“My 5-year-old grandson transitioned to Head Start at Focus: HOPE from Early On. He was removed from his mom and placed with me, so he had some anger issues and special learning needs. I was concerned about bringing him into a classroom setting. I wasn’t sure he’d get the attention he needed. When we got to Focus: HOPE though, one of the site specialists, Ms. Bell, and some of the other staff gave him one-on-one time and made him feel comfortable.
He had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that made sure he had help to work through his emotions and the support he needed to be a good student. It’s not easy knowing your child is struggling. You have to set your feelings about it aside and get him the help he needs. So much is possible at this age. By helping him when he’s young, some of the challenges can be treated or redirected at this age.
I always tell my grandson that he just has a special way of learning. Head Start did a great job of including him in the classroom activities. When he got one-on-one help that was just his special learning time. Because of that, he made tremendous progress in preschool. Now he’s doing great as a kindergartner.
His younger brother is in Early Head Start at Focus: HOPE. He’s 1 and has been here since he was 6-weeks-old. He was born with some addictions, so he has an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). I was worried about bringing a little baby to a learning center, but just like with his brother, the Early Head Start staff took care of us and made us comfortable. They helped me with clothing, diapers, and other resources. If I needed it or they thought I needed it, they were there offering support.
It’s made my life easier to know that when I drop the kids off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that they’re safe, they’re learning, and they’re being cared for. The staff has helped me with referrals, like counseling services. I had transportation issues, and they partnered me up with another parent so that we could help each other.
There are so many good things to say about this program. I would encourage any parent to give Head Start a try. The teachers and staff listen to your concerns. They get to know your children. They help your child and you, the whole family.”