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OCO To Expand Oswego Head Start Program

OSWEGO, NY – Children and their families that participate in Oswego County Opportunities Head Start Pre-K program in Oswego will soon enjoy a schedule change that will benefit them both.

Connor Fellows (left) and Wyatt Preeman students enrolled in the Oswego classroom of the Head Start Pre-K Program enjoy some creative coloring.  Provided through Oswego County Opportunities, the Head Start Pre-K Program is available in all nine Oswego County school districts and provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to children and their families.
Connor Fellows (left) and Wyatt Preeman students enrolled in the Oswego classroom of the Head Start Pre-K Program enjoy some creative coloring. Provided through Oswego County Opportunities, the Head Start Pre-K Program is available in all nine Oswego County school districts and provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to children and their families.

Director of OCO Education Services Beth Kazel has announced that the Oswego Head Start program is extending its current four-day classes to five days with extended hours.

This will add a six-hour class and a four-hour class.

The change is the result of an extension grant that OCO received and addresses the Head Start program’s goals.

“We have had several parents say to us that longer classes and the extra day would better suit their needs” said Kazel. “The longer classes are also beneficial to the children as it helps to better prepare them for kindergarten.  It will aid them in adjusting to the longer school days. The opportunity to have more time with children in the classroom allows us to reinforce and enhance the material covered. The additional time will benefit the children academically, physically and emotionally.”

Kazel said that the Oswego Head Start Pre-K program now offers classes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to eventually extend all of our classes to six hours so that we will exceed the minimum requirement of 1,020 hours and offer 1,080 hours of class time over a 10-month period. The ultimate goal of Head Start is school readiness. This new class schedule will help ensure that goal and will make it easier for parents to have their children attend Head Start,” said Kazel.

OCO’s Head Start Pre-K Program, which runs throughout the school year, provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to children and their families.

Children 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, all of which have either a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree in education, a teaching assistant, and a classroom aide to provide a small teacher-child ratio.

Family specialists are also on staff to work closely with parents providing them with information, support, and other services.

“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. We are excited about the changes and are looking forward to spending more quality time with the children and preparing them for a successful transition to kindergarten,” added Kazel.

OCO is currently accepting Head Start Pre-K enrollment applications for the 2017-2018 school year for all of its eight locations.

For more information contact OCO at (315) 598-7689 or (315)-598-4711, or visit www.oco.org.