NOAH E-Newsletter June 2007 / Issue VIII

Welcome to the June 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!


Thomas Roberts Receives Check
NOAH Executive Director Thomas Roberts accepts a ceremonial check for $20,000 from South Florida LISC officers.

NOAH Development Corp. was among eight agencies to take its share of $270,000 in LISC grants awarded to increase neighborhood development in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

NOAH Executive Director Thomas Roberts accepted a ceremonial check of $20,000 from Annetta Jenkins, the Senior Program director for LISC South Florida who promised the agencies she would do even more.

”We’re going to do everything we can to increase the size of those checks,” she said. “Our commitment is to do more, to find more resources and get them out to you. We don’t need to talk about the needs, we don’t need to talk about the challenges, they are staring us in the face everyday,” Jenkins continued at the quiet, but happy May 23 ceremony. “We want to help you transform neighborhoods as we transform lives.”

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    Barbara Fiedor
    Barbara Fiedor organized the Taste of Bethesda event that raised $19,000 toward a specially equipped Mini bus for children at the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center.

    A food and wine sampling event that provided savory sensations for 200 guests at Bethesda-by-the-Sea could help provide savored experiences for children by The Lake.

    The Episcopal Church Women’s group at Bethesda-by-the Sea in Palm Beach organized the inaugural Taste of Bethesda to help raise money for a specially equipped Mini Bus to help transport the special needs children at the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center in South Bay.

    The sold-out event entertained elegantly dressed guests at the church who paid $100 per ticket to enjoy fine wine, gourmet delicacies and a live jazz saxophonist while helping to raise $19,000 toward the $42,000 bus.

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    Gladys Givens-Barber
    Gladys Givens-Barber (left) with peer at 11th annual One Child At A Time Luncheon.

    Gladys Givens-Barber was sitting at a luncheon table chatting away with peers who work to make the world a better place for children when she was stunned silent.

    "They started reading off the history of my employment in the Glades," she said recalling comments from the dais. "And I thought, ‘Did I hear my name?’ I was sort of like glued to the seat because I never expected that."

    She heard correctly. Gladys Givens-Barber, Director of NOAH’s Family Services Division, was named the recipient of the Children’s Services Council’s Extra Mile Award which is given annually to an employee of a children's agency in Palm Beach County who excels in job performance and community service. She was given the award April 18 at the council’s 11th annual One Child At A Time Luncheon at the Crown Plaza Hotel in West Palm Beach.

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    Fun Day for Kids
    Children line up for one of several games during Fun Day for kids at the South Bay child care centers.

    St Patricks Day
    Children participate in a sack race during a
    St. Patrick's Day bash at Noah's South Bay
    child care centers.

    Making the kids happy at NOAH’s child care centers is a priority for the agency and, oftentimes, others get in on the act. At NOAH’s April 27 celebration of The Week of the Young Child, staff planned for a bounce house, face-painting, games and other activities for children who attend the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center and the Farrar Family Development Centers. "We ordered one bounce house, but when they came out and saw the number of children we had, they donated another one," said Matilda Edwards, who directs the two South Bay centers. Edwards extends her gratitude the Belle Glade-based House of Bounce company owned by Jose Caberra that donated the extra bounce house.

    A busy spring followed a busy holiday season and New Year at NOAH’s South Bay child care centers. In addition to daily deeds, Edwards is always making sure there are additional activities for kids to participate in. There was a March 16 St. Patrick’s Day Bash that included games and activities for the children. That was followed up by a March 29 Open House at the Fortin Center. About 20 parents attended the event where they had dinner and staff went over policies and procedures. Nutritionist Jessica Alamilla and retired school teacher Dorothy Laing were there to help educate parents in attendance. Later in the month, staff squeezed in a Mother’s Day luncheon.

    Extra activities mean extra work for staff and NOAH is good at showing appreciation for staff members when they go above and beyond in the demanding work of child care. That’s why, on May 2, all of NOAH’s administrative staff was treated to lunch at Golden Coral in Royal Palm Beach as a belated celebration of "Administrative Professionals Week". After lunch was over, the executive director gave them the rest of the day off.

    Congratulations and well wishes: Rozikitrina Ford, a lead teacher for the infant classroom has met the ever more rigorous standards of the National Child Development Association and has recently become certified. Edwards and the staff wishes to congratulate her. Edith Ford, the head cook for the centers, is recovering from a stroke and Edwards wants her to know the staff is thinking about her and wishing her well.

    NOAH’s child care centers are up for renewal from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The centers have held the accreditation since 1997 but will be scrutinized again for a three-year renewal. The agency will look at NOAH’s entire programming. It will look at NOAH’s age-appropriate developmental practices, safety compliance, staff education levels and backgrounds, curriculum and more. It is not in NOAH’s culture to rest on laurels, so with constant upgrades on already sophisticated programs and highly trained staff, the agency anticipates it will retain its certification.


    There are about 80 staff members at NOAH, but there is room for a few more to help the agency better serve a community of about 40,000 people.

    NOAH has been advertising for a couple of months, the need for three caring child care workers. As the number of classes and certification requirements needed to work in the field increases, the hiring process slows.

    "We are in need of Hispanic support and Creole speaking help," Said Matilda Edwards. "We like to have a staff that reflects the people who we serve."

    There are three positions open at the Farrar Family Development Center: A lead teacher position in the toddler room and two teaching assistant positions in the Pre-K and 2-year-old classrooms.

    NOAH has another pressing need for its properties. The work of an air-conditioner repairman is important year-round in South Florida, but as summer approaches, the urgency rises with the mercury in the thermometer. The position pays about $14 per hour.

    If you are interested or if you know someone who would like to join NOAH’s staff, call the main number at (561) 996-2300.

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