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

And now a word from Alice ..

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… knowing ourselves and choosing the road forward …

Excerpts from Larry Vellani’s address to the Family Services, Inc., corporate family at its annual staff development day, Monday November 9. Thank you again, Family Services, Inc., President & CEO, Bob Feikema et al, for the invite! We could not be prouder to be your partner in progress for the children and families of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County!

I bring you today Greetings and two Messages from Wonderland, and its First Citizen, Alice!

’Who am I, that’s the first question …’DSC_0987

… and …

’If you don’t know where you are going, any road can take you there …’

We know who we are: One Community, Many Children

We know we are partisan: on the side of the children and their families whom we credit with potentials, intelligence, rights, and culture.

We know our road, one of:

  • Careful listening
  • Passionate friendships
  • Fortunate encounters

Furthermore, our road is heading toward:

  • A politics of the early years that holds together ideas & actions, quantity & quality.
  • An understanding that our world is changing: it is no longer a world of islands, and intervals, and spaces, and oceans, and mountains, and valleys, but … a world that is a web–a world in which we are all interconnected, and in which what affects one of us affects all of us!

The Universal Pre-K Effort underway in Our Community purports to make it possible–for any family that desires it–to have a high quality, early learning, center-based experience for their child in the year prior to Kindergarten.

We’ve already hit the road together—now let’s keep moving forward!

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For more information about the Universal Pre-K Work Group, contact Larry at 336.714.4365 or LarryV@SmartStart-FC.org; or Bob Feikema at 336.722-8173 or BFeikema@FSiFamily.org.

Five new professionals strengthen SSFC team

early-learning veterans deepen SSFC’s field force and central office …

Five early-learning and management professionals are helping SSFC launch the new academic and business cycle with increased professional expertise.

Cara McKeown, Catherine Burke, Chalatwan “Jib” Chattrabhuti, Marilyn Southern and Xavia Beverly each bring unique training, experience, and personal attributes to SSFC’s important work.

Cara McKeown, Teaching & Learning Specialist Cara brings to Smart Start a wealth of experience as a childcare IMG_4757+administrator and achieved and maintained five-star licensure for two childcare centers in Forsyth County. In addition, Cara recently completed an Early Childhood Director Leadership Institute funded by Race to the Top. Cara has a BA in early childhood education from Mt. Olive College and is returning to school to pursue her M.Ed. Cara is a mentor in our KBR funded activity “More Than Baby Talk”. Cara will also be involved in launching our leadership institute, Leadership Matters, for 4 and 5 star center directors this year.

Catherine Burke, Teaching & Learning Specialist Catherine brings her experience as a teacher leader and curriculum specialist in the lab school for the University of Denver in Colorado. Catherine used the CLASS instrument on a regular basis with her work with toddlers and preschoolers. Catherine is a mentor for the ‘My Teaching Partner Program’ and with FPG’s “More than Baby Talk,” our partner in the grant activity. Catherine recently received her Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver in Colorado, and has a BA Elementary Education with a K-5 teaching license from Wake Forest University.

IMG_4863+Chalatwan “Jib” Chattrabhuti, Teaching & Learning Specialist ‘Jib’ brings to Smart Start her expertise in the CLASS assessment. She had the privilege of working with Dr. Robert Pianta and Bridget Hamre at UVA during the development of this instrument. It is key feature of the work we will be doing with teachers as part of our KBR grant. Jib is also a certified trainer for the CLASS. Jib recently graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology (Child Advocacy Strand).

Marilyn Southern, Program Assistant, Operations & NC Pre-K Prior to joining the NC Pre-K team Marilyn worked for Wake Forest Baptist Health on several research projects assisting with data collection and records management. Marilyn is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro, with a degree in Human Dietetics and Nutrition. In addition, she is a certified paralegal. Her professional skills and ‘southern’ charm translates to excellent customer service for families. Marilyn began her tenure with SSFC as a temporary, part time contractor in April 2014, prior to moving into her current position.

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Xavia Beverly, Program Assistant, Community Outreach & Family Support Born in New jersey, raised in Los Angeles, Xavia studied at California State University Northridge and later San Francisco State University where she earned a degree in Radio – TV. After undergraduate, she worked in banking and finance for several years at Providian Bancorp and later at Nixon Peabody both of San Francisco. Xavia relocated to Winston-Salem and worked with Heart Communications. She first worked with Smart Start as a full time temporary employee in 2012 – 13, leaving for a year to pursue Crime Scene Investigation work with the Winston-Salem Police Department. She returned as a temporary employee in the spring of 2015, and has finally signed on full time.

 

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Smart Start hosts 18th annual early learning professional development conference

… Larry Griffin to keynote assembly at downtown Piedmont Club …

Under a learning spotlight trained on brains, boys, and More Than Baby Talk, Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc., is proud to invite our community’s leading early educators to the 18th annual early learning professional development conference. ????????????????????????????????????

Larry Griffin, founder of Griffin Education Institute for Study and Teaching (T-GEIST) will deliver the morning keynote address on “Lost Boys and Their Failure to Launch.”

For more about Larry’s impressive bio, follow this link Larry’s Bio!

Participation in the conference is limited to the first 150 confirmed registrants. For more information, contact Cara McKeown at 336.714.4351 or CaraM@SmartStart-FC.org at your earliest convenience.

The Workshops

Six informative workshops, across two consecutive, four-workshop sessions will follow Mr. Griffin’s remarks. The following is a brief description of each session  so that you can plan ahead for training sessions that you feel will best support you as an Early Childhood Professional. Sessions marked ** are two-part sessions. In order to earn credit hours for these trainings, you must attend both sessions. Training certificates will be distributed at the end of Session II for these trainings.

Slide1 - FrameworkSession I

Lost Boys and Their Failure to Launch: Larry Griffin

This presentation explores how misunderstanding the way boys learn can lead to underachievement and education disparities currently found between girls and boys. Statistics raise some questions about how our education system is reaching out to boys. Many of these statistics, such as boys making up 80 percent of all high school drop-outs, can be traced back to early childhood education, where Mr. Griffin says boys are being forced to give up their natural inclination toward physical activity for more mundane reading and writing tasks. He stresses play for both boys and girls. “We have to continue to get back to the basics of providing intentional play-based experiences for children in early childhood environments,” says Mr. Griffin.   “…What I see is the push for school readiness. Teachers have to feel very comfortable in reclaiming that play-based territory for themselves …and I think all of this needs to be communicated back to parents to help them understand.”

Brain-Based Leadership: Cara & Matthew McKeown

As leaders (teacher leaders and administrators), why do we do what we do…..really? How do I figure out what motivates each of my team members and motivate each accordingly….and realistically? An intensive, brain-based, step-out-of-your-comfort-zone training that will first support you and your team members/staff in identifying your true professional/personal priorities by digging deeply within; then, identifying and applying individual key motivating factors for not only yourself, but also your for your team members/staff, in order to support you in consistently and holistically meeting your team’s motivational needs.

Early Adversity on Children’s Brain Development: Implications for Early Childhood Professionals: Jib Chattrabhuti **

This workshop will be divided into Part 1 and Part 2. Participants should plan to attend both parts. During Part 1, participants will learn how major early adversity, such as extreme poverty, abuse, or neglect, can weaken children’s developing brain. We will be discussing how stable, responsive environments for children in the earliest years of life can prevent or reverse these conditions, with lifelong consequences for learning, behavior, and health. During Part 2, in small groups, participants will engage in the Brain Architecture Game, a dynamic and hands-on game that is designed to engage early childhood professionals in understanding the complex science of early brain development.

 More than Baby Talk: Nicole Gardner-Neblett **

This training addresses the school readiness of infants and toddlers by providing early childhood teachers with a guide they can use to support children’s language and communication development. Many early childhood education programs focus more on general quality and less on the specific interactions between children and teachers. These interactions are important for fostering language and communication skills among young children as these early skills are linked to children’s later achievement in math, reading, and science, making them critical for school readiness and academic success.

Session II

Family Engagement for Healthy BRAINS: Building Relationships and Imagining Nurturing Solutions: Catherine Burke

Participants will learn a variety of strategies to increase family involvement and engagement in their classrooms and programs. We will discuss how to collaborate with families in planning and goal setting, communicate effectively between school and home, provide a variety of opportunities for family involvement, extend learning to the home environment, include family members in program-level decisions, and cultivate a comprehensive system of family engagement. Participants will learn how strong family-school engagement positively affects child growth & development.

Applying Brain Research in the Early Childhood Classroom: Making a Positive Difference for All Children: Pat Minter

Knowledge and understanding of brain development in young children serve as only half of the equation necessary for early education to have the greatest impact. Taking that gift of knowledge and implementing it daily into your classroom as you interact with your children is an entirely different process. Pairing knowledge with action is key to providing young children with the most optimal early education experiences possible throughout the first five years…and beyond! Come and participate as we learn, gather tools and share about applying brain research in the early childhood classroom.

Early Adversity on Children’s Brain Development: Implications for Early Childhood Professionals: Jib Chattrabhuti **

This workshop will be divided into Part 1 and Part 2. Participants should plan to attend both parts. During Part 1, participants will learn how major early adversity, such as extreme poverty, abuse, or neglect, can weaken children’s developing brain. We will be discussing how stable, responsive environments for children in the earliest years of life can prevent or reverse these conditions, with lifelong consequences for learning, behavior, and health. During Part 2, in small groups, participants will engage in the Brain Architecture Game, a dynamic and hands-on game that is designed to engage early childhood professionals in understanding the complex science of early brain development.

More than Baby Talk: Nicole Gardner-Neblett **

This training addresses the school readiness of infants and toddlers by providing early childhood teachers with a guide they can use to support children’s language and communication development. Many early childhood education programs focus more on general quality and less on the specific interactions between children and teachers. These interactions are important for fostering language and communication skills among young children as these early skills are linked to children’s later achievement in math, reading, and science, making them critical for school readiness and academic success.

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Please park in the BB&T parking deck, and take the deck elevator to the lobby. Once in the main lobby, you will take the main elevators to the 19th floor (The Piedmont Club). The deck will be open, and all parking will be free. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Piedmont+Club+-+Winston-Salem/@36.095758,-80.245175,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x22d81c879c090c56

 

Board elects new officers and members …

… bids necessary farewells to a remarkable cohort of retiring officers and members …

In the home-stretch of our 20th anniversary celebration, SSFC’s board of directors elected new officers and added new members, while recognizing the remarkable service of several veterans.

At its first meeting of the 2015 – 16 Board Year on September 16, the board elected the following slate of officers:

Elizabeth Dampier takes over the gavel from Doug Punger.

Elizabeth Dampier takes over the gavel from Doug Punger.

  • Elizabeth Dampier ’16, Chair
  • Matt Britt ’16, Vice Chair
  • Sandra Fishel-Booth ’16, Secretary
  • Alvin Atkinson ’18, Treasurer
  • Doug Punger ’18, Immediate Past Chair

The board welcomed new members:

  • Colleen Lerner –     Director, Temple Emmanuel Preschool
  • Daryl Shaw –          Founder and Owner, Royalty Marketing, Inc.
  • Glenda Dancy –      Forsyth County Department of Public Health
  • Karla Pereira –       Novant Forsyth Medical Center
  • Sabrina Hinton –   Instructor, Salem College, and owner of two child care  centers
  • Sheryll Strode –      Independent Consultant

New personalities, ideas, and energies requires others to make way for the change. The board recognized the outstanding service by the following departing members:

Doug Punger shares a laugh with outgoing board veteran Carrie Worsley.

Doug Punger shares a laugh with outgoing board veteran Carrie Worsley.

Doug Punger congratulates Millie Metcalf on her outstanding service.

Doug Punger congratulates Millie Metcalf on her outstanding service.

Carrie Worsley

  • serving since September 2012.
  • chaired MALea Committee for two years.
  • served on executive committee for two years.
  • active liaison with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health.

David Long

  • serving since September of 2013 on the board.
  • active member of MALea Committee since that time.
  • active member of the allocations subcommittee since fall of 2012.
  • important liaison with Northwest Piedmont Workforce Development Board.

Jennifer Bryan

  • serving since the spring of 2012.
  • chaired development committee.
  • participated in Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Communities Institute in October 2012, helping to pave the way for our current strategic planning process.
  • served on Finance Committee since fall of 2012.
  • served on allocations subcommittee for the 2013-2014 NCPC allocations.
  • strong, active champion of 100% board annual giving

Mark Tucker

Elizabeth Dampier takes her place as board chair, as she and Larry Vellani (right) bid farewell to senior board member, Mark Tucker (left).

Elizabeth Dampier takes her place as board chair, as she and Larry Vellani (right) bid farewell to senior board member, Mark Tucker (left).

  • serving since 2004.
  • currently longest serving board members.
  • began as a mandated appointment.
  • continued as a voluntary member.
  • member of the executive committee since 2010.
  • served on executive search committee in spring 2012.
  • served the past two years on the board composition and succession committee.
  • served as vice chair, chair, and immediate past chair.

Mike Land

  • serving since fall of 2014.
  • relocating to Wake County.
  • served on NC Pre-K Committee.

Mike Lawless

  • serving on board since fall of 2009.
  • co-chaired NC Pre-K committee for three years.
  • longest serving SSFC board co-chair in Forsyth County More@4-NC Pre-K history.
  • served as the first chair of the NC Pre-K site selection committee.
  • active member of the ABCD regional advisory council.
  • strong proponent of the Reach Out & Read Program.
  • served the past two years on the board composition and succession committee.
  • after a one-year hiatus, he isreturning to serve on the NC Pre-K committee.

Mille Metcalf,

  • serving on board since fall of 2012.
  • active member of Nov 1 Fun Run & Family Day throughout 2014.
  • successfully heading the Nov 1 silent auction effort.
Mark Tucker comments on his 11 years of board service.

Mark Tucker comments on his 11 years of board service.

The following two tables display the distribution of our board talent across their service cohorts and economic sectors.

Class of 2016 Class of 2017 Class of 2018
Elizabeth Dampier Anna Miller Fitzwater Alvin Atkinson
Janie Costello Anthony Jones Colleen Lerner
Kay Bolick Brenda Taylor Doug Punger
Lori Fuller Casey Raymer Daryl Shaw
Manita Broaddus Gary Ortiz Sheryll Strode
Mari Jo Turner Glenda Welch Sabrina Hinton
Matt Britt Mary McAfee Theressa Stephens
Glenda Dancy
Karla Pereira

 

Public Service / Government Nonprofit Service / NGO For Profit / Individual
Alvin Atkinson Anna Miller Fitzwater Brenda Taylor
Doug Punger Anthony Daryl Shaw
Glenda Welch Casey Raymer Gary Ortiz
Janie Costello Colleen Lerner Karla Pererira
Mary McAfee Elizabeth Dampier Manita Broaddus
Kay Bolick Matt Britt
Lori Fuller Sabrina Hinton
Mari Jo Turner Sheryll Strode
Sandra Fishel Booth Theressa Stephens
Theresa Pauca

 

     
     

 

KBR Trust invests in SSFC’s My Teaching Partner Program

expanding teaching and learning staff by three professionals …

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust of Winston-Salem, NC announced on Monday May 11 that it plans to invest almost $200,000 over the next two years in SSFC’s My Teaching Partner Program.Flag4th-1

My Teaching Partner is a unique joint venture between SSFC and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop stronger language and communication skills from birth, by improving the language-development and behavioral- interaction skills of early educators.

A CLASS Act
A key component of the program is the use of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS).

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is an evidence-based measure of the quality of behavioral interactions among the teachers and students, and a powerful tool to assist coaches and teachers in identifying specific behaviors to adapt or improve in classroom interactions, “directly associated with children’s performance.”

The CLASS focuses on the quality of interactional processes in the classroom. CLASS differs from other measurement tools that focus on the content of the physical environment, available materials, or a specific curriculum. For CLASS, the physical environment, including materials and curriculum, matter in the context of how teachers put them to use in their interactions with children.

“The CLASS dimensions are based on developmental theory and research suggesting that interactions between students and adults are the primary mechanism of student development and learning.” (Greenberg, Domitrovich, & Bumbarger, 2001; Hamre & Pianta, 2007; Morrison & Connor, 2002; Pianta, 2006; Rutter & Maughan, 2002) Two major studies of state-funded preschool programs provide data included in the Technical Appendix to the CLASS and CLASS-T manuals. (Robert Pianta, Karen LaParo, Bridget Hamre, “Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K Manual”, Brookes Publishing, 2008. p.1)

Program Components
Prior to providing coaching and training, SSFC and FPG will conduct a pre-assessment using either the CLASS or CLASS-T, as appropriate, to establish a baseline of performance among participating teacher and assistant teacher.  SSFC’s coaches will use the results of the pre-assessment as an instructional tool to develop lead educator-specific, technical assistance plans.

Teachers and coaches will evaluate progress through the use of video clips that document teacher-child interactions and implementation of specific strategies.  Teachers will keep a journal to reflect on the process and their progress.

Once a month, teachers will complete a short survey to assess their own progress on the technical assistance plan, as well as usefulness of the coaching sessions.  The survey responses will serve as a formative evaluation and suggest on-going adjustments in the coaching protocols.

Upon completion of the nine-month coaching program, CLASS post-assessment scores will be compared with the pre-assessments of lead and assistant teachers.

Professional Learning Communities
Teachers will participate in self-directed, professional learning communities (PLC) without direct coaching.  The primary objective of the PLC is to promote collaborative learning among early childhood professionals in implementing key concepts associated with teacher-child interactions. The members of the professional peer group will provide support and mentoring for each other.  The members of the cohort in year one will continue in the PLC along with the teachers who enter the program in year two.

FPG and SSFC will gather outcomes, comparing teachers’ reports of their perceptions of their knowledge and skill in supporting language and communication development among infants and toddlers before and after participating in one of FPG’s large-group MTBT trainings prior to the selection of the cohort members.

FPG and SSFC will work together to assess the quality of language interactions, focusing on examining the dimensions of “Facilitated Exploration and Early Language Support,” and the dimensions of “Facilitation of Learning and Development,” “Quality of Feedback,” and “Language Modeling,” as those dimensions reflect various characteristics of the quality of teacher-child language interactions.

In addition, FPG and SSFC will use the Coaching Rating Scale to measure the coaches’ fidelity to the coaching model of planning, observing, practicing, reflecting, and discussing feedback in two ways.

(1)      The coaches’ monthly logs, describing their interactions with teachers, and the monthly coaching meetings. The logs and the meetings will help identify any challenges coaches are facing in supporting teachers and allow for problem-solving with the coaches to optimize teacher-coach interactions, thus providing teachers with the best support possible to engage in effective language interactions with children.

(2)      Use of the Coaching Rating Scale (CRS) (Rush & Shelden, 2011) to examine how consistently coaches are using the coaching model when working with teachers.

As a two-year, two-cohort program, the information gathered from the first cohort, e.g. teacher perceptions of knowledge and skill, observed teacher-child language interactions, coaching logs, Coaching Rating Scale, etc., to make value-added adjustments in the program. (Neblett-Gardner, 2015)

The State of Forsyth County
There are 111 licensed childcare centers in Forsyth County serving 6,498 children from birth to five years. In the course of a business cycle, our teaching and learning specialists work with approximately 40 (44%) of the centers to improve the quality of learning environments through coaching, training, and financial incentives—approximately 600 of the almost 1400 early educators in Forsyth County. All of the centers receiving technical assistance serve children who are receiving means-tested, childcare scholarships through SSFC or DSS.

The current system of measuring program quality in licensed centers focuses primarily upon structural components of the classroom, such as number and type of learning materials, daily schedules and routines, and classroom hygiene and furnishings.

Teachers who adopt specific language and gesture skills:

  • ensure that each child enjoys warm, supportive relationships among teachers and peers;
  • ensure that there are frequent displays of positive affect by the teacher that include smiling, laughter, and displays of enthusiasm;
  • provide frequent positive verbal and physical communication with the children that include physical affection and positive expectations; and
  • model for and guide fellow teachers and children in consistent demonstrations of respect for one another through eye contact, respectful language, and cooperation and sharing.An important research finding indicates that teachers in average quality classrooms had the strongest scores on behavioral/social-emotional support, but low scores associated with “engaged support for learning.” (“Observed Quality and Psychometric Properties of the CLASS-T in Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey,” Bandel et al., May 2014) That finding suggests that technical assistance focused on structural environmental elements alone is not enough to ensure that teachers consciously interact with children in ways that facilitate more meaningful advances in children’s cognitive, emotional, and language development.Research shows that training followed by coaching can offer teachers the support needed to improve performance and increase competence and confidence (Rush & Shelden, 2011), which enables teachers to successfully implement newly learned skills and practices. (Fixsen et al., 2005; Joyce & Showers, 2002)

Employment opportunities
We are now accepting resumes for up to three (3) new Teaching and Learning Specialists positions:

  • One (1) full-time position to provide mentoring/coaching and classroom assessments to support early childhood educators in Forsyth County.   This position requires a master’s degree, and current B-K license. Experience with mentoring/evaluation through DCDEE/EESLPD and knowledge of Foundations of Early Learning and Development (NCFELD) is desired.
  • Two (2) positions are part time (30-35 hrs. /wk.) to provide coaching and mentoring using the CLASS assessment. These positions require a BA/BS in early childhood. A master’s degree and B-K license is preferred.   Knowledge of DCDEE star-rated licensing and ERS assessments is required.   Experience working in an early childhood classroom setting and/or working with childcare providers is required.
  • All three positions will require excellent writing and speaking skills.

Send a letter of introduction and resume to: Smart of Forsyth County, Inc., 7820 North Point Blvd., Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27106, Attn: Jenny Whitley, Director, Teaching & Learning Services.

For more information, contact Jenny Whitley, Director, Teaching & Learning Services, JennyW@SmartStart-FC.org or 336.714.4344.

 

Time to apply for the 2015-2016 NC Pre-K program

NC Pre-K applications for the 2015-2016 school year now available …

It’s time! If you would like your child to participate in the NC Pre-K program, please visit “Apply Online” for more information. 34c1b149178aa6170c002dd898f4f860

 Aplicaciones de NC PreK para el año escolar 2015-2016 ya está disponible

Es el momento! Si desea que su hijo participe en el programa NC Pre-K, por favor visite Solicitud en LineaPrek Flyer English Feb 2015 para obtener más información.Prek Flyer Spanish Feb 2015

New NC Poll Finds Major Support for Early Childhood Education

… David Plyler, Forsyth County Commissioner, publishes local op-ed piece citing voter support for action at state and federal levels …

DavidPlyer&JackRegisterCCN-Kville

From the left: Grandson Jack Register with Grandfather David Plyler

A new non-partisan North Carolina poll finds that North Carolina voters view early childhood education as a critical issue in the state and across the nation. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents support investments in early childhood programs in the state – including expanding access to Smart Start, Pre-K, teacher training and home visiting programs.

544a862293ade.imageForsyth County Commissioner, David Plyler, penned an op-ed piece highlighting the significance of these findings, which appeared in the Sunday October 26 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal.

More than four in five (83%) of North Carolina voters believe that investments in early childhood programs will benefit North Carolina’s economy in the short and long term. Voters ranked ensuring children get a strong start as a top priority for policymakers, second only to jobs and the economy and well ahead of reducing the tax burden on families. The poll was conducted by the bipartisan team of Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research for the First Five Years Fund and the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation

The poll comes on the heels of unprecedented state action on early childhood education across the nation –in red and blue states alike. In North Carolina, Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed a 2014-2015 fiscal year budget, which provides an additional $5 million for the state’s public prekindergarten program, NC Pre-K. Only 23 percent of 4-year-olds in the state are currently enrolled in NC Pre-K. Voters want more. Three-quarters said they support expanding access to the NC Pre-K and Smart Start programs so that more children in the state can participate in them.

Voters are very concerned that children get a strong start in school and see high quality early childhood education as the answer. In addition to expanding access to Pre-K and Smart Start, 88 percent want North Carolina to invest in training and classroom resources so that all pre-school and early elementary school teachers are able to teach each child in a way that addresses their individual needs and ensures they have a strong start in reading and school.

Flag4th-1Nearly three-quarters of North Carolina voters (71 percent) support greater federal investment in early childhood education if it increased the deficit in the short term but paid for itself in the long term by improving children’s education, health and economic situations. Earlier this year, a national poll commissioned by The First Five Years Fund found that 71 percent of voters – including 60 percent of Republicans – support greater federal investments in early childhood education.

Research from Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor James Heckman documents the outstanding economic return on investment from early childhood education. Investing in high-quality early childhood education for disadvantaged children from birth to age 5 yields a 7-10 percent return – per child, per year – through improved education, health, social and economic outcomes as well as the reduced need for social spending.

 

SSFC releases funding opportunities for 2015 – 2016 program year

… downloadable RFP below; completed proposals due Friday December 12; mandatory bidder’s conference Friday November 14 …

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) is seeking proposals from organizations interested in contributing to the well-being and development of young children birth – 5 years and their families in the following general areas:

  • early care and education;
  • family support; and
  • early literacy.

Proposal application deadline is Friday December 12. A mandatory bidder’s conference for any interested applicant will take place Friday November 14, 2014, 2:30-3:30 p.m. at SSFC, 7820 North Point Blvd. Ste. 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

To read about the 2015 – 2016 funding opportunities in detail, download here.

For a copy of the 2015 – 2016 application, download here.

For a copy of the 2015 – 2016 budget file, contact Charlette Lindell.

For further information and to register for the November 14 bidder’s conference, please call or email Charlette Lindell at 336.714.4347 and CharletteL@SmartStart-FC.org by Wednesday November 12.