FGV History…Where it all started

As FGV reflects on the legacy of this agency, we cannot do so without acknowledging Carolyn Malone Paylor’s influence. Carolyn was the first Executive Director of the Franklin Granville Vance Partnership for Children. Carolyn researched the principles of Smart Start and also believed preparing children to enter school willing and ready to learn was vital for our children’s success. Therefore, on October 1, 1997, she entered the Partnership’s first location at 112 South Main Street, Louisburg North Carolina to set in motion to bring Early Childhood Initiatives (Smart Start) to our Tri-Counties.

The first goal of Carolyn Malone was to lead a pre-selected regional volunteer group comprised of stakeholders with various backgrounds and ties to identify the needs of each individual County. This group was to collaborate, and lay-out a strategic plan to be implemented once funding was received from the State Legislators. Interestingly, the planning year’s budget began, July 1, 1997, with $75, 000 from the State, and a $40,000 grant was given by CP&L to determine the needs of each of the Tri-Counties. Armed with the vision of Smart Start, additional responsibilities included beating the civic drums to all businesses throughout the Tri-Counties informing them of the needs of their employees to have quality childcare and how that tied into productivity. In an article written by Nancy Simpson Hoke in the Daily Dispatch, Carolyn provided this statement to business leaders; “If your workers are confident about their children’s daycare, they are more productive because they are not worried”, after all, “today’s children are tomorrow’s workforce and they must be well educated if they are to take current workers places.” As the understanding of the Tri-County’s needs became clearer, things progressed swiftly. Carolyn saw the need to hire her first administrative staff person, Paula Richardson on November 17, 1997. Paula’s duties were to keep Carolyn organized and to help her to carry out Smart Start’s daily affairs as they strived to meet the deadlines for the up-coming budget for fiscal year 1998-99.

Carolyn Malone Paylor

Balancing the requested budget meant Carolyn was often reminded that Smart Start’s goals were to create local programs that would provide access to childcare subsidy for working families as well as to determine ways effective programming could strengthen families to enable them to better nurture their children. As a result, with her guidance, family-support, and healthcare programs were the focus of the Partnership’s proposal. The community partners reviewed the 16 programs that The North Carolina Partnership for Children wanted to get off the ground in this region and weighed them against what they believed the needs were for our region. The Governor’s projected budget for fiscal year “98-99” was $1.4 million with childcare programs taking up $1.1 million of that budget based on the State’s assessment of our region. With that information, it’s also important to note that Carolyn and the regional volunteers requested $1.5 million for programming that included two additional programs they believed were needed in our communities. When all was said and done, Franklin Granville Vance Partnership for Children survived the N.C. State Legislature debates and received $1,043,776 of the proposed funding. Unfortunately, all prospective programming had not received prior approval from The North Carolina Partnership for Children; therefore, finances for July, August, and September of 1998’s budget were not included in that year’s allocations. This meant our partnership had to revise our strategic plan and postpone some of the activities Carolyn wanted to implement. Nevertheless, five approved programs were slated to begin in January 1999.

Carolyn Malone believed in the mission of Smart Start and worked hard to meet the standards set in place by The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC). With the new budget in place, the next order of business was to hire a program coordinator; consequently, Garry Daeke of Henderson North Carolina was hired to join the FGV Partnership on March 16, 1999. During that same time, the Partnership moved from Louisburg N.C. to Henderson N.C., leasing space from Vance County Head Start Annex building located at 155 West Andrews Ave to be centrally located between Franklin and Granville Counties. The new contact number for FGV became 252-433-9110 and this number remains active today.

Childcare Subsidies to working families who made a little too much to qualify for welfare aid, but, not enough to afford quality childcare with their incomes.  Parents had to apply for subsidy at their local Department of Social Services in their perspective counties.

The Wages program provided supplements to teachers, and directors in licensed centers and homes. These grants were also available to childcare centers and homes to help make acquisitions to improve the quality of care offered to the communities.

The Kindercamp program was approved to provide six weeks of classes for children about to enter school who had never been exposed to an educational setting teaching the fundamentals that included identifying letters, numbers, and practicing basic handwriting. This pre-school preparation program was developed by a Granville County group, and tested in Franklin County as a pilot the prior year.

The Parents as Teachers (PAT) program, implemented in Granville County, encouraged parents to take an active role in their child’s development and education using home visits, group meetings, screenings, and referrals to other services as needed. This was also the first program connected to literacy as funding to include books in parent packages was added.

The In-Home Breastfeeding program provided support to women interested in breastfeeding.

After meeting the State’s guidelines to implement those programs, Carolyn and her staff felt comfortable in expanding the agency and added a Childcare Resource and Referral component for the childcare centers and homes. This agency was located in Granville County and it provided parenting information on child development, trainings, and other resources to aid childcare providers, parents, and other community members who needed help. As time went on, a Lending library with educational and training materials became available to provide childcare facilities and homes with materials they could borrow to enhance their services. Carolyn’s concern for children’s safety, lead to partnering with CP&L to provide trainings that addressed the requirements of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program for professionals distributing child safety seats on March 22, 1999 . Due to this training, The Governor’s Highway Safety Program partnered with The N. C. Partnership for Children (Smart Start) and provided Franklin Granville Vance Partnership with 300 free child safety seats to be distributed to needy families by the Tri-County’s Health Departments. Needless to say, the Partnership was growing and space was becoming a concern.

With the success of the agency, more programs meant expanding the size of the central office and adding additional staff. Therefore, it was necessary to move the location of the Partnership’s office. FGV had an office on Young Street, then on Garnett Street before settling on Horner Street. Programs under Carolyn’s leadership in 2000 focused on concerns of appropriate dental health for the underprivileged. As a result, Granville County proposed a plan to open a dental program to serve children and adolescents up to age 21. This program was something that was dear to Carolyn’s heart. With the grant from The Kate B. Reynolds Foundation, $400, 000 went towards the new project. Smart Start added $80,000 and Franklin County added another $80,000 in order to open the clinic. With this funding, a dental mobile unit was placed at the Franklin County Health Department and two new 15-passenger vans were purchased to transport patients to and from appointments. Yes, Granville County initiated the grant and it was implemented at the Franklin County Health Department for the use of all three counties; that’s collaboration at its best!

As a result of her contributions, she leaves a legacy that will live on as we embrace our identity of being a non-profit organization designed to provide programs and services for families and children in the Tri-Counties. On the behalf of the present Executive Director, Dr. Tony Cozart, FGV thanks the Malone family for sharing her with us and for making us a part of their family. Through this staff, the legacy of Mrs. Carolyn Malone-Paylor lives on.