Group Connection: The Name Game

Earlier this week, Beaufort County First Steps and Beaufort Jasper Comprehensive Health Services hosted “The Name Game” for participating Parents As Teachers families.

A child’s name is often the first word they learn. Names are very personal, so children usually learn to write their name before other words. The work with literacy starts here and expands through activities like these name games (May, Bingham, Barrett-Mynes, 2010).

According to Levin and Ehri (2009), there is a strong correlation between a child’s ability to spell/read names and knowledge about alphabet letters. Check out the Name Games below to help explore and promote these literacy skills in young children!

There were two winners in the group that were awarded $25 WalMart Gift Cards for having the longest name and making the most words out of the letters in their name.

Our next Group Connection is on June 16th.

SC First Steps and DSS Partner to Provide Scholarships to Thousands of Families

First Steps 4K + SIBLINGS, in partnership with DSS, will extend child care and after-school scholarships through the SC Voucher Program, for up to 52 weeks, to any siblings, age 0-12, of a First Steps 4K enrolled student. 

For this scholarship program, a sibling is considered any child that lives in the same home as the First Steps 4K enrolled student. 

Sibling scholarships can be applied toward enrollment at any licensed child care center or afterschool program that participates in ABC Quality, the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system. First Steps 4K + SIBLINGS increases access to high quality early care and education opportunities. 

First Steps 4K + SIBLINGS ensures care and education for the whole family, leaving no child behind. 

Families can apply online for both First Steps 4K and First Steps 4K + SIBLINGS at

“Planting Seeds” Group Connection Just in Time for Earth Day

Just in time for Earth Day, Beaufort Jasper Comprehensive Health Services presented a session called “Planting Seeds for Success”. Aujena Mungin walked us through the steps of planting a garden, which started with the actual pot, soil, and seeds provided. Physically and metaphorically, the first step is to plan out your garden and determine what goals are important. Then it’s important to acquire the right tools and line up the appropriate support. There are many things to consider throughout the process, including if the conditions are optimal to get started now, removing the weeds, and documenting your progress.

At the end, we had a beautiful potted plant as a symbol of the seeds we’re planting towards success. And on this important day where we honor this Earth and all it provides us, we will continue planting seeds on our journeys using the tools we learned about today.

This session was co-sponsored by Beaufort County First Steps and Parents as Teachers.

Group Connection: Cooking Matters at the Store

Stephanie Storer of the Lowcountry Food Bank shared her enthusiasm for nutrition, skilled shopping strategies, and more with our parents.

On Wednesday afternoon, we were excited to have Stephanie Storer from the Lowcountry Food Bank join us for a group connection called “Cooking Matters at the Store”. She started by reviewing, an important resource regarding the five food groups and what servings we should aim to have each day. This site, hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allows for more in-depth exploration of the five food groups, dietary guidelines, and various resources.

Stephanie also shared some key skills about shopping at the grocery store, starting with reading food labels. Food labels tell the story of how we’re fueling our bodies. She gave us several key tips to keep in mind. First, the ingredient list will list ingredients in order from most used to least used. So if sugar is at the top of the list, then the food contains more sugar compared to other ingredients. Second, it helps to look out for the Daily Percent Value, which shows how much of a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a total daily diet. It can help you determine if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient.

We learned about proteins, dairy, and various options for selecting produce. A few tips and tricks were also mixed in, including that there’s usually one day a week when meat prices drop. This is typically the last day that the butcher can have the meat on the shelf, which means a lot of half price or buy one/get one free deals.

Finally, we practiced comparing Unit Prices to get the best value for our money. The Unit Price helps you compare two of the same food items in different sizes (i.e. how much it costs per ounce, pound, etc). For instance, if we have a soup that costs $2.40 for 12 ounces, we divide $2.40 by 12 to get the unit price of $.20 per ounce. That way, we can compare the unit price to a different size, such as $6.00 for 24 ounces (or a unit price of $.25 per ounce). After doing the math (or looking at the Unit Prices directly on the shelf), we’ll see that the 12 ounce soup is actually a better overall deal.

At the end of the group meeting, we were more knowledgeable about the different food groups, shopping tips & tricks, ways to evaluate food labels, and ways to effectively comparison shop. We’re excited to take this knowledge DIRECTLY to the grocery store moving forward!