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B.e.e. Program

Begin Education Early

B.e.e. Staff

The B.e.e program operates in five counties in west Alabama. Information about the county and state staff and pictures of the program sites are available by clicking on the site names below.

Each county site has a supervisor (county agent or coordinator) and two agent/program assistants. One assistan (parent educator) works with the parents and the other (child educator) works with the children enrolled in the program. The children in the B.e.e. program range from 2 to 5 years of age.

Choctaw and Wilcox County also operate Baby B.e.e and Beeing Dads. Baby B.e.e. serves pregnant mothers and parents with children from birth to age two, and Beeing Dads serves noncustodial fathers, encouraging them to become more involved with their children and to play a more active role in their healthy development and school readiness. Also, Tuscaloosa County operates Beeing Healthy, the traditional program with an additional asthma education component.

The B.e.e. program was developed by Dr. Ellen Abell (Extension Specialist and Associate Professor) and Elaine Shields (Choctaw County Extension Coordinator). Dr. Abell is the program director.

Two educators/agent assistants are recruited from the county in which the program is delivered and trained to work with the B.e.e. families. The parent educator/agent assistant is trained to deliver the primary curriculum, Principles of Parenting (published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System), in a one-on-one setting. Hiring requirements for the parent educator/agent assistant include the ability to engage in a mentoring relationship and good organizational skills. Other job specifications include a high school diploma or its equivalent, a demonstrated interest in working with parents about a variety of issues related to the challenges of parenting young children, and sensitivity toward the variety of possible views, behaviors, and goals parents have in regard to child rearing.

The child educator/agent assistant is trained to implement the activities for the children. The child educator/agent assistant must be able to prepare for and conduct individualized, developmentally appropriate lesson plans designed to broaden children's social and cognitive skills through hands-on, pre-literacy activities and materials. Other job specifications include a high school diploma or its equivalent, a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of child development--especially of children ages 2-5--and a personal commitment to children's educational outcomes.

Auburn University

Ellen Abell

Ellen Abell, Ph.D. - B.e.e. Program Director;
Extension Specialist and Associate Professor

Contact Information:
Department of Human Development & Family Studies
203 Spidle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849

Phone: (334) 844-4480
Fax: (334) 844-4515
e-mail: eabell@aces.edu


Bibb County

Sonia Ard

Sonia Ard - B.e.e. Program Parent Educator
Dorcas Gaines - B.e.e. Program Child Educator (not pictured)
Helen Herndon-Jones - B.e.e. Program Supervisor/County Extension Coordinator (not pictured)

Contact Information:
Bibb County Extension Office
175 Davidson Drive, SW
Centreville, AL 35042
Phone: (205) 926-3117
Fax: (205) 926-5114
e-mail: hherndon@aces.edu


Choctaw County


Front Row (left to right): Lavelle Gaines - B.e.e. Program Parent Educator & Elaine Shields - B.e.e. Program Supervisor/County Extension Coordinator
Back Row (left to right): Shiela Sharpe - B.e.e. Program Child Educator, Johnnie Heartfield - Beeing Dads Program, Odessa Turner - Beeing Dads Program & B.e.e. Program Substitute, Sarah Spear - Baby B.e.e. Program

Contact Information:
Choctaw County Extension Office
218 S. Hamburg Avenue
Butler, AL 36904

Phone: (205) 459-2133
Email: eshields@aces.edu


Pickens County


Mozelle Dixon - B.e.e. Program Parent Educator (left) & Lois Duff - B.e.e. Program Child Educator (right) Patti Presley-Fuller - B.e.e. Program Supervisor/County Extension Agent (not pictured)

Contact Information:
Pickens County Extension Office
P.O. Box 271
Carrollton, AL 35447

Phone: (205) 367-8148
Fax: (205) 367-8148
Email: ppresley@aces.edu




Tuscaloosa County


Carolyn Bolden - B.e.e. Program Parent & Child Educator
JoAnn Culpepper - Beeing Healthy/Asthma Educator (not pictured)
Denise Shirley - B.e.e. Program Supervisor/County Extension Agent (not pictured)

Contact Information:
2513 7th Street
Tuscaloosa County Courthouse Annex
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Phone: (205) 349-4630
Fax: (205) 752-2349

Email: dshirley@aces.edu



Wilcox County


Syreeta Dortch - B.e.e. Program Parent Educator (left) & Bertha Murray - B.e.e. Program Child Educator (right)
Yolanda Smith - Baby B.e.e. Program (not pictured)
Charley Pettway & Mildred Brown - Beeing Dads Program (not pictured)
Renetta Atwood - B.e.e. Program Substitutes (not pictured)
Jeannie Hollinger - B.e.e. Program Supervisor/Multi-County Extension Coordinator (not pictured)

Contact Information:
Courthouse Annex, Suite 117
12 Water Street
Camden, AL 36726

Phone: (334) 682-4289
Fax: (334) 682-5354

Email: bholling@aces.edu