The Imagination Library train is coming to YOUR home …

… better get on board! …

Dolly Parton launched her Imagination Library in 1995 to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could help ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

In 2017, North Carolina’s state lawmakers included $3.5 million in the first year and $7 million in the second year of the state budget for Smart Start to administer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) across North Carolina.

The Imagination Library provides children a free book, delivered to their home each month free of charge, from their birth to their fifth birthday. Educational and literary experts help the Imagination Library select specific, high-quality books based on the child’s age and the family’s language of choice.

There are approximately 27,000 children residing in Forsyth County eligible to enroll in the Imagination Library. SSFC and its community partners are committed to enrolling all eligible children, while educating families on the importance of daily reading with their children, as well as the importance of habits of life-long reading.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK ELIGIBILITY AND REGISTER YOUR CHILD

 

Smart Start Prepares for 2019 – 2021 Biennial Bidding and Allocations Cycle

... Request for Proposal (RFP) awaits response from early childhood organizations … attention to bidding deadlines remains critical …

Legal Ad

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) is soliciting proposals from agencies interested in providing services that contribute to the well-being and optimal development of young children, birth to 5. Services must be evidence-based or evidence-informed and address at least one of three funding areas: (1) Early Care & Education (2) Family Support (3) Early Literacy.  This RFP is for a two year grant period (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021).  To be considered for funding, interested applicants must attend a grant information webinar on 9/12/18, 3:30 p.m. To register for webinar, contact Charlette Lindell at 336-714-4347; CharletteL@SmartStart-FC.org.

Additional information and documentation, useful in participating in the 2019 – 2021 allocation and bidding process, follow below:

More about Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Programs and Practices:

Beth Day-Hairston, teacher-scholar, keynotes Raising Forsyth Breakfast Thursday May 10

… Talitha Vickers, WXII news anchor, serves as breakfast emcee and host …

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) will host its annual breakfast, “Raising Forsyth,” on Thursday May 10, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at Bridger Field House at the BB&T Field on Deacon Drive in Winston-Salem. Talitha Vickers, WXII 12 news anchor, will host the morning program that will include a breakfast keynote by Beth Day-Hairston, PhD, chair WSSU’s department of education.

Beth Day-Hairston, PhD

“Raising Forsyth” “our children, our quality, our eyes to a better future,” according to board chair Matt Britt, “has been our story for more than 20 years. And it remains our compass for the future as we approach a quarter-century of service and advocacy in our community!”

Originally incorporated in December 1994 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.

For further information, as well as information on tickets and sponsorships, visit Eventbrite, or contact Jackie Lofton, 336. 714.4349.

xxx

Smart Start is a network of 75 nonprofit, local partnerships that serve all 100 North Carolina counties. This network is led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC) that ensures fiscal and programmatic accountability, and coordinates the statewide network to create better outcomes for children and families. Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC), a Smart Start network member since 1995, is the only private organization in Forsyth County, charged by state statute, to focus on the quality and progress of the community”™s early-learning system. 

SSFC is committed to helping children birth to eight succeed, families thrive, and our community prosper, because, when we change the first few years, everything changes””for the better.

Children are born ready to learn, but some families lack the resources they need to help their children succeed. Parents, families, neighbors, and early childhood professionals need tools to help children succeed.

SSFC works to provide training, resources, direction, and leadership in 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 families.

None of our work would be possible without the generous support of our many sponsors & donors!

“RAISING FORSYTH” SPONSORSHIPS & DONATIONS
(by level & alpha)

NEXT GENERATION- $5,000

Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Corp.


TOMORROW’S CHILD – $1,000

Allegacy Federal Credit Union

Elite Benefits Group

Kaplan Early Learning Company

Peggy Boswell & Larry Vellani


TODAY’S CHILD- $500

BB & T

Brookstone Technology Services, LLC

A Child’s World Learning Centers

Diana Santos-Johnson & Sheryll Strode

Doug & Leila Punger

HouseMaster Property Inspection Services

Jackie Lofton

Joanna & Matt Britt

Leila & Doug Pnger

Lynn Silkstone

Sabrina Hinton (North Point Academy & TLC Learning Center) & Theressa Stephens (Church Childcare & Church Child Care Plus)
                 

SSFC Staff

Vela Strategic Marketing & Maxx Kinder Kollege
      

Waughtown Kids R Us Childcare Center

 

Additional Financial Donations & In-Kind Support

Hanesbrands, Inc.

Hatch Early Learning

Joan Troost

Michael Lawless

The Speech Lady, PLLC

Now Hiring!

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc., is accepting resumes for a full time position to provide consultation and technical assistance to early educators, as well as coordinate the professional development and training for the early childhood community in Forsyth County.

This position requires a BA or BS in early childhood education. Master’s degree and B-K license preferred. Experience working in an early childhood setting or working with early educators, and excellent written and oral communication skills are required.

Send cover letter and resume to:
Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc.
7820 North Point Blvd., Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27106 ATTN: TLS/Whitley

Email to:
jennyw@smartstart-fc.org  or vanessasw@smartstart-fc.org

Forsyth County Pre-K Program … Time to Apply for 2018-2019 School Year!

… 2018-19 application available for viewing and downloading below …

English
18 19 English Pre K Application

Español
18 19 Solicitud Español para Pre-K

For further information in English, contact 336.714.4379 / Para más información en español, contacte 336.714.4369!

 

Smart Start renews RFA for expedited roll-out of Imagination Library

SSFC, Inc., in cooperation with the NC General Assembly and NCPC, Inc., is seeking applications from non-profit or public organizations in Forsyth County to expedite the implementation of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) in all zip codes of Forsyth County on or before December 18, 2017.

Interested organizations must submit a letter of intent co-signed by the chief executive and chief volunteer officer of the organization by noon on Friday December 8, and the completed application by noon on Thursday December 14.

Applications must include all necessary attachments and documentation. The RFA review committee will provide notice of the awardee to SSFC by Friday December 15, 2017, which will forward the notice immediately to the implementing organization.

The implementing organization will receive access to a one-time award of $20,000, payable over the course of two years (December 2017 through June 2019) to support implementation work. Thereafter, the implementing organization will receive $0.15 per child per month in quarterly installments for each correctly-registered child (up to a maximum of $1.80 per annum per child). The availability of the per-child stipend to the implementing organization after June 2019 is subject to subsequent General Fund support in the next biennium.

The expedited implementation plan must include provisions for the following:

  • Implementation of DPIL in all 24 Forsyth County zip codes by December 18, 2017.
  • Reasonable plan for program sustainability after June 2019.
  • Organizational metrics on current or previous administration of other, evidence-based or evidence-informed pre-literacy programs and early literacy book-distribution programs for children birth to five in Forsyth County.
  • Implementation consistent with the DPIL 3.0-2017 US Operations Training Manual 6 24 17.doc, including:
    a) Targets for the number of children for enrollment in DPIL each year for FY 2017-18 and for FY 2018-19.
    b) Outreach, communication, and management of book inventory in promoting aggressive recruitment of families and highly effective techniques for loss prevention of undelivered books, particularly through existing community partnerships or other business relationships.
    c) Data entry about participating children and families in the Dollywood Foundation Book Ordering System (BOS) database.
    d) Management of undelivered books from post offices and redeliver to other locations for public use on a weekly basis.
    e) Participate in NCPC’s state evaluation, in particular, NCPC’s March 2018 Implementation report to the NC General Assembly.

Please complete the on-line application survey here.

This DPIL RFA process is subject to the provisions of the “Smart Start Competitive Bidding Policy, June 13, 2017-Revised,” available upon request.

As the activating contractor for DPIL in Forsyth County, SSFC is statutorily eligible and will be submitting a competitive application for the expedited implementation of DPIL pursuant to the RFA.

For further information, submit written questions to Charlette Lindell, Director, Compliance and Quality Assurance at CharletteL@SmartStart-FC.org.

We’re hiring for our teaching & learning team!

Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC) is accepting resumes for three (3) full time positions to provide consultation and technical assistance to early educators.  The positions require a BA or BS in early childhood education.  Master’s degree and B-K license preferred.   Experience working in an early childhood setting or working with early educators, and excellent written and oral communication skills are required.  Send cover letter and resume to:  Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc., 7820 North Point Blvd., Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27106,  ATTN:  TAS/Whitley. For further information, contact Jenny Whitley, JennyW@SmartStart-FC.org, or 336.714.4344.

SSFC expedites RFA process for rollout of Dolly Parton Imagination Library

… legislative leaders press for aggressive, statewide rollout of book delivery program …

SSFC, Inc., in cooperation with the NC General Assembly, NCPC, Inc., and the Dollywood Foundation, Inc., is receiving applications from non-profit or public organizations in Forsyth County to expedite the implementation of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) in all zip codes of Forsyth County on or before December 4, 2017.

Interested organizations must submit a letter of intent, co-signed by the chief executive and chief volunteer officer of the organization, by close of business (COB) Tuesday November 7, and the completed application by Tuesday November 14. Applications must include all necessary attachments and documentation.

The RFA (Request for Applications) review committee will provide notice to the awardee by November 22, 2017.

The implementing organization will receive access to a one-time award of $10,000, payable over the course of two years (December 2017 through June 2019) to support implementation work. The implementing organization will receive $1.80 for each correctly-registered child. The availability of the per-child stipend to the implementing organization after June 2019 is subject to the availability of General Fund support in the next biennium.

The expedited implementation plan must include provisions for the following:

  • Implementation of DPIL in all 24 Forsyth County zip codes by December 4, 2017.
  • Reasonable plan for program sustainability after June 2019.
  • Organizational metrics on current or previous administration of other, evidence-based or evidence-informed, pre-literacy programs and early literacy book-distribution programs for children birth to five in Forsyth County.
  • Implementation consistent with the DPIL 3.0-2017 US Operations Training Manual 6 24 17.doc, including:
    a) Targets for the number of children for enrollment in DPIL each year for FY 2017-18 and for FY 2018-19.
    b) Outreach, communication, and management of book inventory in promoting aggressive recruitment of families and highly effective techniques for loss prevention of undelivered books, particularly through existing community partnerships or other business relationships.
    c) Data entry about participating children and families in the Dollywood Foundation Book Ordering System (BOS) database.
    d) Management of undelivered books from post offices and re-delivery of returned books to other locations for public use on a weekly basis.
    e) Participate in NCPC’s state evaluation, in particular, NCPC’s March 2018 Implementation report to the NC General Assembly.

Please complete the on-line application survey here.

This DPIL RFA process is subject to the provisions of the “Smart Start Competitive Bidding Policy, June 13, 2017-Revised,” available upon request.

As the activating contractor for DPIL in Forsyth County, SSFC is statutorily eligible and will be submitting a competitive application for the expedited implementation of DPIL pursuant to the RFA.

For further information, submit written questions to Charlette Lindell, Director, Compliance and Quality Assurance at CharletteL@SmartStart-FC.org.

Vellani addresses International Forum on Children’s Rights

… delivers remarks remotely to international gathering in the City of Ufa, in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia …

When international service called, Larry answered.

In a first for Larry and a Smart Start executive–at the local or state level–Larry prepared and videotaped brief professional greetings to participants of the International Symposium of Specialists for the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Children.

The international conference takes place Thursday and Friday September 28 and 29, 2017.

Larry responded to the request of a former Elon University student, Elena Vladimirova, now a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Elena Vladimirova was assisting her former employer in Ufa, Elena’s home town, and a long time Vladimirova family friend, Tatyana Kvasnikova, Department Head, Trustee & Guardianships, City of Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.

Larry composed the text from some brief suggestions sent by Ms. Kvasnikova, and Elena handled the video and audio challenges.

For more background information about the conference, read the brief conference overview.

Ufa is a city of more than a million residents, located about one thousand miles east of Moscow, in the western foothills of the Ural Mountains. Ufa is the capitol of Bashkortostan, the most populous of all the federated republics of Russia.

This collaboration is the second time that Larry has assisted a jurisdiction along the Eurasian frontier. In October 2008, Larry consulted with a delegation of Kazak public officials and civil servants, traveling and studying in the United States as participants of the Administrative Reform Program at the Center for International Development, a program of Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Larry partnered in the consultative meetings with current NCPC President, Cindy Watkins. At that time, Larry was the board chair of the Alamance Partnership for Children, Inc., in Graham, NC, where Cindy Watkins was serving as the executive director. (Vellani presents to Kazak delegation.)

Larry’s complete remarks, as well as a link to YouTube, follow here:

Greetings
Lawrence D. P. “Larry” Vellani, MPA
International Specialists’ Forum for the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Children
“Metropolis: Territory of Childhood”
Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia
28 September 2017

“Esteemed Colleagues–

“My name is Larry Vellani; I am the director of a private, NGO, serving families with children birth through the age of 8 in the city of Winston-Salem in North Carolina.

“It is my privilege to welcome the participants of the International Specialists’ Forum for the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Children, organized under the theme:”METROPOLIS: THE TERRITORY OF CHILDHOOD”.

“In each country of the world, children are the most precious, valuable aspect of the human experience. And the work to protect the human rights and the legal interests of children is a duty of all, but a profound calling for people like you and me.

“Protecting the rights of children, and securing the quality of their future, remain perhaps the most important global challenges of our time. Our children are our future. And their cognitive, social, and physical development define and control the development of human society.

“At this time, it is without debate that no individual country can claim the role of supreme leader or shining exemplar in the work of upholding children’s rights.

“In every country, even where citizens may enjoy a level of economic security, too many families suffer under the toxic stress of poverty, contributing to infant mortality, abuse and neglect, and juvenile delinquency.

“Our ever-more, interconnected world makes it impossible to meaningfully address those problems at a national level. Our only hope, our only path forward is to ignite and unite the efforts of the world community.

“Truly effective efforts to promote the protection of the rights of all children require a system of mutually-agreed upon actions by state and non-governmental organizations with the goal of integrating internationally-recognized concepts of the rights of children within national laws and regulations.

“During the 20th century, the world community made great strides in international law promoting and enforcing children’s rights. Beginning after World War I, and later, with the United Nations, the world community established important international statutes and protocols, AND the organizations to train and monitor the advancement of children’s rights. Such actions and supporting organizations include: the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1924; the United Nations’ Social Commission, the United Nations Children’s Fund; and, in 1990, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to name but a few. Today this international system of law, covenant, and protocol helps to coordinate the work of professionals and volunteers in many countries working to protect children and their rights.

“Dear Forum Participants!

“With sincerest collegial respect, I wish you inspiration, insight, and a deepening sense of professional trust and solidarity! I wish for you the opportunity for intellectual struggle leading to professional growth AND the strength to delve deeply, transparently into our common challenges and opportunities to advance the rights of children in your country, in my country, in every country. May your hard work increase the opportunities for parents and guardians to help children succeed, families thrive, and communities prosper in each and every corner of every nation!

“Thank you for your passion and commitment. Together we can help change the world for the better, for our children, and the children of our children!

“Good luck!”

 

… a brief clip from the conference’s opening session …

Three SSFC champions of our children recognized by leading local and statewide groups

… Diana Santos Johnson, Doug Punger, and Mike Lawless rack up much-deserved honors …

Doug Punger, JD, 2017 Karen Ponder Award

From the left: Karen Ponder; Leila Punger, Doug’s spouse; Elaine Dana, Doug’s sister; Dr. Nancy Brown, NC Partnership for Children, Inc., Board Chair, 2013 – 2017.

On May 3, in the midst of the National Smart Start Conference, Doug received the 2017 Karen Ponder Award. The award, named for Smart Start’s founding president, recognizes outstanding service to young children and families in North Carolina. A $1,000 cash award will be made to Smart Start of Forsyth County in his name. Doug has been a formidably fixture in Forsyth County educational policies and practices for almost two generations. Doug adopted North Carolina as his home after moving from his native Long Island origins to Winston-Salem, as a Demon Deacon frosh. After completing undergrad and law school at Wake, for almost 34 years he served as general counsel to the Forsyth County Board of Education, eighteen years of which he worked side-by-side with now-State Representative Donny Lambeth, who previously served on the school board. Doug is entering his 9th year of service on the board of directors of Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc., and his 4th year on the board of the NC Partnership for Children, Inc. in Raleigh.

Diana Santos Johnson, JD, 2017 Leaders in the Law, NC Lawyers Weekly

Diana Santos Johnson during semi-monthly corporate board conversations. To her left, board colleague, Bennett Bruff, CPA (who also just happens to be a member of the Twin City Kiwanis Club, along with Doug Punger, and SSFC staff members Amy Queen, Jackie Lofton & Larry Vellani).

In late July, in ceremonies at the Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, Diana Santos Johnson was among 30 statewide jurists recognized by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly for her service to the bar and to the citizens of North Carolina. The Leaders in the Law award honors legal professionals who go above and beyond in their profession and their community. The honorees represent the most influential individuals within NC’s legal community. A native of Mexico, Diana grew up in eastern North Carolina, completing her undergraduate at Wake Forest and her law degree at NC Central. After completing a three year term on the board of the Winston-Salem Hispanic League, she joined Smart Start’s board in September 2016. Diana has served as a member of the Bolton Law Group for the past three years, and before that on the staff of NC Legal Services.

Diana was honored again on September 15 by the Pro Humanitate Institute at Wake Forest University for this same award. In addition to her recent election as secretary of Smart Start’s corporate board, Diana serves on the N.C. Bar Association’s Minorities in the Profession Committee and on the Winston-Salem Zoning Board of Adjustment. She has also taught bankruptcy courses for paralegals at Forsyth Technical Community College. The Pro Humanitate Institute connects the mission of Wake Forest University to the broader community.

Mike Lawless, MD, 7 Over 70 Award, SPARK Magazine, Winston-Salem Journal

On August 2, Texas native, Mike Lawless, a giant in our nation’s pediatric community, will be one of seven local leaders to receive the 2017 7 Over 70 Award. Living locally, but acting globally, in the many senses of the word, Mike has faithfully served his nation in the US Navy, his students and research colleagues at the Wake Forest Bowman Grey School of Medicine, and his patients in the Forsyth County community, since he began his medical practice in 1972.

Mike served for over eight years on the board of directors of Smart Start of Forsyth County. MIdway during his board tenure, in January 2012, Mike accepted the co-chairmanship of the Forsyth County Pre-K Committee. Under Mike and his WSFCS co-chair Dr. Janie Costello, the Forsyth County Pre-K Committee made steady progress toward improved, expanded service to families of four-year old children–a progress that has continued under his successors Doug Punger and, now, Matt Britt. Mike has the distinction of being the Committee’s longest-serving, community-volunteer co-chair, as well as the Committee’s longest-serving community member. He remains toeday an active member of the County’s Pre-K Committee, which operates under the fiduciary auspices of Smart Start of Forsyth County,

Mike, hard at work with the next generation of medical professionals, hand-over-hand with them along the Hippocratic ropes!.

As a local Smart Start board leader, Mike was instrumental in helping to bring two critical pediatric programs to Forsyth County: Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) and the Reach Out and Read programs. Because of Mike, and the volunteers and professionals whom he has inspired, over 33 pediatric practices in 10 counties (Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes, and Yadkin), reaching 48,929 children birth-to-five, were able to improve early developmental screenings and proper, effective referrals to treatment. Through Reach Out and Read Forsyth County pediatricians have prescribed more than 37,000 age-appropriate books to children birth-to-five.

Our families, educators, board members, and staff could not be more proud of our local heroes. Diana, Doug, and Mike–we salute you, and pledge to live up to the standards you have set for us and our community! Cheers!

For some scenes of the Winston-Salem Journal’s photo-shoot with Mike and a class of four-year olds at First Baptist Child Care Center in downtown Winston-Salem on Friday July 7, click here! You’ll be glad you did.

For some scenes of the 7 Over 70 award ceremonies at the Wake Forest Bridger Field House on August 2, 2017, click here.