Nearly 3,000 children impacted by Partnership for Children

in Rutherford, Polk and McDowell counties
Apr. 02, 2014 @ 05:09 AM

There were 2,982 children impacted by the Partnership for Children of the Foothills in 2013. Another 541 families were impacted through Family Support programs and 337 teachers were impacted by training and technical assistance.

Those statistics and more were released during Tuesday's meeting of the board of directors at Isothermal Community College.

The partnership invests in the lives of children from birth to age five from Rutherford, Polk and McDowell

Board Vice-Chair Suzanne Metcalf discussed the 2013 annual report and the partnership's new website that is being built and will be released in the future.

Other statistics from 2013 show that 344 childhood professionals attended partnership training or workshops; 212 families with 248 children received child care subsidies and  1,023 children received oral health assessment.

Annually the partnerships invests more than $2.1 million into the economy by supporting 14 programs in 10 agencies and organizations.

Also Tuesday, reports were heard regarding two of the partnership's programs.

A teenage mother told the board she took her baby to her GED classes every day until she completed the program that was offered through Motherlearn. She received child care and transportation to the Clara Allen Center in Forest City until she met all requirements needed for her high school education.

Motherlearn graduates teenage mothers who have successfully gone through the program.

"It feels good to be accepted," the young mother told the board.

She was able to complete the program because of the free daycare and transportation offered through the program. She said one of her concerns was how to afford public child care while she was trying to receive her education.

In addition to completing her high school education, she also learned parenting skills and had opportunitie to talk with other young mothers about their children.

"We bounced our ideas off each other," she said. "It was good meeting others."

Motherlearn program director Tammy Gregory thanked the partnership for making the program a success for the teenagers and their babies.

"We are there with them from the beginning to end," Gregory said. "We are so proud of them."

She also said if transportation and day care was not provided, the program would not be a success.

In 2013, 34 children were enrolled in Motherlearn Child Care and 29 adult students were enrolled.

There are nine mothers in the program this year preparing for graduation in the spring.

Board members also heard more about the WAGE$ program that offers day care teacher pay increases, improves teacher education and maximizes teacher commitment in day care programs.

The board also discussed several fundraising events.