Head Start is a federal program focused on early childhood education of young children from low-income families. The program uses age appropriate activities for children three through five, designed to prepare them for Kindergarten. Early Head Start and Head Start programs prioritize enrollment for children in foster care, children with disabilities, and children whose families are homeless.
Recently, Stockman’s Bank provided a $1,000 donation to the SOCAG Head Start Program that was used to purchase supplies for enrolled children in the three Altus centers, the Hollis center, and the Mangum center to use in activities that promote school readiness.
“The generous donations from community partners, such as Stockman’s Bank, help the agency to meet the required twenty percent match to the federal funds received to operate the grant,” said Head Start Program Director, Sheila Clark.
According to data provided by the Office of Head Start, over a million children are served by Head Start programs every year. In 2014 Head Start programs served 884,410 children and their families and Early Head Start programs served 145,308 children and 14,506 pregnant women and their families.
Head Start comprehensive services include:
- Early Learning
- Screenings and follow-up for health, development, and behavior
- Health and safety
- Social and emotional development
- Family goal-setting
- Social services
- Transition services
- Services for children with disabilities
Children’s school readiness is measured by the skills set out in the five domains of the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework:
- Language and Literacy
- Cognition and General Knowledge
- Approaches to Learning
- Physical Development and Health
- Social and Emotional Development
Southwest Oklahoma Community Action Group, Inc. operates a total of six centers; Lincoln, Wilson, and Bailey; all in Altus, a center in Hollis, Mangum, and Elk City. In addition to an environment that promotes learning and development, breakfast and lunch are served each day, and afternoon snacks are served to children in full-day sessions. Transportation is available and there is no charge to the families for Head Start services.
Though Early Head Start and Head Start programs are federal programs and receive grants, those grants just aren’t always enough. It often takes donations from supportive community members, businesses, churches and organizations, to help the program meet some of their needs.
Reach Tinita at (580) 482-1221