Annual Report

Sponsored by Hilbish Ford

Connecting purpose, people and programs to ensure child well-being in Cabarrus County, NC.

While our Voices for Children Campaign may be online again this year, the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children has been busier than ever due to a greater need for services and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your support and collaborations that enabled our organization to be successful during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Please read on to see our impact!

Special thanks to Hilbish Ford for sponsoring our 2020-2021 Annual Report.

(Children at Dixon Academy during Week of the Young Child)

Who We Support

(Children at Kids’ Korner Child Development Center during Week of the Young Child)

Cabarrus County children ages birth to 5

  • Early literacy programs
    • Working with pediatric doctors to help educate parents on the importance of reading aloud to their children every day
    • Through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, children in Cabarrus County can receive a new book in the mail every month, totaling 60 books by their 5th birthday when started at birth
  • Providing high-quality early education experiences through NC Pre-K
  • Improving the quality of child care in Cabarrus County
  • Parent support groups
  • Home-visiting programs
  • Emergency dental care for young children under 5 years old and are without dental insurance or Medicaid
  • Teaching families how to build healthy lifestyles
  • Outreach programs for families in need
  • Substance abuse care for pregnant mothers
  • Connecting families with local services and resources
  • Sharing with pediatric doctors the importance of Developmental Screening and helping with referrals

Child care providers & early educators

  • Training and technical support from Child Care Health Consultants
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Early Education Teacher Liaisons and an Early Educator Business Administrator Liaison work to address teacher education and business administrator education in child care facilities
  • Connecting providers and educators with local resources and opportunities

The Cabarrus County community

  • Continually assessing the needs of our local communities while working to identify and implement programs to improve the lives of young children and families
  • Working with community leaders in cross sector collaboration to serve our clients in need
  • Hosting community conversations to identify and address issues that are affecting local families
  • Hosting community events to raise awareness and provide resources to parents of children ages birth to five

Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award

The Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award is given annually to an exceptional individual who is devoted to public service and whose leadership qualities have resulted in significant change for the betterment of young children, families and our local communities.

Karen Calhoun, Cabarrus Co. DHS

The Cabarrus County Partnership for Children is proud to present the 12th annual Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award to Karen Calhoun, Director of the Cabarrus County Department of Human Services.

Karen has opened up the Department of Human Services to more coordination, integration and collaboration with key stakeholders to help more children in our community. Her collaborative approach and leadership has allowed DHS to connect more families with local programs and services, enabling them to obtain the support they need to ensure the health and well-being of their children.


Highlights from 2020-2021

Smart Start was created in 1993 as an innovative solution to serve children birth to five. Smart Start delivers outcomes by giving communities local control to determine the best approach to achieving them.

Early Care and Education

High-quality educational experiences designed to enhance school readiness for all children 0-5 years in Cabarrus County.

Programs Funded

Building Healthy Lifestyles

Child Care Health Consultants

Child Care Subsidy Administration

Child Care Subsidy

Early Education Liaison

NC Pre-K Administration

NC Pre-K Program – Subsidy Enhancements

  • 14


  • 30


  • 329


  • 133

    NC Pre-K Program Subsidy Enhancements

  • 240

    Child care providers in 24 child care facilities participated in training

  • 220

    On-site technical assistance and 2,063 phone or written technical assistance contacts provided to child care providers (Child Care Health Consultants and Building Healthy Lifestyles)

  • 71

    Child care providers received Smart Start education scholarships or education award stipends through Early Education Liaison

  • 142

    Child care providers received professional development training

Early Education Business Administrator Liaisons

Early Education Teacher Liaisons

Child Care Health Consultants

Health and Early Intervention

Programs Funded

Assuring Better Health and Development (ABCD)

Substance Use Network (SUN) Collaboration Project

Emergency Dental Services

Breastfeeding Peer Support

  • 14,596

    Children received developmental and early intervention services through ABCD

  • 7

    Children received funding for emergency dental services

  • 410

    Families received prenatal and postpartum Breastfeeding Peer Support

  • 59

    Systems building meetings and technical assistance contacts to allow recruitment of 38 SUN Clinic patients

Family Education and Support

Programs Funded

Parents as Teachers (PAT) – including Attachment Bio-Behavioral Catch-up (ABC)

Family Education and Support – including Circle of Parents

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Reach Out and Read

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

  • 80,665

    Books mailed to children’s homes
    (Up from 69,885 in 2019-2020)

Reach Out and Read

  • 13,110

    Books distributed during well-child visits
    (Up from 11,255 in 2019-2020)

  • 25

    Families received customized home visits by a Parent Educator through Parents as Teachers

  • 12

    Parents received peer support through Circle of Parents teen parent support groups

Community Outreach

Cuddle up Coat Drive

Each year, the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children collects and distributes hundreds of winter coats to children who are in need through our Cuddle up Coat Drive. Local businesses and organizations aid us in our efforts by becoming coat drive collection sites and by hosting their own coat drives with their staff and clientele, then delivering donated children’s coats to the Partnership.

$2,848.25 – Collected for Coats

330 – Children’s Coats Distributed

COVID-19 Supplies

During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children supported child care centers and family homes in Cabarrus County that remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

$31,001 in supplies were purchased and distributed to 58 local child care centers.

Funded by grants from:

  • Cabarrus County: $20,000
  • City of Kannapolis: $5,000
  • Cabarrus County Community Foundation: $5,045
  • Plus, additional funding that was received during FY19-20

Emergency Fund

The following items were purchased and distributed to local families in need thanks to your contributions to the Emergency Fund.

5 Car Seats

3 Beds




Corporate and Foundation Contributors

Special thanks to our contributors for providing funding to support high-quality early education programs in Cabarrus County.

All Saints Episcopal Church

Ben Mynatt Dealerships

Bentley Insurance

Cabarrus County

Cabarrus ECA


Early Childhood Foundation

First Presbyterian Church

Foundation for the Carolinas

Hayes Trust

Hilbish Ford

Kannapolis City

McGill Baptist Church

Midway United Methodist Church

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

St. James Lutheran Church

Speedway Children’s Charities

The Jonathan Foundation

Wilmar ECA

Staff and Board of Directors

Our Team

Board of Directors

Ann Benfield – Executive Director

Ariel Ayers – Finance

Lauren Westin – Program Manager

Patricia Sehorn – Program Manager

Lyne Goode – Family Programs & NCPK

Lissy Rios – Program Assistant

Starla Hatley – ABCD/ROR Coordinator

Debra Pless – Child Care Health Consultant

Melissa Jones – Child Care Health Consultant

Rachel Brazil – Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Karen Calhoun – Department of Human Services

Dr. Rosolena Conroy, MD – Licensed Therapist

Jeanne Dixon – Retired DSS, Kannapolis City Council

Joseph Houston – Duke Energy

Kathryn James – DNP Imagingcomm America

Danielle Mauldin – Kids’ Korner CDC & Kids Next Door

Amos McClorey – Retired, NAACP

Stephen Morris – Gem Theatre, County Commissioner

Sophia Scott – Educator

Gilbert Small – Retired, Business

Elizabeth Street – Assistant District Attorney

Waynett Taylor – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Jacqueline Whitfield – Retired Educator

Get Involved

The Cabarrus County Partnership for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means we depend on the support of our local community in order to provide evidence-based programs and critical services to ensure the well-being of Cabarrus County’s youngest population. There is a large population of children under the age of 5 who don’t have access to high-quality child care, early education, health services, and the basic programs and resources they’ll need in order to thrive. We need to reach the children who need our programs the most and we can’t do it without your help.

Duffle Bags of Hope

Children are entering Cabarrus County’s foster care system without the basic items they need to thrive. While resources are often available for younger children, they aren’t for children ages 12+. In response, the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children is filling up 30 backpacks with supplies for youth in Cabarrus County’s foster care system.

Support Our Online Fundraisers!

Contribute to one of our Facebook Fundraisers or create one of your own that supports the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children! Once created, share your Fundraiser with your family and friends! To create a Facebook Fundraiser, visit the link below, select “Raise Money” and follow the steps to getting your fundraiser set up!

Honor Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

Donate $50 or more to the Cabarrus County Partnership for Children and receive a pack of 5 Christmas cards drawn by local children in our NC Pre-K program! If you would like to donate $50 for 5 cards, Email Lauren

More Ways to Contribute

Make a monetary donation through mail, PayPal or Facebook to support one of our many evidence-based programs for children ages birth to five. Your support stays right here in Cabarrus County. Visit the link below to choose how you would like to contribute.

Cabarrus Partnership for Children

1307 S. Cannon Blvd. Kannapolis, NC 28083
(Mail: PO Box 87, Kannapolis, NC 28082)

Ph: (704) 933-8278