Liberty County Head Start held an open house for students’ parents Monday to show how far their little ones have progressed.
Center supervisor Teddra Jakes said parents were invited into the classrooms to see their children’s daily routines.
“I wanted it to be a regular day so parents could see their children’s growth,” Jakes said.
According to the center supervisor, they had a lower-than-expected parent turnout, but the parents who did attend were pleased.
Parent Dorothy Holness said her 4-year-old daughter, Victoria, “has come a long way” in the center’s inclusion classroom.
“She was reserved and used to keep to herself,” Holness said. Her daughter now is more outgoing and plays well with her classmates.
“She knows most of her colors now,” Holness said.
Head Start children learn through meaningful play, inclusion-classroom teacher Beth Peterson said. All the students’ activities are geared toward school readiness.
During the open house Peterson had parents watch their children sign in on the class-attendance sheet.
“Writing their name each morning is part of (their) daily routine,” Peterson said. Parents also were encouraged to complete a puzzle, which is a cognitive activity, with their children. In addition, they created a “rainbow cloud” art project to welcome spring.
Latoya Bryant’s 11-month-old daughter, also named Victoria, is in the center’s Early Head Start program. Bryant said her daughter has been attending the center since she was 4 months old.
“It’s a very good program,” Bryant said. “They’re very consistent.”
The young mother said her baby is learning quickly and is social.
“She’s attached to her teacher,” Bryant said.
Jakes said infants as young as 6 weeks old can attend Early Head Start. The center has 151 children from toddlers to pre-K age, and about eight spots reserved for infants. The supervisor explained the center reserves one of the eight slots for an expectant mother, and once her baby is born, the infant enters the program at 6 weeks of age.
She added this is the first year the center has partnered with the Liberty County School System to serve special-needs students. The school district provides the center a certified teacher and a parapro.
“It’s been a great partnership for us this year,” Jakes said.
Liberty County Head Start is managed by Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority Inc. Head Start is federally funded and supports students by providing meals, health services and transportation, according to coastalgacaa.org. Enrollment is based on income-eligibility requirements.
In addition to Head Start and Early Head Start, the service organization offers low-income residents help with home weatherization, energy and rental assistance, food vouchers, youth leadership and meal-delivery programs for the homebound elderly and infirm.
Along with Liberty County, Coastal GACAA serves Long, Bryan, McIntosh, Tattnall, Glynn, Camden, Evans and Wayne counties.
For more information, call 912-264-3281 or go to coastalgacaa.org.