Jamie Rowe, Copy Editor
Head Start brought its families together Friday for a picnic at Signal Hill Park for Preschool Home-Based Combination Program, which teaches parents how to teach their children in preparation for kindergarten.
“This is one time the families get to see each other,” said the Head Start education specialist for the program, Loretta Curry. “Otherwise they come in every Friday, so they see each other about four times a month.”
The picnic consisted of breakfast and six activity tables set up with a teacher at each one to guide the children and their parents who rotated between the tables. The parents were very much involved with the planning, according to Curry. Parents were helpers and watched children to ensure their safety.
After the activity tables, Ronald McDonald made an appearance and spoke about the Amazing Thinking Machine, or brain.
The program focuses mainly on 4 year olds because they are the next group to go to kindergarten, but this year, the students are mostly 3, with only a couple of 4 year olds.
The program teaches parents about childcare and proactive health care, how to deal with different things children go through, and the community resources available to them.
In addition to the preschool program, Head Start has an Early Head Start Program for children 6 weeks to 2 and a half years in age. Children in this program transition into the preschool program when they turn 3.
Head Start is currently recruiting for next year. Parents who are interested should stop by the main office at 2898 Orange Avenue, between Willow and Spring streets in Signal Hill, or one of the 25 neighborhood centers to fill out an application. Qualification is based on income, with specific spots going to children with special needs.
“The federal government gave us the authority to add more space for disabled children,” Curry said.
Bring evidence of parents’ annual income, the child’s birth certificate, documentation of a child’s disability if applicable, the child’s Social Security card if applicable, immunization records, the parents’ social security card, proof of address and documentation of health coverage if applicable, Curry said. Only families living within the community should apply.
To fill out an application stop by a local Head Start Office listed below:
Signal Hill Locations
Signal Hill (880)
2285 Walnut Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90755
Long Beach Locations
Adult School (824)
3701 East Willow
1858, 1862 Atlantic Avenue
5250 Via Pasillo
Long Beach Boulevard (827)
2236 Long Beach Boulevard
2179 Pacific Avenue