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 .

Attention, Parents! Atencion, Padres! Time to apply for the 2017 – 2018 NC Pre-K program

 

… 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

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I want to be … Yo quiero ser …

 

 

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 …

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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

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

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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)

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.

 

Ready to CELEBRATE? … Time to PURCHASE your tickets! …

… 20 years to celebrate and a future to believe in … Purchase tickets on-line here … Your purchase helps support the critical operational needs of our partnership …

During North Carolina’s Week of the Young Child, join the Board, Staff, and Friends of Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. for Invite Info Panel

Raising Forsyth
Tuesday, April 12
Bridger Field House
7:30 a.m.

Purchase your tickets on-line here!

For more information about sponsorships, visit Raising Forsyth Anniversary Breakfast Sponsorships and Raising Forsyth Sponsorship Letter Page_2Raising Forsyth Anniversary Breakfast Sponsorships

Watch this space for more information about our upcoming festivities!

A celebration of 20 years of making a difference in the lives of our community’s children, and their children!

  • Special  Guests:
  • Michelle Kennedy, WXII 12 News
  • Cindy Watkins, President, N.C. Partnership for Children, Inc.
  • Recognition of our First Generation of Volunteer & Professional Leaders
  • The view forward into our next generation of commitment to
    • our children succeeding, and
    • our families having the resources they need … to help …
    • our children thrive!

Seating is limited!

Your purchase helps support the critical operational needs of our partnership!

Attention, Parents! Atención, Padres! Time to apply for the 2016 – 2017 NC Pre-K program

… Aplicaciones de NC Pre–K para el año escolar 2016-2017 ya están disponibles … NC Pre-K applications for the 2016-2017 school year now available …Prek Flyer Spanish Version 2016 (Color)

It’s time! If you would like your child to participate in the NC Pre-K program, please visit “Apply Online” for more information.

Es tiempo! Si desea que su hijo participe en el programa NC Pre-K, por favor visite “Solicitud en Linea“ para obtener más información. Prek Flyer Spanish Version 2016 (Color)

Disciplining Children with Love … in our homes and other early childhood settings

… Imprints Cares and Smart Start team up for special, 4-workshop series …

We are excited to offer parents, grandparents, and other loving, caring guardians a FREE workshop on Thursday February 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m.. Through discussion and hands-on activities we will explore wonderful ways positive Discipline can be used in our homes, playgrounds, houses of worship, and wherever we are together with our children.SS - Discipline 2-11-16

Dinner will be provided at each event and child care is available upon request.  Please be sure to RSVP by clicking here.

This opportunity is the second workshop of a four-part series lead by Trina Stephens, community engagement director, Imprints Cares, Inc.  Each workshop provides guidance in an area of parenting.

Don’t hesitate to participate in one or all of the sessions. You can jump in at any point in the learning– even if you missed one.

For each time you participate in a class, you will be entered in a drawing for a tablet!  There will be 3 winners; you could be one of them!

Here’s the entire series …

  • Building Blocks to Success—October 28, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
  • Disciplining with Love—February 11, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
  • Raising Socially and Emotionally Healthy Children—March 10, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
  • TBD

For further information, contact Staci McMillian-Smith, MEd, 714.4362, or StaciM@SmartStart-FC.org

 

 

Announcing NC Pre-K Site Selection for 2016 – 2018

… special information sessions the morning of January 12 and the afternoon of January 13 …

This year the NC Pre-K program will be conducting a site selection process to choose the NCPK sites for classrooms for the next two years. As part of this process, we are requiring that all administrators wishing to submit an application attend an information session to receive an application and instructions on completing the application, as well as deadlines.DSC_0347

This is a mandatory requirement set by our local NCPK Site Selection Committee. Only those who attend an information session will be eligible to apply for a site. This also includes administrators of current NCPK sites who choose to re-apply at this time. We will offer two separate dates and times to allow everyone a chance to attend one of the sessions. If you are the primary administrator or person responsible for completing the application and cannot attend either session, please contact Jenny Whitley at jennyw@smartstart-fc.org.

First Session:
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 10am we have scheduled the regular Director’s Forum at Smart Start of Forsyth County. The NCPK information session will be held during the second hour of this meeting 11am-noon.

Second Session:Prek Flyer Spanish Version 2016 (B&W)
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 3:30pm at Smart Start of Forsyth County.

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You are only required to attend one session.

Jenny Whitley, M.Ed, MBA
Director of Teaching and Learning
Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc.
7820 North Point Blvd. Ste 200
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Phone: 336-714-4344 Fax: 336-725-5438