Lowering the Rate
In 2009, Lanier County had been number one in Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) for four consective years. Lanier County Family Connection formed a Child Abuse and Neglect Strategy Team in 2009 and used the Community Partnership for Protecting Children Initiative. After one year the CAN rate had dropped to number six in the state. After two years of research and activities, the rate dropped to number 26 in 2011.
Books and Pajamas Family Fun Night
On February 11, Lanier County School Title 1 Program, Lanier County Family Connection and Lanier County Certified Literate Community Participants held the first Books and Pajamas Family Fun Night in the primary school gym. Forty-seven families attended totaling over 150 kids and their families. The purpose of this event was for families to enjoy an evening together with literacy as the focus. Families were asked to wear pajamas and bring blankets to sit on. All families were treated to hot chocolate and fresh Subway cookies. As families cozied themselves on the gym floor, retired teachers JoNan Holbrook and Nancy Pafford inspired the families to read together by sharing stories from their years as educators and explaining the importance of literacy and the positive impact of reading together as a family. Families then spent the next part of the evening reading a book together. Not only was it a beautiful sight to see, but it was also like music to our ears to hear the families reading aloud. Smiles were on the faces of parents, grandparents, and children as the stories came to life. Each family was asked to complete a survey, and results from the surveys were fantastic with 35 families giving the event the highest rating. One parent commented, “I am always trying to get the girls more interested in reading. I love to read!” Another parent said, “It was the most wonderful parenting event I have attended.” Other parents commented on how great it was to hear their children reading, how awesome the event was, and how they would like to attend more occasions like this one. Congratulations to Amanda Fitzgerald and her children for winning the gift basket full of books, a dictionary, a family game, and a gift certificate to El Carrisal Mexican Restaurant. Another Books and Pajamas Family Fun Night will be held again in the fall with even more hot chocolate, cookies, special guests, and door prizes! If you have questions, suggestions, or would like to visit the Parent Resource Center at the Lanier County Board of Education, please contact me at 482-3966 or [email protected]. The Parent Resource Center is full of books, games, and other resources that can be checked out for a two week period. For more information about Family Connection or the Certified Literate Community Program please email [email protected] or call 482-3476.