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As soon as a child is born, parents become the child’s “first” everything; their first love, their first protector and their first teacher. From birth, babies develop and learn and their brains are growing at such a rapid rate, that it is important for parents to be prepared to put on their teaching hat and help their babies learn how to take charge of the new world around them.

The mission of Macon County’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) program is to teach parents in the community the foundation of what it takes to be their child’s first teachers. PAT is one of the largest evidence-based home visiting models in the country. Its vision is that all children will learn, grow and develop to reach their full potential, and that parents are their earliest and best teachers. Although Parents as Teachers was developed and still is a universal program for all families, today many of the parents who are recruited and participate in the program are single parents, very young parents or families confronted with challenges that range from job loss and poverty to illness and disability.


Last month, World War II veteran and Macon County resident, Herb Simmons, 92, returned to the D-day battlefields of Normandy where he had been a part of the invasion that had driven back and ultimately stopped the German war machine. Within a year, Hitler had committed suicide and the German armies surrendered, ending the war in Europe.

The 70th Anniversary of the invasion was commemorated at Omaha Beach¸ on June 6, 2014. Both the U.S President Barack Obama and President of the French Republic, Francois Hollande, spoke at the ceremony honoring the Allied soldiers who fought and died there to preserve the liberties Americans enjoy each day.


Nancy Porter, Family Community Partnership Manager at Macon Program for Progress (MPP) was awarded the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Golden Star Award during EFNEP’s State Conference on June 23. The Golden Stars of EFNEP are individuals, groups or agencies, both internal and external, who have significantly contributed to the county program. They provide on-going support to help the nutrition program assistant/associate achieve the county program goals.

To be an EFNEP Golden Star, a partnering agency must share in the EFNEP vision, identify with the EFNEP mission, and work collaboratively with EFNEP to achieve shared goals. Porter and Pat Cable, EFNEP Program Associate in Macon County, work together to plan and deliver EFNEP classes to families served by MPP.


REACH’s Capital Campaign recently finished its “friendly” fundraising competition between local teams for the months of May and June in order to build a new shelter.

The American Legion and the VFW gave donations of $500 each to the “Bargains and Treasurers” team and helped them achieve second place in the competition. The donations helped give the team naming rights to the new shelter children’s playground.

“As team members of REACH for Bargains and Treasurers Thrift Store, we see clients of domestic violence in the store and hear their stories every day,” said team captain June Hernandez. “This fundraiser campaign gave us the opportunity to help in another way.”


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