Raelynn loves to paint. In her classroom, she's gotten to explore many different ways of painting with brushes, fingers, ice cubes, and even bubbles. While Raelynn enjoys the opportunity to create, her mother, Kaylee, loves being able to talk through parenting questions, troubleshoot, and learn new parenting techniques. “It's nice to be able to discuss with people who know and who have been there,” she says.
The family started at the Laurelville center two years ago when Raelynn was three years old. As the oldest of three children, the experience at Head Start has provided time for her to connect with kids her own age. Those relationships carry over from the classroom and form connections between families in the community. They also lay the groundwork for bonds to form as children graduate from Head Start and begin elementary school.
Getting prepared for success at school is another reason Kaylee is glad her daughter attends Head Start. “She's becoming more independent,” Kaylee says, without this experience, “she would not have as many opportunities to learn and grow.”
HAPCAP operates a total of six Head Start centers, two in each of the counties we serve, as well as offering home-based programs. Children can attend between the ages of three to five years old. While at Head Start each child can learn through structured and unstructured play. They also receive free health and dental assessments along with well-balanced snacks and meals.
Studies show that children who attend Head Start programs are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education. They are also more likely to demonstrate positive parenting techniques when they become parents themselves.
This program is just one way that HAPCAP is putting opportunity in action for people living in Southeast Ohio.