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    Early Identification Resource & Referral Program (Includes group parenting & Hispanic Outreach) Early Literacy (Storyteller and Training Program) Early Identification Scholarship Program Early Education (Free 4K Program administered by South Carolina First Steps) BabyNet (Program administered by South Carolina First Steps) Annual Report 2013-14 OUR VISION: Every South Carolina child arrives at kindergarten ready to learn. First Steps WORKS for the children of Georgetown County.

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    Annual Report 2013-14 Community-Based, Customized, Comprehensive Who We Serve Services First Steps serves children Giving all children the chance to learn and achieve to the very best of their pre-birth to 5 years old and ability is a worthy mission for any early childhood program; it is our job to their families who are at risk of not being ready for school. support the learning and development of every child, with an understanding that each child has different strengths and weaknesses and each child Number of Georgetown County develops at a unique pace. children under 5: 2,979 Georgetown County First Steps continues to provide comprehensive Number of Georgetown County children living in poverty: programs that provide education services while addressing the child’s holistic 4,306 (0-18) needs. Each strategy is informed, intentional, and individualized to help Babies born each year in preschoolers and, just as importantly, the parents of preschoolers. Georgetown County to a mother without a high school diploma: Our Early Literacy Plan is integrated into all our strategies. Our award 17% winning Literacy Program is a successful collaboration with the Georgetown County Library. The program focuses especially on the early language, Our Programs Early Identification Resource & cognitive, and pre-reading skills that prepare children for continued school Referral Program success. It has helped children and daycare providers have access to quality (Includes group parenting & Hispanic Outreach) literacy programs. Within this past year, the Storyteller Program has reached a total of 511 children through its story-telling and interactive program. Early Literacy (Storyteller and Training Program) We are asking all parents and partners to join us as we proudly launch our Early Identification Scholarship 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Initiative in collaboration with the Program Georgetown County Library. Children, birth through pre-kindergarten can Early Education – Free 4K join 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. Parents will find the program easy to (Administered by SCFS, enhanced by GCFS) follow, with prizes awarded along the way to celebrate the completion of levels. Reading 1,000 books may seem like a lot, but it breaks down to just BabyNet one book a day for five years or three books a day for one year, plus (Administered by SCFS, enhanced by GCFS) rereading books and attending story times count. This is a wonderful way for parents to encourage a lifelong love of books! Our Results  Reached 511 children Carol C. Daly M.Ed. with our Early Literacy Executive Director, Georgetown County First Steps Program  Screened 67 children for Board Chair JB Beck Administration Building PATRICIA CANADA 2018 Church St. Georgetown, SC 29440 developmental delays Executive Director Phone: (843) 520-1830 Fax: (843) 520-1851  Trained 47 child care CAROL DALY cdaly4581@yahoo.com providers http://georgetowncountyfirststeps.weebly.com  82 Books Distributed Building brighter futures for South Carolina’s youngest learners.

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    Financial Impact Georgetown County First Steps 2013-14 Expenditures by Funding Source In-Kind Funds, $68,469, (24%) Private Funds, State Funds $35,644, (13%) from the General Assembly, $179,740, (63%) Federal Grants, $367, (0%) Total 2013-14 Expenditures: 284,219 State Funds Leveraged in 2013-14*: 58% *Percentage of state dollars matched by additional federal, private, and/or in-kind funds 2013-14 Expenditures by Strategy % of 2013-14 State $ Federal $ Private $ In-Kind $ Total $ Expenditures Early Identification Resource & $101,195 $0 $11,471 $10,648 $123,313 43% Referral Early Literacy Program $35,241 $0 $11,750 $57,821 $104,812 37% Scholarship Program $8,661 $367 $2,062 $0 $11,090 4% Program Support $12,992 $0 $1,047 $0 $14,039 5% Administrative Support $21,651 $0 $9,314 $0 $30,965 11% TOTAL EXPENDITURES $179,740 $367 $35,644 $68,469 $284,219 Unaudited numbers for the period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 Since inception, Georgetown County First Steps has leveraged $2,943,938.40 from sources outside of state government. That’s 63 cents for every state dollar!

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    Community Impact Leveraging State Funds for Maximum Community Impact! Fundraising Georgetown County First Steps works hard to leverage funds beyond the state dollars provided. We ran several fundraisers last year through the support of Books A Million, Barnes and Noble, and the Cliff and Carolyn Ellis Foundation. We also received a special donation from our local representatives, Carl Anderson and Lt. Governor Yancey McGill. Giving Back During the Holidays At Christmas we held a special party for our children and thanks to the generous support of several restaurants and grocery stores our children dinned on crumb cakes, donuts, cookies, Danishes, breakfast casseroles, and much more! Each child also received a gift from Santa thanks to the never-ending generosity of SCECA Dist. II, Georgetown County First Steps Board, and other supporters. This event was held at the Georgetown Housing Authority. Week of the Young Child In the spring, we held our Week of the Young Child Activities that used an “Under the Sea” theme. WellCare, Inc. provided a fun day of dancing for our children, pretending they were animals from all walks of life. The local middle school allowed us to attend their “Little Mermaid Jr.” musical with the children free of charge. Our final event that week included a trip to the aquarium, made possible by Ripley’s Aquarium, who provided a discounted ticket for each child, and free admission for the bus drivers and chaperones. Giving Books to Children Finally, as we ended the year, we wanted to increase our early literacy programs, which is when we decided to do the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program in partnership with our local library. To get children excited about the program we collaborated with First Book to order books for every child. With funding raised, we paid for the shipping and were able to obtain over 1,000 free books. This fall we delivered those books in beautiful baskets to every SCFS 4K child in Georgetown County as encouragement to participate in our 1,000 Books before Kindergarten Program. We are grateful to all of our supporters that help us create effective and fun programs for our children and families in Georgetown County! Please view our “Thank You to Supporters” section for a full list of donors to Georgetown First Steps!

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    Early Identification Resource and Referral Referrals to BabyNet, ChildFind, and other community supports Program Description Why Early Identification Works Georgetown County First Steps (GCFS) Early Identification Research has shown that the time between birth and Resource and Referral (EIR&R) strategy is intended to age 36 months is a critical developmental period in a produce measurable improvements in the number of infants child’s life. These months offer a window of and toddlers screened for delays in development. Our goals opportunity that will not be available later. Early are an increase in the number of screened referrals to the intervention programs minimize, and in some cases, BabyNet Early Intervention System; and an increase in the prevent delays in development of infants and number of follow-up referrals to local early learning partners toddlers with disabilities. for children found ineligible for BabyNet services. This program can decrease the need for special Program Components education and related services when a child enters school, and increase independence. 1. Parenting support is provided by Family Connections, and GCFS group parenting at the Georgetown Housing Children whose special needs are identified and Authority, this includes outreach activities for Hispanic addressed during these crucial early years have a families. greater chance of reaching their full potential. 2. Screenings are done on each child’s developmental Program Results 2013-2014 progress. Early Identification & Referral Results 3. Resource and Referral Network connects families to Children Screened 67 resources in the community that can help their child’s Screenings performed 42 development and other family services. Referrals made to BabyNet & 30 ChildFind 4. Scholarship referrals are made for children displaying a Referrals made to GCFS 8 delay or potential delay in their development through GCFS or ABC-SN Scholarship Program BabyNet Materials Distributed 1,325 EIR&R targets ALL children. There is no income limit or EIR&R Parenting/Hispanic Outreach Results residency restrictions on this program for children that Families served in our group 19 need a little extra help in their development. parenting at Georgetown EIR&R Outcomes Housing Authority Families served in our Hispanic 8  Increased parent’s and provider’s knowledge of child development and improved parenting practices Outreach Program  Provided early detection of developmental delays and health issues  Increased children’s school readiness and school success Thank you to our partners! SCFS BabyNet Office Georgetown County School District ChildFind The Family Justice Center of Georgetown Georgetown County First Steps 2018 Church St. Georgetown, SC 29440 Family Connections, Inc. 843-520-1830 http://georgetowncountyfirststeps.weebly.com

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    Community Impact Georgetown County First Steps is a Portal for Families! Group Parenting Georgetown County First Steps is a portal of information assistance and community support for families. Through our monthly parenting program in partnership with the Georgetown Housing Authority and Georgetown County School District’s Family Literacy Program, we help each family construct a solid foundation from which to foster the growth of their young children. Components of this program include: connecting families to one another, enhancing parenting skills, helping during crises, integrating families into the community, strengthening children’s social skills, responding to red flags, and being encouraging and kind to parents. This is done through our meetings, special events, and quarterly newsletter. 100% of our participants said they increased their knowledge of the developmental milestones and early intervention services available for their children. Hispanic Outreach Throughout the past year, we have also noticed a need for our strengthening families approach in the Hispanic community. Our Bilingual Community Coordinator has been able to reach out to these families, just as we have with our other families to connect them to the resources they need in our community. One of the strongest relationships formed from this need is our partnership with the Georgetown County School District ChildFind Office. Often putting in over 15 hours per family, our coordinator works with the ChildFind Office to ensure that our Hispanic children receive the early intervention services they need to be prepared to start school healthy, happy, and ready to learn. She was able to service 8 families last year, and we are seeing this number increase greatly in the upcoming year. Support Georgetown County First Steps today through a tax-deductible donation, or volunteer!

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    Early Literacy Children’s reading scores improve when they are read to on a regular basis. Program Description Georgetown County First Steps partners with the Georgetown County Library to provide a literacy instructor/storyteller that visits 21 child-care centers and group homes throughout the county, using a curriculum developed by the storyteller herself (a published author in the community). Our methodology has been approved by the SC State Library and is based on the use of picture books and music to introduce our children to motor skills, rhythm, and other basic means for better learning. While the children have been impacted directly by these sessions, educators have also learned pre-literacy teaching techniques by observing and participating in Program Results 2013-2014 these one-hour monthly sessions at the childcare Storyteller Program centers. These on-site visits to the centers have proved Centers & Group Homes Served 21 particularly important in our rural county, where Staff Served 89 adequate transportation is scarce and distances are Children Served 511 Site Visits 175 great. Classroom/Group Home Visits 251 The program also provides 4+ trainings throughout the year for these teachers, along with follow up with the Early Literacy Training Program teacher at their center, addressing the key concepts Total Training Attendance 87 presented at the training to ensure techniques are being Child Care Teachers and Directors 47 practiced and used properly. Served This year we are excited to be expanding the program to Number of Training Sessions 5 Offered incorporate the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program in FY14-15, and our continued enrollment support to the local Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program! Thank you to our partners! Georgetown County Library System SCECA District 2 First Book Precious Blood of Christ Women’s Group Georgetown County First Steps International Paper - Georgetown 2018 Church St. Georgetown, SC 29440 843-520-1830 http://georgetowncountyfirststeps.weebly.com

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    Community Impact Convening public and private early childhood stakeholders for maximum community impact! The Georgetown Housing Authority Free 4K Project This past year Georgetown County First Steps was able to bring together the Georgetown Housing Authority, the City of Georgetown, daycare owner Lunda Greene, Representative Carl Anders and Lt. Governor Yancey McGill to create the state’s First Free 4K Program, in a public housing complex. This incubation project was the direct result of the dedication our local community has in guaranteeing that all children, regardless of economic background have an even start when they reach the Kindergarten door. With an established 4K we have continued to support this program through the Georgetown County Library and Georgetown County First Steps 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which kicked off this September. Every enrolled 4 year old in the program received a basket filled with books, donated by First Book. A free child fitness program is also being incorporated into the classroom, provided by WellCare Inc. in FY15. Additional Free 4K Supports - Early Literacy: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program 4K Challenge This upcoming year Georgetown County First Steps will be supporting the Free SCFS 4K’s in Georgetown by incorporating the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge. GCFS will provide incentive to the 4K classes that meet their reading goals as a class, while they encourage each student to meet their reading goals individually. To kick off the event we gave every 4K child in a private center a basket filled with books to take home. The basket also contained information about other SCFS and GCFS programs such as BabyNet, as well as the registration form to participate in the 1,000 Books Program.

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    Child Care Scholarships Too many families in Georgetown County cannot afford quality care for their children. Program Description Access to quality child care is essential for children to experience safe, nurturing, and stimulating interactions while away from their primary caregivers. Yet, of those families working or going to school who are income-eligible for child care assistance in South Carolina, only a small fraction receive it due to lack of funds. In the absence of nurturing and consistently available family, friends or neighbors, parents are faced with few - or no – affordable care options. Georgetown County First Steps serves families in greatest need. Among our scholarship families: 100 % … live in poverty 100% … had developmental delays In addition to regular monitoring of childcare providers that receive First Steps scholarships, First Steps conducts at least one developmental screening each year with scholarship children and connects families to needed services within the community. The funding for our scholarships come from Georgetown County First Steps grant funds, or we connected the family to Scholarships by the Numbers, 2013-14 the ABC-Special Needs Program for childcare assistance, based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Children Served 8 Service Plan (IFSP). Providers Served 5 This year, our Scholarship program:  Provided and/or connected 8 children with scholarship assistance so their parents could work or attend school  100% of these children were Identified as having a potential developmental delay through our Early Identification Program  100% of the families received connections for services such as: Early Literacy, Early Childhood Education, Parenting, Financial Guidance, Playgroups  Supported 5 small businesses in Georgetown County by subsidizing child care tuition for families who would not otherwise be able to afford quality care Thank you to our partners! ABC Special Needs Georgetown County Library – Free Financial Georgetown County First Steps Fitness Program 2018 Church St. Georgetown, SC 29440 843-520-1830 YoungTalkers Pediatric Speech Therapy http://georgetowncountyfirststeps.weebly.com Clinic, Inc. – Free BabyTalkers Playgroup

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    Community Leadership in Early Childhood Leading the community in early childhood, while supporting statewide priorities! In May of 2014 Georgetown County First Steps and South Carolina First Steps were honored by the Early Learning Council of Georgetown for making 4K a priority in Georgetown. GCFS worked with the State Office of First Steps and the Georgetown County School District to help recruit centers and children into the public and private 4K programs. It was important to Georgetown County First Steps to show that the public and private 4K programs were not in competition with each other, and helped parents make a decision that was best for their family. Some families were excited to be sending their four years old to school with the child’s older siblings; others were relieved to have the private option due to their late work schedule. This year we continue our efforts to support statewide 4K, as well as continuing our other strategies such as Early Identification Resource and Referral to support the SCFS BabyNet. Thank You to our Supporters! 2013-2014 Financial Donors 2013-2014 In-Kind Donors SCECA District II Bi-LO – Litchfield Precious Blood of Christ The Fresh Market – Pawleys Island International Paper Aunny’s Country Kitchen The Cliff and Carolyn Ellis Foundation Dunkin Donuts Books-A-Million Carefree Catering Barnes & Noble Delectable Occasions Joanne Goodall Georgetown County Library Dwight McInvaill Georgetown County School District Carl Anderson & Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill GCSD Family Literacy Program Georgetown Housing Authority The Georgetown County First Book, Inc. First Steps Board of Directors WellCare, Inc. Ripley’s Aquarium – Myrtle Beach Thank You to all of our supporters for helping us serve the children & families of Georgetown!

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    Georgetown Leadership Georgetown County First Steps 2013-2014 Board Name Position Category Jane McSweeny-Wishart Retired Kindergarten Teacher/ Housing (B1A) - Pre-kindergarten through primary educator Authority Consultant Carolyn Ellis Vice President of The Cliff and Carolyn Ellis B1F) - Nonprofit organization that provides services to families and Foundation children; Whitney Martin - Secretary Early Childhood Teacher (B1C) - Childcare and early childhood development/education provider Lakisha H. Myers Early Childhood Paraprofessional (B3) Early Childhood Education Renee Bodie Goldfinch Parent/ Legal Assistant Parent of a Preschooler Gwen McNeil Andrews Magistrate (B1G) - Faith community; and Pam Goude – Vice Chair Sales, Kaplan Co. (B1H) - Business community Anita Floyd Attorney (B1H) - Business community Ayesha Smith ChildFind Coordinator (B1B) - Family education, training, and support provider Celia Sargent S & L Services (B1E) - Transportation provider Bernard “Garvey” Winans Family Justice Center Appointee Elizabeth Krauss GC Special Needs and Disabilities’ Appointee Merit Justice GCSD Gifted and Talented Teacher Appointee Sylvia Mitchum DSS DSS Designee Tiffany Jenkins – Treasurer DHEC DHEC Designee Dwight McInvaill GC Library Director Library Designee Patricia Canada – Board Chair GCSD ADEPT Coordinator School District Designee Georgetown County First Steps 2013-2014 Local Legislature Senators Representatives Lieutenant Governor Senator Raymond Cleary Rep. Carl Anderson Lt. Governor Yancey McGill Rep. Stephen Goldfinch Georgetown County First Steps 2013-2014 Staff Carol Daly, Executive Director Jazmin Noriega, Bilingual Community Coordinator Brooke Harpine, Program Coordinator Jane McSweeny-Wishart, Early Childhood Consultant Thank you to all of our local legislatures and board members for a great 2013-2014!

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    Getting children ready for school. What is First Steps? Other First Steps Services in South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness was created in 1999 by the South Georgetown County Carolina General Assembly for the purpose of having every child in South Carolina arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. Sadly, many South Carolina children possess one or more risk factors that put them at high risk (greater than Public 4K Expansion a 1 in 3 chance) for “early school failure” – either being retained or scoring Since 2006, First Steps has been the administrator of our state below grade level in reading or math – by third grade. 4K funds to expand access of low-income children to full-day, First Steps works to accomplish its mission through a state coordinating office four-year-old kindergarten within select rural and high and a network of county partnerships (46), each a private non-profit organization poverty school districts, using community-based settings such led by a board of early childhood stakeholders. With a modest recurring as Head Start and private child care. appropriation of state funding, First Steps leverages cash and in-kind resources at As of 2014, the General Assembly has appropriated funding the federal, state and local level to improve services for young children in five to expand 4K eligibility to residents of Georgetown County. strategy areas: Qualifying children must live in Georgetown County, be four Family Strengthening years old by September 1 of the current year, and qualify for A parent is a child’s first and best teacher. free/reduced lunch or Medicaid. Interested parents should Healthy Start contact one or more participating 4K providers to complete an Children’s development and ability to learn are profoundly impacted by their application. Qualifying children may enroll at any participating health. 4K provider, regardless of their county of residence. Quality Child Care To view a list of participating 4K providers, go to: Access to high-quality care is a critical component of a child’s healthy development. http://scfirststeps.org/4k/ Early Education Quality preschool opportunities set the stage for success in school. School Transition Preparing children and parents for a successful transition into kindergarten. Each First Steps county partnership determines how to spend its funds based on a needs and resources assessment and collaboration with community partners to First Steps is the lead agency for BabyNet, South Carolina’s fill gaps in local services for young children and their families. First Steps has early intervention system for children under 3. Parents of proven its impact through strong program and fiscal accountability and children 0-2 years old with disabilities or suspected independent evaluations - a requirement of its enabling legislation. developmental delays should contact their local BabyNet All programs that receive First Steps funding must adhere to program standards office to schedule an evaluation. that require programs to be research-based and operated with fidelity; staff who BabyNet in Georgetown County: have appropriate qualifications, training, and supervision; services to be comprehensive and coordinated with available community resources; standard 843-520-1830 assessment instruments that document client outcomes; and programs that http://scfirststeps.org/babynet/ target services to children most at risk for not being developmentally ready for school. First Steps Works for the Children, Parents, and Taxpayers of South Carolina: Board Chair First Steps works with community partners to reduce first grade retention. From 2001 to 2012, first PATRICIA CANADA grade retention dropped by 51% statewide, saving taxpayers $23 million annually. Executive Director First Steps leverages resources for families of young children through public-private partnerships. Since CAROL DALY 1999, local partnerships have leveraged an additional 47 cents for every state dollar invested. cdaly4581@yahoo.com First Steps has increased the quality of services available to young children and families, using 2018 Church St. research and data to improve programs. Georgetown, SC 29440 First Steps is a national leader in state-local collaboration to benefit families and communities. Phone: (843) 520-1830 Fax: (843) 520-1851 www.scfirststeps.org To learn more about GCFS visit us at: http://georgetowncountyfirststeps.weebly.com/

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