About Us

Learn about our mission, values, and who we are.  Meet our Board Members, who are crucial to our success, along with the Laurens County First Steps staff!


In collaborate with other entities, Laurens County First Steps helps local families and caregivers prepare their children for school success by maximizing public and private community resources to deliver, enhance and expand high-quality early childhood services. 


The years of early childhood are a critical window of development during which much of human potential is shaped.

Families are the single most important influence on the development of their young children.

The work of supporting families and caregivers is a collaborative effort between state and local stakeholders within the public, private and faith sectors.

School readiness is the result of a child’s development in many areas, with each contributing to the child’s success.

Services must be individualized and adaptable to meet the unique needs of children and families.

We value, and demonstrate in our collaborative work and advocacy, diverse perspectives in the development of public policy and programs.

To achieve desired results, services must be high-quality and grounded in strong evidence. First Steps operates within a culture of accountability.

Laurens County First Steps Staff

Toni Able, Executive Director

Lisa Crisp – Parent Educator

Kathryn Meadows, Part-time Parent Educator, Director of Child Care Provider Training

Partnership Board

  • Kena Cox, Chair
  • Laurie Counterman, Secretary
  • Jennifer Abercrombie
  • Jenn Adams
  • Jervelle Fort
  • Valerie Gaines
  • JC Whitmire
  • Dr. Shebby Neely Goodwin
  • Meredith Hutchinson
  • Jennifer Nelson
  • Renita Barksdale
  • Olivia Crotts
  • Darren L. Thames