A Taste of Milk & Honey

Resilience. In a recent seminar for ministers in Kansas City, I was teamed with psychiatrist and long-time friend, Dr. Betty Bashaw. In our discussions of displacement, disappointment, and violence, Dr. Bashaw introduced the subject of resilience. She pointed out that persons who have experienced poverty, family breakups, and even death in the family, if resilient, can adapt and live successful, fruitful lives.

And what makes for resilience? Among several factors, two especially impressed me: 1) the encouragement and emotional connection with an adult outside the family, and 2) the ability to read early and experience a love of books. (Dr. Bashaw cited a study by Werner and Smith.)

I thought of our Children’s Enrichment Program and was quietly proud. Well, not too quietly: I mentioned it to a few dozen.

But I especially wanted you to know.

Written by Dr. Fred Craddock, August 2006

From the Executive Director

It’s like ‘Happy New Year’ at The Craddock Center right now. We have begun our new fiscal year and in September we started our 22nd year in the classrooms in southern Appalachia. A new year typically brings feelings of enthusiasm and excitement and that is definitely the case at The Craddock Center.

And why is that?

  • We are fully staffed for our Children’s Enrichment Program with six incredibly talented Arts Specialists who bring over 150 years of experience in early childhood education, music education, and storytelling.
  • Our Children’s Enrichment Program is growing. We have added two new preschool programs and the number of children we serve continues to grow…fifty more than last year.
  • You will see two articles in this newsletter where our supporters continue to ensure we can serve the children. We will have enough books and knitted caps in November! Thank you! This event in November is one of the longest annual traditions of The Craddock Center. Three years ago, we also started providing gloves to the little ones.
  • We have added three new, passionate, and enthusiastic Board Members in the last three months.
  • And last, but certainly not least, the newest program at The Craddock Center, Smart Babies is about to begin. After over a year of research and planning, our first Smart Babies workshop will be delivered this Fall. The benefits of this free program to the parents and their children will be immeasurable. Please see the article in this newsletter.

We are able to do this because of you…our generous supporters who believe in our vision and mission. You see the benefits of our programs and support them with your time, talents, and donations. Thank you for making a difference for the children and families in southern Appalachia!

Beginning This Fall: Our Newest Program, Smart Babies!

The “Smart Babies” program will be using the Ready for Kindergarten curriculum which emphasizes targets in three areas (examples of each target provided):

Language and Literacy:

  • Naming and matching letter shapes
  • Recognizing sight words
  • Singing, chanting, and rhyming
  • Hearing spoken words

Math and Reasoning

  • Counting
  • Matching number shapes
  • Naming colors
  • Adding/subtracting

Social and Emotional Learning

  • Relating to others
  • Following directions
  • Developing emotional well-being

We will initially concentrate our workshops for parents with children in the following age groups: 0 – 1 years, 1 – 2 years, and 2 – 3 years. Parents will attend three workshops over the year that will be focused on the Ready for Kindergarten curriculum. Workshops will be approximately 90 minutes in duration with 6-10 participants. During each workshop, parents will learn about targets in the three areas mentioned above and be given methods and tools (toys and books) to focus on these targets at home. There will be lots of opportunities for sharing and practicing. We plan to provide a meal after each workshop to promote further discussion and bonding among the parents.

“Smart Babies” will also provide interim sessions for parents which will be a little more informal. We plan on visits to the library, playdates at the park and exploring other ways to promote their babies’ mind development.

40% of children walk into kindergarten already one to three years behind.

71% of children who start kindergarten behind are still behind in the 5th grade.

Students who start Kindergarten below grade level have less than a 2% chance of attending post high school education.

*Provided by “Ready for Kindergarten”

Celebrate National Family Literacy Month

National Family Literacy Month is celebrated during the month of November. This is an opportunity for families to learn and read together. It also celebrates the work literacy programs, such as those from The Craddock Center, do to empower families.

Here are ways families can celebrate National Family Literacy Month:

  • Visit your local library with your family. In addition to books, find out about all the programming your library has to offer. You would be surprised that many offer classes, workshops, movie nights, reading groups, and more for all ages on a vast variety of topics.
  • Join and participate in a book club or start a book club. Make it fun and get creative with your book club meeting by having activities or serve food related to the books your group is reading.  MAYBE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!!
  • Attend a book festival together. 
  • Book festivals are held nationally and locally. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet authors, explore a huge variety of genres, meet people, and share the joy of reading.  If there is not a festival happening in your area, talk to your local chamber of commerce to see how you can develop one in your community.
  • Create a book exchange in your neighborhood. 
  • Simply set up a small container to house the books and protect them from the elements a sign that reads, “Take a book, leave a book,” for your neighbors to share books.
  • Donate books. Everyone has at least a few books that they have read and that are now lying on a shelf someplace in their home waiting for eager eyes to read them again.  Consider donating your gently used children’s books to The Craddock Center or a local charity in your area.
  • Share the love and joy of reading. Volunteer to read to patients in the hospital, to children in preschool, or to the elderly in a nursing facility. It costs nothing to be kind and to share your time with those who could use your smile and an open book.
  • Discuss what you’ve read. Encourage your children to talk about what they have read. Whenever we experience something good, we talk about it. Talk about the books that excite you with your children, people around you at work, or anywhere.
  • Read, read, and read some more. Read about any and everything that interests you. No matter what it may be, read for the enjoyment of reading.

We Needed Brand New Children’s Books and You Responded!



Thank you for your generosity and supporting our children!

Kudos and Thanks for Craddock Cares

I am one of the advocates at the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network. I need to tell you what a blessing the Craddock Cares bags, full of useful and thoughtful items, bring to our Outreach office. The bags are chock filled with homemade knitted hats, stuffed animals, water, toiletries, blankets, and more. I have had the need to bring several of these to the hospital where I met and worked with young women who were in a very difficult situation. The women were scared, in pain, and highly vulnerable. Hospitals are cold and hospital gowns do not offer much warmth or even the best coverage. The blankets in the care bags have been so useful and so appreciated. My clients commented on how sweet the stuffed animal was, drank the water while at the hospital and one put on the hat for extra warmth. The client care bag helps me as the advocate show our clients that we are there to help and support them. Thank you so much for all you do to help The North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network serve anyone dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault.

Joyce Dorian M.Ed., Ed.S.

SAVA/Community Outreach/Prevention & Education Coordinator
North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Inc.

Welcome to Our Newest Board Member: Janice Glascock

Born in Anacortes, WA, Janice moved with her family to Rock Hill, SC in 1963 where her dad took a new job. Her first job after college graduation was in Eastern Kentucky at a hospital in the heart of Appalachia where she met her future husband, Gale. After starting a family, Gale took a new position in Augusta, GA where they spent 9 years, eventually moving to Marietta, GA. After her retirement, Janice moved to Blue Ridge, GA, where she benefitted from being involved in the community.

Janice has always thoroughly enjoyed little children, making up plays for her smaller cousins, teaching swimming when she was in college and then being blessed with two children of her own. Having spent a number of years living in Appalachia, she has seen the outcomes for disadvantaged children. Being involved with The Craddock Center feels like a good personal fit at this time in her life.

The Hats Make a Difference…Thank You!

“As a former teacher of students who received these hats, I can say they made such a difference…in smiles and warm ears on the playground! Thank you Craddock Center, Carrie and everyone else who cares for the children in our community! We are blessed because of you!”

-Veronica Ellsworth

Thank You Knitters!

The winters in southern Appalachia can be cold and keeping our children warm is a top priority. Each November we give all of our 1,100+ children handmade knitted hats that are donated by knitters and knitting groups.

Once again, your generosity and hard work is helping us with this annual tradition! We have received an abundance of beautiful, wonderfully warm, knitted hats from all over the country. We collect these hats all year long. Please continue to send us the hats that you make throughout the year. We can also pick up hats from knitters close to our area.

You can mail hats to The Craddock Center, 300 Cherry Log Street, #69, Cherry Log, GA 30522.

Call 706-632-1772 for more information.


Back to School Testimonials

Thank you so much to The Craddock Center and Mrs. Sheila for all you do for our Union County Pre-K students. They love the music and stories you share with us!
-Holly Cook, Director Union County Pre-K

The commitment of The Craddock Center is a reason a difference will be made in many childrens’
lives. Thank you for all your hard work!!
-Brian Hoyt, Teacher, Murphy Elementary Pre-K

Save the Date: Songs & Stories featuring John McCutcheon

February 3, 2024, at 3:00pm

The Craddock Center

186 Fred Craddock Drive

Cherry Log, Georgia 30522

Free admission, donations appreciated