Wednesday’s editorial praises the good work of Miss Ruby’s Kids and celebrates the grant that will help them expand their offerings down in Georgetown County:
In good news for local education and for the future, Miss Ruby’s Kids, the nonprofit early childhood literacy program in Georgetown County, will increase to 60 the number of young children in its core Parent-Child Home Program with the help of a $10,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation.
Betsy Marlow, executive director of the nonprofit, says the grant will help pay for books and learning toys which are such an important part of the Parent-Child Home Program. An example of the quality books is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by famed illustrator Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr. The books and toys become gifts to the family. Exposure to good books at early ages is a major key to success in school.
Children in the program are 2 to 4 years old. They and a parent are visited in their home for 46 weeks. With 60 children enrolled, it will mean 2,760 home visits in the 2012-13 school year. In the past school year, 56 children and parents were visited 2,576 times. The number of children has grown from 40 a few years ago. After the Parent-Child Home Program, Miss Ruby’s Kids provides mentors in a school setting for youngsters who were in the home visits. Last year, 54 school children had mentors and Marlow says Miss Ruby’s Kids is “ramping up efforts to recruit mentors from all areas of Georgetown County.”
Most mentor one child but a few have two — in different schools so no child feels short-changed. The importance of the mentoring program is richly illustrated by the experience of a veteran upper grades teacher who many years ago visited with Miss Ruby herself — Ruby Middleton Forsythe, who taught with her husband in a one-room school in Pawleys Island. The mentor said of one child: “he is the blessing in my heart. We share our time like a golden hour each week. … he looked at me and said, ‘You are in my dreams,’” Marlow reported on this mentor-child relationship in the national Parent-Child Home Program Newsletter.
“The mentoring program has become so important,” former board member Joan Kreikemeier says. “It is the shining star.” She feels the program eventually will need 100 mentors.
Marlow describes the $10,000 grant as a big help. The TD Charitable Foundation is financed by TD Bank N.A. The foundation was started in 2002 and since has made $88.6 million in charitable donations in affordable housing, financial literacy and education and the environment.
Miss Ruby’s Kids will mark its 10th anniversary in 2013. In addition to the parent-child home visits and the mentoring programs, the nonprofit also serves children in three small family childcare units. Miss Ruby’s Kids has a current fiscal year operating budget of $283,000. It is an agency of the Georgetown County United Way, for designated funds, donations to United Way earmarked for Miss Ruby’s Kids.
The 16-member board includes four new volunteers: Michael “Mike” Cafaro, director of student support services and special programs for the Georgetown County School District; Anne Marie Hoyle, who founded her own company recruiting firm in information technology staffing; Theo Krapels, an elementary school mentor who had a long career in management with DuPont; Anne Mountford, certified by the Kentucky Department of Education in areas of special education.
Mentors and other volunteers needed
Miss Ruby’s Kids, the early childhood literacy program, is seeking mentors across Georgetown County. Volunteers also are needed to work in fundraising, marketing and programs. For more information or to receive application material, contact Miss Ruby’s Kids in Georgetown.
Phone | 843-436-7197
Online | www.missrubyskids.net