New Hanover County Schools




Allison Wine named 'Children's Champion'

Allison Wine named 'Children's Champion'
New Hanover County Schools
Allison Wine named 'Children's Champion'
allison wine headshot

Allison Wine, a behavior specialist with New Hanover County Schools Pre-K, was named "Children’s Champion" Thursday by Smart Start of New Hanover County.

The award recognizes individuals who “go above and beyond for young children and their families” during children’s first 2,000 days of life, from birth to age 5. 

Ms. Wine shapes the classroom experiences of Pre-K students in nine schools and more than 50 classrooms across the county.
She helps teachers set up classrooms based on research on the neuroscience and social-emotional lives of toddlers, as well as to identify children who might need additional support. She also connects families with important resources and tools, so they can reinforce at home the strategies being used at school.
Ninety percent of brain growth happens by the time kids start kindergarten, so Pre-K learning is critical to students’ future success, Wine said. 
Allison wine poses after recieving award
“Our goal in Pre-K is to set the foundation for school and learning so that children can feel safe, loved, and their brains can be built,” she said. “We know that when nervous systems are activated, the brain is not able to learn. We teach children to identify those emotions or sensations, [give them] self-regulation strategies, and encourage them to practice the calm down steps.”
Ms. Wine received her recognition at the annual Smart Start Children’s Champions Fundraiser Thursday. Since 1993, Smart Start of New Hanover County has served as a local leader in developing a comprehensive, collaborative approach to meeting the needs of all children aged birth-5 in the community. 
Finalists this year included Victoria Carrai for Fit for Fun, Dr. Bobbi Fitzsimmons of the Cameron Art Museum, Edna Lancaster of the Cape Fear Rotary Club, Steve McCrossan of NourishNC, Janice Padron of Coastal Horizons, and J’vanete Becton Skiba of the NHC Resilience Task Force. 
For our youngest students, Wine said, behavior goes hand-in-hand with curriculum. 
“We all can learn to see behavior as a missing skill that needs to be taught versus using punishment, where teaching is not often included,” she said. “We are building not only the foundation for children and their families as they enter school, but also the foundation for a resilient community.”
Allison Wine is congratulated on her award
For more information on Smart Start NHC, visit

Enrollment for New Hanover County School’s free, full-day Pre-K is open now. For more information, visit