Healthy Kids Campaign Awarded Two Year Grant for
The importance of the Partnership’s Healthy Kids Campaign has been recognized by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund which is providing $51,300 in funding for two years, beginning July 1, 2007. The grant is part of the Trust Fund’s “Fit Communities” initiative which recognizes and rewards efforts to promote physical activity and healthy eating programs, policies, environments, and lifestyles. The Healthy Kids Campaign addresses childhood obesity by encouraging children and their families to eat smart and move more.
The Trust Fund’s grant supports the Partnership’s “Growing Healthy Kids” project which is developing model community gardens in Carrboro in three distinct settings: local public schools with on-site child care centers, a community park, and a local church. Children and families will be involved in the design and development of the gardens where they will grow healthy produce that they can eat.
The gardens will also serve as outdoor educational classrooms where children can explore the natural world and enjoy the physical activity of preparing and maintaining the garden. At or near the garden sites, parents will be able to attend classes on food preparation and cooking classes where they can prepare healthy and nutritious meals with produce from the gardens.
For more information about The Healthy Kids Campaign and the Growing Healthy Kids Project, contact
the Partnership’s Executive Director, or visit our website at www.OrangeSmartStart.org.
for Young Children’s Smart Start Family Fest and The
Blue skies sparkled over Southern Village as more than 200 families and young children participated in the annual Smart Start Family Fest on Saturday June 2nd. Families perused the booths staffed by 25 community service agencies offering information about their programs. The agencies also provided free services and activities including health and dental screenings, resource and referral information, hula hooping, gardening, and healthy snacks.
A new and popular addition to this year’s Family Fest was the Orange Mile, a one-mile family fun walk. The Run helped promote the Healthy Kids Campaign which is dedicated to helping young children and their families eat smart and move more.
Throughout the day, children were entertained by a variety of activities and performers including a moon bounce, a cooking demonstration offered by folks from the Farmers’ Market, a fire truck, and performances by the world champion Bouncing Bulldogs jump rope team, Mother Goose Storyteller and Hats Off Entertainment.
Family Fest was successful thanks to the participation of a range of community agencies and more than 60 volunteers from: T.E.A.C.H. AmeriCorps, the Chapel Hill Service League, the Optimist Club and
Smart Start Family Fest would not have been possible without the generosity of local businesses and community members who donated more than $15,000 in cash and in-kind donations. Our thanks to everyone who supported the event, particularly the major sponsors who contributed $1,000 and above: WCHL 1360, Total Exposure Design and Triangle SportsPlex. We are also grateful to all of our sponsors which included: The Carrboro Citizen, Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, The Chapel Hill News, Edible Arrangements, Harrington Bank, Herald Sun, Merlion Restaurant, Mid Atlantic Stihl Inc., PHE, Inc., Piedmont Electric, Progressive Computers, RBC Centura, Vietri, and Whole Foods. Additional grant support was provided by the towns of
Please join us in welcoming Linda Hindman, the Partnership’s new Program Coordinator. Linda comes to the Partnership from
where she was the More at Four Transition Coordinator for the Cumberland County Schools’ BRIDGES for the past three years. Linda has more than 13 years of experience working in elementary education, working with children with special needs and teaching kindergarten.
We are eagerly awaiting Lana Parker who will be joining the Partnership as the new Accounting and Contracts Manager on July 23rd. Lana is a C.P.A. with a degree in accounting and years of experience in government and business-related accounting.
As we say hello to Linda and Lana, we also say goodbye to Nichol Bordeaux who served as the Partnership’s Community Development Director for two years. Nichol and her husband have returned to their home state of
where we know she will continue to make important contributions to the community. We thank her for her hard work and commitment to helping young children and their families.
Nichol left the Community Development Director job in the capable hands of Patrick McIntyre who assumed the position on July 1st. Patrick also serves as Coordinator of the Partnership’s Healthy Kids Campaign.
Expansion Likely for Smart Start and More at Four Early Childhood Programs
As we go to press, budget bills are in conference committee so the state budget is still undecided. However, both the House and Senate budgets have expanded funding for Smart Start, although the amount is not significant: between $1.1 - 1.3 million for FY 07-08 and $5.5 - 6.6 million for FY 08-09. The North Carolina Partnership for Children, which will determine how to allocate the funding, is likely to allocate these funds to those partnerships whose funding is below 50% of the need in their communities.
As one of the higher funded partnerships, we are not likely to see an increase here in
in FY 07-08 although resources are desperately needed. However, we recognize the importance of ensuring that all young children in
have access to early childhood education services so that they will be ready for school. Currently, about one half of all preschool children statewide receive some Smart Start service.
Governor Easley is also working with the N.C. General Assembly to expand the More at Four Program, which provides a part-day preschool program to disadvantaged four-year-old children. Expansion plans includes adding spaces and improving the reimbursement rates. Funding for this program comes through the North Carolina State Lottery (rather than the General Fund), but the legislature must approve any changes to the lottery funding formula. Locally, the Orange County Partnership for Young Children serves 144 children through the local More at Four program; we would welcome an improvement in rates which now provide less than half of the needed funding for the program.
Smart Start Success Story
The following is the story of one family helped by the Family Reading Workshops, a Smart Start funded program developed by the
Just because a dad is in prison doesn’t mean that he stops caring for his children nor that his children don’t need their dad. That’s why the Family Reading Workshops—sponsored by the Orange County Literacy Council (OCLC) and funded by the Orange County Partnership for Young Children—play such an important role in the lives of the families impacted by this program.
During the “Make a Treasure Book for Your Child” workshops offered at the
as part of the Family Reading Workshops, dads learn how to make their own books for their children. The dads are encouraged to draw on their first-hand knowledge of their child’s interests and skills as thematic material.
While attending a recent session, one father entitled his book “Chase Your Dreams,” and filled the book with pictures and words such as "education," "family," "job" and "fun." While he worked on his book, he told one of the OCLC volunteers that he always reads to his son when he visits and hopes to be able to see his son graduate from high school and go on to college one day. Another father made a book about an imaginary trip that he and his daughter could take. He said that this was a game he wanted to play with her when she visited. He plans to reference the book which he hopes will encourage her to read; this allows him to have a positive impact on her relationship with books, even though he is not with her all the time.
During the workshop, one of the OCLC volunteers decided to read to the group while they worked on their books. This allowed the volunteers to model the active reading style taught in one of the other Family Reading Workshops. The participants reacted very positively to this addition to the regular agenda; several asked what the title of the two books were so that they might get copies for their own children.
is the temporary home to many dads who have high literacy skills and are interested in helping their children overcome obstacles that the dads have encountered in their own lives. This desire helps produce spectacular results in the form of complex homemade books to be sent to the participants’ children.