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Head Start rally fun, informative

Tours, speech tests given at event for re-enrollment

POSTED: March 21, 2011 10:41 a.m.
Seraine Page/

Aaron Prowell and his son, Curtis Rife, fly kites during the Pre-K/Head Start and Early Head Start re-enrollment rally Friday morning. Prowell said he loves to come out to the school and help the teachers whenever he can.

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Students at the Liberty County Head Start and Early Head Start in Riceboro burned off energy Friday morning by flying kites, scurrying through tunnels and riding tricycles during the center’s re-enrollment rally.

"It’s always a pleasure to do anything with this school," parent Aaron Prowell said as he flew a kite with his son, Curtis Rife. "It’s been a tough challenge trying to keep them up with no wind. If you run fast enough, you can keep it up. It’s good exercise for us and the kids."

The Liberty Head Start/Pre-K/Early Head Start is an entity of the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority Inc., which is a nonprofit community-action agency and a federally funded program, Deborah Humes, center supervisor said.

According to the center’s parent handbook, the Community Action Agencies were established under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s "War on Poverty" initiative.

"The agency’s primary funding sources are federal and state grants, including local contributions and support from organizations such as the United Way," according to the handbook.

"Our program is designed to provide the children the opportunity to develop to their maximum potential," Humes said of the program that serves 182 families and children. "We are a low-income-based program,

however, all students’ — regardless of income status — names must appear on our waiting list in order to be contacted for enrollment."

The program offers services for pregnant mothers, infants and special-needs children as old as 5. The center has 10 classes on campus that are divided into age groups, Humes said.

Throughout the day, parents looking to enroll their children were given tours of the
facility. Speech pathologist Leslie Johnson talked with attendees and conducted speech testing before enrolling students into the program. Humes said the goal is to have a full enrollment status by May 2.

"This morning has been a regular morning for us," teacher Teddra Jakes said as her 3- and 4-year-olds played in a colorful pop-up tunnel. "They enjoy it a lot."

Jakes said she also was happy to see parents — mostly fathers — involved in the morning yard activities with students at the center.

"In my classroom, they’re really involved," Jakes said. "If it’s a big deal to me, it is a big deal to the students because they hear about it all week long.

 

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