Tyrone Head Start Center holds ‘Open House’

On Tuesday evening, the Tyrone Head Start Center hosted a parent and relative ‘Open House’ to celebrate the beginning of another school year. The event focused on showing parents activities the children have been working on since school began.
There were an expected 20 to 30 children with parents at the Open House last evening. The children did activities in the classroom around books, while the parents socialized and learned about their child’s activities in the program.
Parents worked on their ‘Family Literacy’ binders that will serve as an at-home teaching emergent reading tool that they can use with their children. Each month, the families will receive new activity sheets to work on with their children as they progress toward learning to read.
Head Start is a free federally funded program for income eligible children from the ages of three to five.
Under certain circumstances, the income requirement is waived. There are seven centers in Blair County located in Claysburg, Greenwood, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Hollidaysburg and two in Altoona. Some children receive home-based education. Children attend Head Start during the morning or afternoon session four days per week and receive two meals free of charge.
Also, some classrooms are specifically designed for children who attend Head Start for full day sessions all year round.
Laurie Davis, Family Service Worker at Tyrone Head Start, stated, “We have 48 children in our program. The families and children come here to the pre-school program, my job as a Family Service Worker is to work with the families and work on family partnership agreement, setting goals and do anything social service wise as far as referring to agencies.”
She continued, “Tonight is an activity we do to involve the parents in our program. We are very close with the families, more so than you would find in any other program. Our families are welcomed into our center; they can come in and volunteer with the children, learn about child development, we offer training for adults and we also have parent activities going on throughout the months so the parents can socialize.”
All children participate in the developmentally appropriate curriculum, emphasizing kindergarten readiness, self esteem and problem solving skills, guided by a staff that provides individualized attention to the educational, social and emotional needs of each child.
Davis added, “We really get to know the parents and their family backgrounds so we can provide services that the families actually need, instead of what we think they might need.”
Maureen Adams, Pre-School Teacher at Tyrone Head Start, said that the best benefit of the program and Open House is that it’s held in the evening so parents can attend who have to work during the day.
Head Start as an ‘open door’ policy where parents can come in anytime with their child and play with them, eat with them, and basically get some insight on what’s going on in the classroom.
“The ages are so different, from three to five,” said Adams. “It’s challenging to try and accommodate the little and more immature ones versus the more mature children ready to move on.”
Adams added, “Even if the child isn’t ready to learn, they learn here how to sit in a group, how to participate, how to go to the bathroom and how to be without their parents for a couple of hours. Just with that done, it will help the child so much when he or she goes to kindergarten.”
She noted, “We help set goals for the children. When they go to kindergarten they should be ready for everything that kindergarten will introduce to them.”
Parents are given the opportunity to be an integral part of their child’s education through daytime and evening activities. One such parent of a three year old at Tyrone Head Start, Bobbi Jo Dean, enjoys the benefits that Head Start provides for her child.
“The program helps my child with learning the alphabet, numbers and the basics to get ready for kindergarten,” said Dean. “I think it’s even more of an advantage because they let the parents get as involved as they want to.”
The people of the Tyrone Head Start Center wished to thank Mr. Bill Dixon, of Dixon Tool & Die, for providing the lot the center sits on, because without him the Head Start Center may have had difficulties finding a site for their center. Mr. Dixon is constantly doing renovations at the site to provide the best atmosphere for the workers, children and parents.
To enroll your child in Head Start or the Parent Child Home Program call 946-5247.