SSTC wins 2020 Parsec Prize

Smart Start Named 2020 Parsec Prize Winner

Smart Start of Transylvania County (SSTC) has been named a 2020 Parsec Prize recipient. This year’s unrestricted grants totaling $200,000 help support those working diligently and effectively to prioritize educational and literacy needs. Parsec chose 15 awardees to commemorate the 15th year of the Parsec Prize.

The Parsec Prize is designed to help local non-profits further their missions and help improve the lives of those served in our communities. Since 2005, Parsec has awarded more than $1.5 million in Parsec Prize grants to 84 local non-profits. The Parsec Prize represents approximately one-half of Parsec’s annual charitable giving.  Each year, as we review Parsec Prize candidates, we are reminded in powerful ways of the invaluable work by our area nonprofit organizations. Their work is honorable and they service critical missions. Many of these entities are quiet champions, advocating for people in difficult circumstances. We are honored to know them and contribute to their success.

SSTC received a $10,000 Parsec Prize to help enable early literacy program goals. Executive Director, Deb Tibbetts states, “while Transylvania County has made significant strides in many of our early childhood community goals and progress in our kindergarten readiness data, we intend to intentionally grow our early literacy programs and augment the other programming areas that we support.”  

“When families read together, it promotes healthy brain development, furthers language acquisition, and helps build meaningful bonds. Our early literacy programs include Reach Out and Read and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Reach Out and Read is a national organization supporting early literacy. Smart Start of Transylvania County is the local affiliate for Transylvania County of Reach Out and Read Carolinas. Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. We contract with Hendersonville Pediatrics of Brevard to deliver this program to our community. We currently serve 500 children via well child visits where children are given an age-appropriate book to take home and keep. Our goal isto increase this by 250 children, or 50%. The award would be used to purchase books and to maintain a literacy-rich waiting area.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library serves any child (less than age 5) to be eligible to receive one free, age appropriate book per month delivered to their home from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (supported by the Dolly Parton Foundation). This program is subsidized by North Carolina Partnership for Children (aka Smart Start) with state funds, but local Smart Start partnerships (Smart Start of Transylvania County) are responsible to pay a discounted per book cost, market the program and administer the database for their county. We currently serve 800 children and our goal is to increase this by 400, or 50%. The award would be used to support the activities noted as our local responsibility.

This grant award from Parsec Financial will help SSTC to continue its mission of partnering with families, organizations, and individuals, to influence the well-being of children and to accept responsibility for the improvement of high-quality early care and education for young children in Transylvania County.

For more information on Parsec Financial and their philanthropy, visit: