Pinwheels for Prevention Family Fun Day

by Administrator 25. March 2015 14:24

Get your tickets now for Pinwheels for Prevention Family Fun Day! The Exchange Family Center of Durham is hosting its 2nd annual Pinwheels for Prevention Family Fun Day to support the prevention of child abuse and neglect and encourage a day of family fun. The event takes place at Wheels Fun Park (715 N. Hoover Rd.) on Sunday, April 19 2015, 12pm until 6:00pm.

There will be go-karts, batting cages, people mazes, skating, raffle prizes and a 1 mile fun run for kids. It's sure to be a fun day, so get your tickets now before it’s too late! All proceeds go to the Exchange Family Center to help them continue providing successful and proven programs to our community and continue the fight against child abuse and neglect. To buy tickets, please click here or call 919.403.8249.

The Exhange Family Center's EChO (Early Childhood Outreach) program offers consultation services and support to child care providers and families when a young child's behavior presents a challenge in the classroom. EChO is funded by the Partnership through Smart Start. 


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Support the Partnership in the Great Human Race

by Administrator 23. March 2015 13:40

We are participating once again in the Great Human Race, sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Durham, on Saturday, March 28th at 8:00am. This annual event is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year - just like us! 

The Volunteer Center's Great Human Race is a 5k run and community walk that supports area nonprofits. This unique fundraising event supports hundreds of nonprofits, schools and faith-based groups; provides an opportunity for any nonprofit agency to raise money for their own organization; and enables businesses and individuals to support the nonprofit of their choice. Since this great event began 20 years ago, it has raised more than $2 million for Durham nonprofits!

This year, we hope you'll consider contributing to our fundraising efforts as we look ahead to our own 20th Anniversary Celebration next month.

For 20 years we have convened and facilitated the early childhood system in Durham, with a driving commitment to ensure that all children in Durham enter school healthy and ready to succeed. There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when that child enters kindergarten, and 90% of brain development occurs during this time. A child’s early years are a crucial window to create the best possible outcomes in education, health, and economic prosperity, both for the individual and for our society.

A child only has one chance at childhood, and we want all children in Durham to be prepared for success in school and in life. Please help us celebrate 20 year of preparing Durham’s children to succeed! Support us in the Great Human Race and make a gift to help us continue this important work for another 20 years.


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Volunteer to reach children and families during Kindergarten Registration Week

by Administrator 17. March 2015 13:06

In our ongoing effort to ensure that children in Durham County are prepared for success in school, the Partnership and Durham Public Schools are co-hosting Durham's first ever Kindergarten Registration Week during the Week of the Young Child, April 12th-18th. Our goal for this week is to encourage early enrollment and participation in Transition to Kindergarten activities. We know that attendance on the first day has a huge impact on a child's entire educational career, and early enrollment allows school and teachers to prepare for their incoming class so that they can best meet each student's needs. Ultimately, we hope to increase the number of children registered and in school on the first day of kindergarten in 2015!

During Kindergarten Registration Week, we are distributing registration packets to provide parents with all of the information and forms they need to ease the process of registering for school. We've taken a multi-pronged approach to reach as many rising kindergartners in the community as possible. In addition to distributing packets to rising kindergartners in DPS classrooms and child care centers, we are also partnering with some wonderful local businesses in order to meet families out in the community.

Volunteers will be stationed at these businesses throughout Durham all week to distribute registration packets to parents of young children. We are in need of a large number of volunteers, so we hope you'll join in the fun and take part in the important work of preparing children for school.

With your help, we hope to reach thousands of rising kindergartners and their parents and make this inaugural event a huge success! 

Please click on this link to sign up to volunteer. Thank you for your help and your commitment to young children in Durham!

Windsor Circle volunteers commit to early childhood education

by Administrator 13. March 2015 09:51

This week, we had the pleasure of hosting a group of hard-working volunteers from Windsor Circle for their company Team Day. The fun group of 20 volunteers brought enthusiasm, energy and efficiency to the day’s projects, and our office was buzzing with excitement all morning!

In just a few short hours, the team built 400 Blast Off to Kindergarten Kits! These kits provide school readiness materials to rising kindergartners in Durham and are a key part of our Transition to Kindergarten (TTK) Initiative. The kits that Windsor Circle built will be distributed to Glenn Elementary School, one of our Transition Team schools, as well as to NC Pre-K students at 12 child care centers. 


In addition to the kits, the volunteers stuffed, sealed and stamped several hundred invitations to our 20th Anniversary Celebration and helped prepare yard signs that will be placed throughout Durham to promote upcoming TTK events. When they were finished, they helped us organize and clean up all of the materials, including loading our cars with the completed Blast Off Kits so we could deliver them right away. There was no task too small or too hard for this group!

Windsor Circle is focused on working in the area of early childhood education and forming long-term partnerships with organizations in Durham, both through their quarterly volunteer Team Days and by offering their professional insight and expertise. The volunteers asked questions throughout the morning to learn more about our work and early childhood issues, and it was clear that they were invested in the cause, not just the activities at hand. Their commitment to giving back to the community is inspiring, and we could not be more thrilled that they’ve come to see early childhood as the area where they can make the most impact.  


We look forward to working even more deeply with Windsor Circle and being part of another fun Team Day again soon! 

Help us celebrate 20 years of preparing Durham's children to succeed!

by Administrator 11. March 2015 13:41

Linzie Atkins, Board Chair and Laura Benson, Executive Director
cordially invite you to attend:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Museum of Life and Science
433 W. Murray Avenue 


Please join us for an evening of food, fun, and friends, with a rocking chair auction, greetings from former Governor Jim Hunt, and a musical performance by special guest Nnenna Freelon. 

$100 per person

Please RSVP by April 9

Eventbrite - Kids Rock! Durham's Partnership for Children 20th Anniversary Celebration

Durham Touchpoints Collaborative completes another Individual Level Training

by Administrator 10. March 2015 13:30

Today, another group of service providers from agencies across Durham completed Touchpoints Individual Level Training. This is the 4th cohort of trainees in Durham, and the 1st group to receive training from Durham’s newest certified Touchpoints training team comprised of: DeDreana Freeman, East Durham’s Children Initiative; Teresita Maz, El Centro Hispano; and Kenneth Robinson, Durham Early Head Start.

The training team completed Individual Level Training last May, after which they attended an intensive Community Level Training at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center in Boston, MA. The Durham Touchpoints Collaborative is a certified Touchpoints community site, now with two complete training teams. This allows the Touchpoints Collaborative to provide even more training for additional service providers, furthering the reach of the Touchpoints approach through our community and enhancing how professionals engage with each other as well as with the families they serve.


This cohort of trainees included representatives from Duke Primary Children’s Care, Durham County Library, Durham Head Start, Durham Public Schools, East Durham Children’s Initiative, and Village of Wisdom. With multiple people from each agency, the Durham Touchpoints Collaborative hopes to saturate these partner organizations and create a ripple effect in our community. There are now several organizations that have had 100% of their staff complete Touchpoints training!


Touchpoints is an evidence-based theory of child development based on the work of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton that is used by providers across disciplines (e.g. pediatrics, home visiting, early education). Once implemented by providers, this method helps parents understand regressions that accompany their children’s developmental spurts, which occur often during the first years of life. The Touchpoints approach gives providers tools to support parents during these challenging times and to strengthen the parent-child relationship. Touchpoints also helps to build relationships among providers to create a common language when working with families.

For more information about the Durham Touchpoints Collaborative, please contact Paulette Stephens, Touchpoints Program Coordinator from Durham’s Partnership for Children.

NC Lawmakers learn that getting children ready to read starts in the first 2,000 days

by Administrator 5. March 2015 15:27

 “To increase economic growth and ensure the prosperity of all North Carolinians, we must cultivate a future workforce that is highly literate, knowledgeable, and skilled.  This will only happen when we give each child a fair chance to fulfill his or her potential from the start," said James Maynard, Co-Founder and Chairman of Golden Corral Corporation, at a legislative breakfast on Grade-Level Reading held this week.

The event was hosted by the N.C. Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) and BEST NC, a group of business leaders focused on improving state education. It was attended by more than 45 members of the NC General Assembly; representatives from the Governor’s Office, Department of Public Instruction and Superintendent’s staff; and leaders from early learning and education organizations.

The message of the morning was simple: getting children to read at grade level by third grade is critically important, but making sure children reach that stage starts at birth.

 “Attention is focused on the achievement gap among school-aged students, but the gap is evident at nine months old,” said Tracy Zimmerman, executive director of NCECF.

The most rapid period of development in human life occurs during a child’s first 2,000 days. What happens during this critical window sets the foundation for all of the years that follow.

Early literacy is a crucial part of a child’s development. It enhances vocabulary, builds important communication skills, and gives them the tools they need to be successful in school and in life. Children who aren’t reading well by the end of third grade, are four times more likely to drop out of high school. In North Carolina, 31% of all fourth graders could not read at a basic level according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2013.

Along with our partners in early childhood across the state, like NCECF, we are working to improve outcomes for children by continuing to educate our legislators about the importance of early learning . Please click here to sign up for our advocacy e-alerts, get more involved in our legislative efforts, and find out how you can be a champion for young children in Durham!

Read Across Durham: A Celebration of S.T.E.A.M. Literacy

by Administrator 3. March 2015 11:07

This week, Durham County Library is celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) in the inaugural Read Across Durham! Library locations will hold events throughout the week focusing on literacy of all types. The event will culminate on Saturday, March 7th from 1 – 4 p.m. at Northgate Mall’s Discovery Nook, which will feature the Morehead Planetarium, Dr. Seuss, African dancing and much more!

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, the National Education Association declared March 2nd its annual Read Across America Day, inviting schools, libraries, and community centers across the nation to celebrate the joys of reading. Dr. Seuss is loved around the world for his rhythmic tales and colorful illustrations that make reading and listening to the spoken word fun. 

During Durham’s week-long celebration, community volunteers will be visit Durham Public Schools to read and distribute “literacy bags” of goodies. Events will be held each day this week at various library locations, including a special workshop, Every Child Ready to Read, where parents and children under five will learn how to build and strengthen pre-literacy skills at home. 

Please visit the Durham County Library website for a detailed schedule, and we hope that you will join us at these events throughout the week!  If you are interested in helping to inspire a love of reading through our Readers as Leaders volunteer program, please click here


Volunteer to help children Blast Off to Kindergarten!

by Administrator 19. February 2015 16:34

In our ongoing effort to ensure that children in Durham County are prepared for success in school, Durham's Partnership for Children, in collaboration with Durham Public Schools, is hosting a series of events this spring and summer as part of the Transition to Kindergarten Initiative

Transition Teams have been created this year in 5 elementary schools: E.K. Powe Elementary, Forest View Elementary, Glenn Elementary, Lakewood Elementary and Y.E. Smith Elementary. The transition teams are comprised of teachers, parents and school administrators, all with the common goal of wanting to make kindergarten an exciting and welcoming place for new students and families in their community.

Children who will be entering Kindergarten in August will attend the events with their families. Participants will learn how to register for kindergarten, meet the school staff, tour the school, and meet future classmates.


We are in need of volunteers to help at these events, and we know you'll have a great time meeting the children and families and helping them make a smooth transition during this important time! Please click here to view the volunteer opportunities for the Blast Off to Kindergarten Events, and be on the lookout for more opportunities over the next few months.

You can view a list of all of the upcoming Transition to Kindergarten events here. Please contact Wren Davisson (, 919.403.6960 ext. 224) if you'd like to learn more about our Transition to Kindergarten Initiative. 

Early Childhood Bus Tour shows impact throughout the community

by Administrator 13. February 2015 14:53

Last week, the Partnership hosted community leaders and volunteers for another Early Childhood Bus Tour. This event, sponsored by Mechanics and Farmers Bank, is a way for us to invite participants to learn more about our work throughout Durham and view the community through the lens of early childhood. 

We kicked off the event by asking attendees to build Blast-Off to Kindergarten Kits, which is a key part of the Transition to Kindergarten Initiative and one of many volunteer opportunities here at the Partnership. The Bus Tour seemed particulary timely since that morning's paper featured a front page story about the benefits of early education! After introductions and kit-building, attendees joined us as we traveled to Child Care Services Association (CCSA), Bethesda Baptist Child Care Center, and Leathers-Meachem Head Start.


The first stop on the tour was just across the hall from us, at CCSA. We split into two groups to hear more about two of the programs at CCSA that receive Smart Start funding. In one room, attendees heard about the Child Care Referral Program and learned how parents get assistance in finding and choosing a high-quality child care program to best fit their needs. In the other room, representatives from the Smart Start Scholarship Program discussed how the funding assists parents who are working or in school pay for child care. Attendees also heard a moving parent testimony from a single mother who was able to continue working knowing that her two children were receiving the highest quality care, all thanks to the Scholarship program.


The next stop on the tour was Bethesda Baptist Child Care Center, where participants learned about Early Childhood Outreach (EChO), a program that is based out of the Exchange Family Center and is another one of our funded partners. EChO services provide support for children with challenging behavior, through both individual work with children and teacher coaching and assistance. Attendees also heard from a teacher who has received EChO coaching, and she made it clear that her teaching style, classroom, students and whole school has benefitted immensely from working with EChO.


Our final stop was the Leathers-Meachem Head Start center, one of our community partners in the NC Pre-K program. Participants heard from Derric Boston, Health Manager at Durham Head Start, about how Head Start services support families with young children. They also learned about one of our Smart Start-funded programs that supports professional development for early childhood educators. The WAGE$ program, part of CCSA, provides financial assistance, incentivizes pursuing further education, and reduces teacher turnover. Tashika Harris, a teacher at Leathers-Meachem and a participant in the WAGE$ program, spoke about how the program has impacted her life and career. Last but not least, attendees then had an opportunity to observe a couple of NC Pre-K classrooms to see some enthusiastic 4-year-olds in action!


All participants left the bus tour with a deeper understanding of the scope of the Partnership’s work, as well as the need for community-wide commitment and efforts to ensure that every child in Durham enters school healthy and ready to succeed. One way you can join this work is to become even more informed, involved and invested! Sign up for our email list for news and advocacy alerts, subscribe to this blog, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, join us on a future bus tour, and check back often for information about upcoming activities and volunteer opportunities at the Partnership. 

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