SPC Receives “Ribbon of Hope” Grant
Early childhood workforce program now open to high school and early college students offering paid work-based learning.
(King, NC) Stokes Partnership for Children (SPC) is pleased to announce the receipt of a $25,000 grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation’s “Ribbon of Hope” grant program to expand the Workforce Innovation to Support Early Education (WISEE) program. Community partners in this initiative include Forsyth Tech Community College’s Early Childhood Department and the Stokes County Schools’ Career Development Programs.
The increased demand for WISEE is due to a new collaboration between Forsyth Tech Community College and Stokes County Schools to form an educational partnership to provide Career and College Promise (CCP) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) course work in the public school system, specifically early childhood education courses. Early childhood education college level courses were offered for the first time in the high schools during SY 2020-21. Through this partnership, Stokes County students are able to earn an Early Childhood Education Certificate and 18 college credit hours, all within one academic year. This partnership was designed with SPC’s WISEE program as a collaborating partner.
The WISEE program itself came to fruition in 2015 from a collaboration between Stokes Partnership for Children, Forsyth Tech and the North Carolina Community College System. Its goals and objectives were to increase the workforce of higher educated early childhood professionals through the use of college credits. The program expansion allows Stokes County high school or early college students who are enrolled in at least one 3 credit hour early childhood college level course the opportunity to participate in the WISEE program. WISEE will provide financial incentives, enhanced professional development and support for students with a goal to increase the workforce of higher educated early childhood professionals through the use of college credits. WISEE will help to decrease barriers and create a more seamless pathway for students interested in the early childhood field, especially from high school to college, and on into the workforce. WISEE provides a special focus on developing skills relating to professionalism, leadership and advocacy.
According to Cindy Tuttle, SPC Executive Director, “In Stokes County, as well as in North Carolina as a whole, there are not enough qualified early childhood professionals to meet the demands of the workforce. There just simply are not enough qualified teachers, especially those with higher education levels, in Stokes County. Expanding the WISEE program to be able to serve more high school and early college students is a perfectly aligned strategy based on the new partnership. The really cool thing about the WISEE program is that students can earn between $20 to $30 an hour. If students are required to complete an internship for graduation, the WISEE program will count those hours toward meeting program requirements. This equates to paid work-based learning.”
The Ribbon of Hope grant provides support for 15 additional students to participate in WISEE during the 2021-22 school year. To apply go to www.stokespfc.com to fill out an online application or call Dianne Durham or Holly Warner at 336-985-2676.
The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is committed to embracing the entire state through their various grant programs. They seek the creative spark that makes a true difference in people's lives by supporting innovative programs promoting the sciences, health and education. The Ribbon of Hope program provides $25,000 grants to nonprofits to establish or expand local programs in the areas of science, health and education.
Stokes Partnership for Children is a non-profit organization led by local volunteers, designed to provide programs and services for families and children in Stokes County. SPC administers the NC Pre-K program and Smart Start funds from the state legislature to support programs to benefit children age birth to five and their families, is a catalyst for bringing different groups together for the sake of the children, educates the community on the critical needs of young children and helps develop solutions. For more information visit www.stokespfc.com or call 336-985-2676.