Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council-
What is your organization / what is your role there?
I am the compliance director between two centers at All About Kids. I oversee two locations to make sure we’re doing things correctly and the quality for early childhood stays the same.
Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council is a group of directors throughout the community that meet together. I’ve been a part of the council for about 20 years and I’ve served anywhere between just being a member and being the president.
We always work in partnership with First 5 Lex for our grant work and community work. We’re better when we’re bigger, so we work together.
Can you tell us about your organization’s community outreach? What role has your organization played in the community?
All About Kids is a for-profit center that does non-profit missional things. We’ve worked together with The Nest to provide hats, gloves, clothes, and other different things. We are always working. Being a for-profit center gives us the opportunity to give back to the community in different ways. We try to make sure all families can have quality care. We give back to organizations that serve all kinds of families. Our families at All About Kids are very giving and want to participate.
Members of the Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council work together to see the needs of the community as a whole. Along with the families I serve, we are also trying to help the kiddos who are under served. We have the opportunity to help financially and by giving our time.
How long has your organization been part of the First 5 community team?
Along with the Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council, I have been part of the First 5 community team since the inception, but my roles have changed over time. The Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council found the need to give back and partnered with First 5 Lex before it was called First 5 Lex. All About Kids has been part of the First 5 community team for the last two years. Whitney Stevenson and Alice Nelson started it and it’s grown into what it is today. First 5 Lex has been able to make an impact on the community with the help of many community partners.
Why was partnering with First 5 Lex a logical fit for your organization?
It’s not about one agency, it’s about the kids in the community. We want to really try to make it a community impact. Together we are able to do that seamlessly. We are stronger in numbers. When we can grow and work together, we can make a bigger impact. We serve the same age too, so it’s a logical fit. The Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council serves children birth to school age and All About Kids serves children birth to 12. We serve the same group of kids and we want to make sure all kids have quality care.
Why do you think the First 5 message- to read, talk and play with little ones each day- is so important?
It’s the foundation for their learning development. Read, talk and play touches all the bases. It’s everything from language development, to brain development, to communication back and forth and to building a secure attachment for little ones with their families and teachers. It’s so important to interact with kiddos for their learning development.
In your opinion, what positive change has First 5 Lex made in the community?
First 5 Lex has been able to reach different avenues where kiddos might not have the same opportunities. Being able to move into the community, through areas such as barber shops and pediatrician offices, allows them to reach the touch points where children and parents are going to be together. You never know who this will impact throughout the day. Teaching parents and grandparents to read, talk and play with little ones is so important to the community. It’s going to make a difference in the child’s whole life. First 5 Lex and their community partners are changing the trajectory of our community, and maybe even each citizen, as we grow our kiddos.
How do you hope to continue to partner with First 5 Lex in the future?
The Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council wants to keep sticking to the mission and giving back to the community collectively. The Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council is neat because many different agencies are at the table, including First 5 Lex. We can come together to do the same thing. I hope we can continue to come together and really make an impact.
All About Kids wants to continue to come together with First 5 Lex to serve the kids that may be in need whether it’s giving our resources or our time. We want to continue to do this to make a change in our community.
Just for fun:
What is your favorite children’s book to READ?
My favorite children’s book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I like to be able to sing it with the kids. You can read it or sing it. That’s probably my favorite book to read with little ones.
If you have an afternoon with nothing scheduled, how would you PLAY?
I like to go on walks and read books.
If you could TALK with one person, from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would like to talk to Martin Luther King Jr. I would ask: What do you think of our world today?
Thank you so much, Debbie Link with the Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council and All About Kids, for all that you do with First 5 Lex!