On Sept. 26, Carole Jasper Quarterman, former executive director of the Child Care Coordinating Council of Detroit/Wayne County, Inc. (4C), will be honored by the 4C board of directors and friends of 4C for her 30 years of service at the Fairlane Club, 5000 Fairlane Woods Drive in Dearborn.
All proceeds from the first annual benefit reception and dinner will benefit the newly established Carole Jasper Quarterman Education and Training Fund. The nonprofit 4C has a training institute where it offers classes and workshops for parents and other adults who are working with children.
One core service is training and skills development and educational services.
“In addition, we do family support,” she said. “We have an emergency child care assistance fund to make sure children are cared for during a time of crisis. We do resource and referral where we link individuals — sometimes parents, but oftentimes our colleagues — to resources to serve the families that we’re working with.”
The 4C’s mission is to advocate and empower adults to help children grow to their full potential and well-being. Its educational efforts are targeted towards helping adults understand how children develop, how to best meet children’s needs, and how to best promote their development.
This applies to parents as well as adults in the community who are concerned about the well-being of children. This includes people who work directly with children in a variety of programs, including day-care settings, homeless shelters, juvenile justice programs and recreational programs.
“The idea being that if you’re really going to help children to reach their full potential, you have to know yourself and you have to understand how children grow and develop,” she said.
The 4-C Infant/Toddler Development class is one of the most popular. It teaches not only what to expect at different stages of development, but also what kind of activities can be implemented to encourage language and play. It also offers health and safety precautions.
A workshop on infant sleep safety is also very popular.
Another important workshop focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Quarterman expressed concern about state-level cuts to early care and education programs, such parent education and training, and home visitation.
“Recently it’s come out that kindergarten teachers say as many as 50 percent of the children who come to kindergarten aren’t prepared because they haven’t been exposed to enriching environments, where they know their name, know their letters. know their colors,” she said. “And those early childhood years — that birth to age 5 period — is extremely important.”
Quarterman emphasized that no one person at an organization like 4C does it all. She noted that 4C has had outstanding volunteer leadership from its board of directors.
The Sept. 26 event is really to bring attention to the work and the importance of 4C to the community.
She would like to raise $40,000, citing the agency’s 40th anniversary next year.
Donna Snowden, current executive director, who has known Quarterman for 40 years and worked with her for the past 11, said the best word to describe Quarterman is “inspirational.”
Snowden was amazed when she first came to 4C to see that Quarterman received calls when something happened in the news related to children and children’s families.
“They would always call here to get her take on it,” Snowden said. “I found that extremely impressive.”
She also said that as an employer, Quarterman pushed her staff to do more than even they thought they could.
“As a result, when they left here, or even if they stayed here, they were better off, more prepared to do the work, or to go on and to other work.”
Quarterman, according to Snowden, has cast a very long shadow, but tried not to make the imprint of 4C that of herself. She also said Quarterman has put 4C in such a position that it can go on without her.
“We will always be able to call upon her if we need her, and I think she’d be willing to anything for 4C,” Snowden said.
For her part, Quarterman stressed that 4C will continue to be relevant, and to bring added value to the community.
She is not retiring from her passion; her most immediate plan is to become a literacy volunteer. So many parents, she said, lack basic reading skills.
A VIP reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be at 7 p.m.
For more information, call Katrina Dixon at (313) 333-7797 or Ronda Bozeman at (313) 259-4411, ext. 322