Lewis named to Smart Starts statewide advisory committee

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ernestine Morrow Lewis, an early education instructor at Isothermal Community College and board chair of the Rutherford Polk Partnership for Children, has been named to Smart Starts Local Partnership Advisory Committee (LPAC).

As a member of the committee, Lewis will help inform decisions the nonprofit makes as it works to improve the quality of early education and promote the healthy growth of children birth to five years old. Lewis will serve a three-year term representing Smart Start partnerships in Western North Carolina.

Lewis, a Rutherford native, has devoted her life to making quality early learning experiences available to young children. She served as the day care coordinator with the Polk County Department of Social Services where she helped families eligible for child care subsidies understand the benefits of high-quality programs. She later worked for what became the Division of Child Development, overseeing subsidy for child care programs in 48 counties.

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As a co-chair of More at Four committees in both Rutherford and Polk, she helps ensure that area four-year-olds have early learning opportunities to prepare them for kindergarten. She also serves on the Early Childhood Education Committee at Isothermal Community College and was the chair of the Polk Head Start Policy Council. She was a member of the Regional Interagency Coordinating Council for five counties and the Local Interagency Coordinating Council, which oversees the exceptional childrens services.

I am so pleased to be named to this state committee. After serving in a variety of ways on the local level, I can bring firsthand knowledge and experience to the N.C. Partnership for Children, said Lewis. I can bring a point of view from the perspective of child care providers, the child care staff, the subsidy providers, early educators, the schools, and the Rutherford Polk Partnership for Children. It is an exciting opportunity to represent Western North Carolina in the Partnership for Childrens quest for quality experiences for children.