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Posted in thread News.    

thread is happy to partner with our early care and education partners, like the Alaska Parent Information and Resource Center (AKPIRC) to celebrate November as Parent Involvement Month!

Earlier this month, Governor Sean Parnell signed an Executive Proclamation stating November as Parent Involvement Month, in part to highlight how "the importance of parental involvement in education takes the efforts of all Alaskans."

thread has long been involved in promoting different ways families and early educators can work together to nuture healthy children and strong families, like through the Strengthening Families Initiative. Now a multi-year effort, thread continues to promote Strengthening Families and its five "protective factors" through classes, training and field trips.  For example, thread recently hosted a "Parade of Centers" for early care providers to tour and learn how five different childcare centers in Anchorage have incorporated Strengthening Families' factors in their programs. The five factors include:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Concrete support in times of need, and
  • Children's social and emotional development

During this holiday season, thread also encourages parents and families to think about activities or celebrations you have planned for this month and throughout the holidays as important times to learn about your child and celebrate your family.

thread hosts a variety of community and special events throughout the year for parents, early educators and children to gather and have fun. For more information, please visit our special events page.

thread invites families and early educators to join us for a day full of learning about the Strengthening Families initiatiave as we tour different child care centers in Anchorage during the Parade of Centers on November 13th from 9:00am-4:00pm.

Strengthening Families is an effort among early care and education programs, child welfare departments as well as communities to promote the importance of positive child development. Strengthening Families groups information into five "Protective Factors" including:
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Support in times of need
  • Children's social and emotional development
By learning the Strengthening Families approach, research shows parents are able to parent more effectively, even under stress. Parade of Center class participants will tour childcare centers in Anchorage that are beginning their third year of involvement with the Strengthening Families Initiative. Transportation to and from child care centers is provided. Participants can meet at the thread offices at 3350 Commercial Drive in Mountain View and should bring a sack lunch, something to write with, and a camera.
For more information, please contact Kathy Hall, thread's Strengthening Families Coordinator at


thread announces new courses for early educators available now through E-Learning: a web-based and self-paced training for early educators statewide.

"We are so excited to have E-Learning up and ready to go," says Kathy Kline, thread's Director of Professional Development. "Here is another opportunity for people to take courses on their own time and gain training credits too."

The courses available through E-Learning are available at anytime and provide credits for educators seeking their Child Development Association credential.

thread works with early educators across the state to provide information and training and are continually looking for ways to expand access to these trainings.  All thread courses provide a variety of engaging topics designed specifically for the early childhood professional. 

For more information, please visit thread's new Distance Learning tab on our website!

thread is one of several hundred Alaska charities to receive donations through Pick.Click.Give  -- the program that allows individuals filing online for their Permanent Fund Dividend to give all or part of it to qualifying nonprofit organizations.

thread received $900 in donations this year from people giving through Pick.Click.Give. Preliminary results from the second year of the program show that 9,543 made donations totaling $927,075 between January 1 and May 31 when the 2010 campaign concluded. 

"We are thankful for the people who chose to support thread through Pick.Click.Give," said Stephanie Berglund, thread's CEO. "This program is a wonderful way for people to support children and early care and education. And, it shows that people across the state are giving generously to causes important to them." 

The goal of Pick. Click. Give. is to increase the number of people who give to Alaska nonprofits, as well as the total amount of charitable dollars that are donated.  For more information, visit

Find out how you can continue to support quality child care and education programs in Alaska by clicking here.

thread, Alaska's child care resource and referral network, will gather with parents, partners, and supporters at simultaneous rallies on Friday, October 1st at noon in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. The statewide rally is being held as part of a nationwide Step Up for Kids 2010 initiative where individual states are holding events to raise awareness among voters and political candidates regarding the issues American children face, including quality early child care, education, and health care.

thread has scheduled rallies in three of their statewide network partner locations as one way to help keep children's issues as top political priorities. Each location will have voter registration information on hand as well.

"Young children can't vote," said Stephanie Berglund, thread's CEO. "We encourage people, no matter what their political persuasion, to register and vote in our upcoming elections with children in mind."

The three rally locations on Friday, October 1, 2010 at 12:00pm are:
In Anchorage  
Garden Art Park / Success By 6 Building
3350 Commercial Drive
Contact: Stephanie Berglund at
In Fairbanks
Golden Heart Park
1st Avenue
Contact: Kelly Doughty at
In Juneau
Marine Park
Downtown Juneau on Egan Drive
Contact: Joy Lyon at

"We believe that many Alaskans want more investments in their children and grandchildren, whether its through policy action or funding programs, that will improve each child's life," says Berglund. "This Friday for 30 minutes over lunchtime, if we remind just one or two of our political leaders of how important Alaska's children are to us and to the future of our state, then the rally will be a success."

thread's mission is to advance the quality of early education and child development by empowering parents, educating child care professionals and collaborating with our communities.

For more information about Step Up for Kids 2010, visit

Posted in thread News.    

thread recognizes the important roles of all those who care for children, including positive male role models. With that in mind, thread invites you to come join our staff in Fairbanks as we welcome keynote speaker Dr. Robert Capuozzo, Asst. Prof of ECE, UAA, Anchorage , Bruce Sheppard, MTS, EI/ECES Specialist from the Oregon Department of Education, as well as other speakers covering topics such as boy friendly classrooms, strategies to get men involved in your programs, infant-father attachment, developing program philosophies for male involvement and much more.

The symposium "Involving Men in the Lives of Children" will be held September 18th from 8:30am-4:30pm at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. The cost is $35 and you can register here.

thread is celebrating twenty-five years providing quality early education and child care referral information to families throughout Alaska. Our anniversary theme: Growing through Generations represents both our connection to our history as an organization and the recognition of the importance early education has to our future generations. The Growing through Generations theme is also embedded throughout twenty-five events highlighting thread's silver anniversary and running until January 15, 2011 which will mark an anniversary culmination party!

"In our 25th anniversary year, we will reach new generations of families and early educators and continue to grow resources for quality early care and education in Alaska. We will celebrate our founders, supporters and partners who have been part of our rich history, growth and success. As we honor the past, we will also look forward to celebrating with future generations," says Stephanie Berglund, thread CEO.

Twenty-five years ago, a group of community leaders in Anchorage responded to the need for quality early care and education for their employees.  With support from then ARCO Alaska president Harold Heinze and the Mayor of Anchorage at that time, Tony Knowles, along with the United Way of Anchorage, and the Anchorage School District, Child Care Connection was created with the goal to help parents in Anchorage find child care.

The demand for quality child care services continued to grow and arguably is even more important for today's working families. As Child Care Connection expanded in Anchorage in both funding and staffing, a natural partnership was formed among three of the state's Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) organizations including Child Care Connection serving families in the southcentral region; the Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC-SEA) serving the southeast region; and CARES/Play'N'Learn serving the Interior/Northern region.

Today, these CCR&Rs form a one-year old statewide network that was re-branded with the name thread: signifying the "common thread" that ties together our effort to support families, early educators and communities throughout Alaska.

thread is excited to share with families, early educators, partners and other community leaders the twenty-five anniversary event calendar, a complete list of upcoming events planned as part of the celebration of thread's silver anniversary.

For more information or if you have questions about upcoming anniversary events, please contact

thread has produced its first ever television commercial, which will begin airing on NBC stations(KTUU) in Anchorage and Channel 11 (KTVF) in Fairbanks starting the week of July 19. The commercial will be re-broadcast on stations throughout the state.

"This is thread's first television commercial in Alaska and we are excited to be able to reach out in such a big way," says Stephanie Berglund, thread CEO. "We are always looking for new and better ways to connect with families, early educators, and other community residents and a commercial is a great way to make our message heard."

thread promotes quality early care and education across Alaska. With regional offices in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, thread provides child care referrals and information to families, training and technical assistance to early educators, and works with communities to improve childhood systems statewide.

"We strive to generate the resources and infrastructure necessary to increase the availability, quality and affordability of early care and education options in Alaska," says Berglund.

Whether child care providers are receiving a professional development degree or providing good customer service to families – quality early care matters. thread is proud recognize five early educators who recently received their Child Development Association (CDA) credentials:

  • Martha Rocha
  • Adriana Diaz Cid
  • Elia Cedeño
  • Lourdes Biggs
  • Roxana Martin

These five professionals are just a sampling of the hundreds of early care providers taking care and teaching Alaska kids of all ages -- whether they are in a preschool program or in our homes or a community facility.

thread would love to hear your stories about your child care provider, your classroom, and your own experiences.  Willow Peyton of Anchorage recently shared her story with thread.

“It was a warm summer day and after leaving Hillcrest and buckling my 9 month baby into his car seat and closing the car door, the doors suddenly lock on my car with the keys and cell phone inside. Even though the center was closed, Miss Renae was there to help me call for assistance. She stayed with me and helped me to stay calm, waiting for help to arrive. I’ll never forget her kindness that day and every day my family and I have had the pleasure of being in her company.

I first met Miss Renae when she welcomed and walked me through Hillcrest as I was seeking childcare for my new baby. I have read a lot of parenting books and magazines but for me there was nothing like observing and talking with an experienced and passionate early childhood professional like Miss Renae to help me learn the best ways for my child to succeed in all the things important for a young child.

I am so thankful for the impression she is making on my kids. She always takes the time to talk with me about my child, the good & bad, the highs & lows, and the challenges & the celebrations. I just can’t say enough about her warmth and genuine care and concern for all of Hillcrest children and families.”

We'd love to hear your story! Please email Sarah Leonard and in the message field type "story."

Posted in thread News.    

Earlier this month, child care and early education advocates learned of Governor Parnell's veto of increased coverage for children and pregnant women under Denali Kid Care legislation. After a flurry of media activity, including a press conference held by a group of democratic senators, a poll of the 20 state senators failed to show support for a special session to be called to override the Governor's decision (reports the Anchorage Daily News 6/11/10).

thread has long been involved in promoting early care for Alaska families and supports the full 200 percent increase in eligibility for Denali Kid Care, allowing 1,300 kids and 200 pregnant women health care coverage.

"As a parent and working mother in the field of early education, I am very disappointed about Governor Parnell’s recent veto of increased coverage for Alaskan children through Denali Kid Care," wrote Stephanie Berglund, thread's CEO in a letter to the editor. "The bulk of the health coverage provided by Denali Kid Care includes doctor’s visits, health check-ups, hearing tests, dental check-ups, lab tests and speech and physical therapy."

For more information about early care and education issues, please visit thread's Parent Action Center.

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