More than 10 years ago, earlychildhood educators and advocates were struggling to find ways to support families in Centre County in the midst of dwindling funding. Teachers were being paid less but being asked to do more.
Enter Smart Start-Centre County, a unique collaboration born out of frustration that brought everyone to the same table, identified gaps in service and then coordinated the work necessary to sustain and improve the quality of community-based programs critical for success in kindergarten.
As support staff was reduced in the schools, Smart Start picked up the slack.
Former and current teachers volunteer their time and expertise to develop and print ageappropriate resources such as Babies Rock with Books for families throughout the county.
Hundreds of hours are donated annually by early childhood experts to give families the tools they need for their children to succeed.
Among these are materials designed to assist first-time parents in developing literacy in the family unit all this being accomplished without fanfare by Smart Start.
As a community, we need to continue to ensure that goodquality early childhood programs are promoted and retained.
The future of our workforce depends on it.
Charlene Friedman Boalsburg