Wake County Schools

Wake leaders discuss changes to Project Enlightenment

Posted September 15, 2010

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— The Wake County Board of Commissioners and school board members on Wednesday discussed proposed changes to a popular pre-kindergarten program.

The school board decided to cut staffing for Project Enlightenment earlier this year but changed its mind after an uproar from parents. Instead, it restored some funding by having Wake County Human Services take over parent counseling in the program.

Some school board members said they are worried about that change.

“My concern is that the community group, Project Enlightenment, has been doing this well for decades, successfully helping kids, special needs kids in particular, get ready to learn,” school board member John Tedesco said. “Anytime we shift a service from the community providing it to some government arm providing it, you typically lose some quality.”

Education Wake leaders discuss Project Enlightenment

Wake County Assistant Superintendent Marvin Connelly said the only difference he sees is who will be who paying the employee.

"I think, if a clinical social worker was talking to the parent before and a clinical social worker is talking to the parent now, I can't imagine that things would be much different," Connelly said.

School board members are concerned that parents will be waiting longer for a county counselor or not getting to see one at all.

"I think it's the children who are going to be affected," school board member Anne McLaurin said.

School board members did not take a vote on the issue Wednesday, but said they said at their next meeting they will work on a way to preserve the program's counselors and keep the county out of the process.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ssjd2000 Sep 15, 2010

    If this was a babysitting service, someone should of told me because I would not of hired a babysitter to watch my kids while I went to learn positive-effective parenting!

  • acouriem Sep 15, 2010

    JT...Whatever. Apparently he does not understand that he is now working for the government.

    Project Enlightenment is for all of the people of Wake County and offers a wide variety of services that are utilized by families of all income levels.

    It is not a babysitting service, nor is it a free ride.

    Sad reading the comments on this blog!!

  • marysdecor2004 Sep 15, 2010

    The people making these negative comments have obviously never used or needed project enlightenments services. To me and many other parents and children their services were life saving. Anyone who's ever been a parent knows children do not come with instructions. Project Enlightenment helps give parents the education and community involvement they need to be successfull at raising wonderfully educated, disaplined and healthy child!
    The resourses that project enlightenment give can not compare to The human services dept. A lot more goes on there than just babysitting! They have parent counseling, siminars, parent helplines for parent in crisis and video's and books for children and adults. This place is the best resourse for parents and of course the goverment wants to stop funding it. What does that say about the government.

  • Adelinthe Sep 15, 2010

    "I think, if a clinical social worker was talking to the parent before and a clinical social worker is talking to the parent now, I can't imagine that things would be much different," Connelly said.

    I can - government interference will keep some parents who need help away because many are afraid of letting the government know their business, especially their most private business.

    Praying for the children.

    God bless.


  • etshoney Sep 15, 2010

    Are there any studies SHOWING results. I don't want to hear it helps parents and we can't do without it. DOES IT WORK? If no study has been done keep the program for the next year and authorize the study. If the results don't show significant improvement say goodbye to the program. We DEMAND RESULTS OR GET OUT MY WALLET!

  • kidsnbooks Sep 15, 2010

    I guess Wake County Assistant Superintendent Marvin Connelly has never been to an inexperienced or uncaring Doctor. Of course it makes a difference who is doing the counseling! The parent counselors at Project are the best. They really care about the well-being of children.

  • Myopinionandnotyours Sep 15, 2010

    I agree that this program needs to go!!! A baby sitting service for parents who do not work and sit home and collect welfare!

  • flyguync Sep 15, 2010

    Studies have shown that involving children in these early education programs can actually have a negative effect on their future learning abilities and socialization skills. Unfortunately, with our current "keeping up with the Joneses" culture, too many moms are having to work.


  • ssjd2000 Sep 15, 2010

    People who have neg. comments about project enlightenment do not know anything about this fantastic resource in our community. People complain about how parents raise their kids and always have comments about children misbehaving. Well it will be much worse if this program is not in place. This place actually teaches parents how to raise their children effectively. Everyone would be shocked to see what an influence this program is in the community. The effects of this program not being ran like it has been for the past 20 years or so will be seen and impact schools greatly. If these children and parents did not have this program to rely on the elementary schools will start paying the price with children who did not get help, acting out. The tax payers would still be paying the price as well as your own children. Go to their website check out their classes. You will probably see one you or someone you know needs to take!

  • ryandty Sep 15, 2010

    Project Enlightenment provides many important services to families, educators and service providers. The services that are at risk here have nothing to do with Child Care or Free Pre-Kindergarten Programs. This is NOT about pleasing parents! This is about understanding that 85% of a child's intellect is developed before they enter Kindergarten and the Wake County Public School system actually understands that this is good economics! By reaching children early we will save money for the next 12 years through reduced remediation, higher test scores and better graduation rates! I realize we are in an economic crisis, but if we would start making political decisions based on the long term economic impact we will see the dividends!