Southampton Head Start hosts families for Thanksgiving feast
Published 9:39 am Saturday, November 29, 2014
The Southampton County Head Start program hosted its annual Thanksgiving lunch for students, their parents and members of the Western Tidewater community on Tuesday afternoon.
The parents were able to interact with their children in the classroom prior to the feast, which included a cornucopia of turkey, stuffing, green beans, bread rolls and a pumpkin spice cake.
“A couple times each year, we allow the parents to come in and meet with the program directors,” said Site Supervisor Dorothy Bryant. “It offers a way everyone to stay connected to the community.”
“We also have police, county administrators and several other important people here to show their support for the program.”
Head Start, founded in Southampton County in 2012, is an early childhood education program that services low-income children and their families. The program aims to ease the transition from preschool to elementary school by providing basic educational needs and establishing an environment outside of the child’s family network.
“We’re not a daycare, but a federally funded program that educates children from 3 to 5-years-old,” said Bryant. “We also offer an Early Head Start program, which begins when the mother is still carrying the child, and then we’re working with the kid from birth.”
Not only does the event allow parents to participate in school activities with their children, but it also gives administrators a way to gauge the program’s successes and failures.
“The parents can come in and give us feedback, whether it’s negative or positive,” said Policy Council Governing Chairperson Mary Duck.
Herself a parent of a child in the Head Start program, Duck feels that she offers a unique perspective.
“It’s important to have someone with a child at Head Start to be the chairperson of the council because we’re able to understand both sides,” said Duck.
“I get to see what is working and what is not working just by talking to my child, but I also get to know things like the budget involved in the activities.”
Moving forward, there are several more opportunities for parents and community members to get involved, including an upcoming lunch with Santa.
“In addition to the fall festival we had last month and today’s Thanksgiving lunch, we’ll also have Santa come to the school in December,” Duck said.
“That way, the parents get to spend time with their children during the holidays.”
Southampton County’s Head Start program is entirely dependent upon its community partners for financial support. For more information on how to get involved or to view a list of items that the program is in need of, visit http://www.childrenscenterva.com/page/get-involved/.