Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – The official mascot for Oswego County Opportunities’ upcoming Bowl O’Gold Bowling Tournament, Patty McGold, discovered the importance of the Oswego County Head Start Pre-K Program when he visited children at the Cleveland Center in Cleveland.
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. 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. “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.”
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.
OCO’s Bowl O’ Gold official mascot, Patty McGold, is visiting various OCO sites throughout Oswego County as it reminds community members of OCO’s Bowl O’ Gold Bowling Tournament that will be held March 10 from noon to 6 p.m. at Lakeview Lanes, Route 3 in Fulton.
Registration is now open for 5-person teams, with choice of two flights, noon – 2:30 p.m. or 3 – 5:30 p.m.
Flights will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Businesses and individuals may also donate door prizes for the drawings and the silent auction.
There also a limited number of opportunities for businesses and organizations interested in becoming a major sponsor of OCO’s Bowl O’ Gold Bowling Tournament.
For registration or sponsorship information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 315-598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at www.oco.org.
OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org