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Gwen Hinton Named Director of Adult, Family, and Community Empowerment (AFACE) Programs for Helping Education

From Staff Reports
(July 19, 2023)

Effective, July 19, 2023, Gwen Hinton has been named Director of Adult, Family, and Community Empowerment (AFACE) Programs for Helping Education. Previously, Hinton served as Lead Program Trainer and Coordinator for the AFACE department, where, as the most senior department staff person, she led trainings, program implementation, and grew program impact.

“Gwen has been a strong foundational leader in helping build the AFACE department and expand programmatic implementation and impact,” said William D. Gibson, President & Chief Executive Officer. “Gwen has more than twenty years of leadership with the department’s core programs, which was a key piece to expanding our organization’s reach beyond students, schools, and school districts, to more strategic collaboration with parents and caregivers within the communities we serve, along with the North Carolina Department of Corrections, where our AFACE staff leads programs that improve reading for incarcerated mothers and fathers,” continued Gibson.

As Director of AFACE, Hinton will be responsible for the day-to-day operations, team development, implementation, and program impact. She brings more than 25 years of experience in providing literacy and parenting programming in North Carolina. Hinton has worked with parents in prison who seek to enhance their own literacy, support their children’s reading development, and maintain strong connections with their children while incarcerated. She will now shift from exclusive direct service training to department leadership, which includes the AFACE programs of Motheread/Fatheread, PASTEL (Parents and Schools Together to Enhance Learning), Story Exploring, and BABY (Birth and Beginning Years).

In 2019, Helping Education was asked to take on the dissemination of Motheread, Inc. programs, such as Motheread/Fatheread, Story Exploring, and BABY, following the organization’s closure. Given that both Motheread, Inc. and Helping Education have missions to provide evidence-based educational programs and services to a wide range of youth and adults students (including a focus on supporting individuals from historically underserved and marginalized communities), Helping Education was honored to carry on the impactful work. Helping Education’s goal is to ensure that the internationally renowned Motheread/Fatheread program continues to reach parents and families throughout North Carolina, the United States, and abroad.

“Gwen brings a unique set of professional skills and experience to this director role, holding considerable historical knowledge coupled with a bold vision to expand the impact of AFACE programs,” continued Gibson. “Not only is this important for continued continuity of the AFACE team and our current programmatic support of families and students, but it is incredibly valuable to the future growth of the department and our work across North Carolina and beyond. I am very excited to have Gwen leading the work of an amazing team that is doing really important work,” concluded Gibson.

Prior to joining Helping Education to help establish and launch the AFACE team, Hinton served for more than two decades with Motheread, Inc., where she served as a trainer and implementor of the award-winning Motheread/Fatheread program, as well as Story Exploring and BABY. Prior to her time with Motheread, Inc., Hinton served for many years as a preschool teacher, working with children from ages birth to preschool. Through this early experience came an appreciation of the importance of students and teachers having a strong foundation in literacy. Hinton earned her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences from North Carolina Central University.

Hinton takes over leadership of the AFACE department following the departure of Haruna Suzuki, who led the development of AFACE in 2019 and the integration and implementation of Motheread, Inc. programs and PASTEL through June of 2023. As Helping Education continues to provide equitable literacy support in a wide range of settings, including prisons, Hinton remains critical in ensuring high-quality programming while honoring the rich history and legacy of AFACE programming.

Hinton, who has served in an interim capacity since late June, officially takes over as the Director of AFACE Programs effective July 19, 2023.