Thank you for celebrating Week of the Young Child with us

by Administrator 17. April 2015 15:06

As Week of the Young Child comes to an end, we’d like to say thank you to our local government and community leaders! We have extraordinary support at both the City and County government levels. Our collaborations and mutual accountability run deep – from distribution of public dollars, to partnerships and initiatives, to Board and Committee membership. Our local government’s work in addressing the needs of Durham’s residents has guided our work for 20 years and makes a difference in the lives of children.

Both the Durham City Council and the Durham County Board of County Commissioners recognized the annual Week of the Young Child celebration with a Proclamation, both of which recognized the following: 

-Making sure children are ready to learn is a community endeavor that involves parents, child care providers, policy makers, businesses, congregations and community agencies.

-Transition to kindergarten must be a smooth, coordinated process for children, parents, and schools that greatly minimizes the achievement gap.

To honor these important principles, we designated this year's Week of the Young Child as Kindergarten Registration Week, a collaborative, community-wide effort in partnership with Durham Public Schools. It’s our hope that Kindergarten Registration Week will become an annual event to support children and families as they prepare to enter school, and thanks to your help this year, we are well on our way!  

One of our goals for Kindergarten Registration Week was to bring together groups from all sectors of the community, because school readiness is everybody's business. Registration information has been spread far and wide across Durham - at grocery stores and local businesses, hospitals, child care centers, public agencies - by our community partners and more than 100 volunteers. Our volunteers have been a diverse group, ranging from corporate teams, to high school and college students, to civic groups, and even members of the Board of Education. We called on the whole community to get involved and make a commitment to Durham's future, and we are thrilled at how much the Durham community has rallied behind this cause. 

Thank you for your support, and thank you for celebrating Week of the Young Child and Kindergarten Registration Week with us!

Only 1 week left – buy your ticket to come rock with us!

by Administrator 16. April 2015 15:46

There is only one week left until our 20th anniversary celebration, Kids Rock!, and we want you to come rock with us! 

For 20 years, the Partnership has served as the convener and facilitator of Durham’s early childhood system. This event, with lead sponsorship from PNC, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, and the Duke Office of Durham and Regional Affairs, honors the comprehensive system that has evolved from the early days of Smart Start. 

The celebration, entitled Kids Rock!, will feature a musical performance from special guest Nnenna Freelon, a world-renowned, Grammy®-nominated local resident, and a video greeting from Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. An ensemble of children from Kidznotes will perform during the event, with additional jazz music provided by a faculty trio from NC Central University. A silent auction of children’s rocking chairs will take place throughout the evening with a variety of great prizes, including: college basketball tickets, a Taste of Durham food tour, club seats at a Durham Bulls Game, a relaxing stay at the Washington Duke Inn, and many more!

It will be an evening filled with great friends, food, drinks and entertainment, and we want you to be there! Please join us at our 20th anniversary celebration, Kids Rock!, on April 23rd. Help us celebrate 20 years of preparing Durham’s children to succeed, and share in the vision, passion and commitment to help lead this organization through the next 20 years.

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

Graduate Durham begins long before senior year

by Administrator 13. April 2015 13:07

This week, Week of the Young Child, is Durham’s first ever Kindergarten Registration Week! Throughout the week and all across Durham, volunteers will be distributing registration packets to rising kindergartners and their families. Yesterday, the Herald-Sun featured an article written by Laura Benson (Partnership Executive Director) and Bert L'Homme (Superintendent of Durham Public Schools) about why kindergarten registration is so important for the long-term success of our children and our community. Please read the excerpt below, and click here for the full article. 

Entering kindergarten is one of the most significant events that a young child experiences. It sets the tone for his or her entire educational experience and lays the foundation for future success in school and life. At Durham Public Schools and Durham’s Partnership for Children, our goal is for every child in Durham to enter kindergarten feeling excited, ready to learn and supported by their school, family and community.

National research shows that nearly 50 percent of children have difficulty with the transition to kindergarten. A smooth transition is a shared responsibility among many individuals and institutions, and it is out of this shared duty that Durham’s Transition to Kindergarten Initiative was born. This deeply collaborative effort between DPS and the Partnership hopes to ensure a smooth start to school, setting a tone for life-long learning as well as empowering parents to become active participants in their children’s education.

On-time enrollment and attendance on the first day of kindergarten are key factors to a quality start to school. For some schools, only a fraction of the projected kindergarteners are enrolled and attend class on day one.  When children are not registered on time, it creates difficulties for our schools, the teachers and the families. A smooth transition to school allows for the child and the family to meet their new teachers and become comfortable and familiar with their new school. Unfortunately, when a child enrolls late, it is harder to make the connection between the families and their new schools before the first day.

In 2013, Durham Public Schools had 344 kindergarteners register during the first 40 days of school. This means that almost 10 percent of the rising kindergarten class missed the very first days of their academic career, putting them behind their classmates from the start.

Children who are absent on the first day of kindergarten are more likely to be chronically absent all the way through high school, missing 10 percent of the academic year each year. These early absences have far-reaching and long-term consequences, especially for those students who need school the most and are sometimes getting the least. Chronic absence in kindergarten can leave third-graders unable to read proficiently, sixth-graders struggling with coursework, and high school students off track for graduation. The missed days in a student’s earliest years are a significant precursor to reduced levels of school achievement and increased risk of dropping out of school.

So how do we turn this around?

Our best opportunity to reverse this trend lies in early childhood. We must have a unified effort to help children and families make a smooth transition into kindergarten, starting with being registered and present on the first day of school.

We are calling on the whole community to get involved and make a commitment to Durham’s future. Think about what you can do within your own family, your place of business, and your own neighborhood to help get more children registered and in school. Volunteer to help us spread the word this week during Kindergarten Registration Week. Make the first day of school for all children a priority. Join us in our effort to prepare children to succeed, and help us make every day count as we work from the start to graduate Durham.

Please click here for the full article.
Please click here to sign up to volunteer this week! 

NC Pre-K directors receive Blast Off to Kindergarten Kits

by Administrator 9. April 2015 15:44

This afternoon, NC Pre-K directors received more than 300 Blast Off to Kindergarten Kits and kindergarten registration packets to be distributed to NC Pre-K students at 13 child care centers!

The Blast Off to Kindergarten Kits are a key component of the Transition to Kindergarten Initiative. The Kits provide school readiness materials designed to prepare children and families for the transition from home to kindergarten, and each one contains items that promote early literacy, enhance emotional and fine motor development, and prompt creativity. Thanks to a grant from the Community Care Fund of the Doing Good in the Neighborhood Campaign, coordinated by Duke University’s Office of Durham & Regional Affairs, we were able to build 1,600 kits this year. All of the kits are compiled by volunteers, and the ones given out to NC Pre-K students today were built by the awesome team at Windsor Circle.

The kindergarten registration packets are part of the upcoming Kindergarten Registration Week. The packets 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. The packets distributed today will go to NC Pre-K students in private child care centers, and packets have also been distributed to DPS classrooms and rising kindergartners at nearly 30 other child care centers and community agencies. 

Additionally, we are 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 still in need of volunteers, so please sign up for an open slot 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!

Rising kindergartners need you!

by Administrator 6. April 2015 16:01

Kindergarten Registration Week is almost here, and Durham's rising kindergartners need you!

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. 

On-time enrollment and attendance on the first day of kindergarten are key factors to a quality start to school. In 2013, Durham Public Schools had 344 kindergarteners register after school started. This means that almost 10% of the rising kindergarten class missed the very first days of their academic career, putting them behind their classmates from the start. These early absences have far-reaching and long-term consequences, especially for those students who need school the most and are sometimes getting the least. The missed days in a child’s earliest years are a significant precursor to reduced levels of school achievement and increased risk of dropping out of school.

Our best opportunity to reverse this trend lies in early childhood, and the first step is to get every eligible kindergartner as early as possible. Registration information will be spread far and wide across Durham; at grocery stores and local businesses, hospitals, child care centers, and public agencies. This is where you come in! We are in need of about 150 volunteers throughout the week to pass out information and speak to parents and children. Please sign up now to help rising kindergartners in Durham!

An inspiring challenge from Governor Hunt

by Administrator 1. April 2015 12:51

Yesterday, we had the honor of meeting with Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. at the Hunt Library on NC State’s Centennial Campus as he recorded a video greeting that we will share with everyone at our 20th anniversary celebration: Kids Rock!

L-R: Matt Gross (North Carolina Partnership for Children), Laura Benson (Durham's Partnership for Children), Governor Hunt

The Smart Start Initiative, launched by Governor Hunt 20 years ago, was created as a public-private partnership to address a critical state-wide problem: children were coming to school unprepared to learn. Providing comprehensive programs and access to early care and education in the first 5 years of life was the solution then, and it’s the solution now. Today, when public-private partnerships are the lynchpin to sustainability, it is so important for our new, emerging leaders to continue to lead the cause and invest in our children, our county, our state and our economy.

Among many kind words, Governor Hunt said that we are a model, both in the state and nationally. We take that as both a wonderful compliment and a challenge. We know that we must continue to be innovative as we develop programming that responds to the needs in our community, and we also know that we need your help. We want all children in Durham to be prepared for success in school and in life, and we need all of you to be informed, involved and invested in order to make that happen.

Please join us at our 20th anniversary celebration, Kids Rock!, on April 23rd. Help us celebrate 20 years of preparing Durham’s children to succeed, and share in the vision, passion and commitment to help lead this organization through the next 20 years.

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

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. 

Tags:

events | news | partners

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.

Tags:

donate | events | news | partners

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! 

Month List