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September 24, 2018

October is Head Start Awareness Month


Head Start was an eight week summer program for young children of low-income families created in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson “War on Poverty.”

It is now a year-long pre-k program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to children and their families.

Skylar Westcott and her dad, Kenneth Westcott, paint with water colors during the recent “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.” Skylar is a student at the Cleveland Center of Oswego County Head Start Pre-K. Head Start recognizes that parents are a child’s most important teacher and encourages their involvement.

Skylar Westcott and her dad, Kenneth Westcott, paint with water colors during the recent “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.” Skylar is a student at the Cleveland Center of Oswego County Head Start Pre-K. Head Start recognizes that parents are a child’s most important teacher and encourages their involvement.

As the longest running national school-readiness program in the United States, more than 25 million children aged three through five have participated in Head Start since it began 47 years ago.

This year alone there are nearly one million children enrolled in Head Start. In all, there are more than sixteen-hundred different Head Start programs across the country.

These programs are responsible for operating more than 48,000 classrooms in every state and practically every county in the country.  Since 1999, more than 4,400 children have been students of Head Start Preschool in Oswego County.

On average, children that have attended Head Start rank higher in language, literacy, social conduct, and physical development than their non-Head Start peers. Head Start children are also significantly more likely to complete high school and attend college than those who did not participate in the program. Head Start recognizes that parents are a child’s first and primary teacher.

In Oswego County, OCO Head Start Pre-K enrolls 248 children at eight centers located throughout the county.

Each center has a team of staff who partner with families to provide education, parent involvement, nutrition, medical, dental, transition, mental health, and disability services. Each classroom has a teacher, teacher assistant, and classroom aide who provide children with opportunities to engage in a variety of educational and social activities to prepare them for a lifetime of learning.

In addition, family advocates work closely with parents providing information, support, referrals, parenting classes, and helping meet goals set by the families.

Staffing at centers also include cooks and nurses.

Operated by Oswego County Opportunities, Head Start Pre-K accepts enrollment of children from all nine school districts in Oswego County.

Head Start accepts applications for enrollment year-round.

For more information about the Oswego County Head Start Pre-K program please call 598-4711 or 800-359-1171.

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