“The number one way we can address these long-term challenges of poverty, of education, is to invest in early childhood education.”
– Julian Castro
Happy Holidays to all the amazing people who support The Children’s Center. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed some delicious food as well as time with the people you love.
This month we had a successful Happy Feet event, thanks to our friends at Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island and New Balance! Thanks to their generosity, 111 children went home with a new pair of shoes and socks. Thank you also to the Friends of the Pratt Memorial Library in Ridgeland who donated over 100 books to this event so each child would be able to pick out a new book with their shoes!
Our After schoolers and Ladybugs took a field trip to Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park this month, which was not only educational but a lot of fun for them as well. The kids learned so much about the amazing history of Mitchelville; the first place in the United States where Africans in America, just out of slavery and not yet citizens, governed themselves. The Lowcountry is full of natural beauty and some incredible history as well!
The Palmetto Project came and spent some time with our four-year-olds providing one-on-one tutoring! Quality time is one of the most impactful gifts children can be given. We are thankful to these wonderful friends of The Children’s Center for giving the gift of their time!
Our incredible friend and board member Mrs. Sandy Berthelsen was recently honored by The Wexford Foundation for her incredible commitment to community service. Her dedication was honored with a grant made to The Children’s Center which will be used to upgrade our board room furnishings. Thank you to Wexford and Mrs. Sandy for the incredible part you play in advancing the mission of The Children’s Center!
Mental Health in Early Childhood
In the wake of COVID-19, the conversation about mental health has skyrocketed along with a national and global mental health crisis. Much of the conversation has focused on mental health concerns in adulthood, but how do we assess and care for mental health in early childhood?
According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the number one predictor of mental health issues in children is living in an environment with sustained stressful experiences such as neglect and abuse. These experiences shape the brain development of children and can result in undesirable outcomes later in life such as criminal activity, dropping out of school, and homelessness. Even when children are removed from environments full of toxic stress, it is still very difficult for them to recover from traumatic experiences on a neurological level.
So what can we do?
Ensuring your child is in a physically and emotionally safe environment is a critical component of preventing exposure to trauma. Children are directly impacted by the environment in their homes, communities, etc. Therefore, examining how toxic stress can be reduced in your home is an important step in providing a nurturing and supportive environment for your children’s mental health. Getting help for substance abuse issues, removing children from violent or emotionally abusive environments, and ensuring your children’s basic needs are met are all ways to reduce toxic stress. Healthy people lead to healthy families and communities and support the growth and development of healthy and happy children.
Check out this video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University to learn more.
Dana Faranda – our baby whisperer. Dana has been with us for two years now, and she is in charge of understanding and interpreting crying all day! Whew! She loves those babies, though, and you’ll know it because you’ll find her talking to them, playing with them, or doing arts and crafts with them. She takes the time to get to know each child’s schedule and develops great relationships with their parents so she can be as successful as possible in providing them with a positive environment. When Dana’s not warming bottles or changing diapers, you’ll find her at the beach, catching a movie, or playing with her daughter, Fiona. We are so thankful for all you do Ms. Dana!
The Children’s Center will be closed from December 26th, 2022 through January 2nd, 2023. We will return to operating hours on Tuesday, January 3rd.
Do you want to make a difference? We are looking for full-time and part-time employees! E-mail resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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