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Fairfield County First Steps gets $152,000 to educate parents

The money will help educate parents on how to prepare their child for school.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, S.C. — Fairfield County First Steps has received a $152,000 grant that will go towards its 'Parents as Teachers' program.

The program teaches parents with young children how to prepare their kids for their first year of school. Its designed to help children work through any struggles they may have before they get to the classroom.

The Parents As Teachers program provides parents with certified parent educators, trained in child development, to help parents understand what to expect at each stage of their child’s development and offer practical tips on ways to encourage learning, manage challenging behaviors, and promote strong parent-child relationships.

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Executive director Patti Wilkes says if a child needs a referral to a specialist or needs extra work in one area, First Steps can get that child the right help before they start school.

"One thing we have seen is the kindergarten readiness scores improve through the years, and we feel that is because parents are more knowledgeable on what their child needs to know before they get to school," Wilkes said.

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According to Wilkes, the grant money will allow the county to keep their parent educators in place until 2024 and will help provide the county with necessary resources, such as books and training.

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