The first parent meetings of the year are underway! Tonight, West Street and Maywood Parents have their meetings, Tadpoles met last week...everyone is gearing up. Parent meetings are very important to both the program and the families. And they can be a lot of fun too.
This first meeting will be the time to elect parent group officers and Policy Council representatives. If you want to be a part of the leadership of the program countywide, this is a great way to do it. The meeting will also feature a hands-on learning opportunity, some discussion about what parents would like to see happening in the classroom for the upcoming month, and calendar planning. There will be a snack of some kind as well. We provide childcare, so the kids can have fun while we meet, even your non-Head Start/Early Head Start kiddos if you bring them.
Attending events and meetings such as this give you the opportunity to network with other parents, and get to know the teachers even better. You get to make suggestions for the classroom learning your child will experience, and plan activities. Its good for your child too, to help them see that you find their school so important that you will give your time to help out. You can gain valuable leadership skills in the process, and many former parent group leaders and Policy Council members have gone on to school site councils and school board leadership as their child has gotten older.
Take part in your local parent meeting, and be involved in something great!
We're so glad to be back to school and again working with your children. The classrooms are prepped and ready, great, nutritious food is coming from our kitchens and we are ready to learn.
As you probably heard at your parent orientation or during your enrollment home visit, we are striving for a 95% attendance rate this year. We want to see your child in class as much as possible so that they can get every minute of instruction time and be fully prepared to transition to Kindergarten and beyond.
We have provided families with the option to take up to 10 Best Interest Days throughout the year. These are days that would be considered excused absences that you might use for vacations, visiting relatives, attending events, etc. Your child is also excused from school in the event of health exclusions, illnesses like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and head lice. And any time your child is out of class completing Head Start requirements like doctor or dentist appointments, and vaccinations.
Above all else, communication is key.Keep in contact with your teacher! Let someone know if your child will be out of class, tell us if you have a health issue that is contagious so that we can clean up and sanitize the classroom, let us know if you want to use a Best Interest Day. Lets work together to make sure your child gets the most out of their Head Start or Early Head Start Experience!
That's right--we are celebrating our big 5-0....Head Start is 50 Years Old!
This Monday, May 18th is the anniversary of President Johnson's announcement in the White House Rose Garden of the creation of Project Head Start.It was created as one of the programs in that era’s war on poverty and started as an 8-week summer program for children whom would be entering school in the fall. Many of these first program children had never been in a classroom setting before, did not have access to books, and had never experienced the structure of a classroom, so before Head Start they would often be far behind their more affluent peers and would struggle academically. That first year, they served more than 560,000 children. The success of that first summer lead to the program becoming a year-round early childhood education program.
This is part of the speech given May 18th, 1965: "We set out to make certain that poverty's children would not be forevermore poverty's captives. We called our program Project Head Start.
The program was conceived not so much as a Federal effort but really as a neighborhood effort, and the response we have received from the neighborhoods and the communities has been most stirring and the most enthusiastic of any peacetime program that I can remember.
Today we are able to announce that we will have open, and we believe operating this summer, coast-to-coast, some 2,000 child development centers serving as many as possibly a half million children.
This means that nearly half the preschool children of poverty will get a head start on their future. These children will receive preschool training to prepare them for regular school in September. They will get medical and dental attention that they badly need, and parents will receive counseling on improving the home environment.
This is a most remarkable accomplishment and it has been done in a very short time. It would not be possible except for the willing and the enthusiastic cooperation of Americans throughout the country.
I believe this response reflects a realistic and a wholesome awakening in America. It shows that we are recognizing that poverty perpetuates itself.
Five and six year old children are inheritors of poverty's curse and not its creators. Unless we act these children will pass it on to the next generation, like a family birthmark."
If you'd like to celebrate with us, we are hosting Rose Garden Celebrations at each of our centers on Monday at 12:20. We will plant rose bushes to commemorate our first 50 years and head into the next 50!
We were looking at our volunteer numbers for this year. As of right now, the end of April 2015, parents and community members have donated more than 54,000 volunteer hours to making our programs great.
That's right--54,000 hours! Wow, what an amazing community we have!
One of the agencies we collaborate with here in Tehama County is the Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC). Several of our employees serve on the council and participate in many various capacities. One is to provide child abuse reporting training for the community at large.
Tehama County citizens who work with children have an opportunity to learn about child abuse reporting this month. The Tehama County Child Abuse Prevention Council is hosting mandated reporter training for free on February 26th from 6pm to 8pm at the Red Bluff Community Center. The training includes the essentials of reporting, including the definition of a mandated reporter, the history of child abuse reporting and child protection services, and how to file a report in Tehama County. The training will feature a panel of experts from law enforcement, the county counsel’s office and the Child Welfare Department to answer questions about reporting.
“There is nothing more important to our society than the protection of our children,” said Mike Lindsey, Vice Chairperson and Event Coordinator for the Child Abuse Prevention Council. “This training is essential for all persons to take, not just mandated reporters. We all play a key role in ensuring that, if a child appears to be in danger, swift action is taken to protect the child and hopefully mitigate any long term effects.”
The mandated child abuse reporting laws only date back to 1963, when the first laws were passed requiring physicians to report suspected abuse in their patients. The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) was passed in 1974, identifying other classes of child service workers required to report and has been amended a number of times over the years, to now include over 40 categories of individuals mandated to report.
Those interested in the training can register online at http://tinyurl.com/p2elntk or they may call Mike Lindsey at 529-1500 extension 114 to register or for more information.
We are so honored to be hosting the Corning Chamber of Commerce event "Corning in the Evening" tonight at Corning Center. NCCDI has been a member of the Chamber for a while, and staff attends events and meetings regularly, but this is our first opportunity to host the business community at one of our centers and highlight what we do.
People know that Head Start does childcare--they may even know that we are preschool services. They may not know that we offer NAEYC Accredited preschool services. We have high quality programs that prepare children for transition to k-12 school and beyond.
We also work intensively with the families. We value parents and caregivers as a child's first and lifelong teacher, and we work with them to nurture their skills, to help them develop new skills and to connect them to resources and other parents for support. We also provide support for families to be certain that they are receiving the health care they need, and we sometimes drive families to health care appointments to be sure that children come to school ready to learn.
We help parents make contact with education and job opportunities as well. We want the family as a whole to be healthy physically, emotionally, and financially.
Springtime in Tehama County means lots of community events centered around health. Our staff in Corning kicked off the new year with a Family Wellness event at Corning Center. Led by Maria Lowe and Alejandra Rubalcaba, the event featured information about car seats, healthy eating demos, tobacco awareness, a yoga instructor, and nurses doing health screenings. On January 24th, NCCDI also hosted CPR and 1st Aid for our parents in January, to give caregivers of young children the skills to respond in an emergency.
Upcoming on February 7th is the annual Give Kids a Smile day. This collaboration of various community services, dental providers, the mobile dental clinic and others, offers an opportunity for children and pregnant women without health insurance or MediCal to receive dental care. Even if a person has emergency MediCal, they still qualify. Get to this one early, as they begin taking registrations at 7:30am, and end registration at 9am.
Also in February, NCCDI will be offering CPR and 1st Aid in Spanish. We are also teaming up with the Child Abuse Prevention Council to offer Mandated Reporter Training.
In our classrooms, you will also see a health focus--February is Children's Dental Health Month, and the preschoolers will be working hard on learning proper dental hygiene, they'll be talking about going to the dentist, and even have some opportunities in their dramatic play to explore what it is like to be a dentist. It should be a really exciting month.
In-kind is sort of the life-blood of Head Start. Since we are a Federal Government funded program that has a four to one parent volunteer dollar matching requirement, for every four dollars we get from the Federal Government we have to match with one dollar of parent volunteer time.
How are we doing “Making the Match” so far this year …
Our total annual in-kind requirement is $972,526.00. Our parent volunteer In-kind total is $399,505.79 through December. That puts us approximately $10,000 dollars ahead of our goal through December.
Top three in-kind leaders by program type (option of center or Home Base)
Center Base option:
#1 Caterpillar Cottages - $1,360.87 per family
#2 Tehama Center - $557.89 per family
#3 Red Bluff Center - $438.60 per family
Home Base option:
#1 Home Base 3 (Luz) - $4,538.03 per family
#2 Home Base 6 (Maria Estrada) - $4,170.33 per family
#3 Home Base 2 (Ofelia) - $3,647.33 per family
In-kind is monetarily valuable--its true. We couldn't get grant funds without it. But its also valuable to your child's success in the classroom. All of the time you spend, assisting them and their friends with breakfast, cutting out snowflakes for a holiday party, turning out for special events like healthy food nights and parades, and coming to parent meetings show your kids how important their school experience is. It makes school a family affair.
Starting Feb. 2nd you will have a new way to earn in-kind from the comfort of your own home. The read-a-thon will give you a chance to snuggle up on the couch with your little one with a good book. You get to bond, talk about the story, identify what will happen next and all of those great skills, all while earning in-kind time to keep Head Start going!
Your teacher should provide you with a reading homework sheet. Please, fill it out regularly and return it to school. If you need books at home to read with your child, let us know...and enjoy your opportunity to read about the adventures of Pete the Cat, or the Berenstein Bears, or Arthur (or Clifford...or Madeline...or...or...or)!
Note: Thanks much to Mike Lindsey for filling in the blanks about in-kind for me!
First of all, I want to thank everyone who has participated so far in the Show the Love Social Media Campaign--I can't believe how many people are connecting with us on Social Media! Facebook likes have more than doubled since the campaign started last week!
We have some fantastic events that are coming up in the next month or so that I want to highlight. First of all, is our CPR/1st Aid course for NCCDI parents this Saturday from 9 to 4. This is offered at no cost to our parents and certifies them for 2 years. This is great, not only to provide a skill that may help to save a life, but as an skill to put on resumes and job applications--being CPR certified is a requirement of many jobs. The class is currently full, so if you signed up, be sure to show up! If you wanted to take the class but missed out this time, let us know so we can schedule another class.
Give Kids A Smile day is Feb. 7th. This is an opportunity for children 0-18 and pregnant women to get a dental check if they do not have MediCal or dental insurance--and we have been told that they will see you even if you have emergency MediCal. Registration will be from 7:30am-9am and it will fill up, so get there early. It is an Northern Valley Indian Health out North Main by CHP and Home Depot.
On Feb. 12th, NCCDI is hosting the Corning in the Evening Event at Corning Center. This is a movement sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce to allow local businesses and agencies to highlight what they do to an audience of members of the business community. We are so honored to be hosting and to have an opportunity to share our NCCDI philosophy and the wonderful work that our staff, students and families do.
Its an exciting time, and we are gearing up for a really busy Spring. Keep in touch to learn more of what we have planned!
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in Pancakes with Pop at Happy Trails Center. These events, which happen twice a year (once in Corning and once in Red Bluff), are a time for families to have a great pancake breakfast with all the trimmings and talk books. We had books available for families to take home and we discussed some tips for sharing books with your child. We talked about two acronyms, CAR and CROWD.
Ask Questions...and WAIT
Respond by adding a little more...and WAIT
Wh-Questions (Who, What, When, Where, Why)
Since our Read-A-Thon is coming up beginning Feb. 2nd, we wanted to make sure that books are in hands and skills are in place to get reading! Reading to your child is such an important part of their development. Begin reading to them as infants--even if they don't understand the words, they will be working on their language development. Older babies and toddlers can begin recognizing pictures and colors. They can start asking questions and predicting what will happen next. When they are sharing a book with you, kids are learning how to relate to others, they're learning respect for books and for literacy, and they are developing skills.