Barnwell County First Steps is a local partnership of South Carolina First Steps, the state’s dedicated early childhood initiative. 

As with each local partnership, we operate as an independent nonprofit with a local board and staff.

Because our community has unique needs and resources, we tailor our offerings to best meet the needs of local families.

First Steps was established in 1999 by the South Carolina General Assembly to close the gap on student’s preparedness for success in school. Since the beginning, we have taken a holistic approach to accomplishing our mission, offering services that improve children’s health, strengthen families, expand access to quality early care and education, and help transition rising kindergartners into school.

Because our mission is a shared endeavor, we also mobilize partners in building a more effective and efficient early childhood state system. In our role as the connector and convener of all early childhood serving agencies, South Carolina First Steps operates the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC). Our trustees serve concurrently as ECAC members and our staff coordinates their collaborative efforts to support families and help young children thrive.


Our Board of Directors

Chair, Amanda Daff

Vice Chair, Rosaland Kenner

Secretary, Dr. Vickie Carter-Blocker

Chelsea Calhourn, Jameka Hagood, Doris Jamison, Lt. Eric Kirkland

Our Staff

Executive Director, Tricia Gordon

Program Coordinator, Vacant

Program Assistant, Amie Sanders

Bookkeeper, Shannon O’Berry

Data Specialist, Cynthia Middleton

Quality Enhancement Coach, Ella Mack

Parent Educators:

Parents as Teachers: Amie Sanders, Teresa Jenkins, Sondra Livingston, Tiffany Zieman

AmeriCorps Members:

HIPPY: Ivy Cousin

Family & Community Engagement: Jessica Bradshaw & Courtney Buckmon