Robert Furr, the Director of Cabarrus Cooperative Extension, received the 2019 Ashley O. Thrift Volunteer Service Award. Furr was recognized for 15 years of service to families and young children through his volunteer work with Smart Start. He was honored at the Cabarrus County Government Building on August 27, 2019.
Every day, we receive phone calls from local agencies about families in Cabarrus County that are experiencing an emergency. Sometimes we have items already available at our office to support the family in need. Other times, we have to purchase emergency need items. All of this is possible thanks to the community’s ongoing support of our Emergency Fund.
Calls for assistance come from social workers from the Cabarrus Health Alliance, school systems, hospitals, churches, and other local agencies. Children may be sleeping on the floor because their parents are unable to afford beds due to the high prices they are already paying for diapers, food and housing. There was even a mother that needed a stroller because the family had no car and there wasn’t a nearby bus route, so she had to walk a mile and a half to the grocery store with her six month old baby.
There are far too many stories for us to tell you, but the message is clear. There are so many young children in Cabarrus County who need our help.
Imagine your child is riding in the car with their grandparents and the unimaginable happens. The car they are riding in is involved in a rollover accident. First responders arrive on the scene to find the adults are unresponsive and unable to provide information about themselves, much less their tiny passenger.
Now imagine that it took longer than two hours to identify the adults and the child in the vehicle. During this time, first responders and emergency room staff are trying to console and devise a treatment plan for a scared child whom they know nothing about.
Now imagine that the people in this scenario were real.
The grandparents, John and Linda, were Lisa Klosek's parents. The child is her neice, Michaela. John was injured in the wreck, Linda did not survive, and Michaela was unharmed. Those two hours would have been crucial to Michaela's mother had she been injured or had pre-existing medical conditions.
The W.H.A.L.E. Program stands for "We Have a Little Emergency" and was designed to ensure that first responders had immediate information about a child that they might find in a car seat when they come upon a wreck. The W.H.A.L.E. Kit provides an identification card that goes on the bottom of the child's car seat. It tells the first responders the child's name, date of birth, and any medical information that they would need to know. It also comes with decals for your car windows that the sides of the car seat to allow first responders to know to look for that information card on the bottom of the car seat.
Pick up a FREE W.H.A.L.E. Kit when you attend our School's Out Bash
We will be giving out free W.H.A.L.E. Kits during our School's Out Bash on Saturday, June 8th, 10:00am-2:00pm at Hilbish Ford (2600 S. Cannon Blvd, Kannapolis). Click here for more information about this event and the activities going on that day.
Special thanks to Lisa Klosek for sharing your story with us and for advocating for The W.H.A.L.E. Program.
NC Pre-K One of Only Two State Preschool Programs in the Nation that Measure Teaching Quality and Meet Standards
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.
The 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.