Stanly County Partnership For Children celebrates 30 years

On Wednesday, current and past staff and board members of the Stanly County Partnership for Children (SCPC) gathered at the Rosebriar restaurant for a celebration and reception recognizing 30 years of service to the community.

SCPC serves as the local Smart Start agency for Stanly County. As such, it supports the development of children and families through community-based programs focusing on health, family support services and quality early education, and fosters, according to the NC Smart Start mission statement, “an early childhood system that benefits each child in North Carolina beginning with a healthy birth.”

Stanly County was one of 12 original local Smart Start partnerships chartered in 1993, and while current SCPC Executive Director Tammy Albertson has been present for most of the time since then, she credits a dedicated and reliable staff for the organization’s continued success.

“We are blessed to have such longevity and continuity among our staff,” she said, noting that even her 25 years of service does not qualify her as the longest-serving staff member. That honor goes to Financial Manager Loreta Tate.

“Loreta has been with us for 28 years,” said Albertson.

SCPC’s outreach and influence on the community is evident in a number of ways, Albertson added.

“One way is increased quality in child care services throughout the county,” she said, noting the Partnership assists in providing resources, technical assistance and professional development for local child care centers and staff.

“Early childhood literacy activities and resources is another,” Albertson said, citing the organization’s Early Childhood Resource Center, as well as affiliation with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Albertson also noted that SCPC’s public outreach has evolved with the times in helping inform the community of the services offered.

“Our social media presence has been key,” she said, directing credit to Taler Miranda, SCPC’s community relations specialist.
Albertson is the fourth executive director of SCPC, following Pamela Wright, Tim Moose and Barbara Whitley in the position. Whitley was present at the gathering, and echoed Albertson’s thoughts on the organization’s staff.

“We are where we are after 30 years because of the staff,” said Whitley. “They are always open to trying new and creative approaches.”

Whitley also credited Wright and Moose with strong leadership in the organization’s early going.

“Pamela Wright deserves a great deal of credit in getting things started,” she said. “Tim built on what she had done, and when I came in, the organization was well-established, strong and moving in the right direction…I’m proud to have been able to be a part of it all.”

Michael Scott, a former SCPC Board of Directors member, who served seven years as chair, reflected on a number of milestones.

“We’ve created a greater awareness of services available to the community, and the Partnership has had a positive impact on child care providers, which in turn benefits children and families in the community,” said Scott.

The end result, observed Whitley, is a quality start for youngsters in day care and preschool, and excellent resources for staff and parents.

“What we have done for the past 30 years is making a difference,” she said. “You can watch the news and hear about unfortunate incidents in child care centers and preschools, but you don’t see that here. That’s a testament to the great work that the SCPC staff is doing.”

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.