Header StarSmart

StartSMART Advisory Council

Parents-- the years between birth and preschool may seem short, but they are by far the most important in a child's proper development. One of the most serious problems facing our country, state, and region is the high percentage of children who attend school lacking in vital developmental areas.

We recognize this is a very complex problem that impacts the very fiber of our society and robs these young children of a real chance to experience the quality of life they deserve. We believe the solution to this problem begins with parental awareness and knowledge of the physiological, physical, nutritional, emotional, social, and cognitive development that occurs during a child's early years.

All of our committee members represent public, private, or nonprofit agencies/organizations that are dedicated to positively affecting the lives of the community in which we live. We have accepted the challenge of raising child development awareness and will be pooling our collective knowledge and resources to make sure we are getting the best results we can from the funds provided to us. We will also partner with other business and community leaders to improve conditions in our area.

Our goal is to help children prepare for school so they will have the chance to graduate on time and be ready for the road ahead.

Start SMART Advisory Council

Brian Denny Florence School District One
Melissa Ward Francis Marion University
Barbara Cooper PDCAP (Headstart)
Madie Robinson Pee Dee Healthy Start
Maria James SC State University
Suzette McClellan SCDHEC Sumter Public Health Office
Diana Bailey The Parent Center
Debbie Hyler The School Foundation
Richard Harrington The School Foundation Board
Charlie Jordan The School Foundation Board
Ellen Hamilton Pee Dee Coalition
Michele Martin USC CDRC PITC Network
Kerrie Schnake USC CDRC PITC Network
Linda Brigman Pee Dee Mental Health
Til Morisey Poynor - Florence 1, 4, & 5 Adult Education
Susan Carter Pee Dee Mental Health Center
Robert Williams Fatherhood and Family Engagement Program
Jennifer Murphy The Housing Authority of Florence
Paula Childers Florence County Library System


Advisory Council completed Darkness to Light Training Course

The Start SMART Advisory Council attended the Darkness to Light Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training course on April 3, 2014.  This course is designed to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.