First Five Coalition Work In the News

On January 26, the Dalton Daily Citizen recognized the Dalton-Whitfield Archway First Five Coalition in an article and highlighted some of their work.  A key goal of the First Five Coalition is to figure out a sustainable way to provide affordable prenatal care to underinsured or uninsurable mothers. As such, coalition member and pediatrician Dr. Luis Viamonte wrote an article highlighting the issue in the community. It was published alongside the article featuring the coalition and can be viewed here.

 The Archway Partnership Presents at Local Pastor’s Meeting

On February 3, Archway Partnership professionals Melissa Lu and Katy Green were invited to speak to a group of local pastors representing 13 churches about ways the faith-based community can become involved with areas of need within the Dalton-Whitfield community. The opportunities extend to anyone wanting to make an impact in the community. Click here to see the list of opportunities shared with the pastors.

Plans for Saturday Academy Underway

Beginning on March 8, the Archway Partnership plan to kick off a 6 week pilot study of Saturday activities for our youngest citizens and their families.  Faculty have lined up researchers from the University of Georgia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and the University of West Georgia to help study the effects of  parent-child interactive classes and parent education.  Currently, Archway staff and committee members are working together to locate funding for a classroom teacher, classroom assistant, a community health worker, parent educators, supplies and books, assessment materials, and incentives for families to participate.  We will then use the results of this process to develop an on-going Saturday program and to use as a basis for procuring long-term funding.

Book Nooks Continue Gaining Community Support

The Dalton-Whitfield Archway Partnership’s Book Nook initiative continues to gain community support.  Thanks to the generosity of the Dalton State Athletics Program, the Rotary Club of Dalton, and the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, funding has been pledged for 18 Book Nooks.  Book nooks have been placed at White’s Pediatrics  and City of Refuge, an outreach program that meets the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the homeless, low income, poverty level, and indigent families of the Dalton-Whitfield Community.

Reach Out and Read Update

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit that assists medical providers to promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms. At well visits, practitioners provide new books to children birth to five years old and advice to parents/caregivers about the importance of reading aloud. The Archway Partnership Executive Committee first discussed implementing the Reach Out and Read program at its December 2012 meeting.  Thanks to the hard work of Elizabeth Chadwick, former chair of the Dalton-based Northwest Georgia Regional Library, the Readers to Leaders and First Five committees, and a grant from Rock Bridge Community Church, Reach Out and Read has been fully implemented at White’s Pediatrics.   Additional pediatricians’ offices have expressed interest, and community members and Archway staff are working to locate funding.

The Archway Partnership Tours the Dalton Housing Authority

On January 31, the Dalton-Whitfield Archway Partnership faculty, staff and some of its executive committee members attended a tour of the Dalton Housing Authority in an effort to better understand the issues local families and students are facing. Participants began the tour with a Q&A session led by the Dalton Housing Authority’s Chief Operating Officer. After discussion, the group was shown different housing styles, allowing participants to go inside and see first-hand common living arrangements for individuals with low income in the community.  Archway faculty shared some of the needs these individuals face and presented them as collaborative volunteer opportunities to faith-based community organizations and citizens.  In future weeks, the Archway Partnership plans to work with local partners to organize several similar tours.

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