2016: A Year in Review and A Look Forward

The theme of 2016 at ESNG was expansion. We expanded our programs, reach, events and accreditations. Let’s take a look back at what we did as we get ready for a fun and exciting 2017.for blog

Last year, we piloted the innovative STEM in early education at our Brookvalley location. Thanks to funding from the Sibley Award and Frances Hollis Brain Foundation, we are expanding the program to our Guice, Mansell and Warsaw locations.

20151112_143926_resized Continue reading “2016: A Year in Review and A Look Forward”

#SuccessStartsHere: Volunteers

Every year, our corporate partners spend over 4,000 hours volunteering their time and talents to Easter Seals North Georgia. Volunteers read to and play with children, clean and sanitize classrooms or do something unique. One such group was from Turner Broadcasting.


Employees across Turner Broadcasting System – which includes CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Turner Sports and many more – donated more than 2,000 books for infants to five-year-old children and their parents.

Team lead Colleen Sullivan met with ESNG several times to develop a plan for a new library in our Sylvan Hills location. Then, on Thursday, September 15, a team of 17 volunteers came to our child development center to do some hard work. For more than four hours, they built, painted and created the most beautiful library our kids have ever seen. Continue reading “#SuccessStartsHere: Volunteers”

Teach a child to read and you educate him for a lifetime

“Thursdays are the most exciting days at our house because my daughter gets a new set of books. All my children enjoy when I read the books to them. We act them out. They really make it fun.”


Today has been a day that really illustrates the importance of introducing the love of books to children early. This afternoon I went to our child development center at Guice which is one of ESNG’s two centers that have the Raising A Reader program. I wanted to see and take pictures of the kids getting their red Raising A Reader bags filled with books for them to take home. When I was visiting with Classroom G, there was a little boy there who kept bringing books to his teacher to read to him. Here’s a child whose family does not have a lot of money and has a developmental disability yet his love of books was phenomenal.


Then, after work I took my son to his school’s book fair. Here’s a room full of elementary-aged children who still truly loved books. Their excitement was just as phenomenal as the little boy in Classroom G.

The love of reading seems to be an innate in all children – no matter their ability or their family’s income. It is something that we have to foster in all children. A family that is engaged in their child’s learning and a child’s exposure to books are two key factors that set a child up for success not only in school but also in life.


I challenge all of you to:

  • donate children’s books
  • gift age-appropriate books at baby showers and children’s birthday parties
  • read to your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews every day
  • volunteer to read at your nearest Head Start facility

ESNG has issued its signal for #GAGivesDay. Will you answer the call?


Facebook Cover Photo - GA Gives 2 (5)Georgia Gives Day is Thursday, November 12. This day is dedicated to giving to local nonprofits that do such great work to make our state beautiful, healthy and educated. At Easter Seals North Georgia, we encourage you to give on Thursday. Of course, we hope that you support our early education, early intervention and support services.

This year our theme is SUPERHERO because that is what we consider all of our generous donors. We are able to offer these life-changing services at little to no cost because of SUPERHEROES who donate to our programs.

We have issued the ESNG signal – will you answer the call?

Step 1: Suit up – Set up a fundraising page through GA Gives here. (Video instructions are here)

Step 2: Call your SUPERHERO FRIENDS (I mean even Batman was a part of the Justice League)! Email, tweet, post to all your social media platforms and ask them to give. (Sample posts with graphics can be found below).

Step 3: Use your SUPERHERO powers for the good of your community. In 24 hours of giving on November 12, you will make a difference in your community.

 Sample tweets: 

Sample posts:
November 2: As some of you may know, I support the programs and services of Easter Seals North Georgia. When you get a chance, take a look at their website [link to www.easterseals.com/northgeorgia]. Not only do they help children with special needs and their families during the most critical time of their lives, they help OUR community thrive. #GAgivesday

November 5: #GAgivesday is a week away on November 12. I encourage you to join me in supporting Easter Seals North Georgia. High-quality comprehensive early education makes a difference in OUR community. [ATTACH INFOGRAPHIC]

November 9: Thursday is #GAgivesday. I will be donating to Easter Seals North Georgia. Did you know a children living in poverty has 0-2 age-appropriate books in their home? A generous donation of $50 will supply an entire classroom with books. [ATTACH PICTURE]

November 12: Todays the big day! Have you participated in #GAgivesday yet? I have and I chose Easter Seals North Georgia. One of my favorite successes from their early intervention services is Anna. Through in-home speech and occupational therapies provided by Easter Seals, Anna is doing what most children with autism cannot do – engage and speak with others. Will you join me in supporting vulnerable children in our community? https://www.gagivesday.org/c/GGD/a/northgeorgia-easterseals

Infographic can be found here: http://goo.gl/RLinQp

Photo can be found here: http://goo.gl/8yKBYU

Questions? Please call Laura Kahn at 404-943-1070 and I can help!

September – A month in review

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Childhood Obesity Prevention Month

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, here are five tips on how to keep your family healthy and happy.

photo (2)ESNG’s Babies Can’t Wait puts the fun in Fall Family Fun Day

ESNG Babies Can’t Wait is the lead agency and community member of the Gwinnett Early Childhood Interagency Council (GECIC). On Saturday, September 19, 2015, GECIC partnered with the Emory University Department of Physical Therapy students and Gwinnett County Schools to provide a Fall Family Fun Day for children birth to grade 5 with developmental delays and/or disabilities. The day’s activities were aimed at child and family education, in a effort to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to allow for more engaged participation within school and the community. There were also parent information mini sessions, and participating vendors provided information on community resources for therapy services, public health services, developmental toys, and Special Olympics.  The families that attended were so appreciative for an opportunity to participate in community activities in a safe and inclusive environment. Learn more about our early intervention services here.
School is back in full swing

The over 1,500 children attending our 12 child development centers in Fulton County and Northeast Georgia have been in school for over a month now. Easter Seals at Sylvan Hills has worked hard every one of these 30 days. So much so, in fact, that Classroom J (Pre-K) celebrated with an “I Survived” day. They channeled their inner warrior! Check these photos of how they celebrated. 

Trick or Treat Trot 5K and Family Fun Festival Update
Trick or Treat Trot – We are gearing up for our annual Trick or Treat Trot 5K and Family Fun Festival. It’s scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Arena at Gwinnett.

We have been working hard to make this year’s event bigger and better to raise funds and awareness for children with special needs or disabilities in our community. As a part of the festival, we will hold a raffle. There have been many generous community businesses, organizations and attractions that have donated tickets, items or gift cards to be raffled off. A huge thank you to all of our sponsor. A sample of the prizes that will be raffled are:

  • Children’s bicycles
  • Two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines
  • Tickets to area attractions, including:
    • Georgia Aquarium
    • Mayfield Dairy
    • Stars and Strikes
    • Word of Coca-Cola
    • Zoo Atlanta
And much, much more….

Don’t forget: If you sign up as a VIP ($35), you will receive a dri-fit race shirt, upfront parking and an extra raffle ticket!!

11 Tips (and Bonus Matieral) to Prevent Summer Brain Drain


School may be winding down for the summer, but your child’s learning shouldn’t be. With only a couple more days of school left for our child development centers, let’s not forget that our learning shouldn’t go on summer vacation!

According to a 2011 RAND Corporation report, the average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students amounts to one month per year. More troubling is that it disproportionately affects low-income students: they lose two months of reading skills. Children entering Pre-K and Kindergarten should be encouraged to practice all their new skills they learned during the school year.

There are many ways to incorporate learning during the summer months. Below are some tips followed by a list of online resources.

Ideas and tips: 

  1. Kids have been learning while they play, so do the same at home.blog3
  2. Go outside and explore your environment. Identify trees, plants and animals and have your child draw a picture.
  3. If you go to the beach for vacation, talk about marine life, environment and ecosystem.
  4. If you stay home, take your child to the library, museum, fire station and parks.blog4
  5. If you are a busy working parent, talk about what you and your coworkers do.
  6. Have your child interview his relatives and then draw what he learned.
  7. Have your child count and sort (by size, color, shape) items in your house.
  8. Read with your child 20 minutes a day, every day.blog2
  9. Sprinkle non-fiction, fiction and comic books in your reading routine.
  10. Engage your child in the book by asking her to draw what she learned.
  11. Have your child practice writing his name using sidewalk chalk.

Bonus Material!


*Limit screen time to 1-2 hours a day

Why is reading every day so important? We’ve got 48 million reasons why…

Some facts for you to digest:

  • The US ranks 25th in the world in the enrollment of 4-year-olds in early learning (OCED, Education at a Glance, 2013)
  • 62% of children, in Georgia, living below the federal poverty line do not attend preschool (Annie E. Casey, KidsCount)
  • Only 16% of children, in Georgia, age 1-5 are read to more than 3 days a week (Annie E. Casey, KidsCount)
  • The average middle-income home has 54 age-appropriate books for children, while a low-income home has 0-2 books (McQuillan, Jeff, The Literacy Crisis)
  • Children with early reading deficiencies are far less likely to graduate from high school, become effective citizens and develop skills essential for contributing to the 21st century economy (Early Reading Advisory Committee, 2010)

Why is it important:

Language is one of the first developmental skills we acquire as a child. This can be delayed if the child is not being read to consistently. According to research by Hart & Risley, children from low-income families hear 600 words an hour, while children from middle-income families hear 2,100. That adds up to an average of 13 million and 48 million, respectively, by the time these children are 4.

What we can do about it:

Read to our children, nieces, nephews, friends! It’s a great way to calm your child down before bed time, during snuggle time or as you wake up. Our children at our child development centers love when volunteers come to read to them. It’s just 30 minutes of your day, and what a difference you make to that child’s education. How many words can you contribute to the 48 million?!