Since 1999, the Anderson County First Steps Partnership has focused on Healthy Start, Family Strengthening and Parenting, School Transition, and Early Education programs and services. The Partnership is composed of representatives from education, business, health, parents of young children, and the faith community who want every child in Anderson County to enter first grade healthy and ready to succeed. First Steps helps link pre-school children and their families to needed resources and services across the county.
Anderson County First Steps works collaboratively to ensure that all children start school ready to reach their highest potential with engaged support from their parents, caregivers, and communities.
We will be successful when all children reach their highest potential.
From prenatal development through age five, our focus and priority are young children and their families and caregivers.
We cultivate positive, supportive, respectful, and reinforcing interactions between people that shape development, build community, increase success and productivity, foster learning and growth, and affirm the unique value of individuals, caregivers, parents and children.
We ensure all people have the opportunity and resources to be successful and that all voices are solicited and heard.
We ensure that our programs and services are culturally-responsive, inclusive, and developmentally-appropriate and are delivered with fidelity to the model being implemented. Our products, services, and operations are marked by excellence.
We produce meaningful and measurable outcomes.
Leaders of South Carolina’s early childhood state system are soliciting feedback from parents and caregivers of young children through a 10-minute survey. Results will be used to shape policies, programs, and practices. This survey is for anyone who has a young child, not just people who participate in public programs. Take the Survey
Maria Torres-Green, Board Member: "It was a pleasure to present Paige Wall from Anderson County First Steps with the proceeds from August's Bake Sale."
Sixty-three Anderson County families participated in the 2021 Countdown to Kindergarten (CTK) program from July 1 through August 17. CTK is a home visitation program pairing the families of high-risk rising kindergartners with their future teachers during the summer before school entry. The program is facilitated by Anderson County First Steps Partnership in coordination with Anderson School Districts One, Two, Three, Four and Five. This summer, 18 teacher/ home visitors representing 12 schools meet 6 times either in-person or virtually with the families to ease their transition into kindergarten. Home visitors are: Tricia Harrison (Palmetto Elementary School), Kim Kirby (West Pelzer Elementary School), Sheila Davis (Honea Path Elementary School), Darlene Allgood (Flat Rock Elementary School), Kaitlyn Jackson (Iva Elementary School), Abby Busby (Starr Elementary School), Dawn Smith, Tanya Denny, and Karen Smith (LaFrance Elementary School), Deanne Burdette and Jennifer Jenkins (Pendleton Elementary School), Melissa Elgin (Centerville Elementary School), Verika Gambrell and Amanda Gladney (Nevitt Forest Elementary School), Shelby Chastain and Katheryn Tate (Whitehall Elementary School), and Haley Valakis and Dianne Mizzell (St. Joseph's 4K classes). For more information, go to Our Programs.
During 2020-2021, SC First Steps and Anderson County First Steps celebrated 20 years of providing school readiness support and resources to children ages 0-5 and their families. During the past 20 years, the Anderson County First Steps Partnership has distributed over $13,000,000 to area providers for parent and family strengthening programs and services, school transition programs and early education classes for at-risk children.
The Partnership provided:
•227 children and 217 adults with family strengthening/parenting skills through Positive Parenting/Family Literacy Programs, Early Education 4 year-old Kindergarten half-day classes, and Nurse-Family Partnership program assistance to first-time mothers;
•29 children and 29 parents with school transition support to 5-K kindergarten assisted by 10 teacher/home visitors from 9 schools through the Countdown to Kindergarten program;
•999 books for children through Positive Parenting/Family Literacy, Early Education, and Countdown to Kindergarten programs; and.
•233 children and 198 adults with 7,136 child development and school readiness materials through our community education and outreach events and activities.
In total, 1371 children, adults and families participated in high-quality programs, received referrals and resources, and attended community education and outreach events.
Anderson County First Steps Partnership is proud of achieving these important milestones. Our mission could not have been accomplished without the passion, dedication, and support of our community partners.
Anderson County First Steps Partnership Office: