07/15/04 — Smart Start hires two new employees

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Smart Start hires two new employees

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 15, 2004 1:57 PM

Two new employees have been hired by the Wayne County Partnership for Children to work with Smart Start early childhood programs.

Lora Lee is the director of program coordination and evaluation, and Cristy Barnes is a program associate for child-care resources and referrals.

The partnership, an independent nonprofit organization, identifies the needs of children from birth to 5 years old as well as their families. It also works with community agencies and administers the More at Four pre-kindergarten programs in Wayne County. The goal of the state-funded programs is to have children ready for kindergarten.

Ms. Lee graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. A Teaching Fellows Scholar, she majored in English and received her master's degree in teaching in 2001. She taught high school English in Wilmington for two years before moving to Greenville, where her husband is in medical school.

"I hope to bring my knowledge of business and education to assist in the partnership's mission to ensure that every child has access to quality early childhood programs," she said.

Ms. Barnes' role is to provide training and technical assistance for child-care providers in such areas as first aid and CPR, developmentally appropriate practices, and room arrangement. She also assists parents with locating child care.

She has an associate's degree in early childhood education from Wayne Community College and is pursuing her bachelor's degree in early childhood education at Mount Olive College.

She has more than 13 years of related work experience, including being a preschool teacher and a supervisor for a WAGES Head Start program.

Ms. Barnes said her goal is to work with child-care providers and families to assure that all children have the opportunity to succeed as they prepare for kindergarten.