Our very own Solimar Abbott participates as panelist at the First Steps Annual Summit on Early Childhood

Congratulations to our very own Solimar Abbott and colleague Abigail for sharing their impactful work as PASOs/First Steps promotoras de salud as part of a panel titled “The Importance of Listening in Maternal and Child Health: Stories from the Field” at the First Steps Annual Summit on Early Childhood last week. They shared insights into their work and their trusting relationships with families. They highlighted the hard work and the joy that comes from empowering families by listening to their stories and lifting up their voices. Thank you so much Solimar and Abigail – your information sharing in these spaces is of upmost importance as part of our advocacy as it brings awareness to those that can impact the lives of those communities we serve. We are so proud of you and your work!

Solimar and Abigail share their work as PASOs/First Steps Promotoras de Salud.

Espero que todes estĂ©n bien y listos para tener un gran fin de semana. đŸ˜Š

Felicidades a Solimar y Abigail por compartir historias sobre su trabajo impactante como promotoras de salud de PASOs al formar parte del panel titulado “The Importance of Listening in Maternal and Child Health: Stories from the Field” en el cumbre anual de First Steps sobre la edad infantil la semana pasada. Ellas compartieron detalles sobre su trabajo y de las relaciones de confianza que tienen con las familias. Resaltaron lo difĂ­cil que puede ser pero tambiĂ©n lo gratificante que es ayudar a empoderar las familias al escuchar sus historias y al elevar sus voces. Muchas gracias Solimar y Abigail – al compartir esta informaciĂłn, en espacios como tal, es lo mas importante como parte de nuestra abogacĂ­a para nuestras familias ya que trae conciencia a aquellos que tienen poder para impactar las vidas de las comunidades que servimos. Estamos muy orgullosos de su trabajo!

Annual Meeting Highlights – 2022

Beaufort County First Steps held its 2022 Annual Meeting on Monday night, December 5th. In attendance were BCFS Board Members, staff, community members, and our guest speakers. Board Chair Anita Lynn Singleton brought the meeting to order and introduced our first guest speaker Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Rodriguez.

Dr. Rodriguez shared a summary of how the school system fared during and after the pandemic. There were many data points that showed COVID wasn’t as prevalent in the schools as it was out in the community. During this time, families were able to choose between three options: 1. all virtual instruction, 2. in-person instruction, and 3. hybrid virtual/in-person instruction. For early childhood students, the most significant impacts of the pandemic were in literacy and parents choosing to hold students back such that they didn’t have the experience of school. For all other students, the main impacts appeared in three areas: maturity level (1-2 years behind grade level), mental health, and academic recovery. While initial funds were spent on safety modifications, the majority ultimately went towards academic recovery. There has been good news since, which is that student scores for literacy have surpassed pre-pandemic scores — the highest since 2016. For early childhood, the school district continued its partnership with Head Start. Over 1,000 ChildFind development screenings have been completed for 3, 4, and 5 year olds.

Our second guest speaker was Director of Community Services (Beaufort-Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission) Mr. Andray Holmes. Mr. Holmes trained the Board Members on Parliamentary Law and Robert’s Rules of Order, which facilitate the transaction of business, ensures justice and order, and protects rights.

Executive Director Betty Washington gave an overall report, highlighting specifics of the 2021-20222 Annual Report as well as a Finance Report. She announced that BCFS has been awarded $90,000 over a three year period. Then each of the four programs provided an update — Parents as Teachers/Supporting Care Providers, Quality Enhancement Program/Training, PASOs/Early Intervention and Referral, and Social Media/Community Outreach. Full details are available here in the: 2021-2022 Annual Report.

Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to a successful 2022 for Beaufort County First Steps!

Thanksgiving Social

Beaufort County First Steps was thrilled to host a Thanksgiving Social for Parents as Teachers (PAT) families and children this November. We fellowshipped, shared what we are thankful for, and enjoyed a fabulous feast!

Ghost Tour Carriage Ride Tour through Downtown Beaufort

On October 14, 2022, the joint Parents as Teachers families from Beaufort County First Steps and Beaufort Jasper Comprehensive Health Services enjoyed a special Ghost Tour carriage ride through downtown Beaufort. Over 25 people enjoyed the tour through historic homes and landmarks, which included some of the oldest ghosts in America! The forty five minute tour included many surprises, a few scares, and lots of interesting history. Thanks to all the families and young children that participated!

Car Seat Safety Parent Meeting

For the September parent meeting, Beaufort County First Steps held an informative training about car seat safety. Executive Director Betty Washington walked the group through the various stages of car seats and important safety tips that all families with young children should know. The children enjoyed coloring activities and a fun, interactive bubble machine! South Carolina DHEC’s Madie Orage Green attended the event and provided key health information as well as giveaways (including free COVID tests). Afterwards, participants solved a crossword puzzle based on the information from the car seat safety training and then enjoyed dinner with their families. Thanks to all who participated!