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All About Kids. All In One Place. Equipping Families with the Presented by United Way of Greenville County & Greenville First Steps resources they need to help get Presented by: kids ready for early school success.



Ready Early Care and Education


Ready Communities


Children Ready for Long-Term Success

Fostering Learning Through Community Partnership When does learning begin? Some would say it is the moment you step off the school bus, new backpack filled with supplies, heading for your first day of Kindergarten. Others would say it’s earlier, maybe the first time you made a connection between the word BUS and that yellow thing that drove past you on the street. Researchers are discovering more and more about how our brain develops. According to research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, during the child’s early years, brain synapse development is fantastically fast. At its peak rate, “the cerebral cortex of a healthy toddler may create two million synapses per second.” By 30 months, a majority of our synapses have been created. Think of the brain synapses as a series of roadways. One option is a rural country road - a dirt road with mud puddles. The other is a complex interchange where state highways, interstates, and county roads all intersect. If you were responsible for moving tons of freight in a single day, which road system would you prefer? Which would make it easier for complex traffic systems to move?

and the Greenville County School District, identified that a Ready Child most likely comes from a Ready Family (where parents embrace their role as their child’s first and most important teacher), a Ready Early Care and Education system (where child-serving professionals adopt best practices to create a seamless system of care), and a Ready Community that embraces School Readiness as a core component of a vibrant, educated, financially stable community. There is no silver bullet; no single program, service, or intervention that will guarantee every child is on track, but through a coordinated effort of public and private partners, we are working to build a roadmap to ensure that Greenville County will be a learning community for generations to come.

The kids drive Greenville publication is created through a partnership between Greenville First Steps, the Greenville Journal, and United Way of Greenville County. Content provided by Greenville First Steps, United Way of Greenville County, the Institute for Child Success, and many of our local community partners. Please visit to learn more about many of the partners featured here.

Ted Hendry

d Way President,Unite unty of Greenville Co

With 70-80% of brain development occurring during the first 30 months of life, school readiness is a core issue area, predicting early school success, high school completion, family financial stability, and ultimately whether we are producing an employable workforce. In response to research like this, more than 100 members of the Greenville County community worked to develop a School Readiness Roadmap. The question we asked: What are the research-proven behaviors and assets that each child should possess to ensure that she enters school on track and ready to succeed? The Roadmap development process, facilitated by United Way of Greenville County with key community partners including Greenville First Steps, the Institute for Child Success

Derek L ewis

Greenville First Steps Executive Director

All About Kids. All In One Place. 2  Kids Drive Greenville

Community Voices: Tim Justice Table of Contents: Owner, Rescom Construction | Chair, United Way Education Council What advice would you give to a father of a young child? As the father of two teenage sons, I have thouroughly enjoyed watching them move from one stage of life to another and seeing the maturation that has taken place along the way. Do not place limits on your child’s dreams and as they grow, help them remove any obstacles to achieving those dreams. A huge tool for overcoming obstacles in life is knowing how to think, reason throughout problems, and make decisions. Those abilities inspire confidence and eliminate dependence. To bring it full circle…they are traits that can and should be taught beginning at birth. What advice would you give to a father o greater of a young child: I can think of n n than Do not place limits on your child’s dreams personal missio n prepare and as they grow, help them remove any helping childre a life obstacles to achieving those dreams. themselves for A huge tool for overcoming obstacles aginable filled with unim in life is knowing how to think, reason opportunities. through problems and make decisions. Those abilities inspire confidence and eliminate dependence. To bring it full circle…they are traits that can and should be taught beginning at birth. How did you become involved with United Way: A number of years ago I was asked by Greenville County Councilmember Jim Burns to attend a couple of meetings of the School Readiness Council. Prior to that, I really did not understand what “school readiness” meant, nor did I understand the impact that having a large number ill-equipped young children was having on our school system, eventually on our graduation rate and ultimately on our community’s economic success. Why is the School Readiness Roadmap important to you: It was only as an adult that I really grasped the impact education has on an individual’s life…with it many doors open and without it life often turns out to be difficult and options become very limited. Knowing that and realizing that many children start school not ready and never catch up, it became clear to me the correlation between school readiness, a prepared workforce and a thriving economy. As a business owner, a growing economy is essential. But beyond my own selfish interest as an employer, I also love Greenville and want nothing but the very best for it.

Letter from United Way and First Steps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Spotlight: Tim Justice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Ready Famillies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4–7 Prescription to Read: 15 minutes a day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8–9 Finding Quality Child Care. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10–11 Map of Funded First Steps and United Way Partners . . . . 12–13 Quality Child Care Providers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14–15 Early Identification and Interventions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16–17 The Business Case for Investment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18–19 Born Learning Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Portrait of a Ready Child. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 The School Readiness Roadmap provides a well-thought-out strategic plan for preparing families, early childhood educators, and our community at large to work with our children to instill a hunger for learning and an ability to be taught. I can think of no greater personal mission than helping children prepare themselves for a life filled with unimaginable opportunities. What advice would you give to business leaders who want to get involved in school readiness: To be candid, I doubt there are a lot of business leaders or adults in general that give much thought to school readiness. I make that assumption because I was one of them. When I heard someone talk about early childhood education I thought they were referring to kindergarten through 3rd grade and when I heard “school readiness” I assumed that meant kids knowing their ABC’s and their sounds, and knowing how to count to 100, and so on. Because of those misconceptions I saw no real role for myself in a solution, thus no desire to be involved. It is my hope that as we expose the Greenville County community to the Roadmap, its strategies, its goals, its metrics, and the ultimate outcomes it will not only solidify an understanding of the problem, but will also open the eyes of all leaders within our community to the true impact a successful implementation could have on Greenville County and future generations. If that were to happen it would inspire passion and a real desire for them to discover the piece of the “Roadmap” puzzle they want to put in place. My advice…if you recognize the importance of a well-educated community, then know that education begins at the birth of a child and there are roles for everyone to be involved, so get to know the School Readiness Roadmap.

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 3

Ready Families Research demonstrates that a child’s most important and influential teacher is not found in a classroom, but in the living room. In these first years, children adopt more behaviors and skills from their parents than they will from anyone else. For most, parenting is a reflective process. By reaching out to new parents, we can equip them with the skills, resources, and behaviors that help to ensure their home environment is nurturing, safe, and engaging.

Learn ing Begin At Ho s me

Spotlight: Nurse Family Partnership | Number of families served this year: 175 Imagine having your own personal nurse who would visit you during pregnancy and through your child’s infancy. Nurse Family Partnership is an evidenced-based home visitation program that does just this. First-time, Medicaid eligible mothers are paired with a nurse from Greenville Health System. Nurse and parents meet every other week during pregnancy, and continue to visit each other every other week until the child’s second birthday. Through 30 years of longitudinal research, the program has shown improved birth outcomes, decreased accidental injury and death, reduction in high-risk behaviors, and improved financial stability for family members.

Jennifer’s Story: Jennifer was 18 when she found out she was pregnant. Jennifer was forced to re-examine the plans she had made for herself and her family. One of the first steps Jennifer made was to visit the OB clinic in the Greenville Health System. Jennifer was told about the Nurse Family Partnership program. She was paired with Veronica, one of the 7 nurses on the Greenville NFP team. Through regular home visits, Veronica and Jennifer explored ways she could ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. After her son was born, Jennifer and Veronica met twice a month for the next two years, as Jennifer worked on her Associate’s degree. “I just want to tell Nurse Family Partnership thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for every minute you took out of your day to spend with me and my son, to make our lives better. There is no way they will ever know how much they have helped me,” Jennifer explains. “And I know it has not only changed my life, but my son’s life for the better”. In Greenville and Pickens counties, GHS Nurse Family Partnership nurses are currently serving 175 mothers, providing health and wellness instruction, mentoring, and emotional support to help these families pave the way for their family to have a successful start.”

Community Foundation of Greenville, SC Children’s Trust, Greenville Women Giving, and a blending of state and Federal funds.

Scan here to learn more about Veronica’s Story.

To learn more about this program, contact Lisa Skinner, Nurse Supervisor

Nurse Family Partnership is funded through a coordinated partnership including the Duke Endowment, Greenville First Steps, United Way of Greenville County, Hollingsworth Funds,

All About Kids. All In One Place. 4  Kids Drive Greenville

Children are Born learners Check out this TEDxGreenville Salon talk with Derek Lewis, Greenville First Steps Executive Director

Spotlight: Julie Valentine Center | Number of families served this year: 1,300 Julie Valentine Center is the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Recovery Center serving Greenville and Pickens Counties. Julie Valentine Center works to stop child abuse and sexual assault before it happens with community education; works to reduce trauma and re-establish safety for victims and their families with the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Rape Crisis program; and engaging survivors in the healing process through compassionate, comprehensive treatment with our individual and group therapy services. Julie Valentine Center provides direct services to victims and their families who have been impacted by some of the most horrific crimes imaginable. We know our program works when we see individuals and families reestablish safety and security for themselves and create a “new normal.” We see victims become survivors every day.

collaboration with numerous community partners such as law enforcement, DSS, GALs, Greenville Health System, St. Francis Health System, Greenville Mental Health, and the 13th circuit Solicitor’s Office. Our services are provided in a child and family friendly environment. Our educational programs have been provided in the Greenville County School District since 1991 and continue to reach hundreds of children each year. Additionally, our educational programs reach those who work directly with children to understand their role as mandated reporters.

We are the only program that provides Children’s Advocacy Center services in our Nationally Accredited CAC (accredited by the National Children’s Alliance) to Greenville and Pickens Counties. These include forensic interviews, medical exams, trauma focused individual and group counseling, and case management for children and families impacted by physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/ or neglect. We provide these services in

Spotlight: Greenville Literacy | Number of Families Served This Year: 1,817 Greenville Literacy provides tutoring for adults with low literacy attainment. Coursework includes: reading, writing, math, social studies, science, and English for non-English speakers. We also tutor students working toward attaining a GED or WorkKeys Certifications. We pre-test and post-test students to track education level gains. In 2012 620 students made at least one grade level education gain and 225 of these students moved up 2 or more levels.

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

Greenville Literacy’s niche, as a community based organization, is to provide educational opportunities for adults with the lowest level of literacy. We also provide a bridge between ESL and ABE studies for our international student. Our Parenting Enrichment project encourages ESL parents to read to their pre-school children, so they are prepared to enter public education. Looking to the future, GLA’s ability to meet the needs of international students will be critical to our mission.

& Greenville First Steps 5

Ready Families High School Dropout rates are directly linked to 3rd Grade standardized test scores. Children who test “not ready” in 3rd grade are more likely than their peers to struggle in school, and ultimately, to dropout. In 2009, Dr. Baron Holmes of the SC Office of Research and Statistics concluded an examination of the common traits possessed by SC children who tested “not ready” in 3rd grade. What he found was that the most common risk factors had to do with traits of the parents not of the child’s capacity to learn.

Family Engagement

Top Five Most Prevalent Barriers to School Readiness in Greenville County (Percent of children testing “not ready” on 3rd grade standardized tests and possessing this risk factor) Children with documented cases of abuse, neglect, or spent time in foster care.


Low Maternal Education (mother without a High School diploma)


Receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)


Born to a Teen Mother (under 18)


Spotlight: Family Effect | Number of Families Served This Year: 1,143 Families, with 2,100 Children We are all proud to call Greenville County home. Yet each year, the Department of Social services finds more than 1,000 neglected children in our community. Nearly 500 are taken from their homes and put into foster care. How can this happen, in a community that cares so much about kids? Ask anyone working with children in crisis, and they’ll tell you the answer. The problem is addiction in the family home. About 85% of all children who are neglected and put into foster care have a parent struggling with addiction. Until our community solves that problem, we cannot hope to make progress in our efforts to help children in crisis. The Family Effect is tackling this problem at its root. We work to reduce addiction as the leading cause of family collapse and harm to children in the upstate of South Carolina. We raise funds and recruit volunteers for research-based programs at the Phoenix Center. One of these programs is Serenity Place- a residential treatment program for pregnant women, young mothers and their preschool children. Serenity Place brings transformation to mothers like Ginny. Her own childhood in Laurens was spent in the shadow of drug addiction in a dysfunctional home. Despite her circumstances, she worked hard at school and was awarded a full

scholarship to the College of Charleston. But with no support from family, and things worsening back home, Ginny left school to see if she could help somehow. She couldn’t, and soon became an addicted young mother herself. When her daughter was only a few years old, Ginny hit rock bottom. There was only way to go…up. Ginny and her young daughter entered treatment at Serenity Place. For six months, Ginny worked through an intense treatment plan and overcame her addiction. Her daughter healed and blossomed. And perhaps most importantly, Ginny reestablished her bond with her child. Today, Ginny’s family is happy and healthy. When she isn’t working at a popular Greenville restaurant, you can find Ginny hanging out with her daughter or reading a book. Right now she’s reading “How to Read Literature like a Professor.” Ginny plans to go back to school soon to earn her degree. It’s our mission to enable transformations like this. And we believe that when our community heals a family, we all get better. That’s the Family Effect.

All About Kids. All In One Place. 6  Kids Drive Greenville

Spotlight: Little Steps | Number of Families Served This Year: 100 Little Steps provides a safe environment of encouragement and accountability for teen and young parents in the Greenville County area. We accomplish this through peer groups, classes, one-on-one mentoring, and parent-child enrichment classes. Parents earn Baby Bucks for participation and can use their bucks to buy necessities like diapers, clothing, and other supplies from the Little Steps Baby Boutique The primary purpose of Little Steps is to assist pregnant and parenting teens in becoming selfsufficient, healthy, and confident parents. Also, we work to reduce the teen pregnancy rate in Greenville County, and to help improve dropout rates for new mothers enrolled in Greenville County Schools. Research shows that teen mothers who receive positive one-on-one mentoring are more likely to stay in school, graduate on time, and move on to college or a career to help support their family. Through partners like the Greenville School District, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville First Steps, we are able to reach these teens during pregnancy and provide them the support they need to remain on track. In South Carolina, 24% of teen mothers of teen mothers have repeat pregnancies. Less than 2% of teen mothers enrolled in Little Steps have had repeat pregnancies. Additionally, through partnerships, we have helped reduce the High School dropout rate for teens in Greenville County from 83% to 33% over the past five years.

Spotlight: Pendleton Place Pendleton Place for Children and Families | Number of Children Served This Year: 328 Family Bridges, a program at Pendleton Place for Children and Families, provides supervised visitation and custody exchange to help families establish and maintain positive parenting relationships with their children, minimize conflict between the parents, protect children from abuse and neglect, and protect parent victims from their batterers. Regardless of the precipitating circumstance or referral source sending families to Family Bridges for supervised parenting, 80% of those families come with histories or allegations of domestic violence. The Family Bridges program provides children the opportunity to reduce the fear and anxiety during family visitation, allowing them to simply be a child with their parent. The parent also has the opportunity to practice parenting in a closely monitored, structured and nurturing family environment. Given the cyclical nature of family violence, this may be the first healthy parenting they’ve ever seen. Our program model adheres to national best practice standards put forth by the Supervised Visitation Network. As an organization, Pendleton Place for Children and Families has transformed itself from a 100%residential program for children in foster care to 75% community based services supporting high need families. Our Mission is to keep children safe and support families in crisis through intervention, prevention and assessment. Our vision is a community where children are safe, families are strong, and victims become whole again. For appointment: Call 864.516.1236 (referrals accepted by family members & attorney’s)

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 7

Prescription to Read: 15 Minutes A Day One of the single greatest predictors of school success is exposure to books at an early age. A child who is read to 20 minutes a day will enter school ahead of her peers. Research has demonstrated that these gains happen regardless of the education level of parents. In fact, a family with parents who lack a high school education who read 20 minutes a day to their child show similar gains to children of college educated parents.

Spotlight: Reach Out and Read | Number of Children Served This Year: 17,750 Reach Out and Read prepares our youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Pediatricians encourage parents to read regularly with their children and distribute free, developmentally and culturally appropriate books to children from six months to five years of age at each well-child checkup. Through this inexpensive, regular intervention, parents learn that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to ensure that their children enter school ready to learn. Reach Out and Read continues to expand our evidence-based, three-part solution for children growing up in poverty: (1) doctors prescribe developmentally appropriate literacy strategies to parents, (2) the pediatrician gives every child a carefully selected new book to take home, and (3) Parents incorporate advice received during pediatric visits and make reading aloud part of their daily routine. Since 1991, this model has been studied by academic investigators in a variety of settings, culminating in 15 independent evaluations that affirm the impact of our program. This body of published research is more extensive than for any other psychosocial intervention in general pediatrics. Reach Out and Read leverages the unique and trusting relationship between doctors and patients to deliver a full dose of literacy to children and families early and often. Doctors have unparalleled access to children, especially in their earliest years, years vital for growth and development. Almost 96% of children see a health care provider at least annually, while less than one third are enrolled in a childcare setting. Doctors provide the essential link between healthy minds and healthy bodies, and encourage parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. Reach Out and Read together with our providers and partners across the state are making measurable impacts on the school readiness of children across South Carolina.

know... Did you

00 books Over 24,5 d istribute will be d teps and by First S rs ay partne W d e it n U this year.

All About Kids. All In One Place. 8  Kids Drive Greenville

Spotlight: St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic School | Number of Families Served This Year: 100 At St. Anthonys, we educate and inspire students from K-3 through Grade 6 to be life-long learners and prepare them for lives of leadership and service as builders of the kingdom of God. One major point of celebration for us is our consistent high school graduation rates. 100% of the students who graduated from our school in 2009 graduated from Greenville County High Schools in June 2013. Though we are a Catholic School, a part of the Diocese of Charleston, 90% of our children come from different Faith Traditions. We were founded in 1951 to serve African American children but have always included children from all ethnic backgrounds. In order to make our school available for families of all backgrounds, we continually welcome partnerships with individuals, families, churches, businesses and foundations.

Community Voices: Mike Osler Regional Director, Proaxis Therapy | Wife Kim, Father of 3 Mike is a volunteer on the United Way School Readiness Council How did you become involved with United Way? I had the opportunity to participate in Leadership Greenville Class 38. At one of our sessions, Phyllis Martin from United Way came and presented the Roadmaps-a plan for each priority issue. It really clicked with me- you hear all of these issues- but she was the first to present a well-thought out plan that requires the community partners to implement. I felt United Way was moving beyond ideas and taking action to affect a large population. Why does school readiness resonate with you? If you look at every issue in society, from homelessness and hunger to drug abuse and high school drop out rates, you see that the greater impact occurs the earlier you start in someone’s life. We need good people in all of these areas, but fewer resources are required to help children get off to a good start and prevent them from heading down a potentially troubled path. What is the role of a business like Proaxis, in school readiness? It starts with raising awareness. The first thing business leaders should do is learn more about the issues and potential solutions. I would challenge leaders to say yes to the next idea you have or the next time someone asks you to serve. You might be surprised by how little time and money it takes to make a difference. When I first joined the council, I wasn’t sure how I could help. But quickly I realized it it really isn’t that different than what we are doing in healthcare. How so? Medicine is moving towards these evidence-based frameworks. At Proaxis, we know the insurance companies wont reimburse us for a service unless we can demonstrate that it works. School readiness work is the same way. We may think it feels good, or it’s the right thing to do, but is there is data showing actual results Is there research and data to back it up? I enjoy seeing the similarities.

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 9

Quality Child Care: How to Find a Great Place for Your Family One of the most common challenges working parents face is identifying high quality, affordable child care for their children. Interestingly, outside of the parents, a child care provider spends more time with your children than anyone else. How do you know what works for your family?

Community Voices: Sherrie Dueno, Child Care Resource and Referral Manager

Give Your Child Something That Lasts a Lifetime You want your child to succeed in school and in life. A child’s first and best teacher is his/her parents, but the people who care for your child when you can’t be there are very important too. When your child has safe, loving, and stimulating child care that you can count on, you don’t have to worry while you are at work. You know that your child is getting the kind of care children need to be healthy, happy, and ready for school. To find good child care, follow these three steps to success… Step 1 - Start Early Start looking as far in advance as you can. No matter what type of care you are considering – a child care center or care in someone else’s home - finding the right child care option can take some time. Step 2 - Visit and Ask Questions Make sure you visit the child care options you are considering. Find out about these key indicators of quality: • Adult to Child Ratio - Ask how many children there are for each adult. (make sure your child gets some one-on-one attention)

• Group Size – Find out how many children are in the group (the smaller the group, the better classroom management). • Caregiver Qualifications - Ask about the caregivers’ training and education (care givers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to support your child’s development). • Turnover – Check how long the caregivers have been at the center or providing care in their homes (nurturing from regular caregivers builds your child’s self-esteem and sense of security). • South Carolina ABC Child Care Program – Find out if the child care provider participates in the South Carolina ABC Child Care Program. (ABC providers have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than licensing requirements) Step 3 - Make a Choice Think about what you saw at each visit and make the best choice for your child and family. Use the “Look, Listen, Ask” checklist brochure provided by United Way of Greenville County - Child Care Resource & Referral to help you make a choice.

Spotlight: YWCA of Greenville www.Y | Number of Families Served This Year: 107 The YWCA provides high-quality care and education for infants through 4 year olds in a diverse learning environment. Over the past 5 years, more than 50 students have graduated from the YWCA’s preschool with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. 
 Our CDC is one of the few child care centers in Greenville accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We are dedicated to providing high-quality early care and education by keeping our ratios low and group sizes small. Learning outcomes for children are greatly improved when teachers can spend time with individual children throughout the day.

One component of our program that makes us most proud is the relationship built between the teacher and families. Starting as early as infancy, teachers hold semiannual parent/teacher conferences to discuss their child’s progress and what the parent can reinforce at home to ensure school success.

All About Kids. All In One Place. 10  Kids Drive Greenville

Spotlight: Endowed Scholarship Program Number of Children Served This Year: 103 One of the most difficult barriers for new parents to overcome is finding affordable quality child care so their family can return to school or work. Not knowing where your child will be during the day, or not knowing they will be safe and nurtured can prevent families from feeling comfortable returning to school or work. Many families may resort to low cost, often unsafe, options for their children. However, Greenville First Steps and United Way of Greenville County are working to provide resources to families to help them overcome this barrier. The endowed scholarship program, launched in 2010, provides child care vouchers to teenage parents and young working families so that they can enroll their child in a safe, nurturing environment. Since 2010, over 500 families have participated in the program. To date, nearly $2.7 million in scholarship funds have been awarded. To enroll, families approach a pre-approved high quality child care provider to see if it is a good fit for them and their child. Then, if space is available, the center submits an application on behalf of the family to First Steps. [Funding priorities include: teen parents who are currently enrolled in Greenville Public Schools, participants in the Nurse Family Partnership program, and first-time low income families who plan to return to work.] “It has been a great partnership for us,” says Leslie Latimer, Operations Director for Greenville First Steps. “We have teens who want to return to school, but want a safe place for their child. And, we have quality centers that have space for families. Everyone wins and the relationships between the center and the family builds long term bonds that allow families to ask for help from child care experts.” Every child who participates also receives annual Developmental Screenings and families participate in monthly parenting classes. Also, each center receives several announced and unannounced visits to ensure program is safe and nurturing.

Spotlight: Greenville First Steps | Number of Children Served This Year: 1,350 Founded in 1999, Greenville First Steps, as a part of the SC First Steps network, works to facilitate community partnerships for measurably improving early childhood development for all children in Greenville County. First Steps uses state funds, allocated through the SC Legislature, to leverage local and national private funds to strengthen community partnerships that support best practices in our community. In 2012, Greenville First Steps was able to leverage $1.45 for every $1 of state funds allocated, more than doubling our impact in the community. We have partnerships with churches, health-care providers, schools, private and non-profit child care providers and we work to engage local neighborhoods and community organizations in our work. Here is an example of what we do: Project Pinwheel: You may have noticed 35,000 blue and silver pinwheels all over town this spring. Project Pinwheel was a countywide initiative aimed at raising awareness about child abuse prevention efforts in our community, and the five protective factors, things every family can do to help keep their children safe. Greenville First Steps, along with over 200 agencies, schools, businesses, and community leaders helped make this month-long project a reality. Learn more at

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

Endowed Scholarship Centers Classy Kids Greer: 864-848-1099 Classy Kids Simpsonville: 864-967-2888 City Kids CDC: 864-370-2273 Especially Children: 864-299-0414 Gateway Academy-Pelham: 864-627-0062 Little Wonders Learning Center: 864-509-1111 Our Savior Lutheran: 864-268-4714 Shannon Forest Christian School: 864-678-5150 Small Impressions CDC: 864-609-5099 St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School: 864-271-0167 Sunshine House-Berea: 864-294-0332 Sunshine House-East North Street: 864-268-1735 Sunshine House-Travelers Rest: 864-525-1178 Unique Kidz at Davis Academy: 864-277-7763 UU World of Children: 864-239-0607 YMCA Judson Community Center: 864-271-8800 YWCA Greenville: 864-373-6300

& Greenville First Steps 11

School Readiness Partnerships Supported by Greenville First Steps & United Way of Greenville

225 S. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29607

Greenville Literacy Association

29 N. Academy Street, Greenville, SC 29601 29 N. Academy Street, Greenville, SC 29601

Center for Developmental Services


Pleasant Valley Connection

510 Old Augusta Road, Greenville, SC 29605

1120 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605

Nurse Family Partnership

1124 Rutherford Road, Greenville, SC 29609

A Child’s Haven

1200 W Faris Road, Greenville, SC 29605

2131 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC 29607

Project HOPE Foundation

Nurse Family Partnership

1132 Rutherford Road, Greenville, SC 29609

Meyer Center for Special Children

255 Enterprise Blvd, Greenville, SC 29615

1400 Cleveland Street, Greenville, SC 29607

The Family Effect

Help Me Grow

1133 Pendleton Street, Greenville, SC 29601

712 Laurens Road, Greenville, SC 29607

Pendleton Place for Children and Families

Little Steps

2905 White Horse Road, Greenville, SC 29611

925 North Franklin Road, Greenville, SC 29617

Greenville Literacy Association

Julie Valentine Center

505 North Main Street, Greer, SC 29651

24 Cleveland Street, Greenville, SC 29601

1102 Howard Drive, Simpsonville, SC 29681

309 Gower Street, Greenville, SC 29611

105 Edinburgh Court, Greenville, SC 29607

Greenville Literacy Association

Greenville First Steps

Center for Community Services

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School

United Way of Greenville County

List of Funded Partners

104 A West Georgia Road, Simpsonville, SC 29681

700 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29605

2 Eighth Street, Greenville, SC 29611

1135 State Park Road, Greenville, SC 29609

829 Garlington Road, Greenville, SC 29615

2600 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville, SC 29615

3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613

861 SE Main Street, Simpsonville, SC 29681

255 Enterprise Blvd, Greenville, SC 29615

105 Edinburgh Court, Greenville, SC 29607

429 North Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601

Endowed Scholarship Centers (see page 11 for list)

Reach Out and Read-Parkside Pediatrics

Reach Out and Read-New Horizon Family Health Services

Reach Out and Read-Greenville Memorial Hospital

Reach Out and Read-Greenville County Health Department

Reach Out and Read-Pediatric Rapid Access

Reach Out and Read-North Greenville Pediatric Clinic

211 Batesville Road, Simpsonville, SC 29681

130 Mallard Street, Greenville, SC 29601

20 Medical Ridge Drive, Greenville, SC 29605

200 University Ridge, Greenville, SC 29601

57 Cross Park Court, Greenville, SC 29605

807 N. Main Street, Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Reach Out and Read-New Horizon Family Health Services-Slater 1588 Geer Hwy, Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Reach Out and Read-Evans Pediatrics LLC

YWCA of Greenville

YMCA Judson Community Center

UU World of Children

Shannon Forest Christian School

Our Savior Lutheran

Project Pinwheel Family Event Site Furman University

Project Pinwheel Family Event Site Heritage Park

Safe Kids Upstate

Institute for Child Success

Safe Harbor

Quality Child Care Providers

Spotlight: YMCA Judson Community Center YMCA of Greenville - Judson Community Center | www.Y | Number of Families Served This Year: 20 Describe your program (what do you do):

What makes your program unique:

At the YMCA preschool program, children have daily opportunities to play in ways that allow self-expression, physical activity, and interaction with others, with the goal of developing readiness for school.

The preschool program at the Y focuses on holistically nurturing child development by providing a safe and healthy place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships, and build self-reliance through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

Describe your program’s impact (how do you know it works): Search Institute research and HighScope curriculum helps guide YMCA preschool program development. Since the program started (2000) 100% of participants have been determined to be ‘school-ready.’

Spotlight: A Child’s Haven | Number of Children Served This Year: 150 A Child’s Haven is a therapeutic child and family services program, providing prevention and intervention services to children ages two (2) to five (5) with social/emotional delays, behavioral problems, or victims of abuse or neglect, and their families. The developmental issues these children face are most often the result of their home environments and the most effective long-term remedies are those that address these family issues. Research demonstrates that programs (like ACH) with home visits affect the lives of the parents and create a permanent change in the home environment that supports Describe your program’s impact (how do you know it works): One year after dismissal from our program, 93% of our children are in a stable home environment with a consistent caregiver, and 82% are currently enrolled in a mainstream school. Also, we consistently have high wait lists, an average of 40 children over the past 12 months. What makes your program unique: Our program is three pronged: We work with the children daily in our therapeutic classrooms and with the families through our parent education and in-home visitation programs. We have learned it takes all three components to make lasting change in our families’ lives. Number of families served: Annually, we serve 150 children and their families, totaling over 38 thousand hours of therapeutic care, 120 parent classes, and 1,600 home visits.

n as a t Educatio n re a P d e ink I need I learned child, but “I didn’t th d n ra g a ach and nt raising ways to te t grandpare n re fe if d ever too are many that it is n d that there e rn a le Most of kids. I also in his life. discipline re tu c u tr s rt setting ve.” early to sta ve, love, lo lo e iv g to ed rs, SC all, I learn avid, Taylo D to r e th grandmo   - Claire,

All About Kids. All In One Place. 14  Kids Drive Greenville

Community Voices: Sean Dogan Senior Pastor, Long Branch Baptist Church What is the church’s role in supporting a Ready Family? The church’s role is to be a spiritual guide, which would include building a sense of belonging, a sense of structure, and building a family’s faith to meet any challenges, great or small. It is the role of the church to meet us where we are and help give us spiritual motivation to help us where we are going. The church is a unique place where different people in different phases of life, with different perspectives, can build one another up. We are all facing some sort of dysfunction or disorientation. After you deal with the physical and mental challenges we face, all you have is your spirit. Your spirit has to be strong. If we can help you see your destiny, all of these other things, we can work on together while we are getting there. What role is the Faith Based Roundtable having in the work of United Way? I started volunteering with United Way because I wanted to see the consciousness of United Way. We have to

have a compassionate sensitivity to our work. Numbers and data are important. But we need a moral guide as a part of the conversation. That is when our community is strongest: when the moral guide and the data are connected in the same work. What advice would you give to churches that want to get involved in community change? I believe our strongest roles are when we help with the message. We can take a stance , we have a voice, and these voices can help shape the message. We can help share the message of the work, to help the faith community rally around this work, and to help us all find a place where we “That i s can do a part. We are accountable to God and to each other. We can help build supports in our community, whether we are helping families suffering from drug addictions, instilling soft skills among our young people, or community garden projects.

when o ur comm unity is the strong est: wh en the moral guide and th data ar e e conn e c t ed in the s ame w ork.”

Spotlight: Project Hope Number of Families Served This Year: 300 We provide a full range of services to the autism community, including therapy,

Visit for • Virtual tours of child care centers • Health, safety, and parenting tips

classrooms, trainings, counseling, social groups, and vocational opportunities. Our

• Interactive games

therapy program provides 25-40 hours per week of one-on-one work with each child. Over 95% of our children gain significant measurable skills. Amazingly, about 47% become able to participate in mainstream classes without the need for additional \ support. We are the only organization in South Carolina that provides a full spectrum of autism-specific services.

Coming Soon: Virtual Field Trips Including... • Fire Stations • Dentist • Library • Kindergarten Classroom

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 15

Early Identification & Interventions Research shows that children who receive early treatment for developmental delays are more likely to enter school on track with their peers. Are you a parent or caregiver looking for more information on child development or parenting? Is your child in need of resources but you are not sure of how to access them? Do you have a concern about your child and don’t know what to do?

Early Identification

Spotlight: Center for Developmental Services | Number of Children Served This Year: 6,595 At three months of age, Dawson’s parents, Corey and Kristy, had concerns. He cried whenever he was on his belly, struggled with feeding and weight gain, and just didn’t seem to be advancing. Their pediatrician monitored Dawson closely and at 7 months referred them for a BabyNet evaluation. BabyNet is the South Carolina agency charged with making sure that all children enter school equipped to learn. Through their BabyNet evaluation, they learned Dawson would need early intervention—physical, occupational, and speech therapies--to assist with the global developmental delays, hypotonia, and dyspraxia with which he was diagnosed. When Dawson was in need, he would cry and his parents struggled to understand why; he just wasn’t communicating successfully. To provide the services to help Dawson and his family, BabyNet connected the family with KidVentures, an early intervention agency of the Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board. The family began to work with Katherine Parker who, five years later, has become, in Kristy’s words, “a family member.” Katherine also connected the family with

located in downtown Greenville. CDS is a partnership of seven organizations, all dedicated to ensuring that children with disabilities and developmental delays reach their full potential. For Dawson and his family, CDS has meant that all these services have been pulled together under one roof. CDS has helped to “connect the dots,” says Kristy, “and they have provided us with the invaluable tools we need to help Dawson become successful.” Today, Dawson is entering into the kindergarten transitional program at Shannon Forest Christian School, where he will continue with both speech and occupational therapy that will be integrated into his daily school learning. The speech therapy services that Shannon Forest provides are delivered by Clarity, one of the CDS partner agencies.

CDS Partners:

• Clarity, a nonprofit organization that provided hearing evaluation • Kidnetics which provided Dawson with speech, physical and occupational therapies • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics of the Greenville Health System’s Children’s Hospital, who monitored Dawson’s delays and referred him to other specialists. As Dawson worked with physical and occupational therapists and learned sign language in speech therapy, the family regularly visited the Center for Developmental Services (CDS)

All About Kids. All In One Place. 16  Kids Drive Greenville

Spotlight: Help Me Grow | Number of Families Served This Year: 160 Help Me Grow South Carolina is an innovative program that promotes the healthy development of all children. We know that too many children are not getting the help they need. Early detection of developmental or behavioral problems can be challenging. Even when needs are identified, finding services can be confusing and time consuming. Help Me Grow South Carolina offers: • Help for questions about child development and parenting topics • A single point of access for referrals to community resources for developmental, behavioral or learning concerns

Help Me Grow South Carolina welcomes calls to its child development info line at 1-855476-9211. If you have questions about your child’s development, behavior or learning, child development specialists are available to assist you with standardized developmental screening and linkage to community resources and services. As part of the United Way 211 system, there is no charge for this service. During its initial phase, Help Me Grow South Carolina targets families with children birth to 8 who live in Greenville or Pickens counties. Since September 2012 when Help Me Grow South Carolina launched its info line, about 150 families and children have benefitted from its services.

• Free standardized developmental screening • Care coordination to ensure successful resource connection • Partnerships with child health providers

Spotlight: Meyer Center

Meyer Center for Special Children | | Number of Families Served This Year: 180

Meyer Center provides a developmental preschool for children with disabilities. Qualifying criteria for enrollment is based on the need for at least two of three therapies (Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy). Generally, students attending the Meyer Center have been diagnosed with a condition affecting their motor development such as cerebral palsy or genetic syndrome. Because of the intensive, integrated therapy and educational services provided on a daily basis, Meyer Center students consistently far exceed standard mastery scores in achieving annual goals. What makes your program unique? Since 1954, the Meyer Center has continued to hold steadfast to Dr. Leslie Meyer’s belief that education and therapy provided at the earliest possible age gives a child the best chance to succeed. A Meyer Center parent recently wrote, “Our daughter Addi was diagnosed with Mosaic Downs Syndrome. In the chaos of trying to line up every possible opportunity for her, I recalled participating several years prior in a United Way tour that visited the Meyer Center

The tour was powerful and inspiring, although I never imagined it would be such a reality in my future. After our first visit with the staff at the Meyer Center, we decided to relocate our family from Aiken back to the Upstate. It is almost impossible to describe the comfort it provides a mother knowing that her child is in the hands of people that love her and want the best for her. The Meyer Center has quickly become a part of our extended family and holds a dear place in our hearts.”

NAEYC accredit ed child care, U nited W a y Fund Partner ed , Chart e r School and DH EC Reh ab

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 17

Ready Community: Business Engagement

Engage Busines d ses

Community Voices: Ben Haskew President & CEO of Greenville Chamber of Commerce Kids drive our future. Having recently become a grandfather for the third time, that phrase rings true to me. In 18 or so years, when this little one I just held for the first time, strikes out on her own, either to college or to work, I wonder if she will be ready. I trust that she will be set to conquer the world, but too many South Carolinians aren’t ready. National studies routinely reveal that South Carolina lags behind the rest of the country in overall child well-being as well as in reading and math achievement. However, we know exactly what we must do for our children to thrive and learn today, and for Greenville and South Carolina to prosper in the future. We know that the earliest years of life are vitally important because early experiences affect the architecture of the developing brain. As the brain grows, the quality of the architecture establishes either a sturdy or fragile foundation for all the development, learning, and behavior that follow - and getting this right at the beginning of life is much better and cheaper than having to fix it later. When early experiences are positive, the architecture of the brain can build itself from the bottom up in a healthy fashion. However, when a child’s early experiences are negative because of abuse, neglect, poverty, maternal depression or other toxic stressors, the building process is thwarted, and the probability of poor educational, health, and behavioral outcomes increases. While we all have good personal reasons for caring about early childhood development, there are sound business reasons as

well: it directly impacts the quality of our future workforce. The 21st century economy requires capable, creative, innovative, and productive workers who are proficient in reading and math, but also in the soft skills (communication, problem solving, teamwork, etc.) that our businesses need to thrive. The foundation for these soft skills is established in early childhood. Expanding the availability and improving the quality of programs, publicly or privately funded, that serve young children is imperative for the future prosperity of our state. As a business membership organization, we spend a good deal of time with our members, discussing their competitive situations. One theme is constant - the most valuable component of their business is almost always their people. In fact, human capital is recognized as one of the most important economic drivers for a community as a whole. The Chamber’s Economic Scorecard highlights the fact that Per Capita Personal Income – a measure of the community’s income competitiveness­– is driven to a very large extent by the educational attainment of the community members. Without a solid foundation, that attainment will be much harder to achieve. We must work together across South Carolina to ensure that all children, from the time they come into the world and through early childhood, have the foundational opportunities and support needed to foster healthy brain development. As a state, we know where we want to be. Let¹s come together to take appropriate action that we know will work, for our grandchildren and for the businesses that will be operating here decades from now.

Ben Haskew

Ben Haskew

President & CEO

The Institute for Child Success commissioned a poll of South Carolina voters, to gauge their awareness of factors influencing School Readiness. Below are some of their findings:


Feel a majority of South Carolina children are not prepared by the time they enter kindergarten


Support increased investment in Early Education programs


Support expansion of voluntary 4-yearold kindergarten for low-income children

All About Kids. All In One Place. 18  Kids Drive Greenville

Have you ever found yourself searching the web for hours, looking for something for your family to do or trying to find a child care center?

We are excited to launch a new community web portal:

This portal was built as a partnership between many child serving organizations, including Greenville First Steps, United Way of Greenville, the SC Institute for Child Success, with content from Children’s Advocacy of the Greenville Health System, LiveWell Greenville, and Macaroni Kid.

Things to do: Thanks to a partnership with Macaroni Kid, families can link to a calendar of weekly events (many FREE) and activities. Find that perfect activity for your family.

Child Care Database: One of the most difficult things for new parents is identifying a safe, affordable, and engaging child care provider. The Child Care GPS not only points families to nearby providers, but provides insight into their programs, services, and features.

Virtual Child Care Tours: Ever wonder what to look for when you visit a child care provider? What does a safe, quality infant room look like? What should I look for when visiting a playground? Thanks to a partnership with Spin(a)tours, families can tour a model classroom in this interactive feature.

Home Safety Tips:

What does a nurturing, engaging home look like? How can a kitchen be a learning environment? Thanks to a partnership between Greenville First Steps, Safe Kids Upstate and LiveWell Greenville, these virtual home tours provide safety tips, paired with healthy and engaging activities.

Born Learning Videos:

How can a nickel become a learning experience? How can a laundromat be an engaging learning environment? Check out these videos where every day situations become catalysts for learning.

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 19

Spotlight: United Way Born Learning Trails United Way promotes early learning through installation of Born Learning Trails throughout the community.

United Way Born Learning Trails are interactive, playful, and visible community engagement tools. They are designed to help parents and caregivers understand that everyday moments are learning opportunities, and help communities support early learning. Installation of these trails is a community change strategy, helping to boost children’s language and literacy skills, and encouraging families to get active. It’s a great way to elevate awareness of early childhood education.

Each Born Learning Trail captures 10 fun outdoor games on engaging signs to help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for young children. Whether installed in a local park, at a child care center or school, in a library, or next to a children’s museum, Born Learning Trails can be a valuable community resource for early learning. Experiencing the Born Learning trails together is a wonderful learning activity for both parent and child.

All About Kids. All In One Place. 20  Kids Drive Greenville

United Way Young Philanthropists (YPs), a group of United Way of Greenville County donors age 40 and younger who contribute $1,000 or more annually in support of United Way programs and initiatives, chose the installation of Born Learning trails as one of its community outreach projects. So far, YPs have installed four trails in Greenville County: • Cleveland Park Playground in front of Greenville Zoo • Rocky Creek Spur of Swamp Rabbit Trail in Nicholtown Community • The Pavilion Recreation Complex – Boundless Playground i • Butler Springs Park

Take advantage of this wonderful community resource and visit a Born Learning trail today!

The installation of Born Learning Trails throughout Greenville County is a key component of United Way’s School Readiness strategies to ensure all Greenville County children start school ready to succeed – meaning all children start kindergarten on track in the five key developmental areas of communication, cognition, physical development, social/emotional development, and self-help skills.

Presented by United Way of Greenville County

& Greenville First Steps 21

Presented by:

What a School Ready Child Looks Like What does it mean to be “ready for school?” We polled a group of teachers and found that for them, readiness begins at home and is evident in a child’s social and emotional well being.

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Presented by United Way of Greenville County

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& Greenville First Steps 23

Our children are our future. Together, we must nurture them to help them grow. Need to learn more about available community resources? Want to volunteer? United Way of Greenville County offers these important services to individuals and families throughout our community.

United Way 211

Dial 2-1-1 for referrals to programs that address a variety of issues, including medical care, emergency assistance, counseling, adult education or other services.

Child Care Resource & Referral

Call 864.467.4800 or visit to access resources for parents, educators and employers who are seeking information regarding quality child care and assistance.

Hands On Greenville

Visit or call 864.242.4224 to find out more about ways that you can volunteer to help children in our community.

Greenville First Steps - Kids Drive Greenville  
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