04/26/05 — Lobsters will boil for to help educate childcare teachers

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Lobsters will boil for to help educate childcare teachers

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 26, 2005 1:46 PM

Wayne County Partnership for Children is bringing back a popular event as a means to raise scholarship money for area childcare teachers.

The "Lobster Boil" will be Friday, May 20, with hopes of making it an annual event, organizer Julie Odom said.

Tickets are currently on sale, with the $20 tax-deductible donation purchasing a 1.25 pound live Maine lobster that can be cooked at the donor's request. Lobsters can be picked up at the Partnership office, 800 N. William St., between 2 and 6 p.m. May 20.

About 10 families across the county have also been enlisted to host lobster parties that day.

The event was a popular fundraiser for a volunteer group, Mrs. Odom said, but had not been held in recent years.

"We thought it was a neat way to pick up where they left off," she said.

Money raised from the event will support childcare workers' own educational advancement. Mrs. Odom said a N.C. Child Care Workforce Survey in 2003 showed that childcare workers in Wayne County earned an average of $6.25-6.50 an hour.

"If they're making $6 an hour, who really has the extra money to go back and get an education?" she said. "That's why we're trying to raise scholarship money to do that."

In the past, the group has backed other efforts to support childcare workers, such as the Smart Start Revue. The hope is for the Lobster Boil to be successful enough to become an ongoing fundraiser.

Mrs. Odom said proceeds will be used to fund scholarships to two area colleges. The first $20,000 raised will fund scholarships in early childhood education at Mount Olive College, she said, with the next $20,000 used for similar scholarships at Wayne Community College.

As an incentive to build on the local workforce, recipients of the scholarships commit to employment in a licensed Wayne County childcare facility or related position for at least one year after graduation.

Tickets for the lobster boil can be purchased until May 11 at the partnership office as well as Sylvan Learning Center, Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce and Mount Olive College student development office.

For more information, call 735-3371.