Inside FOCUS GOVERNOR RILEY APPLAUDS JCCEO HEAD START. Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity

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1 Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity Agency Newsletter Volume 15 Issue 1 February 2011 GOVERNOR RILEY APPLAUDS JCCEO HEAD START The JCCEO Head Start-Early Head Start Program has been named one of ten Head Start Centers of Excellence in Early Childhood in the United States and will receive one million dollars during the next five years to maintain its outstanding programming! Governor Bob Riley officially delivered the impressive news at a JCCEO Headquarters 3PM press conference on Thursday, January 6, After the governor s arrival, JCCEO Board President Rev. T. L. Lewis welcomed all with signature aplomb and respect. Received with thunderous applause, Governor Riley, the driving force behind the Alabama First-Class Pre-K initiative, one of two top pre-k programs in the nation, expressed his joy over and gratitude for the outstanding achievement of JCCEO Head Start, (l to r) Commissioner Bowman, Mr. Cottrell, Rev. Lewis, Ms. C., Gov. Riley, Commissioner Davis, Mayor Bell, Mr. Crenshaw, and Dr. Moore noting its state and national impact on early childhood education. Governor Riley announced JCCEO s development of the Alabama Early Childhood Leadership Academy for early childhood leaders across the state, with the primary (Cont d on Page 10) MS C RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION IN NATION S CAPITOL Ms. C has immersed herself in leading our Head Start program to excellence for over 24 years. She instructs, advises, supports, and works untiringly for poor and disadvantaged children and their families, all the while overseeing a JCCEO staff of over 500. Also lending her expertise and vast experience on local, state, and national levels, her relentless dedication and exhaustive work ethic and efforts to lead the JCCEO Head Start program to excellence have not gone unnoticed. Ms. C has been awarded the distinguished Sargent Shriver* Award for Excellence by the National Head Start Association (NHSA) at the association s gala dinner in September 2010 in Washington, D. C., held in celebration of the Head Start Program s 45th anniversary! The award recognizes individuals whose exceptional leadership and demonstrated dedication are consistent with Sargent Shriver s legacy of applying common sense strategies to promote the ideals of social and economic justice. On January 6, 2011, Ms. C. was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments by Governor Bob Riley at a JCCEO press conference to announce the agency s Head (Cont d on Page 11) DR. MOORE ASSUMES STATE PRESIDENTIAL ROLE CDS Director Dr. Calvin Moore, Jr., president of the National Family Child Care Association, now has an elected state leadership position under his belt. Dr. Moore traveled to Eufaula, Alabama to accept the two-year baton as President of the Alabama Head Start Association (AHSA) at an installment ceremony on July 29, (Cont d on Page 15) 2 Director s Desk Let s Talk Music 3 Swinging Seniors 4 Caught! Employee Spotlight 5 Old and New 6 Just Arrived: Housing Help Blanket Statement Ask Personnel 7 HS Fairmont Represents Dressed to Impress 8 JCCEO Unwrapped Inside FOCUS 9 Picture This JCCEO! 10 Lott to Offer 11 A Snowy Day at the J Staff Changes 12 Weatherization Wizardry 13 Alice in Wonderland The Shopping Network 14 Saluting Success Lose to Gain! Survey Time 15 JCCEO Junction 16 Etcetera

2 Greetings to Greetings to my JCCEO Family and Friends, I begin this note, and this year, with gratitude to so many of you. Gratitude to all of you who made last year, 2010, our 45 th year, such a success. Gratitude to all of you who made our Annual Staff Meeting on December 17 th such a wonderful experience for all of us. Gratitude to all of you who remembered me in so many special ways for my birthday and at Christmas. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We have received special attention, recently, for our new Head Start Center of Excellence in Early Childhood and Head Start Mentor Coach grants; for our new HUD Housing Counseling grants; and our Kingston From the Director s Desk renovation project, among others. Each is the result of hard work, and each will require continued effort to assure that they are carried out to the best of our abilities and to provide the most benefits for those they will serve. At a recent national Head Start meeting I heard the term continuous quality improvement over and over again. The continuous quality improvement practiced in our Head Start program was the basis for both our state and national Excellence applications, and as I said at a recent presentation on these awards at UCLA, we don t think of ourselves as excellent, we think of ourselves as always trying to be better at what we do. Continuous quality improvement My challenge, this year, for all our programs, services, and departments is that we pay special and careful attention to continuous quality improvement. Soon each of our program managers will receive information on, and a request for, plans for improvement systems that assure that all program requirements are met, and that all staff participate in making improvements over time. Getting better and better over time is the only way to keep up in this day and age. Our goal is to be the best that we can be in all that we do. Systems for continuous quality improvement is the way to do that. I look forward to working with all of you on this special, agency-wide initiative. Have a great year, JCCEO. And thank you for all that you do for those we serve. A Chat With Our Choir Director Submitted by Jalete Nelms, former CS Communications Coordinator When did the Agency form the choir? The JCCEO Gospel Choir was formed in 1989 by Patricia ( Pat ) Linson. At that time, according to Ms. Linson, the choir did not have a musician and used a cd for music! In his element: JCCEO Choir Director & CS Coordinator of Special Projects Hollis Johnson > What was the first agency choir event? With approximately 35 members, according to Ms. Linson, the choir s first performance was at the agency-wide Christmas program at the Boutwell Auditorium. How many songs did the choir sing for the first agency wide meeting? Per Ms. Linson, the choir s debut included their favorite song, Silent Night by The Temptations, along with about four others. Did you personally recruit employees with talent or did they come to you? Yes. I did do some personal recruitment but for the most part Ms. Cunningham always sends out a flyer or an , encouraging staff to take part in the agency choir. She is the biggest recruitment force. Choir members have also taken it upon themselves to invite others to join. Does the choir perform outside of agency events? Under my direction the choir has performed only one outside event. This event was held at the Wynfrey Hotel for the Community Action Association state-wide meeting a few years ago. Will they ever perform outside of the agency or consider recording their performance selection? If given an invitation and time permits, I am sure the choir would enjoy singing outside of agency functions. No comment on the recording yet. (Smile) Is directing a hobby or did it stem from your career goals in school? Being a Director of Music has always been a great joy to me. I remember as a child going to church with my parents; I was always amazed at musical instruments (piano and organ). I have been playing for 29 years and have been in the role as director of music for 26 years. Will you direct the choir next year or is this something that is passed on each year? This is my 5 th year directing the agency choir. It was only this year that others have had the opportunity to teach music and direct the choir. I guess if I am invited by Ms. Cunningham next year I will do it again. How would you describe the level of talent of your musicians and singers? One thing about being an agency choir is that we have a wide range of talent. People from different walks of life and difference levels of experience join us each year. It is this diversity that makes us unique. What is next and upcoming for the choir in 2011? It s a surprise! (Who are they? See page 6) The FOCUS newsletter is produced for the staff, Board of Directors, and friends of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity. CHIEF EDITOR: Viola ( Vie ) E. Mims CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Administrative Division Geri Collins Child Development Services Division Aisha Abdullah Sandra Abston Linda Ford Diane Gibson Cotelia Hill Patricia Linson Othessa Morris Earl Williams Linda Williams Community Services Division Dorothy Crosby Lavaiter Law Executive Director Gayle Cunningham

3 In summary St. Joseph s Senior Nutrition Center monthly activities: SEPTEMBER SENSATIONS Be Ready Day at Linn Park Fun on the Lawn gala (games, food, fellowship, and fun!) Riverboat dinner cruise in Montgomery Farewell to departing seamstress senior Mrs. Idell Hale. Foot action with Podiatrist Dr. David Roberson Grandparents Day! Visit to convalescing senior Hazel Wilson Birthday congrats to Rosa Cannon (9/15), Dorothy Cain (9/16), Hannah Gibbs (9/16), James Kindall (9/16), Mattie Granger (9/17), and Barbara Thomas (9/19) RSVP Volunteers Luncheon at Birmingham City Hall OCTOBER BREEZES October Fest on the lawn with a hot dog bar Why Did I Get Married movie entertainment Speakers Shirley Taylor (Positive Maturity) and Melody Grake (Oak Knoll Convalescent Home) Bread of Life Ministry luncheon Ensley Recreation Park Senior Fun Day Nutritionist Kala Reynolds Birthday delights to Mary Woods (10/4), Leona Pace (10/11), Ella Beasley (10/18), and James Thomas NEWS FROM NOOZE St. Joseph s Senior Nutrition Center Newsletter, Alma Green, Editor and Center Manager (10/18) Halloween Fun Trivia Mary Woods grand centennial birthday celebration at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church on 10/9. State Masters Games (Trussville) District winners Annie Davies (also 3rd place state winner) and Roy Price Welcome back for Hazel Wilson A visit from Ella Beasley Hearty welcomes to senior Richard Lightle. Sewing machine cleaning wiz Marcella Faulk NOVEMBER NICETIES Movie fun with Why Did I Get Married Too Dynamic Donna, computer teacher Nurse Laverne Sawyer s blood pressure checks Dr. Daniel Cason and the Bread of Life Ministry s I Cared Enough Day at Boutwell Auditorium Thanksgiving Give Away (groceries, clothes, medical and counseling services) Birthday greetings to Polly Banks (11/6), Mary Mullins (11/9), and Arcella Ellison (11/28) Seasoned Performers Readers performance ( That Working Life ) Omega Bevel s inspiring lesson review Cholesterol and blood sugar tests (Antonio Williams and the Youth in Aging program) DECEMBER DELIGHTS A time of hearty thanks to all (JCCEO staff, volunteers, friends) who make our senior nutrition center a bright and shining star in our lives. Love to all! Birthday best to Edith McGlothin (12/8), Catherine Davenport (12/21), and Annie Thomas (12/21). Annual Christmas Celebration for Seniors (Thanks First Missionary Baptist Church, Pratt City!) A Christmas affair at Jefferson Rehabilitation Health Center (Thanks Toya Nelson!) Kudos and thanks to Chandra and Anntwinette (daughters of Alma Green) for our NOOZE newsletters Rock on St. Joseph s! We miss our sick and shut-in seniors and look forward to seeing them again soon! We remember our beloved seniors who finished the course last year: Eva Williams (09/03/10) & Jimmy Gaines (11/16/10). MS. VERLENA POLK St. Joseph s September 2010 Highlight Senior of the Month, seamstress, and former employee of Tiny Tots Daycare Center MRS. SHIRLEY JONES WHITEHEAD Proud grandmother of six, former Nursing Assistant, and St. Joseph s October 2010 Highlight Senior of the Month MRS. ANNIE BENNETT DAVIES November 2010 St. Joseph s Highlight Senior of the Month, 2010 Masters Games State Domino Champ, and former City of Detroit Community Services Representative MRS. JESSIE REYNOLDS Former Mistress of Order for St. Vincent s Hospital s first Black History Observance, past recipient of St. Vincent s Spirit Award, and December 2010 St. Joseph s Highlight Senior of the Month Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 3

4 THANKS ALABAMA POWER! Jonathan Porter, Division Area Manager of Alabama Power, presented a handsome donation to Ms. C in the lobby of JCCEO Headquarters on February 3, The annual donation from Alabama Power is earmarked for supplemental LIHEAP funding. JCCEO values its Alabama Power connection and looks forward to serving more individuals in need of energy assistance in Jefferson County! Caught in the Act: Repeat Offenders HS Bus Driver/Janitor Willie Smith delivering interoffice mail after office hours. Headquarters Receptionist Mildred Henry brewing coffee for staff and visitors. Community Services Director Ted Debro toasting JCCEO at agency events. Family Services Coordinator Edsel Massey distributing hot Morris Avenue peanuts to fellow staff. Yanja Burton moving to the beat in Headquarters Zumba class. Transportation and Supply Manager Margaret Robinson rescuing stuck snacks in vending machine. HS Secretary Pat Linson urgently preparing to oversee JCCEO-premises parking for The Classic. HS Disabilities Coordinator Tara Boyd belting out a melodious song. HPRP Coordinator Andre Taylor keeping his finger on the pulse of HPRP activities via his Blackberry. Health and Mental Health Services Coordinator Yoland Reese bearing baskets of fruit to gift to co-workers. HS Bus Driver/Janitor Felix Randall cordially greeting others Good Morning in the PM. Maintenance staff David Jones and Eddie Jones combing Headquarters building with stuffed pockets of tools. St. Joseph s Senior Nutrition Manager Alma Green doting over senior clients. Snack fairy (Ms. C) sharing first-come first-served goodies in the Boardroom. Family Services Worker and Bilingual Specialist Barbie Swift throwing kisses. CS Information Technology Assistant Najee Owens hoisting a boxed computer on his shoulders. The JCCEO family congratulates the following 2010 Above and Beyond award recipients. ( Above and Beyond awards are given each year to staff who consistently excel beyond job expectations. Potential recipients are nominated by fellow staff. Final selections are made by the JCCEO Board of Directors.) The awards were presented, respectively, by Ted Debro, Dr. Moore, and Ms. C at the JCCEO Annual Staff Meeting on December 17, VONCILE WOODS CSAPP Center Manager/Counselor, Bessemer Center She is testimony of the work of JCCEO. Ted Debro STEPHANIE FORD EHS Education Specialist I ve learned from her how to work with grace because God s grace is sufficient. Dr. Moore BETTY YOUNG Accounts Payable Clerk She has worked tirelessly to meet the demands of our significantly increased workload. Nominator Cynthia Thompson

5 Thanks to Captain Anthony Sterling, the Parker High School ROTC Color Guard, and Ms. Chrissean Body for their super participation in the JCCEO Headquarters Flag Dedication Ceremony on September 17, Thanks Pat Linson! Senior Parker High student and 2010 YES Ambassadors participant Chrissean Body sings national anthem. JCCEO Head Start Arrington children, teachers and Headquarters staff braved the sweltering heat during special ceremony. Ms. C has the nearly undivided attention of HS Arrington children. Ceremony organizer and HS Administrative Secretary Pat Linson (2nd from left) poses with Old Glory and Parker High participants. Joining Ms. C for a final snapshot are (l to r) Senior Army Instructor Captain Anthony Sterling with the Parker High School ROTC Color Guard members Demarcus Wilson, Justin Wilson, and Kameron Glover, and songstress Chrissean Body. Ms. C solicits hands up from HS children in response to flag questions. In fine form, the new Old Glory soars at JCCEO Headquarters! Lesson in History: US Flag Facts The fifty stars represent the 50 states and the thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that rebelled against the British monarchy and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag of the United States of America include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and The Star-Spangled Banner. The Old Glory nickname was spawned by William Driver, an early 19th century shipmaster who retired to Nashville in A gift from his mother and friends, Captain Driver hailed the large Old Glory, 10 feet by 17 feet, as the ship s official flag during an around-the-world voyage in Six US flags, placed during Apollo space missions, are currently stationed on the moon. For a brief time, there were 15 stars and 15 stripes on the flag, made to welcome Kentucky and Vermont and inspiring Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner in The US Government later deemed the design too cluttered and reverted back to the old 13-stripe model. The current version of the US flag was designed by Robert Heft, an 18-year old high school student who initially received a B- for his efforts; his design was officially adopted as the nation s flag by presidential proclamation in1958. The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground. If flown at night, the flag must be illuminated. Flag-burning ceremonies are regularly conducted to destroy tattered and soiled flags, unfit for display, in a dignified manner. Celebrate Flag Day on the 14th of June! Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 5

6 JCCEO HOUSING COUNSELING PROGRAM RECEIVES HUD GRANT Many financially vulnerable people across America low and moderate-income families have been or are under threat to be stripped of their homes, are not mortgage savvy, or are not knowledgeable about home ownership preparedness. The JCCEO Asset Building and Housing Counseling Program, a HUDapproved housing counseling partnership program, has played a pivotal role in assisting low to moderate-income families in Jefferson County From left: Ray Patterson, Housing Counselor Robert Hanson, Nadine Smith, and Ms. C. through financial literacy training, home ownership counseling, mortgage default and foreclosure prevention, and much more. Thanks to the Obama Administration s effort to prevent foreclosures and minimize the nation s housing dilemma, the JCCEO Asset Building and Housing Counseling Program was presented a $72, HUD grant on January 21, These funds are for additional comprehensive housing counseling and assistance with mortgage modification and mortgage scams and will be used to educate families and help struggling homeowners. Success stories abound due to the hard work of the JCCEO Asset Building and Housing Counseling Program s team of dedicated staff, led by Coordinator Ray Patterson and Counseling Manager Nadine Smith. The JCCEO family appreciates and applauds the JCCEO Asset Building and Housing Counseling team. Awesome work! BLANKET STATEMENT Ms. C (on right), drowning in a sea of turquoise, army green, and tan-colored blankets, was happy to be underwater, considering the hundreds of lowincome seniors who would be rewarded by this special project. The JCCEO Blanket Project began in early 2007 with Ms. C s personal purchase of 19 blankets, gifted to seniors contending with unheated homes and the lack of proper bedding. Inspired by Ms. Willie Mae Porter (a Meals on Wheels worker and advocate for seniors), whom she met in the corridors of the Alabama Capitol, (Cont d on page 13) Q What qualifying event would cause me, my spouse, or my dependent to lose group health insurance coverage? A A qualifying event is an event that would ordinarily cause an employee, an employee s spouse, or an employee s dependent to lose group health insurance coverage. Qualifying events include resignation, retirement, discharge for poor performance, reduction of work hours, death of a covered employee, divorce or legal separation from a covered employee, losing dependent child status, Medicare eligibility, or being called to active duty as a military reservist. Employees discharged for gross misconduct are not eligible for continuation of benefits. JCCEO GOSPEL CHOIR MEMBERS AND PARTICIPANTS SOPRANOS *TOWANA BERRY CYNTHIA AUSTIN *SHANTE PETTUS PATRICIA LINSON TARA BOYD OUIDA HILLIARD NADINE SMITH TOMEKA CHAMBLISH ALTOS *CHANCNETTA MASSEY *JASMINE McGAHA *ANDREA JACKSON JOSA McDONALD VONCILE WOODS IMAGINE WATKINS LaKENDRA WILLIAMS GLORIA WILLIAMS MIA PAYNE TENORS MARY GOOLSBY KEITH HARKINS VENITA BISHOP *HARRELL SHERROD MELVIN ROBINSON SAMUEL BRADBERRY *Soloists GUEST SOLOISTS JAMARRIA HUDSON (daughter of Jasmine McGaha) DR. CALVIN E. MOORE, JR. MUSICIANS HOLLIS JOHNSON Organ PATRICK WHITEHEAD Organ and Piano WILLIE PACE Bass Guitar BRYANT MURPHY (friend of JCCEO) Percussion ANDRE TAYLOR Trumpet Solo HARRELL SHERROD Director

7 United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Campaign Slogan Pictured l to r: Elsie Garner, Louise Sheffield, Kimberly Parkson, Sabrina Chisom, Lorna Belcher, Brittany Thomas, Yolanda Mosley, Rose Ayers, Darleen Golden, Ameshaw Gray, Cynthia Austin, Phaedra Parker, and in center HS Fairmont Center Manager Othessa Morris. FAIRMONT CLUSTER REPRESENTS! President Obama declared the week of 09/17 to be National HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Week. JCCEO s Fairmont Cluster staff did not bypass the special opportunity to emphasize higher education and show their support for and recognize prestigious HBCU s. On Friday, September 17, 2010, Fairmont Cluster staff wore HBCU tees and hats, proudly representing their alma mater or favorite HBCU! Thanks Fairmont Cluster! Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 7

8 If Christmas is love, giving, compassion, caring... then YES, JCCEO, We Are Christmas! Moved to tears, Master of Ceremonies and Community Services Director Ted Debro s poignant words about the JCCEO family at the agency s 45th Anniversary celebration and annual staff meeting were met with hearty applause and audible amens. The JCCEO family had gathered together once more to celebrate a year completed, this time at the beautiful Guiding Light Church in eastern Birmingham, a welcomed sanctuary from the daily work demands for JCCEO staff. At the onset of the meeting, a wonderful invocation from CSAPP Counselor and Youth Project Manager John Cox, warm greetings from Guiding Light s Bishop Jim Lowe, and words of inspiration from Board President Rev. T. L. Lewis on the chilly Friday afternoon of December 17, 2010, relaxed the audience and made ready for a great annual meeting. The electrifying JCCEO choir, in usual dynamic form, set the celebration stage. Larger in number and over-the-top in performance, every stanza, every chorus, every solo was entertainment at its best! Not one in the audience could have been unmoved by the unbridled celebratory spirit. It was a moment to lock in memory. The jubilation continued, stoked by solo and choir performances of popular Christmas songs. The instrumentalists, composed of JCCEO staff, included Hollis Johnson, JCCEO Choir Director. HS Disabilities Assistant Earnestine Adams typically added her special touch with rhythmic interpreting for the hearing impaired. Mr. Debro introduced the on-screen presentation that touted the We Are Christmas theme. The moving presentation hushed the audience, telling the 45-year story of and need for community action in America through photographs, historical film clips, and President Lyndon B. Johnson s powerful voice. President s Johnson s words were engrossing, profound; an eerie feeling of his actual presence hovered over the large room. With urgency and conviction he issued his 1964 Economic Opportunity Act challenge, a national War on Poverty, a call to action to create a safe harbor, a resting place, a place where every child can find opportunity to enrich his life and enlarge his mind, a place such as JCCEO and over 1000 other community action agencies across America. It is a challenge constantly renewed, Johnson remarked. Will you join in the battle? JCCEO joined in the battle...and the rest is our history. The condensed story of community action completed, an on-screen image rotator of JCCEO staff engaged the audience for several minutes thereafter. Ms. C gracefully took the stage and delivered good tidings, sharing the agency accomplishments of the year* the state of the agency and its occasional bumpy journey from a December 5, 1965 budget of $65, 000 and a staff of five to a 2010 budget of approximately 52 million dollars and a staff of over 500; sharing the stage with Above and Beyond award recipients; sharing moments of gratitude with staff members who in the last year achieved years of service and those who in the last year achieved 5, 10, and 15 years of service; and finally, sharing the fruits of our collective labor...rewarding each JCCEO staff member with a candy-filled dish, complete with the JCCEO logo, and a check! Passing on words of praise, Ms. C eloquently told the JCCEO family that we are heaven s hands in Alabama, helping people, changing lives. Our parting song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, pulled audience members from their comfy seats one final time and marked the end of another JCCEO annual agency-wide staff meeting with a blast! Happy 45th Birthday, Team JCCEO! We did it! Thanks to everyone who made our 45 th birthday celebration an affair to remember and relish! * Ms. C s State of the Agency/Abbreviated Year in Review at JCCEO LIHEAP served more than 25,000 clients. Our Energy Services heating season is underway! Our Weatherization Program weatherized more than 400 homes. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program purchased 40 houses to rehabilitate and sell or gift to other non-profits. HPRP whittled down more than 2000 applications to a serviceable 600 for those seeking homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing assistance. With ARRA funding, JCCEO was able to implement new programs, including the provision of almost 500 air conditioners for eligible seniors and people with young children. To help combat the wintry weather, a blanket project to provide more than 300 blankets to those in need is underway. Two new HS grants awarded: an early learning coaching grant to support people who teach children (Alabama Coaching of Coaches Network at JCCEO); and a grant to implement the Alabama Center of Excellence in Early Childhood at JCCEO. JCCEO Head Start is one of ten Head Start Centers of Excellence in the nation.

9 Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 9

10 IN FOCUS: SHANNON LOTT, Information Technology Administrator Family? Spouse: Jennifer; children: Corey 19, Shannon, Jr. 10, Jerrell 6, Roman 4, and Eva 2. Tell us about your journey to JCCEO. I am a 1998 graduate of Alcorn State University with a BS degree in Industrial Technology. Upon graduation, I moved to Atlanta, GA to start my career, where I landed a job with IBM as a systems analyst. After 10 months in Atlanta, my wife and I married, and we moved to Birmingham. I transferred to the Mercedes Benz US International plant in Vance, Alabama. After spending roughly 5 years with IBM at Mercedes, I took a position as an IT Helpdesk Assistant Manager at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing, AL, in Montgomery, AL. I spent 3.5 years there, and then landed back in the Birmingham area, where I ran a computer repair business (Spyware Killers) for the past 2.5 years. And now I am here!! Share a secret about you. I love strawberries and fine chocolate!! Restaurant of choice? Entrée? I love seafood (crab legs, shrimp, catfish, etc ), good Italian (Carrabas), and good old-fashion steak and potatoes. My favorite, or should I say most sought after meal, is steak and shrimp at Red Lobster. Pet peeve? Ignorance (youthful ignorance). Please, young people, wake up!!!!!! Greatest joy? Easy. Spending time with my kids. All gazillion of them! LOL! The wife too! Person you admire? Why? My parents. I admire them because I have seen what they had to endure so that I could enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today. Those things are not to be taken for granted, so I appreciate them, as well as all of the other soldiers on the battlefield for civil rights. Thank You!! Movie buff? Best one to date? The last great movie that I saw recently was Law Abiding Citizen. What do you hope to have accomplished ten years from now? Hopefully within 10 years I will have put a couple of kids through college, enhanced the technology here at JCCEO, and expanded the IT department into a shining example of greatness. Anything else you d like to share? Although my time here at JCCEO has been brief, I have really enjoyed the sense of family. I must say that I did not have a clue of what JCCEO was, nor the great work and services that it provides to the community. I am very happy to be here, and hope that I can be a useful tool to the JCCEO family. Thanks!! Gov. Riley, Cont d from Page 1 goal, to share strategies for seeking and achieving excellence with other early childhood programs, of the Alabama Center of Excellence in Early Childhood at JCCEO. The next Academy class is scheduled to begin in September (Creating new and meaningful opportunities for others, this academy will provide sessions on child development and early childhood education, management, and leadership for up to 40 participants in each of five year-long Academy classes to be selected from the leadership of early childhood programs across the state.) Sharing more good news, Governor Riley announced that JCCEO has also received a 17-month, $225,000 grant to provide training on mentoring and coaching teaching staff for Alabama Head Start staff developers. The Alabama Coaching of Coaches Network at JCCEO, also serving as the first Academy class mentioned above, began with its first session this month, timely concluding to enable participants to attend the afternoon press conference. Echoing the governor s congratulatory comments at the press conference were Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Alabama Department of Children s Affairs Commissioner Marquita Davis, and Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman. Board members Mr. Steven Cottrell, Mr. Kenneth Crenshaw, and Mr. Melvin Miller were also in attendance. Swiftly moving on due to time restraints, Rev. Lewis lauded Ms. C during his remarks as the recent recipient of the pinnacle National Head Start Association award the NHSA Sargent Shriver Award of Excellence (see article on Page 1). With special recognition given to CDS Director Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr. for his outstanding work, leadership, and support, Ms. C capped the press conference with acknowledgements to our special guests, visitors, and staff. Minutes later, a photo session was quickly arranged and Governor Riley, Mayor Bell, Commissioner Bowman, and few others bade farewell, regrettably skipping a fine reception and delicious refreshments. (Thanks Nutrition Services!) The Centers of Excellence program was established in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of Funds were appropriated by Congress in One program from each state was eligible to apply. The JCCEO Head Start-Early Head Start Program was selected by Governor Riley to apply for the Centers of Excellence grant ($1,000,000 grants available for ten successful applicants) through a competitive process implemented at the end of Nine other Head Start Centers of Excellence are located in Denver, CO; Owensboro, KY; Baltimore, MD; Houghton, MI; Morganton, NC; Albuquerque, NM; Dunkirk, NY; Mount Vernon, OH; and Greensburg, PA. Oh the company we keep! Many thanks to Governor Riley, Mayor Bell, Commissioner Davis, Commissioner Bowman, Rev. Lewis, Ms. C, and Dr. Moore. Congratulations, kudos, and thanks to the JCCEO Head Start -Early Head Start staff! Hard work pays off! What happens at the J...benefits the Jefferson County community!

11 All nineteen JCCEO Head Start- Early Head Start centers participated on October 7, 2010 in the Jumpstart Read for the Record event, a world record-breaking campaign that brought together children and adults across the nation to read the same book, on the same day. More than 1700 children at the JCCEO centers, joining over two million children nationwide, were engaged in reading Ezra Jack Keats The Snowy Day, the official campaign book. Participating in the shared reading event were approximately 125 parents, JCCEO s staff, and many community volunteers, including Girls Scouts of Central Alabama, the Center Point Public Library, A SNOWY DAY IN OCTOBER JCCEO Head Start Early Head Start Program PARTICIPATES IN WORLD READING EVENT the Birmingham Police Department, and local merchants, mesmerizing the children with creative readings, activities, and projects. (See pictures below!) The children, including the Early Head Start babies, were excited beyond measure! Fascinating bookrelated activities and projects across the centers included: recreating story scenes with flannel board pictures and poster artwork; making snow, crunchy snow tracks, beautiful snow angels, and edible snowflake tortillas; playing in the snow with a recreated Peter, the story s main character; a Where s Peter? game of finding a hidden paper doll of Peter and charting his hiding places; readings delivered in English and Spanish; an outdoor reading; a DVD version of the story shown to the children; and the children enjoying the story audio taped by Ms. C and CDS Director Dr. Calvin Moore. Children s book author Marc Raby visited the JCCEO Head Start West Center Street Center, playing the role of Peter in an interactive dramatization of the story while the children mimicked the sounds of winter. Celebrating its fifth year, Jumpstart s Read for the Record harnesses the power of reading to highlight the early education crisis of too few quality programs for the children who need them. Welcome Aboard! FOCUS welcomes the following new staff members to the JCCEO family: JARRALYNNE AGEE CSAPP Coordinator BRITTNEY HUNTER Family Services Worker SANDRA BROOKS Family Services Worker RICKY CANNON HS Cook Ms C, Cont d from Page 1 Start program as a National Head Start Association Program of Excellence. The NHSA is a private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. It represents more than one million children, 200,000 staff, and 2,600 Head Start programs in the United States and supports the entire Head Start community in many capacities to strengthen and enrich services and the delivery of services. The JCCEO family congratulates our fearless and fabulous leader Ms. C! We are most proud! EARL MUMFORD HS Bus Driver/Janitor SHARYAN JOHNSON HS Bus Driver/Janitor CAROL MONTGOMERY Mentor Coach Coordinator *Brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy, Jr. and War on Poverty warrior during the LBJ administration, 95-year-old R. Sargent ( Sarge ) Shriver, who launched the Peace Corps (as founding director), Head Start, and Job Corps, among other programs, passed away on January 18, Enter the doors of JCCEO. EXIT EMPOWERED!! Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 11

12 WEATHERIZATION WISES UP The JCCEO Weatherization Contractors Training Conference was in top-notch form at the JCCEO Headquarters auditorium December 7-9, The assembly of men and women were warmly welcomed by Board President Rev. T. L. Lewis and Community Services Director Ted Debro. Course offerings were Commercial Energy Auditing 101 for contactors who are currently on our list of approved weatherization contractors and those with weatherization experience; and Basic Weatherization 101 for prospective contractors. Thanks to the JCCEO Weatherization Program, breakfast and lunch were provided each day to the delight of the 68 attendees. An enhancement of the state-approved courses included a field trip to a miniature, prior-constructed home, on location in the JCCEO Headquarters amphitheatre area. Demonstrated within the small structure were the proper techniques for wall, attic, and sidewall insulation and caulking, providing the opportunity for excellent looksee lessons and outcomes. Contractors and prospective contractors each received a Certificate of Completion at the end of the training conference. The training was a huge success, said John Woods, JCCEO Weatherization Coordinator. We are looking forward to more sessions in the near future! Thanks JCCEO Weatherization! Thanks JCCEO supporting staff! Rev. Lewis welcomes group. Mr. Debro speaks to contractors. From left: Weatherization trainers John Douglas & Philip Douglas, JP Henderson s D.R.E.A.M., Inc. representatives, Auditing 101 trainer Mr. Biggs, & Ted Debro. JP Henderson (2nd from l) poses with D.R.E.A.M., Inc. representative (l), a student contractor, and Auditing 101 trainer Mr. Biggs. Weatherization contractor studies window installation. Pre-constructed home (right) and insulation workmanship (pictures below). Weatherization 101 Instructor Philip Douglas (l) and state Weatherization Manager Kit Gallup. John Woods poses with JP Henderson (c) and D.R.E.A.M., Inc. representative. Contractors, trainers, and staff enjoyed tasty meals each day!

13 Under an umbrella of pretty balloons, Alice Fagan s sparkling smile lights up the party room. ALICE IN WONDERLAND HAPPYBIRTHDAY!HAPPYBIRTHDAY!HAPPYBIRTHDAY!HAPPY!HAPPYBIRTHDAY! Amazed! Happy! Grateful! Nutrition Services Coordinator ALICE FAGAN was pleasantly surprised on Monday, January 24th with a gathering of co-workers to celebrate her birthday. Overcome with emotion, Ms. Fagan expressed her sincere gratitude. Tears sprinkled her cheeks while she enjoyed the company of well-wishers, scrumptious cake, and ice cream. Happy Birthday, Ms. Fagan, and many happy returns! Special thanks to Adrienne Topping (Nutrition Services Specialist) and Carla Hicks (Nutrition Services Assistant) You re awesome! She s in the middle! LIHEAP LEAPS FORWARD The JCCEO LIHEAP Call Center has been inundated with calls for energy assistance. Coming to the rescue in January were eight community volunteers to assist in fielding calls for the program staff! At the Midfield office are SHIRLEY FERRILL, FALONDA FRYE, BRENDALYN RICE, RUBY HARRIS, PAULETTE MILLER, RODNEY GILLIAM, DIANE HINTON, and MACKIE BENNETT. At the Ensley office are ELIZA PHILLIPS, SABRINA MOORE, STEPHANIE BOWMAN, and MILDRED DAILEY. Thanks volunteers, for lending an ear! Coming soon more news about our LIHEAP Call Center volunteers! (Blankets, Cont d from Page 6) Ms. C was motivated to assist low-income seniors in yet another meaningful way. Fast forward four years and the JCCEO Blanket Project has ballooned to a sizable undertaking! More than 300 full and queen-sized plush blankets were purchased at a discounted price from JC Penney s with CSBG- ARRA funds and are now being distributed to our eligible seniors in the heat of winter! Thanks President Obama and Congress! Thanks JC Penney s, Ms. C, BRENDA WRIGHT, and ANDRE SMITH! JCCEO, the Community Action Agency of Jefferson County, delivers once again! What a statement! THE SHOPPING NETWORK Hopefully an indication of a great year to come, the Greater Birmingham Ministries donated an impressive collection of new children s clothing to JCCEO on January 24, Family Services Coordinator EDSEL MASSEY, assisted by Family Services Specialists GEORGIA WEATHERSPOON and DAWN HAMPTON, immediately went to work unpacking, unwrapping, sorting, and neatly arranging the gorgeous clothing items at JCCEO Headquarters. Included were infant caps, coordinated skirts, tees, shirts, jackets, and dainty pajamas. JCCEO staff determined that homeless families, foster children, and children whose primary guardian is a grandparent would be the recipients of the clothing. Vouchers were soon provided to the parents and guardians of the eligible children. Obviously appreciative, the parents/guardians shopped on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at the Headquarters building, carefully selecting the fine pieces of the American Girl brand clothing for their children. Edsel Massey Items remaining were donated for distribution to foster children to the Department of Human Resources. Thanks so much Greater Birmingham Ministries! Thanks Edsel Massey, Georgia Weatherspoon, and Dawn Hampton! Superb you are! At left Georgia Weatherspoon helps HS Leeds Family Services Worker Amy Brewster choose garments; at far right Ms. Weatherspoon assists another parent. Pictured at immediate right, Dawn Hampton (l) looks over cheat sheet for proper sizes to assist parent s shopping experience. Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 13

14 THIRTY WAYS TO EAT UP!...the following teaching staff at Head Start St. Joseph s Center (Linda Williams, Center Manager) who were congratulated via letter from Carol Z. Garrison, President of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, for achieving a 4.0 grade point average for twelve or more hours, an outstanding accomplishment that qualified each for inclusion on UAB s Presidential Honor Roll for the 2010 Summer Term: PAULA LATTIMORE KATHLEEN PEAKE NATALIE SHIELDS Information from healthiest-foods /page17.html Forget New Year s resolutions, diets, and quick fixes. Healthy eating, along with exercising, have proven to be more effective for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Examine your eating habits and the foods you eat. Is there room for improvement? Take the first step and make nutritional changes in your diet. You will then be on your way to a healthier lifestyle! Upgrading your diet is the first step in shedding extra pounds and can be quite simple. The nation s top nutritionists and dietitians have identified 30 foods (e. g., barley, whole-grain pasta, black beans, lentils, all-natural peanut and almond butters) that are staples of a healthy diet. Study the list at the website provided above. Suggestions, recipes, and tips are also included to help kick-start your journey to great nutrition and a better quality of life. The second and last step, JCCEO, is to get moving! Exercise and lose to gain Team JCCEO! All the best! CONGRATULATIONS... to KELVA D. WOODS, daughter of Energy Services Certifier ELIZABETH MOON. Kelva rocked the 2010 Fall semester at Lawson State Community College, earning a 4.0 GPA and term status on the President s List! JCCEO GOSPEL CHOIR WE HAVE MUCH WORK TO DO! Based on education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and political environment, in August 2010 Newsweek ranked The Best Countries in the World. In ranking the top 25 nations in terms of education, the US was ranked number 25! Newsweek observed that a nation s focus on education is a large determinant of its ranking. ACCOUNTING Effective January 1, 2010, agency-wide direct deposit was implemented. Effective January 1, 2010, a fee of $15.00 cash will be assessed for each request for a duplicate (paper) payroll check or to print a payroll check due to a direct deposit transaction failure. HUMAN RESOURCES On-site supervisors must complete the Employer s First Report of Injury and the Accident Investigation Report forms and forward to the Human Resources Manager within 24 hours of an employee s workplace injury. Clip here! Clip here! Clip here! Clip here! Clip here! PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SURVEY! (Don t delay! Clip and send survey via interoffice mail to The Human Resources Department, Attn: Geri Collins!) I am interested and willing to participate in a Fitness Incentive (Exercise) Class at JCCEO Headquarters. YES NO My name is. Office # Thanks for your input!

15 She wears it well...her age included! Cards of love from HS Arrington children AGE IS JUST A NUMBER! Again Ms. C was taken by surprise at the 3pm celebration of her birthday (11/16) with Headquarters staff on the 19th of November (this following a day-of mini birthday party, thanks to CDS Director Dr. Calvin Moore, in the nation s capitol!). Modest about aging and the like, unsuspecting Ms. C felt she had escaped the traditional must-have lovefest! Not so! Happy Belated Birthday, Ms. C! You are the best! We will never stop loving and celebrating YOU1 She has so much to smile about! Alice Fagan is on ready' to slice and dole out the confectionary delight! Wish made, Ms. C blows for good luck! Festive corridor and refreshments Where, oh where would she be without loyal sidekick Renae Dismuke??! HALLOWEEN HELP AT THE J In the absence of Good Witch Ms. C, HS Arrington children received candy and pretzel treats from Good Witch Renae, who detoured from her regular broomstick route to offer emergency Halloween assistance at JCCEO Headquarters! The children were oblivious to the switch too busy gasping at their treats! Thanks Good Witch Renae! Thanks HS Arrington teachers! Thanks goblins Jackie Patton and Brenda Wright! You are boo-tiful! (Dr. Moore, cont d from Page 1) In his new role as President of the Alabama Head Start Association, Dr. Moore will help chart the course for the Alabama Head Start programs and utilize his knowledge, experience, and professional and progressive leadership to ensure the programs continue to move forward in delivering optimal services to the low-income children and families of Alabama. The Alabama Head Start Association is the statewide association of Head Start-Early Head Start programs located throughout the state of Alabama, all part of a national program which provides comprehensive developmental services and social services for the children and families served by these programs. We love Dr. Moore! Congratulations! Volume 15 Issue 1 FOCUS Page 15

16 TWENTY AND OUT! ilda Dozier understands the meaning of commitment; her dedication as HS Leeds Center Head Cook surpasses many. Ms. Dozier s culinary career at JCCEO began 20 years ago and at the behest of her children, ended 20 years later. Friends, family, and coworkers gathered on December 6, 2010 to greet and celebrate Ms. Dozier s outstanding service and retirement at the JCCEO Headquarters auditorium. The congratulatory pack included her daughter Kathy Dozier, Ms. C, CDS Director Dr. Calvin Moore, HS An inviting setting! Associate Director Pat Schmidt, Nutrition Services Coordinator Alice Fagan, and HS Leeds Center Manager Diane Gibson. So many others honored Ms. Dozier, sharing special memories and embracing her with bear hugs all followed by a wonderful repast and photo-ops. Thanks Ms. Dozier! PATRICIA DUNCAN Former HS Calloway Family Services Worker EDITH WHITE Former HS West Center Street Teacher Aide TILDA DOZIER Former HS Leeds Center Head Cook From left, Diane Gibson, Ms. Dozier, Kathy Dozier, & Willie Smith From left, Pat Schmidt, Ms. C, Ms. Dozier, and Dr. Moore COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, JCCEO; NAME THEM ONE BY ONE 1. Visionary leadership 2. A dynamic volunteer Board of Directors 3. A National Head Start Association Program of Excellence 4. Results-oriented staff 5. Nationally-renowned executive director 6. A great team of employees 7. Agency-wide direct deposit 8. Retire with confidence 403b retirement plan 9. Options for excellent life, health, vision, and dental benefits 10. A staff fund to brighten staff when ill or bereaved, and to support advocacy. 11. Life insurance at no cost to employees. 12. Wednesday afternoon fitness class at Headquarters 13. Loyal friends and supporters 14. An accomplished CDS Director 15. The largest and best community action agency in Alabama 16. A Human Resources team with over 53 years of experience 17. Hundreds of JCCEO partners 18. Top-of-the-line fleet of service vehicles 19. Diverse community services programs 20. Ten agency holidays each year 21. A drug-free, comfortable, and friendly workplace 22. Compensatory time 23. YOU! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! Taylor Hicks performed, former President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn Carter presented keys, and Head Start Festival Early Head Start parents Brian and Cherisse Freeman, parents of Christen and Yazmine Freeman, were finally home-free in their new Habitat for Humanity home after the October 8, 2010 dedication ceremony. Congratulations Freeman family!

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