First Steps awarded $6,200 grant

Grant will be used for Home Visitation Program

By Charles Warner -

UNION COUNTY — The Union County School District First Steps will use a $6,200 grant to help pay for its Home Visitation program that helps prepare preschool children for kindergarten.

First Steps Executive Director Catherine Childers announced Thursday morning that First Steps had been awarded the grant by the United Way of the Piedmont during a ceremony in Spartanburg Wednesday afternoon.

“We are just completely honored that United Way of the Piedmont chose us to receive one of their many grants,” Childers said. “We look forward to seeing how we can help the youngest citizens in Union County with the money they’ve given us.”

Childers said the grant will be used by First Steps to fund its Home Visitation Program.

“We have two home visitors who go to the homes of children who qualify for the program,” Childers said. “They assist these children and their parents in getting the children ready for kindergarten.”

Childers said the program is open to children ages birth to 3 years old who meet the program’s criteria. She said families with preschool children interested in having them enrolled in the program should call her office at 864-429-1740, Ext. 134 for more information.

(While the program is currently open to children up to the age of 3, Childers said plans are to expand the program beginning in mid-2016 to include children up to the age of 5.)

The goal of Union County First Steps is to ensure that children are ready for kindergarten when they are old enough to attend. To achieve that goal, First Steps works to promote early childhood learning, including helping families instill a love reading in their children. In addition to the Home Visitation program, First Steps also offers a “Preschool Story Time” program that provides opportunities for children in the different communities of Union County to have stories read to them outside the home.

Preschool Story Time

First Steps has a Preschool Story Time every week day at a different location each day. The Preschool Story Times are held on the following days, at the following locations at the following times:

Monday — Foster Park Elementary School — 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Tuesday — Union County Carnegie Library — 10:45 a.m.

Wednesday — Monarch Elementary School — 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Thursday — Carlisle Town Hall — 10:45 a.m.

Friday — Buffalo Elementary School — 10:45-11:45 a.m.

The programs are free and open to children ages birth to five years old. A parent/guardian must attend with the child.

For more information about Preschool Story Time at the respective locations, call the following:

Buffalo Elementary School — 864-429-1730

Carlisle Town Hall — 864-427-1505

Foster Park Elementary School — 864-429-1737

Monarch Elementary School — 864-429-1733

Union County Carnegie Library — 864-427-7140

Imagination Library

A program offered through First Steps is “Imagination Library” a program founded and funded by entertainer Dolly Parton which provides book free of charged to families with young children. Childers said First Steps encourages families to sign up for the program and begin receive free books each month for their children.

Countdown To Kindergarten

First Steps also offers Countdown To Kindergarten which Childers said sends four kindergarten teachers into the homes of rising kindergartners who need some extra assistance in getting prepared for kindergarten.


Childers said First Steps also provides training to child care workers in Union County. She said the training is required by the SC Department of Social Services. Persons who want to work in child care in at church and other local child care facilities must undergo this training in order to continue working with children at the child care centers.

For more information about Union County First Steps and the programs it provides call 864-429-1740, Ext. 134.
Grant will be used for Home Visitation Program

By Charles Warner

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or

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