The beeps and the steady hum of traffic have been replaced with bird song and crickets. I can’t believe the short one hour plane journey could feel so far from the pace of New York. You could almost commute every day!
After an early 6.30am flight this morning I landed in Raleigh Durham North Carolina at 7.45. I was met by my host and guide Khari Garvin Director of the Head Start Collaboration office. No running and catching the subway for me now, it’s the car this week, and we are going to do a lot of driving from one location to another. After a full southern style breakfast at Crackerbarrel (complete with grits!) we made our way to the offices at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Khari has set my first conference call for 10.15am in Morganton 300 miles away. This is with the FIPP (Family and Infant Preschool Partnership). They are a team of professional consultants with a wealth of practical and theoretical experience of working with children and families. They are a part of the office of Headstart National Center of Excellence on Evidence Based Home Visiting Training and Coaching. There were around eight members of the team and they’re all looking at me! I speak to Director M’Lisa Shelden, Dathan Rush and Sarah Sexton.
They gave me a breakdown of the service and how they arrived at this method of practice. They explain how their intervention techniques in evidence based home visiting coaching to families has been successful enough to roll the program out to train family support workers around the state. I gained a lot of insight today into how the evidence approach is evolving and shaping into responding to the needs of the families. And how practitioners such as these are using their experience and knowledge to train frontline staff.
Thanks guys for giving up your time on a Monday morning. Stay in touch and I will be reading your journals!
After this I face timed my children who were watching TV at 5 in the afternoon with their school uniforms on. They told me they weren’t at school tomorrow due to industrial action, which they were pleased about. After staring up their noses for 5 minutes I decided to kiss them goodbye for another day then drove to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Khari and I spent some time discussing the programs and comparing services at a strategic level which I didn’t really know all the answers to- Joanna Smith if you’re reading this please can we face time you Skype or something we need an up to date Leeds-based advice.
Cheesefactory Cheesecake was criminal, i had 24 to choose from, seriously I have never tasted anything like it! I carried it away in a box on our 90 mile journey back to Guildford not before stopping for tea at the O’Henry Hotel. Khari thought it would be nice to remind me of home by having afternoon tea in this huge wood ceiling panelled colonial hotel. Thank you!
Getting ready for a packed agenda of home visiting tomorrow.