May 26, 2000


Head Start Fall Recruitment Drive Underway

Neighborhood House Association — Head Start is actively recruiting families to participate in its Fall 2000 session. The Head Start non-traditional hours program is looking for families with parents who are working, training or in school especially early mornings or at night. The newly expanded hours of operation include morning, evening and some Saturday sessions at selected centers.

What is Head Start?

Head Start is the most successful federally funded program for children ever created. Over the past 35 years, it has touched the lives of tens of thousands of low-income preschool children and their families in San Diego County. Head Start is operated by community-based organizations, like Neighborhood House Association and the Metropolitan Areas Advisory Committee (MAAC) Project. Neighborhood House has operated the largest of San Diego County's Head Start programs since 1976. The Head Start program had only a few centers and several hundred children enrolled at that time. The program has grown significantly; today there are over 75 centers with more than 7,000 families and their children participating in the program.

Head Start gives low-income and special-needs three-to-five olds a chance to grow up happy and healthy by providing them with educational, social, medical and nutritional services. The focus is on the development of a child with special attention paid to individual strengths and needs. Children with special-needs are "mainstreamed" into the regular program. After completing the Head Start program children leave excited about learning, confident in their own abilities and prepared for kindergarten. Head Start's philosophy is "Parents are the primary educators of their children." Parents are encouraged to become classroom volunteers and others serve as Policy Council members where they have an active voice in setting policy for the entire Head Start program.

Goal-Driven Service

Delivery System

Head Start has developed a "Goal-Driven Service Delivery System" that works to Identify and prioritize the child's and family's goals, establish a family partnership agreement, provide needed support services, monitor progress in attaining the goals and recognize and celebrate with the family when they achieve their developmental goals.

Head Start also offers support for parents in child rearing, education and creating the opportunity for family self-sufficiency. Classes and workshops are offered for parents in nutrition, parenting, and developmentally appropriate activities for their children. Some parents also receive employment training and tutoring. If a parent is interested in obtaining a high school General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or pursuing another adult educational opportunity, help is available.

Partnerships and

Collaborations

Head Start also helps families by providing assistance with other problems such as drug or alcohol abuse, job loss or lack of housing. Head Start forms partnerships with other organizations and agencies to help meet the family's needs.

Partners include: the County of San Diego, SDSU, UCSD, YMCA, Children's Hospital, San Diego Unified School District and 17 other local School Districts, to name a few.

Mobile Resources Network

Head Start is a catalyst for change in the San Diego community. One example is the Head Start Mobile Services Network. Consisting of five vans dedicated to providing quality medical, educational and nutritional resources to children and families right where they live.

Volunteers

Volunteers are an essential part of the Head Start program. Parents, community members, students and seniors donate time to Head Start. Whether in the classroom, office or playground, Volunteers make Head Start a comprehensive program for children and their families.

Head Start is 80 percent federally funded and 20 percent locally funded. The local 20 percent comes from cash contributions and in-kind donations of goods or services.

Volunteer services take a variety of forms including cooking, teaching music and helping to plant gardens. Volunteers also help with field trips, painting classroom, repairing playground equipment and filing records in administrative offices.

Most importantly, volunteers give the children one-on-one attention and encouragement. Whatever your skill, Head Start has a place for you. Volunteering is an extraordinary experience guaranteed to provide you with personal fulfillment and pride.

If you have any questions or if you would like information about the Fall Semester Head Start recruitment please call (888) 873-5145.

If you would like to support Head Start with a financial or an in-kind donation please call (858) 715-2642. Whatever support you offer will be greatly appreciated and will make Head Start an even stronger community resource.

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