Head Start recruits preschoolers


By Sue Cody

Head Start 1
Head Start in Clatsop County is recruiting 3- and 4-year-olds to join their free preschool. Head Start’s focus is families with incomes at or below the federal poverty guidelines. Approximately 100 openings are available, said Liz Visser, Clatsop Area supervisor for Child & Family Development Programs.

Now in its 50th year, Head Start addresses the health and education of the child and family, offering assistance in finding medical and dental care, vision and hearing screenings for the children, and nutritional advice. The whole family is included in the learning process, through home visits and involvement with social services.

The program works with the Regional Education Service District on developmental, social and emotional screening.

“The more we work with the whole child, the bigger impact we can have on the child’s education,” said Visser.

Head Start 2The teachers are busy setting up the classrooms with activity centers where the children can explore computers, books, a kitchen area, building blocks and hands-on stations.

Because of transportation costs, and cuts to public transportation, parents are responsible for getting children to the centers. Some stipends for gas are available. Carpooling has become a popular option. “This creates a positive community of parents willing to get the kids to school,” Visser said.

Federal Poverty Guidelines for a family of four is $24,250 a year.

Head Start 3There are three Head Start sites in Clatsop County: Seaside, Warrenton and Astoria. The sites can serve 209 students, 114 of those slots are in Warrenton. Each location has a morning and afternoon session of four hours, four days a week, Monday through Thursday. Meals are served in the dining rooms. Classes will begin Sept. 21.

For more information, visit http://www.nworheadstart.org
To register, call:
Warrenton: 503-861-9681
Astoria: 503-325-5421
Seaside: 503-738-0873
Administrative office: 503-556-3736