Bamberg County First Steps Annual Report 2020-2021

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Bamberg County First Steps in collaboration with community partners, will empower local families and caregivers to prepare young children for school success by maximizing public and private community resources to ensure that every child arrives at school prepared to learn.

The years of early childhood are a critical window of development during which much of human potential is shaped. Families are the single most important influence on the development of their children.

The work of supporting families and caregivers is a collaborative effort between state and local stakeholders within the public, private and faith sectors.

Bamberg County First Steps will increase the reach of First Steps services in our community. By 2023, the percentage of children in need who are directly served by Bamberg County First Steps will increase from 15% to 20%.

Bamberg County First Steps will increase the capacity of parents to be their child’s first and most important teachers by expanding the Parents as Teachers Strategy.

To improve and strengthen families, Bamberg County First Steps will offer DSS Childcare Scholarships to working families and those attending school.

Bamberg County First Steps will improve the quality of Childcare Training by offering professional developmentally appropriate coursework to local early care providers.

Bamberg County First Steps will serve as a community convener to address the needs of preschool children in the community, in support of state readiness priorities.

3788 Faust Street/PO Box 1129, Bamberg, SC 29003| 803-245-6513 |


MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR “Our children are our greatest asset and most valuable resource. Investing in them, is the most cost effective, socially responsible investment that our small rural county and the state of South Carolina can make”. Given these continued unprecedented times, Bamberg County First Steps, a National Blue Ribbon Parent As Teachers Affiliate, has maintained strong collaborative relationships with our community schools, local and state partners and community families. “Bamberg County First Steps is the needle that pulls the thread to help young families realize the importance of quality early education. With every step our children make, they become better students. Preparing our children and their families will help weave the fibers for their future. Bamberg County First Steps’ legacy is preparing our children to step confidently into the future knowing that they are loved, they are healthy and ready to learn”! Bamberg County First Steps is proud to serve as a school

Pauletta Plowden Executive Director Bamberg County First Steps

readiness CHAMPION in getting our children ready for the first grade. Therefore, in our efforts to afford our youngest learners greater options for the future, we say “thank you” to our State Legislators, State Office of First Steps, Bamberg County First Steps Board, Bamberg School District One, Bamberg School District Two and our local community partners for ensuring that our initiative will always focus on providing educational services with an emphasis on High Quality, School Readiness and Success for all children in Bamberg County, South Carolina.


MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR It’s been my pleasure and honor to serve as Bamberg County First Steps Board Chair. Bamberg County First Steps’ commitment to the families they serve is amazing. I have enjoyed being a part of their annual fundraisers, the parent meetings, field trips and board meetings. I always leave with valuable information to share with others in the community about the great work that First Steps is doing. Our board has been successful because of the hard work of our board members and their commitment to make sure the children in our county will be able to read by first grade. I’m so proud of First Steps ongoing commitment, dedication and hard work for the families in Bamberg County especially during this pandemic. Our board is committed to working collaboratively with our school districts, community partners/agencies and parents, in order to provide continuous support and resources for the families in Bamberg County. The Board is committed to each child achieving success in learning and leading them to reach their full potential. Sincerely,

Tracy Golden

Tracy Golden, Chair Bamberg County First Steps Board of Trustees


Every child in Bamberg County will arrive at school healthy and ready to learn!


PAT GOES VIRTUAL Due to COVID-19, Parents as Teachers (PAT) National provided guidance for affiliates to deliver virtual services via interactive video conferencing and phone calls. South Carolina PAT affiliates rose to the occasion by engaging families in creative and meaningful ways while continuing to meet the Essential Requirements of implementing a quality PAT program during the pandemic.


29 453

families served

total home visits

The First Steps Program helped me as a child and is now very helpful to my son who has autism. Thanks to Bamberg County First Steps for helping me to receive services for my son Jaiden, who has shown great improvements from age one to age four. The program has help me to understand how to work with my son and how to create a nice environment for him at home. Thanks First Steps for the many years of helping me and my family! - Ms. Breanna Chisolm 8

Parenting Impact Statements

My son Thomas is only three years old, but feels like he’s going on ten. My Parent Educator, Mrs. Burch is very positive and we enjoy our meetings twice every month. We focus on child development, motor skills, counting, ABCs and reading. Thomas enjoys working with shapes and reading out loud. This program is the best. Thank you for helping to get three of my children ready for school. They are doing outstanding!

When Landon’s teacher announced that he had the highest reading grade in his class, my heart swelled with pride and no small amount of his accomplishments goes to First Steps and their emphasis on the importance of READING. I pray that he has a life long love of READING! Ms. K. Autry, Loving Mother 9

How To Plan and Support Children's Learning Using Five Areas of Child Growth & Development Emergent Curriculum Engaging Nutrition More Effectively In The Classroom to Enhance Physical Development Positive Child Guidance


Health & Safety In The Classroom/Blood Borne Pathogen's Training What You Need To Know About Children With Disabilities What Are Your Goals For An Early Childhood Education Program - Part One & Part Two



We have been a part of the Bamberg County First Steps Program for over twenty years as a participant in their training program, the childcare scholarships initiative and their 4K program. All components of their program are excellent services for our children and the local community. Progressive Family Life Daycare is please to partner with an initiative that really cares about the children and families of Bamberg County! – Mrs. Sandra Isaac, Director 10

For many families in Bamberg County, the cost of quality child care is out of reach. Our scholarship program makes payments to child care providers to care for children from low-income families so their parents can return to school or work. Bamberg County First Steps offers scholarships to families enrolled in our Parents As Teachers Program, as well as income-eligible children whose parent attends school or works at least 20 hours per week.

100% the money paid to child care providers goes back into our local economy to benefit the citizens of Bamberg County.



number of children served


number of providers served


number of developmental screenings provided

The Ellison Family has participated in the First Steps Program for over fourteen years. Mrs. Ellison has completed her education and works fulltime as a teacher. Daughters, Mariah and Johleea are honor students and KJ is excelling in reading, writing and early mathematics in kindergarten.



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PREPARING FOR STATEWIDE EXPANSION With First Steps 4K, families are in the driver’s seat. They choose the program that best meets their needs. Families can enroll their child in any of the 244 private, nonprofit, or faith-based child care centers or schools participating in the program. The majority of First Steps 4K providers offer 8-hour day and year-round instruction, including summers, which is at no cost to parents.


Addressing the needs of young children is a shared endeavor. I n addition to p roviding services to families and sup p ort for child care p roviders, Bamb erg County First Step s mob ilizes p artners and community memb ers to ensure all children in Bamb erg County b eg in school ready to succeed. W e serve as a:


Local Portal and Convener Meetings/Events


School Readiness Partnership Collaborative Engagements

Bamberg County First Steps has worked diligently and collaboratively with Bamberg School District One for Twenty –Two Years. First Steps is pleased to have the district as a Flagship Community Partner whose focus is getting children ready for the future! First Steps Executive Director Pauletta Plowden is with Superintendent Dottie Brown. 13

T hroug h p artnership s and collab or a ti ons , as well as financial sup p ort from g rants and contrib uti ons , Bamb erg County First Step s leverag es state dollars to enhance and exp and services to children and families.

FUNDING SUPPORT State of South Carolina: $ 2 0 0 ,0 0 0 (throug h SC First Step s) Bam b erg County Recreation G rant: $ 1 ,8 5 9 .5 0 T ri-County Community Foundation: $ 5 0 0 .0 0 Cindy Hurst: $ 2 5 0 .0 0 Senator Brad Hutto: $ 1 0 0 .0 0 Bam b erg Family Practice: $ 5 0 0 .0 0 Awena Hurst: $ 2 0 0 .0 0 Peg g y Faust: $ 5 0 .0 0 Phoenix Sp ecialty Manufac tu ring : $ 2 0 0 .0 0 Alp ha Kap p a Alp ha Sorority , I nc. (Eta Nu Chap ter): $ 5 0 .0 0 Alp ha Kap p a Alp ha Sorority , I nc. (Nu T au Omeg a Chap ter): $ 1 0 0 .0 0 G reenville T echnical Colleg e T raining G rant / SC Endeavors: $ 2 ,0 0 0 .0 0 Hop e & W ade King Foundation: $ 6 ,8 9 6 .1 6 W ilson L aw G roup : $ 5 0 0 .0 0 L arry Haynes: $ 2 5 .0 0

JOIN US For more informati on on p artnership op p ortunities, visit our web site at mberg 1 . ne t/ f i rsts teps


FUNDING SUPPORT Michelle Kinsey: $ 2 5 .0 0 Mary Jane’ s School of Dance: $ 5 0 .0 0 Brooker’ s Hardware: $ 2 5 .0 0 Brab ham Oil Comp any: $ 1 0 0 .0 0 Ernestine Barnwell: $ 1 0 0 .0 0 Carol W atson: $ 5 0 .0 0 Patricia Harley: $ 2 5 .0 0 Evert Comer, Jr.: $ 2 5 .0 0 Delevan Sp ray T echnolog ies : $ 1 0 0 .0 0

IN-KIND SUPPORT Bam b erg School District One Bam b erg County L ib rary Evelyn Smith -Smart Ann Boykin L oretta G lasp er SC Dep artment of Health and Environment al Control SC Dep artment of Social Services – ABC Child Care Scholarship s

JOIN US For more informati on on p artnership op p ortunities, visit our web site at mberg 1 . ne t/ f i rsts teps


IN-KIND SUPPORT Sheryl G ardner Dolline T ucker Devon Blume Alicia Batts Beth Clark L isa T homas L ee Ulmer Denise Miller Ricky & Rob b ie Kearse Pilg rim Bap tist Church Delavan Sp ray T echnolog ies Bam b erg Pub lic W orks Renne Brown

JOIN US For more informati on on p artnership op p ortunities, visit our web site at mberg 1 . ne t/ f i rsts teps


Expenditures of State Funds by Program Type 0%

Since inception, Bamberg County First Steps has leveraged $2,934,688.02 from sources outside of state government. That’s $0.83 for every state dollar.


State Funding

Federal Funding

Private Funding

In-Kind Contributions


Parents as Teachers






Scholarship Initiatives






Child Care Training






Partnerships & Community Education






Administrative Support











Total Expenses


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kristine Autry, Board Co-Chair

Patricia Harley, Asst. Secretary

Ernestine Barnwell

L arry Haynes

Ann Boykin

T area G rimes Mason

L inda Fair

L orraine Peep les

Johnell G aines, Secretary

Kevin Sp rag ue

Sheryl G ardner

Mellinda T yler

L oretta G lasp er

Shanquita Youmans

T racy G olden, Board Chair

STAFF Pauletta Plowden, Executive Director Erica Smith, Prog ram Manag er/ P are nting Sup ervisor Actavia Bowers, Parent Educator Shaniqua Burch, Parent Educator

CONTACT US 3 7 8 8 Fa us t Street/P os t Office Box 1 1 2 9 , Ba mberg, SC 2 9 0 0 3 | 8 0 3 -2 4 5 -6 5 1 3 (Office) 8 0 3 -2 4 5 -6 5 2 3 (Fa x) | mberg 1 . ne t/ fi rs ts teps


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