Local Head Start program seeks students
Want to get your youngster enrolled in Head Start? Now’s your chance.
The Head Start program at Chugiak’s CCS Early Learning has 10 spots available for the coming school year, which starts Wednesday, Sept. 4.
The program for children ages 3 and 4 typically has a waiting list, but due to funding cuts caused by sequestration more kids are being served in Chugiak-Eagle River, according to executive director Mark Lackey.
Though he had to make staff cuts, Lackey said he didn’t want to reduce the number of children being served. So, he decreased the enrollment in Palmer and added spots in Chugiak due to the larger building size.
Along with Chugiak and Palmer, CCS has centers in Wasilla and Meadow Lakes.
Chugiak’s Head Start program has three classrooms of 20 students. The half-day morning program runs Tuesdays through Fridays.
“It’s a very high quality pre-school program,” Lackey said.
Assessments are conducted before school starts, mid year and after school lets out, Lackey said, to help CCS tailor a specific plan for each student.
“All the instruction we do is individualized for each student,” he said. “We work with parents and set goals.”
CCS also conducts monthly home visits for Head Start students and works closely with parents, Lackey said.
“They’re very involved in our program,” he said.
The program focuses on social skills, cognition, pre-reading and pre-math.
“Our whole mandate is just to get them ready for kindergarten,” Lackey said.
Students are served breakfast and lunch and transportation is available for some kids.
The skills children learn in Head Start are invaluable, Lackey said, and the response over the years couldn’t be better.
“We consistently get very, very positive comments from parents,” he said.
Though the program is primarily designed for low-income families, Lackey said all local parents are encouraged to apply.
Enrollment is not conducted on a first come, first served basis, Lackey said. Preferential treatment will be given to homeless children or those in foster care, kids with disabilities and/or low-income families, he said.
To enroll in the Head Start program, call CCS Early Learning at 688-2660 before Sept. 4. Enrollment forms and more information are available online at www.ccsalaska.org.
Contact Mike Nesper at694-2727 or [email protected].