Sarah Miller

Board Recognitions and Bob Tull Awards!

The Partnership is ever so thankful to have dedicated Board members who help support and stand behind the mission and vision of helping young children in Lincoln and Gaston counties thrive. At this month’s board meeting we gave special recognition to those whose tenure had come to an end. Board Chair-Sarah Miller, Board Members Kimberly Davis (not pictured), Erma Deen Hoyle and Susan McCracken.  Erma Deen Hoyle and Susan McCracken also receive the Robert E. Tull Award for their volunteer leadership and community servant hood.

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Smart Start Receives Funding to Expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Across NC

Lincoln & Gaston County, NC -- Smart Start and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (Imagination Library) are working together to bring books to North Carolina’s youngest children through funding provided by the North Carolina General Assembly. During the 2017 legislative session, North Carolina state lawmakers included $3.5 in the first year of the budget and $7 million in the second year for the Smart Start network to offer free, age-appropriate books through the Imagination Library to children across the state.

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Local Child Care Provider Earns College Degree

 Robin Harris of Robin's Nest Child Care Home in Gastonia shares how she continued her education and went on to achieve her college degree. Congratulations Robin!

"The road to achieving my college degree has not been an easy one but luckily I did not have to do it alone. My daughter, Shantell Phillips, who is not only my assistant but also my best friend, has been there for me all the way. Having someone so close to me and by my side has made this journey a special one. She kept me focused and I was determined.

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Local Events to Celebrate Dr. Seuss Day

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Join the Gaston and Lincoln County Libraries for these exciting Dr. Seuss Day events!

Gaston County Public Library

  • Dr. Seuss Birthday Party - Fri, March 2 @ 3:30-4:30pm | Mount Holly Branch
  • Seuss Saturday - Sat, March 3 @ 11-3pm | Gastonia - Main Branch

Lincoln County Public Library

  • Dr. Seuss Birthday Party - Fri, March 2 @ 10-11:30am | Shanklin Library, Denver
  • Dr. Seuss Birthday Party - Sat, March 3 @ 2-4pm | Jonas Library, Lincolnton
  • Dr. Seuss Movie "The Lorax" - Mon, March 5 @ 4-6pm | West Lincoln Branch, Vale

Partnership Board Recognizes Key Players in the Community for February 2018

We are thrilled to announce our key players in the community for February 2018. The following individuals and child care centers were recognized earlier this month by the Partnership's Board of Directors:


Anastasia Denaux was recognized for receiving her Master's Degree in Education from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro.
Pictured: Michael Linker (Partnership Executive Director), Anastasia and her husband Charlie, and Sarah Miller (Partnership Board Chair)

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NC Early Childhood Foundation Launches Family Forward NC

pfclg famThe North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation launched Family Forward NC, an innovative business initiative to improve children's health and well-being and keep North Carolina's businesses competitive. By increasing family friendly workplace practices, business, families, and our state all win.


Through research and the exchange of ideas among business leaders, employees and organizations, Family Forward NC promotes workforce investments that support children's healthy development and a competitive business environment, both in the short and long term. That's a goal we can all rally behind.


Though the number of working families has risen dramatically over the last few decades, family initiatives have not kept pace. The immediate and long-term business advantages of these offerings are well-documented.

  • Family-friendly workplaces provide a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction and reducing absenteeism.
  • Family-friendly practices support children's future academic and career success. These benefits all come back to business by building a strong future workforce.

Visit this website to learn more about the benefits of Family Forward NC.



New Child Care Rules Effective October 1, 2017


"New Child Care Rules have been adopted and officially became effective October 1, 2017. Many of these rule changes are a result of the CCDF Reauthorization and related federal requirements and the NC Periodic Review of Existing Rules.

DCDEE staff is working diligently to summarize the finalized changes, update forms and prepare presentations to train DCDEE staff and child care providers on what they need to know.

DCDEE has posted the revised rules to [their] website. Providers can visit the DCDEE website at to view all of the new rules and rule language. Click the "Rules, Law, and Public Information" tab on the left side of the screen, and the new and revised rules are posted here and noted as being effective October 1" (DCDEE,

For more information or if you have immediate questions, please contact your assigned Child Care Consultant.

Mr. MusicMan Returns to Spooktacular!

We are excited welcome back Mr. MusicMan to our 9th Annual Family Spooktacular!DSC03483

Mr. MusicMan (Robert Lowery) has been our DJ at Spooktacular for more than 5 years. His ability to get children and their families up and moving is amazing. Whether it's demonstrating the latest dance moves or exercising to upbeat hip-hop tunes, your body will experience a total workout.

We invite you to come and experience this excitement and much, much more at our 9th Annual Spooktacular on Saturday, October 28 from 11am-3pm at the Woodmill Winery Festival Grounds (1350 WoodMill Winery Lane, Vale, NC).

Click here to learn more about Spooktacular!

Partnership Recognizes Retiring Board Members and Key Players in the Community

At recent Board Meetings, the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Children for Lincoln and Gaston Counties (Partnership) recognized retiring Board members Tammy Kane, Joe Dixon and Bill Gross.  Chair Sarah Miller and Vice Chair Wanda Wyont presented each with a plaque noting the Partnership’s sincere appreciation for their years of leadership and service as a member of the Board.








PFCLG Exec. Director Michael Linker, Chair Sarah Miller,
Retiring Board Tammy Kane, and Public Information Coordinator Rosalind Richardson

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The Impact of Our Volunteers

Barbara Linker and Brian Foster are no strangers to the Partnership. Together they have put in 45 hours of service since joining us as volunteers in October 2016.

Barbara Brian Volunteers 2

“Brian and I so enjoy volunteering at the Partnership,” Barbara says. “The books given to the children in the various projects are first quality. Knowing this may be a child’s first book makes us proud to be a volunteer for the Partnership.”

Over the last several months, Barbara and Brian have helped us label over 5,000 books for our Reach Out and Read program and Boogie with Books events, and organized approximately 20 of our theme boxes. They helped us prepare for the Literacy Builds Gaston meeting back in May, as well as our big Spooktacular event last October. Every hour that they give helps us tremendously!

Thank you to Barbara, Brian and all of our outstanding volunteers for helping us expand the reach of our programs in so many ways. If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Partnership, call (704) 922-0900.



Partnership Sponsors Literacy Builds Gaston

More than 50 community members and representatives from children’s advocacy agencies attended the Literacy Builds Gaston meeting Friday, May 12th at the Gaston County Public Library Main Branch in Gastonia. To read more about this amazing event, click here.

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The Power of Reading Aloud

benefits reading aloudEarlier this month, our Public Information Coordinator Tabitha Whetstine transformed into Super Girl and set out on a mission to read aloud to the children at several child care centers in our community!  

Tabitha read “Mother Bruce” by Ryan T. Higgins, “Clifford the Firehouse Dog” by Norman Bridwell and “Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Helper” by Sheila Sweeny Higginson.

By reading aloud to the young children at the child care centers, Tabitha exposed them to more words, sparked their curiosity, and gave them more reasons to love books!  In fact, reading aloud to young children promotes language development and early literacy skills, such as word sound awareness, understanding how stories work, recognition of sounds and letters, knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary and the ability to listen.

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PFCLG Recognizes Outstanding Individuals In Early Childhood Field

pflgc awardsDALLAS, N.C. - On February 7, 2017 the Partnership for Children of Lincoln & Gaston Counties presented certificates to multiple individuals in the Early Childhood field.

These individuals were those who earned their degrees in Early Childhood, those whose child care centers went up in stars, and those who have had a tremendous impact on the children in our community.

The Partnership would like to thank each of these individuals and their child care centers as a whole for the positive impact that they have on our young children.

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