A program of Oswego County Opportunities (OCO), the Head Start Pre-K Program runs throughout the school year and serves children from each of Oswego County’s nine school districts, at seven centers. Head Start, which enrolls three and four-year-old children, provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to children and their families. The Head Start Pre-K Program is offered at no cost to families and is currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year.
Since 1992 the Head Start Pre-K program has prepared more than 6,200 children to successfully begin Kindergarten. “The Head Start Pre-K program is focused on school readiness,” said Head Start Education Coordinator Kristy Masuicca. “Using a research based curriculum that follows NYS Pre-K learning standards, our early education teachers use a variety of hands-on learning experiences that include the concepts of math, science, and literacy, combined with active play and nutritious snacks that assist children in developing academically, socially, and emotionally.”
Each Head Start Pre-K classroom has a teacher with either a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree in education, a teaching assistant, and a classroom aide to provide a small teacher-child ratio. Family advocates and a nurse are also on staff to work closely with parents and caregivers and provide them with information, support, and other services.
Recognizing that parents are a child’s first and primary teacher Head Start encourage parents to be involved in all areas of their children’s education. The program offers parents the opportunity to share in the Head Start experience. Through volunteering, being involved with parent committees and attending education workshops parents are engaged in their children’s education.
“Head Start teaches children how much fun learning can be, how to work together as a team and the importance of responsibility. Reliable studies have found positive long-term effects with lower rates of grade repetition and special education placement, as well as increased high school graduation rates for Head Start graduates. Head Start children are also significantly more likely to attend college than their siblings who did not attend Head Start. I encourage parents seeking a quality pre-kindergarten program for their three or four year old children to discover the benefits of the Head Start Pre-K program,” added Kristy Masuicca.
For more information about Head Start or to apply for the 2017-2018 school year visit www.oco.org/education or call 315-598-4711 or 1-800-359-1171 to schedule an appointment.
OCO, Inc. is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations. For more information, visit www.oco.org.