We continue our series of Local People, Local Stories, Local Impact with an update from Cindy Tuttle at Stokes Partnership for Children.
Cindy Tuttle, Executive Director of Stokes Partnership for Children, discusses how COVID19 is impacting the efforts and programs her agency provides to children and families in the county.
Stokes Partnership for Children has a history of over 25 years serving our early childhood community, with a focus on children birth to age five. Click here to read more about the impact COVID19 is having on early childhood education in Stokes.
What are you and your agency doing here in Stokes County to support child-care centers during COVID-19?
Stokes Partnership for Children (SPC) is working to ensure that child care programs who are providing care for the children of essential workers have access to critical expert health and safety consultation and are connected to available resources, such as information about funding, supplies, financial assistance, teacher supports and more.
It is the job of SPC to track the needs of centers and families so that state officials are kept informed and aware of the needs of child care programs and families in our community.
Can you share how Pre-K Teachers are supporting their students during COVID-19?
Dedicated Pre-K Teachers are finding creative ways to offer virtual learning. They are using take-home packets as well as online platforms to reach their students and engage families to actively participate in teaching.
One teacher stated, “I’ve gotten into the swing of things and I’ve received great feedback from the families–they say it is easily accessible and they all seem to love the activities (families and children). They send me pictures and videos of what they are doing, how they complete the extension activities, and can answer questions that I ask, all of which brings me so much joy!”
For children who do not have access to on-line resources, teachers are texting, emailing and calling individual families in order to rise to the challenge of teaching, in spite of the pandemic.
What free resources are available for parents/guardians of children birth to 5 years?
It is amazing how innovative these programs have been to continue serving our community. One great example of this is the Children’s Center of Northwest NC, who SPC contracts with to provide the Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP).
NPP is a family-centered trauma-informed initiative designed to build nurturing parenting skills as an alternative to abusive and neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices.
NPP staff have continued to provide services by mailing NPP lessons weekly to families, then are following up each week either by phone or virtual technology (Zoom, FaceTime) if the family has access to this technology. The families then have the lesson in front of them while NPP staff discusses it with them and answers any questions they may have. NPP also mails any types of resources/helpful information the family may request or NPP staff may feel is beneficial. NPP staff have sent information about how to stay safe and healthy during COVID-19, ways to talk to their children about it, helpful ways to assist with school work, etc. If NPP staff discovers they have a need for food or supplies they see how they can help them so that their needs are being met. Despite COVID-19, NPP staff are still taking referrals for this program.
What message do you have for parents/guardians of children birth to 5 years in Stokes County?
During this pandemic, SPC strongly encourages the community to follow all of the safety guidelines related to COVID-19, to stay home and follow the latest NC Shelter in Place orders. With that thought in mind, Stokes Partnership for Children staff are working mostly from home, but you can rest assured we are still working very hard from behind the scenes.
We can be reached via email or by calling us at 336-985-2676 and leaving a voicemail. We check our voicemail several times daily.
Cindy S. Tuttle, Executive Director
Stokes Partnership for Children