Smart Start of Pender County Quarterly Newsletter
July, August, September | Volume XX, Issue I
Our CR&R Page
To the Pender County Childcare Providers:
Smart Start of Pender will be offering all childcare providers in Pender County a free lending library membership from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. If you have already paid a membership that has not expired your membership will be extended to a year from the date your membership was set to expire. That is correct, there will be no fees applied to any items the Resource Library has to offer with the exception of Notary Services and late fees for late return of totes. All classroom supplies and crafting materials at the base level will be at no charge to Pender County childcare providers only. There will be limits on the amount of supplies available for pick up at one visit; therefore, a new fee schedule will be available when your supplies are picked up or delivered. The schedule will list limits for items and what services will still warrant a paying fee. Supply requests will continue to be submitted via a supply order form and routed to the staff to be filled. If you are in need of classroom supplies you may also contact Regina Bass-Corley at or any other staff member during your technical assistance contact. We also hope to provide a link directly to the supply request form in the near future.
We thank the Pender County child care community for their continued service and cooperation!
Hours of Operation
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 8:30-4:30
Wednesday 8:30-5:30
Friday (Staff Only) 8:30-5:00
All entrance services will be by appointment only. This is to ensure sanitizing of area and social distancing for a healthy environment.
This schedule has been adjusted due to COVID-19. Please call to arrange an appointment.
The Resource Library will continue to follow Pender County Schools schedule for closings and delays for
inclement weather.
Phone: (910) 259-9978
 Fax: (910) 259-9728
If you need child care for school-age children, call  1-888-600-1685 to be connected with options.
In partnership with NC’s Child Care Resource and Referral system, representatives are available to assist weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. Care options are also available for children from infants through age 12.
When you call the hotline, child care referral specialists will provide referrals to licensed child care programs that are open and have vacancies for the age of the child(ren) for whom care is being
Availability of child care varies from community to community. 
For Our Providers

Smart Start of Pender's County 1st Child Care Provider’s Supply Drive
was on July 2, 2020!
We would like to thank the Four County Electric Care Trust for their $2,000 grant that assisted with the purchase of PPE and cleaning supplies for the child care community of Pender County. We would also like to thank Smart Start of Pender County board members and staff, as well as private donors for helping make our first Supply Drive a success. Child Care providers are essential workers with the task of caring for children ages birth to school age while their family members continue to work during this COVID-19 pandemic. Supplies are an extra expense for the child care community so Smart Start partnerships all over the state are stepping into the gap to assist until state level efforts are available to help the child care community obtain the necessary resources to provide safe high quality care to young children.
The supply drive orders were filled according to requests listed in an online survey submitted by each child care provider. Although items were distributed based on a first-come-first-serve basis, we made every effort to ensure that every provider that submitted a survey received items. Of course, some items were unavailable or hard to locate due to demand; however, we continue to collect donations and search for financial resources to continue offering this assistance.
Thanks to Wal-Mart for their $1,000.00 grant. We are planning another supply drive in late summer in time for fall, so child care providers should be on the lookout for additional surveys and make every effort to fully respond to the questions and promptly submit the survey for consideration. Stay tuned for more information soon.
To make a contribution to the Child Care Provider Supply Drive please contact Regina Bass-Corley at (910) 259-9978 or
For Our Parents
Burgaw Rotary Club Supports
Literacy in Pender County

In the fiscal year 2019-2020 the Burgaw Rotary Club was excited to receive a Rotary Club Foundation Grant in the amount of $886.60 which was matched by the club. Burgaw Rotary partnered with Smart Start of Pender County in a number of ways to promote early literacy in the western part of Pender County. The program, Together We Read, is a Rotary International Program with Save the Children Organization that addresses the millions of children growing up in poverty in the United States and who enter the kindergarten unprepared. Research shows that children who are not reading at grade level by the third grade are more likely to drop out of high school. This problem causes non high school graduates to “slide” into poverty with low paying jobs, threat of early pregnancies, and other issues that affect the future of these young people. 60% of children living in poverty have no books in their home (
The projects listed below are some of the things that Burgaw Rotary was able to do to promote early childhood literacy in Pender County:
· Printed Dolly’s Imagination Library business cards in English/Spanish (double-sided) for Smart Start employees to distribute to increase the data base of children from Pender County to the Imagination Library.
· With the help of Pender High School Carpentry Class II 4 Little Libraries were made to put up around the western part of the county—one at Rotary Park, Burgaw; one at Harrell’s Park, Burgaw; one at a church in Currie by the Post Office and one at Atkinson Town Hall. 
· Rotarians read to children (prior COVID) at the Little Town Learning Center and at Nessa’s Love and Care Center twice a month for three months.
· A book drop was made out of an old paper box and will be mounted outside of Smart Start at some point to collect gently used books for the Little Libraries and needs for Smart Start.
· Books were purchased in the amount of about $750.00 to distribute to Burgaw’s Halloween in the Park (300 books) and to be used in other children’s activities. 
· Campaign Materials were purchased to distribute for Together We Read awareness. 
We are excited to be writing another foundation grant this year for Together We Read and will again be supporting Smart Start on additional projects. It takes a community that cares about literacy and children to make a difference! Burgaw Rotary has found that Smart Start is a great place to learn about the needs of literacy and children in Pender County.
If you have any gently used books to donate to the Little Libraries, please contact me at 910-471-4740. We plan to have more built this year.
Cathy Guidry
Past Chairman, Together We Read
Board member, Smart Start
President 2020-2021 Burgaw Rotary
Covid-19 has caused additional stressors and has had an impact on families and young children's mental health. If you are noticing an increase in sleep disturbances, irritability, concerns regarding developmental milestones, or changes in your young child’s behaviors, we may be able to help!

Coastal Horizons Child First Program is accepting referrals for families in Pender County with children ages 0-6 for immediate openings! During this time, we are able to assist families through tele-health to ensure social distance requirements and safety.

At Child First, we help struggling families build strong relationships that heal and protect young children from trauma and stress. We use a two-generation approach, working with parents and children together in their home. This is the best way to stabilize the family and build safe, responsive, nurturing relationships. Research shows this protects the child’s developing brain from damage. Even in the face of extreme challenges, our children and families are making incredible progress.

Child first interventions have shown to decrease child language problems by 68%, decrease child aggressive and defiant behaviors by 42%, and decrease maternal depression by 64%.

For more information, or to make a referral, contact Jessica Canavan at
We are happy to announce that Smart Start of Pender County has a received a micro-grant with ThinkBabies ™! In light of COVID-19, we will perform
community assessments in order to reveal a clear picture of how the pandemic is impacting babies and their families. Upon completion of the assessment, they will hold a virtual presentation for the public and policymakers where they will discuss the findings and specific areas of advocacy for infants and toddlers in the county. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our county, particularly with our
families and young children. Our goal is to provide solutions to our families that will help them understand, manage, and better cope with COVID-19 now and into the future. 
If you would like to participate in the assessment or share how COVID-19 has personally impacted your family, job, or organization, please contact Jasmin Johansen at 910-259-9978 or
Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus
BY: American Psychological Association-
New reports about COVID-19 are becoming more widespread and are making some people anxious. Here are some tips to help you manage your anxiety, put news reports in perspective and maintain a positive outlook.
Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that most people who contract COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms. Work is being done to help people who may be more vulnerable to the coronavirus, such as senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions. As coverage increases, it's important to take the necessary precautions to keep your family and loved ones healthy.
Get the facts. It is helpful to adopt a more analytical approach as you follow news reports about the coronavirus. You will also want to verify information that you receive from family, friends or social media. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a webpage dedicated to information on the coronavirus outbreak. You may also find useful, reputable information from local or state public health agencies or even your family physician.
Communicate with your children.  Discuss the news coverage of the coronavirus with honest and age-appropriate information. Parents can also help allay distress by focusing children on routines and schedules. Remember that children will observe your behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own feelings during this time. You may want to limit how much media they consume to help keep their anxiety in check.
Keep connected. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. You can maintain these connections without increasing your risk of getting the virus by talking on the phone, texting or chatting with people on social media platforms. Feel free to share useful information you find on government websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own anxiety.
Seek additional help. Individuals who feel an overwhelming nervousness, a lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that adversely affect their job performance or interpersonal relationships should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers can help people deal with extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals to help them find constructive ways to manage adversity.
hotline numbers and more resources.
BEGINNINGS is a free resource for NC parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Our goals include educating parents about hearing loss, the different languages and communication modalities used by people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and about the choices parents will need to make to ensure their child acquires age-appropriate communication and language skills. We listen to concerns and connect parents with local and national resources and to other parents so they can talk to someone who has been in their shoes. We also educate professionals who work with children with hearing loss such as daycare providers, grandparents, and other service providers who work with the child. During the transition from Early Intervention Services to the school system, we help empower parents to make decisions that are best for their child and their family and to advocate to ensure their child is receiving appropriate services and accommodations.
All of these services are free and continue from birth to 22 years of age. Please contact us at or 919-715-4092 for a referral form if you are a family or professional in need of services.
Register your child today to receive a FREE, new book each month until age 5. Smart Start of Pender County and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are working together to bring books to North Carolina’s youngest children through funding provided by the North Carolina General Assembly. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a FREE program for all families with young children in Pender County regardless of income or zip code. You can register online by visiting or contact Angel Parker, Early Literacy Consultant at or at (910) 259-9978.
*Please keep in mind that the books can only be delivered to your mailing address.
ROR Podcast-Subscribe Today!!!
We’re excited to announce that the Reach Out and Read
Podcast launched on July 30, 2020! 
The podcast is centered on the belief that children’s books build better brains, better family relationships, and happier, healthier children and societies.
Join us as host Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin and pediatrician with a children’s librarianship degree dives into a wealth of varied early childhood health and literacy topics with expert guests examining the many facets of supporting the parent-child relationship as key to early success.
For more information and family resources please visit
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Smart Start of Pender County, Inc., is a public-private non-profit
organization. All donations are tax deductible. Any form of contribution is greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a contribution to Smart Start of Pender County please complete this form and return it to our office. Make checks payable to Smart Start of Pender County, Inc. All contributions are used to enhance services to young children.

Please consider supporting Smart Start of Pender County.
When you shop at AmazonSmile,  Amazon will donate to Smart Start of Pender County.
Smart Start of Pender County will be closed to the public during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We know that many of the Child Care Providers still need Credit Hours. We have provided some links below to help!

About Us
Board of Directors

James “Jimbo” Robbins -
Board Chair

Sharon Willoughby - Secretary
Donald Hall - Treasurer
Leslie Green – Vice Chair

Angela Beacham
Dr. Charles Aiken
Stacie Poulin
Rev. Dean Walker
Shontel Kirby
Rachel Willaims
Joan Taylor
Elizabeth Peterson
William Marshburn
Edith Meza
S. Eugene Jordan
Tonya Hooks
Cathy Guidry
     If you are interested in serving on the Smart Start of Pender County Board of Directors, or volunteering with our agency, please contact our office at (910) 259-9978 or stop by and visit with us
  Hours of Operation
Mon, Tues, Thurs
8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM-1:00 PM

Phone: (910) 259-9978
 Fax: (910) 259-9728

The staff of Smart Start of Pender County would like to
thank our board members, child care providers and our local community for investing in early care and education.

We also want to give a special thank you to our
volunteer Charles Corley.
Connie Carr-Costin, MSW
Executive Director
 Ext: 31
Angel Parker
Early Literacy Consultant  
 Ext: 24
Shelly Martin
Quality Program Manager  
 Ext: 36
Regina Bass-Corley, M.A.Ed
Resource Library Coordinator  Ext: 27
Candice Dillard
Quality Consultant   
Jasmin Johansen
Program Evaluation Coordinator   Ext: 26
The mission of Smart Start of Pender County, Inc. is to support services that provide opportunities for every child to grow into his or her potential as a person.