SSTC Receives Grant Support from CFWNC

Smart Start of Transylvania County Receives Grant Support from CFWNC

Smart Start of Transylvania County (SSTC) has received generous grant funding over two years from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina that is supporting family resilience and social cohesion. 

Removing barriers that prevent young children (and their families) from ultimately thriving is at the foundation and mission of SSTC. The COVID-19 crisis has drastically altered the daily lives of many children and families by disrupting key services and early education access. In Transylvania County, close to 35% of children live at or below the poverty line, so maintaining and strengthening social cohesion and resiliency has been an imperative goal for SSTC spanning the last year and at present.

In light of current challenges, the funding is expanding the Circle of Security® program, providing technology support, and helping increase access to broadband internet service. 

The Circle of Security® program is a relationship-based early intervention program designed to augment attachment security between parents/caregivers and their children. The Family Place (with locations in Brevard and Rosman) is a key leadership partner with GetSet Transylvania early childhood collaborative and will be able to increase the number of coaches trained in The Circle of Security® thus expanding the capacity to provide services to more families across more convenient platforms and times. A complimentary goal of the project is to increase referrals to behavioral health as needed. The Family Place’s Executive Director, Erin Drew, stated, “In partnership with SSTC, The Family Place has been able to provide Circle of Security® groups to not only parents and caregivers, but also to agency staff such as the Department of Social Services, Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club, and Rise & Shine. Our hope is to foster a continuum of care within our community for families and children.”

On technology support and expanded broadband aid to low-income families, SSTC is assisted by Through the Trees, a local nonprofit connecting the rural communities of Transylvania county through technology and ultimately closing the digital divide. Access to technology not only enables children to have reliable access to virtual learning, but also benefits parents and caregivers by reducing stress surrounding the gap in access due to socioeconomic status, rural location, and/or lack of funds. To date, SSTC and Through the Trees have assisted 24 local families with technology needs. 

When a community invests in the well-being and development of young children and their needs, the community sequentially benefits through economic stamina and viability. SSTC remains limber and positioned to play a key leading role in ensuring this investment in young children and their families persists throughout the pandemic and its resulting years of impact. Our youngest citizens may not make up a large percentage of the current population, but they are 100% of the community’s future and SSTC strives to support this population so that they may thrive and learn. 

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitated $22 million in charitable giving last year. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina.

In light of the current continued pandemic status of our communities and world, SSTC and GetSet Transylvania persist in their dedication to the overarching wellness of Transylvania County children and families. If your family or someone you know needs assistance or resources pertaining to children 0-5 and their education, please do not hesitate to reach out to Smart Start at 828-877-3025 or visit