Friday, March 7, 2014
Recently, I had an opinion editorial published in the newspaper on the subject of Common Core, Government Funded Childcare and Vocational Education. This article drew a response from a Ms. JoAnn. I am responding to her not because of what she said, but because she was most passionate about her position concerning early learning (children under five years old). If I understood her correctly, she clearly believes that it should be funded with public money.
My point, and as I clearly stated in my op-ed “I have done my due diligence and I can report that one can find evidence to support or refute the merits of this program. My position on this program has nothing to do with the merits or lack thereof. I just don’t want to pay for someone else’s child care.”
Now, let me get to the crux of why I am responding. Since Ms. JoAnn used my op-ed as the pulpit to make her case as to why we should be picking up the tab for early childhood learning, I am going to use her rebuttal as my pulpit to give her and others in our county who are passionate about early learning an opportunity to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk by donating their own money to a local child development center!
I have had the pleasure of working with the board of the Pawleys Island Child Development Center in recent months. This is the group that oversees the operation of the childcare center in Parkersville here on the Neck. It is a non-profit 501C3 corporation. Parents pay based on their financial ability.
The center is staffed by a director, three full-time teachers, one substitute and a cook. They are all certified annually. The school is also blessed with volunteers who help teach basic language, arithmetic and computer skills. There are currently about 25 preschoolers attending the center and the facility is licensed by DHEC, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, to enroll up to 60 children. The school supplies breakfast, a hot lunch, and an afternoon snack.
The center is currently located in an old school owned by the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, but the church has other plans for the antiquated building.
Fortunately, when the county was obtaining land for the new Waccamaw Regional Recreation Center at Parkersville, the Pawleys Island Civic Club was able to trade the county three acres of property for the land that currently houses the Magistrate office and a sheriff’s sub-station. The development center board is currently in the process of renovating the building which housed the sheriff’s office, but like any worthwhile undertaking, money is always an issue. The board has held fund raisers, but it is going to take a substantial amount of money to bring the building up to DHEC standards for a childcare facility. The estimate for the electrical work alone is $26K.
To date we have had some generous donations. One gentleman with roots in Pawleys Island has donated $15K, but we are still short of having the funds to reach the estimated amount required to complete the renovations to the new building.
If you are a believer in early childhood learning, put some skin in the game and send a generous donation payable to Pawleys Island Child Development Center. The mailing address is: Post Office Box 202, Pawleys Island, SC 29585.
If you have any questions, you can contact Mr. Norman Reid, president of the Pawleys Island Civic Club or Mr. John Gregory, chairman of the Childcare Development Center Board or call the childcare center at 237-4765.
This is your chance to invest in some little people who need some assistance without the money being taken from you in the form of taxes so that someone else can invest your money for you. God Bless, and please help!
Bob Anderson is a resident of Pawleys Island and represents the area on Georgetown County Council.