NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: JUNE 4, 2012


The Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) in Morganton recently received a five-year, $375,000 grant to serve as the NC Head Start P.A.L. Family Partnerships Demonstration Site – a model hub for showcasing evidence-based, best practices for transitioning low-income families out of poverty. The North Carolina Head Start State Collaboration Office (NC HSSCO), part of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's North Carolina Office of Early Learning, selected FIPP for the grant award.

The Head Start P.A.L. Demonstration Site is named for 2011 Head Start Collaboration Special Projects interns Stacie Poulin (Pender Co. Schools Head Start), Amanda Adkins (Western Carolina Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start), and Lethia Lee (Sampson County Government Head Start/Early Head Start). These three lead researchers collaborated with staff at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work to develop the elements of this project. All three said they were "pleased, excited, and proud to be a part of this project and historic event," and added that the services that FIPP will provide will help align family support services across the state to improve service delivery to families and children in poverty.

The grant provides $75,000 per year for five years to support coaching, mentoring, and information-sharing opportunities to Early Head Start and Head Start programs across the state based on the tenets of the Personal and Family Sustainability model, and built on the FIPP model of research-based supports for working with families experiencing poverty. FIPP Director Dr. M'Lisa Shelden said, "We are very honored to receive this grant and look forward to working with the state's Early Head Start and Head Start programs." She added that this project also infuses additional resources from the Burke Circles initiative to support a community-wide commitment to the eradication of poverty.

The grant will leverage the expertise of FIPP staff to provide an array of professional development opportunities to other NC Head Start programs including ongoing coaching opportunities alongside FIPP staff in Morganton, Lenoir and Taylorsville, and onsite at participants' programs. In addition, the Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency, Inc. Head Start program in Goldsboro was designated an official P.A.L. Demonstration Site partner and will assist with disseminating some of the project activities. FIPP Early Head Start Director Sarah Sexton said, "This cooperative agreement with the NC HSSCO is a timely and ambitious endeavor that has the capacity to dramatically change the way hundreds of North Carolina family support workers provide services to families living in poverty and to provide unprecedented supports and outcomes for families."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the NC Head Start P.A.L Family Partnerships Demonstration Site will be held on Friday, June 8, at 10 a.m., at the FIPP Administrative Offices, 300 Enola Road, Morganton. The ribbon cutting is being held in conjunction with FIPP's 40th anniversary celebration. For more information on the NC Head Start P.A.L. Family Partnerships Demonstration Site, please contact Dr. M'Lisa Shelden at 828.433.2661.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.