Head Start celebrates Week of the Young Child

A family fun event to kick-off The Week of the Young Child was hosted by the Anoka County Head Start Center in Coon Rapids April 30.

It’s called “goop,” but it was also a sensory calming activity for children at the family fun event at the Anoka County Head Start Center April 20. Trying out the “goop” were, left to right, Head Start teacher Monique Reyes, Joanhy Ariza, 3, Aldair Ariza, 4, and Ezekiel Mbemeh, 3.

It’s called “goop,” but it was also a sensory calming activity for children at the family fun event at the Anoka County Head Start Center April 20. Trying out the “goop” were, left to right, Head Start teacher Monique Reyes, Joanhy Ariza, 3, Aldair Ariza, 4, and Ezekiel Mbemeh, 3.

For two hours that morning children under the age of five from both the center and home-based Head Start programs and their families took part in hands-on learning activities provided by the Head Start teachers.

The Head Start center has 450 children between the ages of three and five, while the home-based program, with 60 enrolled, is for kids under three.

“The kids were learning while having fun,” said Janet Lucy, Head Start child development services coordinator.

According to Leah Cason, Head Start family and community partnerships coordinator, the program is doing “amazing things” building toward the future.

In fact, Cason said the activities at the family fun event were designed to get the children ready for kindergarten in such subjects as math and science.

“This is what Head Start is all about, bringing children, families and the community all together,” she said.

Lots of materials used at the family fun event were donated by businesses in the community, Lucy said.

Head Start, which is operated by the Anoka County Community Action Program, is a free comprehensive preschool program for lower income families with children up to the age of five.

It provides educational, health, nutrition and social service assistance to children and their families who are income eligible.

Any families enrolled in the MFIP program, receiving SSI and having foster children are eligible even if their annual income exceeds the current guidelines.

Available Head Start programs are full-day, full year; part-day, part-year; and home based.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com


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