;

OCO Guardian Angel Gets A Head Start

FULTON, NY: The honorary head pin for Oswego County Opportunities’ upcoming Bowl-A-Fun, the Pink Guardian Angel, learned the importance of the Oswego County Head Start Pre-K Program when it visited children at the Pinewoods Center.

Head Start, which runs throughout the school year, serves children from each of Oswego County’s nine school districts and provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to children and their families.

The Pink Guardian Angel visits the Pinewoods location of OCO’s Head Start Pre-K Program. From left are: Ciara Dillingham, Nathaniel Holmes and Head Start teacher Monica Wurster.
The Pink Guardian Angel visits the Pinewoods location of OCO’s Head Start Pre-K Program. From left are: Ciara Dillingham, Nathaniel Holmes and Head Start teacher Monica Wurster.

Since 1999, more than 4,600 children have been students of the Head Start Pre-K program in Oswego County and have reaped the many benefits the program offers.

Reliable studies have found positive long-term effects with lower rates of grade repetition and special education placement, as well as increased high school graduation rates for Head Start graduates. In addition, Head Start children are significantly more likely to attend college than their siblings who did not attend Head Start.

According to Heather Crofoot, education / community services assistant with OCO’s Head Start Pre-K, the goal of Head Start is school readiness by enhancing the social, physical, and cognitive development of children.

“This is accomplished through hands-on learning experiences, active play, and nutritious meals and snacks,” explained Crofoot. “We also recognize that parents are a child’s first and primary teacher and encourage parents to be involved in all areas of their children’s education. Through volunteering, being involved on parent committees, policy groups, and attending education workshops, parents are engaged in their children’s education.”

Crofoot added that children in the Head Start Pre-K Program enjoy a wide variety of activities that encourage learning particularly in the areas of literacy, math, and science.

“Each Head Start Pre-K classroom has a teacher, a teaching assistant, and a classroom aide to provide a small teacher-child ratio. Family advocates are also on staff to work closely with parents providing them with information, support and other services,” she said.

Head Start Pre-K is provided at no cost to families.

Families with incomes at or below federally set guidelines are eligible to apply.

Head Start is currently accepting applications for enrollment and will host open houses at each location during April.

Those interested in learning more about Head Start, or applying for enrollment, may call 315-598-4711 or toll free at 1-800-359-1171.

Applications are also available at the following locations:

Williamstown Community Center, 2910 A County Route 17, Williamstown

April 4, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and April 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street, Fulton

April 4 and 27 – 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Discovery Day Care, 80 County Route 59, Phoenix

April 5 and 27 – 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Fort Ontario, Oswego

April 4 – 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Hamilton Homes, Oswego

April 28 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Snow Memorial Building, Jefferson Street, Pulaski

March 31 – 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Lura Sharp Elementary School, 2 Hinman Road, Pulaski

March 31 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

St. Mary’s Church, 48B State Route 49, Cleveland

April 8 – 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and April 29 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Pink Guardian Angel is visiting various OCO sites throughout Oswego County as it reminds community members about OCO’s 10th annual Bowl-A-Fun and the announcement of the winner of the Golden Opportunities raffle that will take place April 2 at Lakeview Lanes.

For more information, visit www.oco.org