Monthly wrap up – June & July

Don’t get mad at the messenger, but summer break is almost over! We did a lot in June and July and here’s a quick wrap up of our activities:



We hope you are enjoying the lazy days of summer. When we say lazy, though, we hope you don’t forget the importance of safety during the season of pools, beaches, sun, trips, insects, and heat! Just to help you out so you can go back to enjoying the fun, we’ve put together some quick safety tips.

Mansell Dad

They say that parenting is the hardest, yet most rewarding job. Dads play an equally important role in parenting as do mothers, but sometimes their importance gets overlooked. How do Dads make a difference? Here are just 5 of the many reasons why.


Don’t forget that it’s very important to make sure your kids continue to learn even though they are not going to school in the next couple of months. Here’s a look back at our tips to help you and your kids prevent summer brain drain.


At ESNG, we believe in inclusive learning. That includes summer camp. Meet Nicholas, who has spina bifida, who attends a fun and engaging summer camp – with just a few accommodations.

Around ESNG:


This month two of our centers, Brookvalley and Mansell, joined Premier Academy, Madison County, and Warsaw in receiving the prestigious Quality Rating from the Department of Early Care and Learning: Bright From the Start. According to Bright From the Start, “Quality Rated is Georgia’s system to determine, improve, and communicate the quality of programs that provide child care.” We are thrilled to be recognized for our staff’s hard work to educate vulnerable children in Atlanta and northeast Georgia.


Children at our Mansell location had an exciting visit from local emergency workers. Firefighters and paramedics came by and showed kids what they do to keep us safe. They also talked about what kids need to do to be safe in our communities.


Our STEM consultant, Garry Harris, was recognized by President Clinton for his achievements in STEM and early education. ESNG is excited to partner with Mr. Harris and have his expertise as we prepare our children with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful in school and life.


Office Depot Foundation generously donated 300 sackpacks filled with school supplies to us earlier this month. This donation ensures that our children will be ready to learn come August! Thank you, Office Depot.


Even though it’s summer time, that doesn’t slow down our volunteer program. We had six groups of corporate volunteers from Frazier Deeter, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kabbage, Cox Automotive, Salesforce, and UPS. These volunteers played with and read to our kids or painted and sanitized classrooms to get them ready for August!

Thank you to all these groups!
Here are photos from the events.


Mansell Dad

They say that parenting is the hardest, yet most rewarding job. Dads play an equally important role in parenting as do mothers, but sometimes their importance gets overlooked. How do Dads make a difference? Here are just 5 of the many reasons why:

1. Dads have an impact on their child’s behavior.

Data from three waves of the Fragile Families Study (N= 2,111) was used to examine the prevalence and effects of mothers’ relationship changes between birth and age 3 on their children’s well being. Children born to single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers. Living in a single-mother household is equivalent to experiencing 5.25 partnership transitions.

Source: Osborne, C., & McLanahan, S. (2007). Partnership instability and child well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 1065-1083.

2. Dads’ presence make for smarter children.

Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

3. Dads make for healthier babies.

Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.

Source: Matthews, T.J., Sally C. Curtin, and Marian F. MacDorman. Infant Mortality Statistics from the 1998 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

4. Dads’ influences stave off teen pregnancy.

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Source: Teachman, Jay D. “The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages.” Journal of Family Issues 25 (January 2004): 86-111.

5. Dads make for well-rounded children.

“Fathers and mothers have unique and complementary roles in the home,” says Brett Copeland, a clinical psychologist in Tacoma, Washington. “Fathers encourage competition, independence, and achievement. Mothers encourage equity, security, and collaboration.”

How did your father make a difference in your life?


10 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Weekend in North Georgia


Father’s day is fast an approaching. But before you rush to buy him yet another tie or toolbox, try getting a bit more creative. There is nothing more memorable than the gift of a unique fathers day experience. From sharing a hot dog in historic Turner Field to witnessing a sunset on top of Stone Mountain, there are tons of ways to celebrate father’s day in north Georgia. To plan a day he’ll remember, check out these ways to celebrate your dad this father’s day.



Enjoy multicultural food from nearly 100 cooks, chefs, caterers, and restaurants this father’s day at the 2nd annual Family Food Fest Atlanta! Share some of the best foods Atlanta has to offer with your dad this Father’s Day.




Strengthen your bond as teammates with a fun-filled urban adventure this Father’s day at The Great City Race. Explore the Beltline and solve clues at metro-Atlanta’s turbocharged version of the TV show “Amazing Race.”



Come out to Stone Mountain Park on Father’s Day to enjoy a vintage car show featuring Camaros, Mustangs, Chevys from the 1950s and more.

Details Continue reading “10 Ways to Spend Father’s Day Weekend in North Georgia”

Monthly wrap up – March


March 21st marked World Down Syndrome Day. Celebrated on the 21st day of the third month of the year, the date is symbolic of the third copy of the 21st chromosome that characterizes Down syndrome. At ESNG, we have had the pleasure to provide services to several children who have Down syndrome. Whether they attend our child development centers, receive support from Champions for Children, or receive therapies from our early intervention services. Oliver is a two-year-old boy who has in-home physical therapy to help him reach his milestones. Read his story here.


March is a great month to highlight two integral parts of our early education and care program: social work and nutrition. Both are so important in creating healthy and happy children and families in our community.

Social work: earlier this month, we met one of our family support advocates, Ms. Kim Tillman. Read about what she does to help families reach self-sufficiency.


Nutrition: we also learned a lot from one of our nutrition specialists, Teedra Jones. She works with the child development centers to ensure our kids receive healthy and delicious foods to eat every day. Read her tips to incorporate healthy eating habits at home, too.


We made it to spring – a season in which we can finally enjoy the outdoors. To celebrate the beauty of inclusive sports, we spoke to a pioneer and an everyday athlete on this blog post.

Spring is also a season where we start traveling. Marjan Holbrook gave us some great tips on traveling with children with special needs on this blog post.


Around ESNG:

“The more you read, the more you know” – Dr. Seuss

It’s not a coincidence that Dr. Seuss’s birthday shares the same month as Read Aloud Month. All of our 11 child development centers celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with lots of fun reading time! At our Winder location, each classroom dressed up as a Dr. Seuss character and participated in a parade around the center. What a great way to bring books to life!IMG_20160304_111107

Brookvalley had an incredible STEM day on Tuesday, March 15. Children, parents, and teachers had a great time making edible cars. Each classroom, including the toddlers, made their version of a car using cookies, candy, fruits, and veggies. Everyone used trial and error to make the most beautiful and delicious looking cars. Here are some great photos from the day!

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On Friday, March 25, Sylvan Hills offered an excellent parenting class at its facility. Darryl Freeman with Fathers Incorporated talked with moms and dads about the importance of having a strong father figure in their children’s lives. There is plenty of research backing this notion. In fact, children who spend quality time with their fathers are 80% less likely to be incarcerated, 75% less likely to become unwed parents, and twice as likely to graduate from high school and enter college.


Thank you:

Our Guice location received the 2016 Sibley Award to implement a STEM in early education initiative. Funding from the Harland Charitable Foundation and Pittulloch Foundation will improve the educational outcomes for 157 children, engage families in their children’s education, and increase teachers’ professional development. On March 30, ESNG received the award at Guice. Photos of the event can be found here.


On March 12-13, Century Novus Realty held its first annual Reels for Seals fishing tournament in Lake Wedowee, Ala. The event raised $5,000 for Easter Seals North Georgia’s early education, early intervention, and support services. ESNG thanks Century 21 Novus Realty, sponsors, and participants for their support!

reels for seals

PNC presented a gift of $6,000 to our Warsaw location. After volunteering at the North Fulton center, bank representatives saw our program in action. As an organization that supports early education programs, PNC’s financial contribution and employee engagement help us to improve the quality of people’s lives.

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At ESNG, we recognize and value the work of our volunteers. March was full of great groups of volunteers that visited many of our child development centers. These include VWR, Comcast YPL, Pinecrest, North Georgia College, Southwestern University, Trinity, Infinite Energy, and Salesforce. Click here for photos of the events.


June Wrap Up Party

I don’t know about you, but other than being ridiculously hot, June was also ridiculously fun. Around here at ESNG, we had a lot going on. Here are some of the many highlights of June, ICYMI:

One Father is Better than a Hundred Schoolmasters – George Herbert
While May was all about moms, teachers, and women’s health, June focuses on the men in our lives. Last week’s blog posting was about how our dads shape our lives. It’s important that we kept these men healthy and a part of the daily lives of our children.

One of our favorite ways that ESNG’s Sylvan Hills Child Development Center keeps their dads engaged is through monthly “Fatherhood Meetings”. It’s in these meetings that dads can share their struggles, ask questions or brag about their children. Mr. Moseley, a dad whose four children have completed the Head Start and Georgia Pre-K programs at the center, provides guidance to help make sure his community has a generation of engaged, strong and playful dads.
Sylvan Hills also celebrated fathers with a Fatherhood Extravaganza back in April.
Fatherhood Celebration 2

Ms. Patty Saves the Day
Patty Toledo, an ESNG Early Head Start teacher at our Madison Co. Child Development Center, recently received some publicity for her heroic actions at a local grocery store. Read about how she helped save a choking child thanks to her quick thinking and First Aid training!

Jackson County Center Garden: Sprouting Knowledge
Did you know that June 17 was “National Eat Your Vegetables Day”? I’m sure your children were hoping you didn’t! Our children at our Jackson Co. Child Development Center are learning all about vegetables and healthy eating. What better way to learn than to do? With the help of their teachers they planted a garden in May and are beginning to see the fruits (or veggies) or their labor. The kids learned that you need sun, oxygen and water for the plants to grow. They are also more willing to try these healthy and delicious foods because they took part in making them grow. We cannot wait to see how great the veggies turn out!
Jackson County Garden

End of School Year Celebration and Awards
Our staff celebrated the end to yet another successful school year on May 28. At the luncheon, staff from ESNG’s child development centers, Babies Can’t Wait, Champions for Children, Foster Grandparents, and administrative offices were recognized for their years of service and exceptional work. Read all about it here.

Volunteer Spotlight: AutoTrader at Warsaw
Kids at ESNG’s child development centers love to learn through play. They, of course, feel like the most fun people to play with are our volunteers. Our kids at our Warsaw Child Development Center had the pleasure of playing with and learning from 15 volunteers from AutoTrader. Here are some highlights of all the great work these volunteers did for us and our children.

Activity Spotlight: Winder March Madness
Way back in March, our Winder Child Development Center had their own version of college basketball’s March Madness to engage dads in their children’s schooling. Each dad received points for participating in activities. For example, a dad would get 1 point for drop off or pick up, 2 points for volunteering in the classroom, or 3 points for attending a parent committee event. The winning dad, pictured here, won a $50 gift card.
march madness winner 2