Chamber names man and woman of the year

Erma Deen Woman of the Year

In past years, the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce has held a well-attended banquet to honor community members, businesses and industries with their “of the year” awards. This year, COVID prevented an in-person banquet. Instead, the awards were recorded and shown virtually Thursday evening.

Even with five years of organizing the chamber banquet under her belt, COVID presented several roadblocks to organizer Tracy Barger.

“We weren’t even sure we were going to be able to have it,” she said. “We tried to have it at a public venue, but obviously with the restrictions, we couldn’t. We decided to partner with Decovents and RYGID AV to do a virtual event.”


This year’s Woman of the Year is Erma Deen Hoyle.

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Community Partners Thanks

The Partnership for Children of Lincoln/Gaston Counties, Inc. (Partnership) thanks the many community leaders, volunteers, first responders and essential workers that have taken a stand against the coronavirus pandemic. 


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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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It's Cold Outside!


As the  winter months continue and temperatures drop, every effort must be made to keep children safe while playing outside.  While there are many benefits to being outside, such as the ability to explore and discover and the freedom to run, jump and play, the American  Academy of Pediatrics stress that with a few simple steps, children can be kept safe from weather-related dangers.

Check Weather Prior 
A Child Care Weather chart as well as a check with local weather channels in your area can be used in determining if conditions are suitable for children to play outside. 

Appropriate Attire 
Children should be kept warm and dry. This can be achieved by dressing them in layers.  Below is an example of how this can be done:

  • ·Layer 1: Thermal underwear, socks.
  • ·Layer 2: Turtleneck, sweater plus sweatpants or possibly ski pants.
  • ·Layer 3: Jacket (water-resistant), a hat, waterproof gloves and boots with gripping surfaces and a neck gaiter.

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I am WAGE$ Ellen Devenny

Determined. Dedicated. Committed. Those are just a few words that describe Child Care WAGE$® participant, Ellen Devenny. Ellen works as an assistant teacher at a five-star private NC Pre-K center in Gaston County, and just graduated in May 2019 with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education with a 4.0 GPA. She walked across the stage at age 62. Click for full article.


Photo credit: Gaston College


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Bicycle Safety 101

Did you know children under the age of 10 can't correctly judge the distance of cars or how fast they are going on a bicycle? With summer offically being here children will be outside more and more. Here are a few bicycle tips every parent should know. 
 Bicycle Safety
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Sibling Reading Role Models

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Look at this great article  we found at Scholastic Parents!

How Siblings Can Be Reading Role Models 

Is one of your children a role model to her brother or sister? Leading by example is a great way for one sibling to shine and for the others to emulate good behavior.

Have you ever thought about encouraging your kids to be reading role models? Reading is one of the ways that older siblings can thrive as role models. Plus, it allows them to strengthen their own reading skills in the process.

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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.

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