been in the USA about 15 years. I worked for several years in a restaurant in Missouri, when I first arrived from Mexico. My daughters and I moved to Winston-Salem over a year ago to be closer to my family here in Forsyth County. Currently, I’m working for the school system in cafeterias at different schools, and I also work from home doing piecework for my aunt’s company.

My two wonderful daughters are Valentina, age 4, and Valeria, age 3. They both just started attending the Special Children’s School this fall.

Valeria has special needs (autism spectrum disorder or ASD), so attending the Special Children’s School is a wonderful and great opportunity for her. And my Valentina, a typically-developing child, is also able to attend the same school thanks to Smart Star and its partnership with Work Family Resource Center.

I have never been a member of any kind of board, but I’m so excited to be part of this one and to be able to learn new things, but, most importantly, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the voice of my daughters, and of other children and families with special needs who can’t speak for themselves. If I can do or make even a little bit of change for the better in somebody’s life that would be so great.

I hope to do a good job and be helpful, and I’m happy to meet you all. Thank you for the opportunity, and see you soon! (Submitted)

Diana Santos Johnson, JD, Bolton Law Group, PA, Winston-Salem, NC

I am Diana Santos Johnson, preferring to be addressed as “Diana.” I was born in Mexico, and came to the US with my family when I was six-months old. I have been with the Bolton Law Group as an associate attorney for the past year. I last attended North Carolina Central University School of Law, where I received my Juris Doctor.

My husband and I are the proud parents of Mary Ines (“Nessy”), 2 years old. I first came to Winston-Salem in 2001 as a freshman at Wake Forest University. When I graduated in 2005, I stayed in Winston-Salem and worked with the YMCA of NWNC as a program coordinator for the Hispanic Achievers Program.  I left in 2006 to attend law school in Durham, NC and returned in 2012 to work as a staff attorney for Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Office.

From 2012 – 2014, I served on the Hispanic League’s Board of Directors, and the best experience was awarding scholarships to deserving students. (Information submitted)

Elizabeth Perkins Lees, Director of Data and Research, Forsyth Futures, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC

Elizabeth Lees (prefers to be called “Elizabeth”) was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but spent most of her childhood in the suburbs of Atlanta. She currently serves as the Director of Data and Research at Forsyth Futures where she has worked since 2012.  She is not currently the mother of any children, but she hopes to be at some point in the future.

She earned her Master of Public Health Degree in Behavioral Science and Health Education at Emory University, where most of her research focused on social determinants of health, especially maternal and child health. Her undergraduate degree is in Sociology from Wake Forest University.  She lived on Wake Forest’s campus for four years while in college, moved to Atlanta for Graduate school, and then moved back to Winston-Salem in the fall of 2011.

This will be her first experience serving on a board. The well-being of children is very important to her, and she is especially looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to an organization that does so much to support the thriving of children in her community. (Submitted)

Heather Egan, Development Manager, Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC

Heather Egan is a Development Manager at Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center, where she manages fundraising activities to support the mission of Novant Health. Heather has experience with grant writing, event management, annual fund, marketing, and communications at organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters and the American Heart Association.

Heather moved to Winston-Salem in 2014 with her husband Peter and daughter Lilly, 15. She serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is active at First Presbyterian Church.

A native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a small town 45 miles east of Pittsburgh, Heather holds an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and received an MBA in Marketing from the Joseph Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

An avid reader, Heather has a love of learning and likes to cook, but is also happy when someone else makes dinner. (Submitted)

Katrina Tucker, Member, Forsyth County NC Pre-K Committee, Winston-Salem, NC

I am a parent of a former Head Start and NC Pre-K Program participating child; former member, vice-chair, and chair of the Forsyth County Head Start Policy Council; former member of the board of directors of Family Services, Inc.; and current member of the Forsyth County NC Pre-K Committee.

My name is Katrina Tucker, but, please, call me Trina. I am a stay-at-home mom, born and raised in Winston-Salem. I have a BA in psychology from UVC-G, and am the proud mother of my daughters Abigail and Madelyne, both at the Arts Based School in the 7th and 2nd grades respectively.

Some of my proudest work outside of the home is my role as the assistant Sunday school teacher for our church’s pre-school-aged children.

I have always admired the passion and dreams of my fellow board members as well as guest       speakers. Often, society has a “no one cares” attitude, but I think they would be surprised to see behind the scenes. (Information submitted)

Mona Lovett, Executive Director, Crosby Scholars, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC

My name is Mona W. Lovett, and please call me Mona. I was born in Virginia, and I have served as the President & CEO of the Crosby Scholars Program for the past twenty years.

I am the proud parent of Ashanti, a 10th grader at Paisely High School.

The last school I attended was Old Dominion University in Richmond, Virginia, where I earned a BS in Counseling and MSEd.

I’ve been a resident in Winston-Salem for twenty-four years.

I have enjoyed working with the board of a small, new non-profit and sharing information on board development. I’m excited to learn more about how to best support our children and their parents. (Information submitted)

Shana Heilbron, Director of Philanthropy, The Centers for Exceptional Children

Shana is the Director of Philanthropy at The Centers for Exceptional Children. In this role she serves as the CFEC’s external representative to philanthropic entities, corporate organizations and charitable foundations. She is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to raise the critical funding required to advance the CFEC mission.

Shana has been working in nonprofit development for 14 years, and has successfully executed fundraising luncheons and galas, and managed million-dollar development plans. Shana began her career in Washington as a communications and press staffer for D.C. City Councilmember Harold Brazil and the Committee on Economic Development, and then served at the head of the Development Departments for The Excel Institute and the YWCA National Capital Area.

On a voluntary basis, Shana is a member of the Women’s Fund and Women’s Fund Grants Committee at The Winston-Salem Foundation, Board Member at SmartStart of Forsyth County, on the steering committee for The United Way of Forsyth County’s Young Leaders United, and participates in membership activities with the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Shana received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Politics & Government and Women’s Studies form Ohio Wesleyan University. Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, Shana recently relocated from Washington, DC to Winston-Salem, NC and is a proud resident of downtown Winston-Salem. She has two amazing nieces – Aubrey and Addison – that inspired her to make the move to North Carolina. (Submitted)

Trey Howe, Relationship Manager, Private Banking Group, Allegacy Federal Credit Union, Clemmons, NC

My name is Edward O’Neal Howe, III, but, please, call me Trey. Born in Gastonia, NC, I have served in my current role with Allegacy for five years.

My wife and I have two children, Addison, age 9, and Aubrey, age 6, students at Clemmons Elementary.

I earned by BS in Marketing at East Carolina University (Go, Pirates!), and I am also proud to say that I’ve taken several classes at Forsyth Technical Community College.

I have been working in the Clemmons/Forsyth County area for thirteen years.

I’m most excited about working for families with young children. I feel like this is an opportunity for me to “pay it forward” for all the wonderful opportunities I had as a child. A way to say thank you to a stay-at-home mom, dad, two grandmothers, early teachers, and a support system that helped pave a way to a very happy and fulfilled life!

Furthermore, I’m a Soccer Coach at YMCA for both of my daughters, and married to an amazing lady, Becky! She is an Occupational Therapist for WSFCS system.

I serve as chair of Wellness Committee here at Allegacy. The Wellness Committee has been named and awarded

  • 2014 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America,
  • 2014 Triad’s Healthiest Employers,
  • 2015 AHA ‘Fit Friendly’ Workplace,
  • 2015 Allegacy’s Successful Wellness Program
  • Featured in WSJ as a National Study,
  • 2016 Allegacy Honored As Top Triad Healthiest Employer.

I am an avid runner and cyclist. I have completed many 5ks, 10ks, Half Marathon, and obstacle races. My most proud moment to date is completing the Beach2BattleShip half IronMan. I am currently training for my first marathon.

I serve on the DW Golf committee at Allegacy. The DW (Don’t Wait) Golf tournament raises money for Cancer Services, Inc. The DW tournament has raised over $800K since it began.

I am also very proud of my time spent serving the Center for Smart Financial Choices during its inception. The CFSFC mission is to empower all individuals to achieve financial wellness through all stages of life. (Submitted)

SSFC releases funding opportunities for 2017 – 2019 program biennium

… downloadable Letter of Intent (LOI), Request for Proposal (RFP), Proposal Application Template (PAT), and budget forms below; LOI due Wednesday October 26; completed proposals due Tuesday January 17; voluntary grant review and information webinar Wednesday November 16 …

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) is soliciting proposals from organizations interested in providing services that contribute to the well-being and optimal development of young children, birth through 5 and their families through the use of evidence-based or evidence-informed programs in the areas of:

  • Early Care and Education
  • Family Support and Early Literacy
  • Health

Please note the following deadlines and events: DSC_0984

  •  Letter of Intent is due by 5 p.m. on October 26, 2016.
  • Proposal materials (application, budget forms, etc.) will be available on October 28, 2016 on the SSFC’s website at www.smartstart-fc.org
  • A voluntary grant review and information webinar will be conducted on November 16, 2016, 10:00 a.m. Prospective Applicants are encouraged to attend. Invitations and log-in information will be provided to all parties submitting a LOI on or before the LOI deadline.
  • Proposal Applications will be due by 5 p.m. on January 17, 2017.

For further information, please contact Charlette Lindell at CharletteL@SmartStart-FC.org or 336-714-4347.

This request for Letter of Intent serves as public notification of the upcoming bidding cycle completed by Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC).

For a copy of the 2017 – 2019 letter of intent (LOI) guidelines, download 1719-letter-of-intent-final.

For a copy of the 2017– 2019 request for proposal (RFP), download 17-19-ssfc-request-for-proposal-rfp-info-final.

For a copy of the 2017 – 2019 proposal application template (PAT), download 1719-ssfc-proposal-application-template.

For a copy of the 2017 – 2019 budget forms, download 1719-rfp-budget-file.

Smart Start “Raising Forsyth” Breakfast Celebrates a Generation of Progress

… on behalf of local children, and their families and educators …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   30 March 2016

Smart Start “Raising Forsyth” Breakfast Celebrates a Generation of Progress for Local Children and Families

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) will host its 20th Anniversary Breakfast, “Raising Forsyth,” on Tuesday April 12 at Bridger Field House at the BB&T Field on Deacon Drive in Winston-Salem.

Michelle Kennedy, WXII 12 News, will host the program that will include testimonials from professionals and community members, and the release of SSFC’s 20th anniversary report, “Raising Forsyth.”

“Raising Forsyth–our children, our quality, our eyes to a better future,” according to board chair Elizabeth Dampier, “has been the story of our first 20 years. And it remains our compass for the future!”

Larry Vellani, SSFC’s chief executive officer, shared, “We’ve been busy reaching out to all of our past board chairs and executive directors, hoping they can join us for the morning ceremonies.” He continued, “our list of past CEO’s and CVO’s is a who’s who of local community and early education leaders, including April Broadway, Chuck Kraft, Dean Clifford, Doug Punger, Jo Ellen Carson, Joel Leander, Karatha Scott, Mark Tucker, Michael Lischke, Nigel Alston, Paula McCoy, Rebecca Shore, Robert Donnan, Rodessa Mitchell, Ronald Montaquila, and Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin.”

In addition to Dampier, Kennedy, and Vellani, program presenters include Anna Miller-Fitzwater, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center; Phygenia Young, EdS, Chair of Human Services Technology and Teacher Education at Forsyth Technical Community College; Sabrina Hinton, EdS, owner, North Point Academy, Inc., and TLC Learning Academy, Inc.; and Sharon Pinkney, owner, Kidz Zone Learning Center, Inc.

Originally incorporated in 1995 as the Forsyth Early Education Partnership, SSFC provides tools, training, resources, and leadership to help families help children thrive, while rallying the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County community to build and sustain an affordable, equitable, high quality system of early childhood development and learning for all children.

As a partnering organization with the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC) in Raleigh, NC, SSFC is the only private organization in Forsyth County, charged by state statute, to care about the quality and progress of the community’s early-learning system.

For further information, as well as information on tickets and sponsorships, visit www.SmartStart-FC.org, or contact Jackie Lofton, 336. 714.4349.

And our fantastic corporate and individual sponsors!KaplanLogo1

LakeshoreLogoRed  WFBMC_logo_master_rgb Goslen Printing Logo HatchLogo_Tagline ACWLC LOGO NO SCREEN BBT_Block_Burgundy rgb CommunityEmpBenefitsLogo final HBI logos-color spec2 jpg - 2013 Print Church Childcare logoBasic RGB Hege Financial Group logo (2) PNC_4C

and the Dampier, Punger & Vellani Families, and the SSFC Staff!

Vellani addresses joint study committee on early education …

… Health and Human Services Joint Oversight Committee takes deep dive into early ed programs …

Smart Start CEO Larry Vellani addressed the legislature’s joint oversight committee on early education and family support programs on Thursday February 25 in Raleigh.

Larry presented the legislators with an overview of what’s working in our local pre-k program; what’s not working; and a set of short and long term solutions, from the perspective of our local, Forsyth County practice.

Forsyth County Representative Donny Lambeth is a member of the study committee.DSC_0363

2016_0125 HHS Oversight Study Committee

Joining Larry as local content experts were

  • Doug Punger, JD, retired general counsel for the W-S/Forsyth County School Board, SSFC’s immediate past board chair, one of Governor McCrory’s appointees to the NC Partnership for Children’s board of directors, and Co-Chair of Forsyth County’s NC Pre-K Committee; and
  • Jenny Whitley, MEd, MBA, SSFC’s director of teaching and learning services, a professional educator with more than thirty years’ experience in early learning, and whose responsibilities include the management of the Pre-Kindergarten program in Forsyth County.

Citing the growing bi-partisan support for increased investments in early learning, Larry emphasized that in the early ed arena, “… opinions and facts merge into the common, shared reality that we can, must, and will do more to create a more robust, equitable system of early care and learning—not just in Forsyth County, but for the entire State.”

Larry’s complete written presentation can be read at Study Committee Presentation 2016_0224 .

Larry’s oral remarks can be read at Study Committee Presentation 2016_0225 – 10 minz .

Here’s the one-page summary that Larry presented, as requested by committee staff, in advance of the hearing, Summary Remarks 2016_0223.

The February 25 committee session included a North Carolina who’s-who of private and public, state and local  leaders in early education. A copy of the subcommittee’s full February 25 agenda and roster of speakers can be read here.

Samuel Odom (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill) and Kenneth Dodge (Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University) released to the subcommittee a summary of recent research findings on the Smart Start approach, the NC Pre-K program, and child care subsidies through the federal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) block grant, respectively. Their presentation also included a comparison of encouraging research findings on North Carolina early learning programs and less encouraging findings of a Tennessee early learning program.

One-page presentation summary, Odom – Synopsis on SS NC PreK .

Complete slide set of the Odom-Dodge presentation, Odom Dodge – SS NCPre-K CCS .

… and some shots of the day’s passing scene …

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Doug Punger & Jenny Whitley prepare their notes for the session …

 

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Larry Vellani takes his assigned place … in the background, Cindy Watkins (l) and Pam Shue (r).

 

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Cindy Watkins (r) enjoying the warm up conversations with Zac Everhart (l), NCPC Board Member and Owner of Excel Creative Early Learning in New Bern.

 

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… and follow this link for a fuller sense of the morning’s work … pictures from the Feb 25 hearing.