Important Information for Food and Nutrition Services Recipients

Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS)

Because of the federal shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has instructed states to issue February's Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits early. On Sunday, January 20, 2019 households already receiving FNS benefits will receive their February FNS benefits that would normally be available between February 3rd and 21st. Once issued there will not be additional benefits issued to those households in February. Please budget for buying food wisely! New applications will continue to be taken and processed.

At this time, the USDA has not provided information about the availability of benefits beyond February while the shutdown is in place. The NC DHHS is working closely with county departments of social services and our federal partners to ensure participants have little to no interruption of FNS services due to the shutdown.

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**Click here for local food pantry information.

NC Pre-K One of Only Two State Preschool Programs in the Nation that Measure Teaching Quality and Meet Standards

Published by: NC Early Childhood Foundation (January 3, 2019)child blocks2

NC Pre-K provides high-quality preschool to eligible four-year-olds in North Carolina. The state’s preschool program scored significantly better than the average state preschool program on a recent nationwide assessment of preschool quality. NC Pre-K scores well on having rigorous, well-articulated early learning policies and using best practices.

Notably, North Carolina is:

  • One of only two state preschool programs in the nation that measure and meet standards for high quality teaching;
  • One of only nine programs judged to have effective curriculum;
  • One of only 14 programs that meet criteria for high quality professional development; and
  • One of only 16 programs judged to make data-driven decisions.

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Smart Start and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Reach One Millionth Book Milestone in NC

DPIL Millionth Book Facebook minThe one millionth book was delivered this month directly to the home of a young North Carolina child thanks to a partnership between the globally recognized early literacy program Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Smart Start, North Carolina’s early childhood network. The program has currently registered nearly 200,000 children to date.

“Smart Start and the Imagination Library dared to dream big and look what we have done!” stated Dolly Parton, the founder of the program. “And best of all we are just getting started. We want to inspire every child in North Carolina to love reading and to love learning.

During the 2017 legislative session, North Carolina state lawmakers included $3.5 million in the first year of the budget and $7 million in the second year for the Smart Start network to offer free books through Imagination Library to children across the state. Imagination Library is a program created to foster a love of reading among children aged birth to five through the gift of a specially selected book delivered right to their home each month.

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Donate Yarn for a Great Cause

By Lyne Goode, Cabarrus Partnership for Children

Isn't it amazing how life throws people at you when you need them the most?

We are beginning our Cuddle Up Coat Drive this month, and I was at the Kannapolis Library dropping off a collection box. As I walked back to my car, a woman named Liz stopped me to ask about the coat donation box she had seen me carrying in. She explained that her mom, Linda, had crocheted a bag full of beautiful baby blankets and hats for children and wondered if the Partnership could use them. I took them with a heartfelt thank you and couldn't wait to return to the office with a bag full of love. As the day went on, I realized that I had Liz's name but no contact information to send a proper thank you. Amazingly enough, I received an e-mail the next morning from Linda, Liz's mom, the creator of these beautiful "yarn hugs". She explained that she would love to create more of these for the children and all she would need is a donation of yarn!

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Report: 64,000 Students Chronically Absent in NC Elementary Schools

Case Studies Show Promising Results in Reducing Chronic Absence

Raleigh, NC (September 20, 2018) – More than 64,000 of North Carolina’s youngest students were chronically absent from school during the 2015-16 school year, according to a report released today by the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF). Chronic absence has been shown to impact reading proficiency at third grade, so the report analyzes absence data in North Carolina schools that have preschool, kindergarten, first, second and/or third grade classrooms. Eleven percent (11%) of children in those schools were found to be chronically absent in 2015-16. Chronic absence was defined as missing 15 days or more of the school year for this data collection, which was managed by the federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

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