Driving career fair scheduled for Tuesday
LUMBERTON – The most beautiful babies in Robeson County have been identified, and a local non-profit organization that helps children develop and prepare for school has more money for this mission.
It’s all part of The Beautiful Baby contest which serves as the annual fundraiser for the Robeson County Children’s Partnership, the local organization responsible for overseeing the state’s Smart Start efforts in Robeson County. After a year-long hiatus from COVID-19, the public rallied behind 24 babies for the competition and placed $ 1 in votes for their favorite. The vote raised $ 14,666 this year, according to Tim Little, director of fund development.
Twenty-four children, ages 5 and under, were entered into the contest by parents and guardians, and the children’s photos were published in The Robesonian, where readers were encouraged to vote for a $ 1 donation. by vote. The best voters were crowned prince and princess. They, along with the upcoming top 10, will be featured in the partnership’s Smart Start 2022 calendar to be released this fall.
Jillian Page Hunt, daughter of Donavon and Amanda Hunt of Maxton, received the most votes for the princess. Hudson Anthony Jackson, son of Phillip and Brittany Jackson of Lumberton, received the most votes for the prince. After the honors of the prince and the princess, Max Wayne Meggison placed second; Grayson Watts, third; and Annagail Little, fourth.
Deveah L. Hunt, Brystol Lane Dial, Bryson Cameron, Journie Hunt and Mazie Lovette round out the top 12 voters. Brothers Jace and Kash Lowery are tied for the remaining time slot and will share their page in the calendar.
Community support through the competition helps fund programs that make a difference in children’s lives, Little said.
“The programs that we support aim to improve the level of education and the level of health of young children who are preparing for school,” he said. “Without these programs, many children simply would not have the basics they need to be ready to succeed in school. Public schools now require children to attend kindergarten much more prepared than they did even four or five years ago.
The Partnership provides resources that help parents and child care centers prepare children for success in kindergarten. It’s a relationship that includes public schools and private daycares. NC PreK, a subsidized program for income-eligible 4-year-olds is administered by the non-profit agency. The partnership also oversees a transportation program for NC PreK participants.
Other programs that receive Smart Start funding and are administered by the Children’s Partnership are Ready, Get, Go, where training and consultation is offered to child care providers on the application of promotion, prevention and intervention when working with children who suffer or symptoms of behavioral health; the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, where children aged 0 to 5 receive an age-appropriate book each month; and Color Me Healthy for Robeson, a program used with 4 and 5 year olds that is designed to teach children that healthy eating and physical activity are fun.
Professional development services are funded by Smart Start and overseen by the Partnership. This includes services for licensed day care centers in Robeson County. Services include professional development plans to help child care providers and center plans to help child care managers. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and My Teaching Partner are also used. Professional development scholarships, formerly known as scholarships, will be available to eligible participants. Training and technical assistance are also available.
The Environmental Star Quality Track program aims to help child care facilities achieve a five star rating by educating them on the components of quality care to improve their facility using environmental rating scales. Assessments of licensed facilities improve the quality of materials. Technical assistance and maintenance are also provided. Under the quality improvement component, child care providers have access to the information, materials and services provided by the Smart Start Resource Center. The Resource Center delivers materials to participating institutions and provides technical assistance as needed.
Parents as Teachers is a proven model of home visiting that provides parents with personal home visits, group meetings and child development screenings as well as a network of resources. This program is a home / school / community partnership that begins at birth and runs until the age of 5.
The Nurse Family Partnership program provides highly trained nurses who visit eligible women at home during their first pregnancy and during the first two years of their children’s lives. The program is a statewide initiative following a national model that seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes and children’s health through primary prevention. In addition, the program seeks to improve the economic autonomy of the family through personal development goals.
The Partnership’s program department encompasses a variety of methods aimed at increasing the capacity of early childhood initiatives and community outreach. Some of these approaches include data collection, information management, monitoring, evaluation, technical assistance and training to support the effective implementation of programs and strategies. These programs also aim to improve community collaboration and promote partnership-funded services within the community.
The Partnership for Children operates the Resource Center, a lending library where daycares and parents can find resources including books, manipulatives and activity kits for children 5 and under.
In addition, the partnership manages and funds Exploration Station, an interactive children’s museum that houses exhibits designed to engage children through hands-on experiences and educational programs featuring science, technology, engineering, art. , advanced math and manufacturing. The museum also hosts special events and summer camps for young children.