Editorial: Roan Resource Center provides key educational outreach to the community

The Roan Resource Center was teeming with activity on Tuesday.

A number of Roan School students and their parents attended the "Back to School Blast" hosted by the Dalton Neighborhood Initiative where they were given books, school supplies and snow cones from Kona Ice — perhaps the most popular item on the scorching last day of summer vacation. Information was also available for parents about registering for classes and other events.

Organizers say the event's goal was simple — to prepare those pre-k through fifth grade students for the start of school today.

The Dalton Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership of Believe Greater Dalton, Dalton Public Schools, Rock Bridge Community Church, Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership and other community groups.

The Dalton Neighborhood Initiative's goal is to provide parents and their children with services from birth through age 8 to help the children succeed in school and in life. The Healthcare Partnership, for instance, aims to get qualified children enrolled in Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids, the state-federal programs that provide health care for children in low-income families.

Dalton Public Schools provides classes for parents on how to help young children develop basic literacy and numeracy skills. The resource center's two main programs are Little Cats and the Child Development Associate.

The bilingual program Little Cats teaches parents alongside their 3- and 4-year-old children "basic literacy and numeracy skills, fine and large motor skills in preparation to be ready for pre-k or kindergarten" by reading, talking and playing, according to the Dalton Neighborhood Initiative

Through the Child Development Associate, which is an early childhood education credential, participants in the course "play a key role in beginning to educate children in the community before they enter Roan School," the group says.

The Roan Resource Center opened this past spring. It's at 400 Vann Circle, just off Martin Luther King Boulevard and about a three-minute walk from Roan School.

We fully support programs that help jumpstart a child's educational journey. We believe outreach programs such as the Dalton Neighborhood Initiative and its Roan Resource Center will continue to be tremendous assets to our community.

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