Partners in Learning Executive Director Norma Honeycutt is trying to take the local nonprofit to the next level and provide a missing service in Rowan County.
The Post named Honeycutt among its 10 to watch in 2022, as Partners in Learning is in the middle of a campaign to build a new facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The new facility would replace its Catawba College Center, one of two that the non-profit organization operates to provide child care, early childhood education and family services.
The association has a waiting list of hundreds of children whose families are trying to get services. The new facility would also provide clinical space for the association’s applied behavior analysis program. ABA is an early intervention therapeutic method for people with autism.
The technique is standard for improving early outcomes in children with autism, but there is no clinic in Rowan County that offers the service, but PIL recently hired a therapist to start their program and plans to have a. clinical wing in the new facility.
The non-profit organization serves a large number of children with special needs and all of its classrooms are fully integrated.
The association has already raised millions for the new facility and the land for development has been donated by Gerry and Brenda Wood.
Honeycutt, 59, has led the organization for 23 years in its 25-year history. Prior to joining PIL, Honeycutt was Principal of South Rowan Academy in China Grove.
She was born in Maryland but her family moved to China Grove when she was 7 years old. She graduated from South Rowan High School before attending Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, earning a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Charlotte and a master’s degree from UNC-Greensboro.
Honeycutt entered early childhood education because of her love of children. She said her personal experience with children with special needs led her to Partners in Learning because of their mission to include children with special needs.
She led the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, with constantly evolving rules distinct from those of public schools passed to daycares by the state.
In 2022, she hopes to raise the funds the organization needs to move forward with the new facility and begin clinical services.
Who would play you in a movie?
Lucille Boule. She was full of energy and funny. She was a quirky thinker when it came to problem solving and was always able to rally the support of her friends to help her with her shenanigans. She always had a positive attitude and wasn’t going to let anything get in her way. She was ambitious and determined to make a difference.
What would you like for your last meal?
A dessert platter. I have a sweet tooth.
The biggest personal challenge in 2022?
My biggest personal challenge is to continue to step out of my comfort zone to raise the additional funds needed to build Partners In’s new early childhood care and education, childcare and clinical services center. Learning.
The greatest personal hope for 2022?
This pandemic is nearing its end and we remember the lessons we have learned about the growing needs of young children and families in our community. When we help our youngest children have the opportunity to realize their potential, we create the best health, education and economic well-being outcomes for everyone in our community. I hope to lead the way and be on the right track to build our new site at our new location on Martin Luther King Avenue.
Who will you watch in 2022?
Elected officials to see how they choose to “better rebuild our early childhood care and education system”. Regardless of race, family income or postal code, every child deserves a fair opportunity to receive high quality early care and education.
What would you do if you made $ 10 million?
I would build a financial foundation for Partners In Learning and my family by establishing a foundation and trust. My husband and I would also travel more.
What is your reaction to being named one of the “10 to watch?” ”
I am honored and humbled and give God all the glory. I hope I earn this honor by leaving a legacy that changes the life trajectories of my staff, the children and the families I serve.