While many people realize Head Start is a program for low-income preschool-age children, they likely know little else about it.
Since 1965, Erie-Huron Counties Community Action Commission, Inc. (EHCAC) has been operating Head Start programs in Erie and Huron counties. EHCAC Head Start programs are federally funded, locally administered, comprehensive child development programs designed by experts in early childhood education and development.
Most children in the program attend 3 1/2 hours classes Monday through Thursday. Also, Head Start operates four full-day classrooms: one at the Kaleidoscope Center in Sandusky, one at the Norwalk Gerken Center, and two at the agency's facility in Willard. Children participate in the full-day classroom settings when parents are at work or go to school fulltime.
Once a child is enrolled in Head Start, he or she may remain in the program until eligible for kindergarten, and does not have to leave the program if the parent loses his or her job or starts to earn "too much" money.
"EHCAC is funded for 302 children for both Erie and Huron counties," said Janice W. Warner, executive director. "I am proud to say that we have maintained full-enrollment, and we have had a waiting list for the Sandusky area."
Head Start's activities help children grow mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. The staff recognizes that parents are the first teacher of their children, and they encourage parent involvement in all activities. In addition, EHCAC uses the Head Start National Reporting System, which is an assessment tool that focuses on measuring the children's ability in three areas: vocabulary, letter recognition and early math.
"The high scope curriculum prepares the children for a successful year in kindergarten, by measuring the child's ability throughout the school year," said Donna Drummer, head start director. She wants to let people know that the program's student rate above the national averages in language, vocabulary, and early math skills. And this is because teachers continually update parents on the child's progress and suggest at-home activities, Drummer added.
Head Start is accepting applications for the 2007-2008 school year. If you would like to learn more about Head Start, call Drummer at (419) 625-2214, Ext. 13 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.