The W.H.A.L.E. Program

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.

WHALE program

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

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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