It is officially December. And you know what that means? It is the start of my giving back series. Each day this month I will post either a way you can give back or profile organizations that give back. So check back every day to check out ways you can give back. Today in honor of #throwbackThursday I am bringing back another post from last year. But it is a cause near and dear to this teacher’s heart. Plus when I held my blog cabin reveal party this weekend, I asked guests to bring a children’s book to donate to the Partnership. So is Valerie’s post about the program that she is involved that helps the children of Wayne County. And she is a total hoot as well.
What is the Partnership for Children?
The Partnership for Children of Wayne County is a non-profit organization designed to provide programs and services to children and families. The Partnership for Children builds partnerships with families and the community to create a comprehensive system of early care and education. In doing so, our community leads the way.
The Partnership in Wayne County has been in existence since 1998 and has implemented many programs over the last 20 years. Most services provided by the Partnership are free.
History of Smart Start and The Partnership for Children
Smart Start is the brainchild of former Governor Jim Hunt. In 1993-1994 Governor Jim Hunt signed into law to provide funding so that all children would enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. In 1998, Wayne County received funding to provide programming to children 0-5 years of age.
The Partnership for Children has provided a numerous amount of programs to Wayne County’s youngest citizens. It focuses on several areas: Raising Quality, Supporting Families, Advancing Child Health, Expanding Literacy, and Keeping Children Safe.
Programs that they offer:
They host a numerous amount of programs that are free or at a nominal fee for families.
- Child Care Resource and Referral: This service provides parents with information and individualized referrals regarding available child care options; offers child care providers additional training and technical assistance; promotes community awareness of child care issues, and provides advocacy for young children and quality care.
- NC Pre K program: North Carolina Pre-K provides a high-quality pre-kindergarten program for at-risk four-year-olds in North Carolina to prepare them for success in school. Participation is voluntary. Currently, the Partnership provides NC Pre-K services to over 500 children in private child care facilities, Head Start, and public school classrooms.
- Parents as Teachers: This activity provides parent educators who visit homes of young children to offer child development information and enhance parenting skills through modeling age-appropriate activities. Inspirational playgroups and parenting classes are also offered several times per year. New applicants are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Incredible Years® parenting program: Is a 14-16 week program designed to strengthen parenting skills, prevent and treat behavior problems in children ages 3-5. Incredible Years provides parents with various strategies such as play, praise, limit setting, ignoring, redirection etc. to help manage challenging behaviors. The Incredible Years® training program gives parents strategies to build positive relationships, attachments, and to manage behaviors such as aggressiveness, ongoing tantrums, and acting out behavior such as swearing, whining, yelling, hitting and kicking, answering back, and refusing to follow rules.
- Safe Kids-Wayne County is dedicated to the prevention of accidental childhood injuries. The chapter couples public outreach and awareness efforts with hands-on educational activities for children and their families. The aim of Safe Kids is to involve and educate the community in childhood safety issues. One of the main focus areas of this chapter is child passenger safety through car seat checks.
- The Health Service Team: serves as consultants to child care facilities, providers and parents; provides technical assistance; completes facility health and safety assessments; responds to children’s developmental issues; and collaborates with Environmental Health to assist facilities in meeting health and safety regulations.
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: Each month a new, carefully selected book will be mailed to children (0-5 years). Families have to be a resident of Wayne County. This program is free to children living in Wayne County.
- Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond: Is a series of prenatal education classes is offered several times per year by the Partnership for Children. These classes teach expectant parents about stages of pregnancy; labor, delivery, and recovery; breastfeeding and other parenting topics. Classes are free and are offered throughout the year.
- Lending Library: The Partnership host a lending library to families, providers, and others which house a host of toys, games and educational materials. For a nominal yearly membership fee of $15.00, anyone is entitled to join and take advantage of checking out items for a 4 week period.
How does the Partnership give back:
The Partnership host and supports a number of events on a yearly basis. Some of the big events that we partake in are as follows:
- Touch a Truck: This is a new annual fundraiser that children and families can spend a day learning about vehicles and workers. They can get up close and personal with the vehicles and talk to the workers that daily drive them. This event is hosted in the late summer.
- Lobster/Shrimpfest: Each May, The Partnership hosts our annual lobster and shrimp fest fundraiser. Fresh lobsters are flown from Maine. The lobster can be purchased cooked or live. Shrimp is also another option. Sides are available to go along with the orders. Money is used for providers to further their education and also provide services to children and families.
Community events are a big part of our outreach efforts. We participate in numerous events: Lights Up Downtown-where we make hot chocolate to give to the community, Kidsfest-where information is shared on safety and services and a free car seat check is offered, career fair, a Partnership Christmas where children can enjoy a number of activities and meet Santa. The will also leave with a new book and stuffed animal. Jingle in the Park, Teddy Bear Picnic and a host of other community events.
Funding for the Partnership
The Partnership does receive state funding but we are also required to match dollars received. This is the reason we host several fundraisers through the year. We do seek out grant opportunities and donations. We will accept gently used books, baby items, toys, new bike helmets, new car seats etc.
Did you know?
- A $25 investment can provide one child with a year’s worth of books in our Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Reach Out and Read, or Raising a Reader programs;
- A $50 investment can provide a family in need with a safe, reliable, certified car seat required by law and responsible for the child’s protection
- A $100 investment can provide a child care provider a textbook that can be borrowed from our Lending Library for a state-mandated professional development course to enhance their skills in working with children.
- A $500 investment can provide one week of technical assistance for a child care center serving hundreds of children and provide them with early care and education that helps prepare them for kindergarten.
- A $1000 investment can support 100 children at one of our children’s festivals: Born Learning in June; Touch-a-Truck in August, or A Partnership Christmas in December.
To learn more about the Partnership for Children visit our webpage at www.pfcw.org or see us on Facebook at Partnership for Children of Wayne County/Smart Start. Or to volunteer call us at 919-735-3371.
[su_box title=”About the Author” box_color=”#abbeef”]Valerie Wallace has worked for the Partnership for Children of Wayne County for 16 years. She is currently the Assistant Executive Director. Valerie has worked in early childhood for 26 years. She is active in many community committees and boards. She enjoys volunteering and doing things that will benefit children and families. She has one son. [/su_box]