Alabama House Representative Terri Collins was on hand at The Partnership to spread good cheer just before the Christmas holidays. Rep. Collins presented Partnership CEO Tim Thrasher and Partnership pre-K liaison Dee Ard with a check for more than $10,000 from the Starting Strong funding for Morgan County Pre-K classrooms.
Starting Strong is a partnership that began more than eight years ago among multiple agencies including Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Decatur-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, the Decatur-Morgan County Minority Development Association, United Way of Morgan County, the City of Decatur, Morgan County Schools, Decatur City Schools, Hartselle City Schools, local businesses, and community leaders.
According to The Partnership’s Pre-K liaison Dee Ard, the goal of the Starting Strong initiative was to raise quality in pre-k classrooms across Morgan County no matter where they were housed, including schools, churches, private care centers, Head Start facilities, and non-profits.
Funds raised for Starting Strong have supported new classrooms with supplies, materials, and training opportunities. Supporting agencies have been able to work collaboratively to support pre-k in Morgan through the initiative. Ard said of the effort, “It was a big deal to get all of these (agencies) to come together at the table.” The current number of pre-k classrooms that have resulted from the Starting Strong Pre-K initiative is now up to 40 classrooms with more than 700 children enrolled.