NOAH E-Newsletter March 2007 / Issue VII

Welcome to the March 2007 issue of the NOAH E-Newsletter. We welcome all of our new subscribers! If you've missed any of our previous newsletters, please feel free to check out our online archive. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Thanks for your continued support!


Building Blocks Infant and Family Care Center and the Farrar Family Development Center have retained the four-star status that represents the best in early childhood education.

Each year, the centers have to re-qualify for the quality improvement certification. Just like the perennial five-star hotels, whose attention to detail keep them at the top of their industry, Gladys Givens-Barber, the director of NOAH's Family Services Division, takes nothing for granted in creating a special atmosphere for her young clients.

And now even the babies get four-star treatment. The ECERS rating scale used to evaluate early childhood education has developed specific guidelines for infants and toddlers separate from older preschoolers. NOAH childcare centers made adjustments to make sure their top rating would include the youngest clients.

Four classrooms that serve toddlers and infants added supplies to promote positive play and interaction among the children. The changes included new rugs to create required soft play areas, gross motor toys and cause-and-effect toys and mattresses for cribs. More toys were needed to be rotated on a monthly basis to keep things new and active for the children.

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    NOAH received a $10,000 Community Development Impact Grant from the Citigroup Foundation. The grant award was presented at the opening of Citibank's new West Palm Beach branch at 5867 Okeechobee Boulevard on January 24.

    According to Thomas Roberts, executive director for NOAH, the grant will be used in support of NOAH's homeownership development work in the Glades communities.

    "This grant will enable NOAH to strengthen and expand its homeownership development efforts throughout the communities of the Glades," Roberts said. "It will allow us to organize homebuyer workshops and fairs and conduct homebuyer counseling classes."

    "We are proud to work together with NOAH to help bring more housing to the Glades communities," said Barbara Romani, Citibank, Florida, Community Relations Director. "At Citibank, we are committed to helping make a difference in the communities we serve."

    Citigroup (NYSE: C) the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup's trademark include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, and Banamex. Additional information may be found at


    Matilda Edwards

    If you want to get in touch with Matilda Edwards, be prepared to do a finger dance.

    If you call her at The Farrar Family Development Center, she might be at the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center (for special needs children). If you dial up the Fortin Center, she might be at Farrar. Edwards, director of Early Childhood Education for NOAH, directs both centers, but she may not be at either one because she might be in a class pioneering upper-level certification for child development or accompanying kids on a field trip, so you may just have to call her back.

    But there is a reason she splits her time between so many places and tasks - she holds things together. That is why, during a December lunch when the staff was treated to Golden Corral in Royal Palm Beach, she was surprised with a plaque for holding the operations together and maintaining a high order between the South Bay centers.

    The plaque read: "For all your dedication and hard work, we wish to show our appreciation to you: for your untiring effort, many sleepless nights, and bold tenacity. For all you do we call you 'The Glue.' Congratulations for a job well done!"

    Edwards pondered the words.

    "They call me The Glue," she repeated, sounding as if she was surprised to be flattered by the reference. "I have to admit, they pulled one over on me."

    Edwards works hard for the children, not for recognition. Still, she appreciates being appreciated. "It was very nice," she said. "It just makes it all worth it."



    After NOAH bought a copier from Toshiba, staff members were pleasantly surprised to learn that duplicates did not only come from the machine.

    Valentine from Toshiba

    Toshiba was one of several sponsors that donated toys to make sure all of the children served at NOAH centers would have "toy joy" for Christmas, but the company was not finished. A new holiday brought a duplicated effort.

    "They called us and wanted to know if we were doing anything for the kids for Valentine's Day," said Cheryl Tomlin, NOAH's director of Human Resources. Of course the children were being treated to a Valentine celebration, but Toshiba made it even better.

    "They sent over some candy and some other things to help out with the party," Tomlin said. "Now that's corporate sponsorship. They haven't forgotten about us."

    Toshiba, through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, maintains a number of programs that involve community relations, education, the environment and philanthropy. By duplicating its efforts to deliver happiness to the children served by NOAH, the company has shown that the skills it uses to develop consumer, business and industry products translate well into powering Santa's sleigh and aiming Cupid's arrow.


    Glades persona: Passion, skill, hard work, knowledge, sound decision-making, ability to work with a diverse group and maintain like-minded goals.

    These characteristics abound in the Glades and that's why the area is home to three high school championship football teams - the Pahokee Blue Devils, Glades Day School Gators and Glades Central Raiders - and a championship finalist, the Clewiston Tigers.

    NOAH is looking for someone who has these characteristics, among others, to add to its Board of Directors. We know you are out there and a reward is waiting for whoever is willing to follow the mantra that hard work pays off.

    NOAH and the Glades residents it serves would benefit from a board member who has an understanding of finances, real estate or fund-raising. If you are interested in adding to the proud tradition of the Glades and help deserving people find homes and improve their condition, NOAH invites you to apply to become a member of the board and help build Muck City.

    Anyone interested should forward their resume to Alma Henry-Mormon at the NOAH Offices. For additional information, call (561) 996-2300.


    Holidays at NOAHFive very special donors helped put a lot of Merry in the Christmas of about 130 children served at NOAH's three child care centers. Toshiba, the Mary Alice Fortin Childcare Foundation, Toys for Tots, St. David's In-the-Pines Episcopal Church in Wellington and The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach all made significant contributions to make sure each child took home several holiday gifts.

    "We had Toshiba, the copy company, and they just went above and beyond," said Gladys Givens-Barber, Director of Family Services. "They donated a $3,000 shopping spree to purchase items for the children, which not only included the children, but family members as well. After we spent the $3,000, they gave us an additional $1,000 for bicycles and school supplies."

    The Mary Alice Fortin Childcare Foundation donated toys to children at the Fortin center. Toys for Tots donated toys for children all three centers.

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    There are new faces and skilled, caring hands to help keep things running smoothly around NOAH properties.

    Dytrisha Jackson was hired as a lead teacher for pre-K children at the Farrar Family Development Center in South Bay. Veronica Welch was hired as an assistant teacher at the center to work with the toddlers.

    Dytrisha Jackson   Veronica Welch
    Dytrisha Jackson
    Veronica Welch

    "Both of them have a vast amount of experience and they came with CDA credentials," said Matilda Edwards, Director of Early Childhood Education for NOAH. CDA (Child Development Associate) sets Competency Standards for Preschool Children that, once met, can earn a credential from the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition.

    Tashell Rouse   Wilneshia Thompson
    Tashell Rouse
    Wilneshia Thompson

    Tashell Rouse who also has her CDA and years of experience is new on the staff as a teacher assistant in the infant classroom at Farrar, Edwards said.

    Wilneshia Thompson was hired as a secretary in the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center (For special needs children) also in South Bay. She started Feb. 2.

    "She came highly recommended in terms of her business mindedness, and we're looking for great things from her," Edwards said.

    There is still another opening for a lead teacher position. Anyone interested should call Edwards at (561) 992-7790.

    The children are not the only ones in good hands. Residents at the 144-unit Covenant Villas in Belle Glade have a new face to welcome. Larry Carswell was hired as a maintenance technician and will help keep the one- two- and three-bedroom rental units running smoothly.

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