Saturday, May 14, 2016

EatPlayGrow Teaches Healthy Living for Children in Cabarrus County

On May 14th, Building Healthy Lifestyles in All Directions held their EatPlayGrow family workshop at the NC Research Campus. The Partnership's program combines the latest science and research to engage families and provide helpful tips around nutrition, physical activities and sleep patterns.  Families in this program attend the monthly workshop for five months.

Led by Meredith Ledford, parents participated in activities with their children that taught them about the importance of Calcium. They made skeleton t-shirts, tasted five types of milk (soy, skim, whole, reduced fat and almond) and guessed which cup matched each type of milk, and tasted healthy and Calcium-rich foods.  These activities made learning about healthy living fun for children and also made parents more aware of ways they can choose healthier food and drink choices for their children.

Click here to learn more about general health programs for children ages 0-5 years old in Cabarrus County. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Partner Spotlight: Families First in Cabarrus County

Putting Families First

As part of our mission to better the lives of children in the community, we’ve teamed up with Families First in Cabarrus County, a local nonprofit organization serving at-risk children and families, to help provide children and their parents with needed resources they need to improve their lives both at home and in school.

Founded in July, 2014 by Spencer and Aurora Swain, FFCC works to make a positive impact in the lives of Cabarrus County children by implementing three separate programs aimed at improving early childhood development. Programs include Parents as Teachers, Celebrating Families, and Cabarrus Bilingual Preschool, each one fully offered in both English and Spanish.

Building a Five-Star Facility

In April, Cabarrus Bilingual Preschool, a learning program for preschool children, was awarded a Five-Star Child Care License by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. This rating is the highest a childcare facility can receive in the state of NC, a distinction made all the more meaningful by the fact that the preschool has been open for only six months.

“We are excited to be awarded the highest ranking by the North Carolina Division of Child Development,” said Spencer Swain, Executive Director of Families First. “It shows our parents how devoted we are in providing excellence in care, learning, health, and a safe environment on a daily basis.”

The distinction reflects Bilingual Preschool’s commitment to quality, providing children support from a top-notch bilingual staff and exposing them to a wide variety of developmentally appropriate experiences.

A Creative Curriculum

The preschool utilizes a bilingual developmentally appropriate curriculum called Creative Curriculum, which has proved to be very beneficial in helping children cultivate skills both academically and interpersonally.

“Creative [Curriculum] gives us the tools to ensure development in all areas: cognitive, social-emotional, mathematics, physical, science and technology, social studies, arts, and language,” said Swain.

The bilingual nature of the curriculum also assists the preschool in taking an innovative approach to stimulating skills in English and Spanish, as it allows the program to create an environment in which an emphasis is placed on both languages.

“Too many programs spend increased time ‘teaching’ English, which reduces the time children spend on learning much-needed concepts and content,” said Swain. Part of the preschool’s overall success has come from its commitment to providing support for both the home language and culture of its Hispanic children, in addition to exposure to English.

Outdoor Learning

Recently, the program was awarded a new play area, which is being built by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s chapter of Freedom by Design, a member of The American Institute of Architecture Students. Phase I allows Families First to expand the preschool to an outdoor learning space complete with an amphitheater, numerous tunnels, inclines, an acrylic garden wall and centers for art, music, and math exploration. Phase II of the vision, and UNCC’s master plan for this space, is a “racetrack” to be completed this time next year.

“It has been special to work with this group, watching them creatively align their design skills and talents with our philosophy of learning and development,” said Swain. “We will have a wonderful place for all ages and after school programs that can benefit from the value of being a learner outdoors.”

Summer Learning

Bilingual Preschool is also excited to announce that ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, which are a recent addition to the program, conducted in partnership with the Cabarrus Literacy Council, will be continuing through the summer months.

To get involved with Bilingual Preschool and assist with ESL classes, please contact Spencer at (704) 202-5057 or visit

Friday, April 8, 2016

Our Community's Impact | National Volunteer Week 2016

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

In honor of National Volunteer Week from April 10th-16th, Cabarrus Partnership for Children (CPC) would like to recognize these volunteers for their amazing work with our organization and in the community.

Tilly Fredette

Tilly Fredette has volunteered with CPC at different capacities over the last 8 years. While she currently teaches K-5 English as a Second Language (ESL) for Cabarrus County Schools, Tilly volunteers her time helping our organization with applications, screenings, family events, and various other programs.

Tilly says her passion is “helping children reach their learning goals, building trust with their families, helping families locate resources, and to support families any way I possibly can.” Her passion shows through all of the work she has done to help families and children in Cabarrus County. Her motto is: “What I do is not who I am, who I am is what I do.” – Joyce Meyer

Elizabeth Albright, Family Programs Coordinator at CPC, shared that Tilly “is a fantastic person who is always helping and giving of her free time.” Thank you Tilly for all you have done for Cabarrus Partnership for Children!

Paula Yost

For the last two years, Cabarrus Partnership for Children has had the pleasure of working with Paula Yost. Paula is an attorney at the Country Law Shack in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina who has also devoted her time to helping our organization as well as many others in the community.

Paula serves as the chair of the Cabarrus County Child Protection Team. As the chair, she leads a committee which works to protect children in Cabarrus County by creating programs to be implemented in our community.

The Executive Director of CPC, Ann Benfield, has worked very closely with her and says that “Paula’s passion for children’s safety is contagious. She is truly a child advocate!” We are so thankful for her service and advocacy in the Cabarrus County community.

Our Community

Volunteers are essential to our success and play a vital role within our organization and the partners we work with. We are honored to have so many volunteers who advocate for Cabarrus County’s youngest children and help our organization and its partners thrive.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cabarrus Health Alliance Launches Tiny Smiles Dental Program

Did you know that a baby tooth is just as important as an adult tooth?  Baby teeth are important because they are not only needed for chewing and talking properly, they are also space holders for permanent teeth!

The Tiny Smiles program at Cabarrus Health Alliance helps Cabarrus County's youngest children keep tiny, happy smiles.  This program is open to children ages 0-4 years old who are Cabarrus County residents, do not have dental insurance, or have Medicaid.  Tiny Smiles includes a FREE dental check-up for children who have not seen a dentist in the last 6 months.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 704-920-1020.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Reach Out and Read: Building Early Childhood Literacy in Cabarrus County

The first five years of life offer a critical window for learning, with rapid development that does not occur at any other time.  Many children, especially from low-income families, are not read to from birth.  Without sufficient exposure to language, those children start Kindergarten without basic literacy skills, and often struggle with reading in early grades.  

The Reach Out and Read program helps Cabarrus County's youngest children get the exposure they need to develop essential early literacy skills before entering Kindergarten.

What is Reach Out and Read?   

During regular pediatric checkups, pediatricians, family physicians, and nurse practitioners who are a part of our Reach Out and Read program give new, developmentally-appropriate books to children, ages 6 months through 5 years, and advise parents about the importance of reading aloud.  The medical provider models reading a book aloud to the child and encourages parent-child interactions as part of pre-literacy and language development.

Why is Reading Aloud to Young Children so Important?

Reading aloud to young children stimulates language and cognitive skills and builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.  Research also shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child's vocabulary at age 3.  Click here to find out all of the benefits of reading aloud and the Reach Out and Read program.

Who offers this program?

Cabarrus County's Reach Out and Read program is funded by Cabarrus Partnership for Children, who has contracted with Community Care of the Southern Piedmont (CCSP) to implement the program.  CCSP works with partner medical facilities to implement the program throughout the community.  Cabarrus Health Alliance, Concord Children's Clinic, and Suburban Pediatrics of Kannapolis & Davidson currently provide this program at their practices.

How do I qualify? 

Any child going to a participating clinic can qualify for Reach Out and Read.  Please contact Starla Hatley with Community Care of Southern Piedmont at 704-262-1058 for additional information.

How can I help?

Currently, this program is in need of additional funding for books so more children can be reached by this program.  If you would like to donate or would like to learn more about helping this program, contact Starla Hatley at 704-262-1058.