Get Set Transylvania County
Posted by Transylvania County on October 26, 2018

The Transylvania County Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) announced today that its collaborative of over 24 local organizations will combine efforts to help the area’s youngest children under a new name, Get Set Transylvania. The ECI announced the name change during HalloweenFest in downtown Brevard on Saturday, October 27th. The ECI also celebrated its new partnership with Sesame Street in Communities, a nationwide initiative that supports parents, caregivers, and community providers in their efforts to give all children a strong and healthy start.

Officials unveiled the new brand and offered information on how Get Set Transylvania will tailor resources for parents and caregivers specifically needed for its youngest citizens to thrive.   

Get Set Transylvania was chosen as the new name because it symbolizes the focus of so many fine organizations on growing our children, ages 0-5, by using all the tools and resources we can muster,” said Transylvania County Manager Jaime Laughter. “We are committed to building kindergarten readiness, wellness, security and educational initiatives that will help ensure the health and happiness of our youngest citizens.”

The Early Childhood Initiative formed in 2015 when Transylvania County organizations and government officials recognized the need to focus and align efforts on the well-being of its smallest children. Over the past three years, the collaborative has received recognition from Sesame Workshop and from the state for its exemplary work building such a strong initiative in a rural community.

North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues highlighted efforts made by Transylvania’s Early Childhood Initiative through Transylvania County Commissioner Page Lemel’s presentation during the statewide Kidonomics workshops. Lemel’s advocacy led to the connection with Sesame Workshop.  State Senator Chuck Edwards and Representative Cody Henson led the effort to secure $50,000 in state funding to help support the ECI, now Get Set Transylvania, as it embarks on its new partnership with Sesame Workshop.  

Get Set Transylvania aims to enhance the capabilities of caregivers and strengthen the relationships among organizations and programs essential to a child’s lifelong learning, health, and behavior.

“Today’s children represent our future workforce in Transylvania County,” said Lemel, Vice Chair of the Transylvania County Commission. “Research shows that the experiences we have as a child impact our ability to learn, grow and function as an adult. Transylvania County’s economic future depends on how we help our youngest citizens navigate through their foundational years. That’s why Get Set Transylvania will continue to advocate for a focused approach to early childhood not only in our community but across the state as well.”

Laughter added that the new brand launch is a first step. “As an initiative made up of over 24 different organizations, Get Set Transylvania has a unique opportunity to provide understanding and access to all the tools we provide for children, parents and caregivers. We want Get Set Transylvania to serve as a key resource for parents to find out information from many local organizations.”

Get Set Transylvania focuses on issues facing Pre-K children, ages 0-5, in Transylvania County. Started in 2015, the Transylvania County Early Childhood Initiative and its 24 local organizations released the State of the Young Child in Transylvania County.  This report highlighted the unique obstacles facing the county’s youngest citizens and underscored the short- and long-term economic development benefits that come from investing in young children. Now known as Get Set Transylvania, the initiative focuses on providing resources and tools to aid parents and caregivers that work with small children every day, collaborate to enhance services for families, and advocate for public policy improvements. For more information, please visit

Partners include: Brevard College, Community Playgroups, El Centro, Family Place, Foster Grandparent Program – Land of Sky, Hendersonville Pediatrics, Keystone Camp, Lee McMinn, Mountain Sun Community School, Rise and Shine, SAFE, Smart Start of Transylvania County, Southmountain Children and Family Services, The Children’s Center of Transylvania County, Transylvania County Administration, Transylvania County Commissioners, Transylvania County Department of Social Services, Transylvania County Library, Transylvania County New Adventure Learning Center, Transylvania County Parks and Recreation, Transylvania County Schools, Transylvania Public Health, United Way of Transylvania County, Western Carolina Community Action.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Sesame Workshop is active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit

To download Get Set Translyvania images, click here.