Belmont County Head Start accepting applications for 2018-19 school year

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Head Start program, under the direction of Community Action of Belmont County, is still accepting applications of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old for the 2018-19 school years.

Head Start is a federally funded preschool program and is Ohio Day Care Licensed, and 10 percent of enrollment can be children whose family earns more than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Head Start is mandated to first enroll those at or below the poverty guidelines and preschoolers with a special need, a handicap or are disabled. Verification of all family income must accompany the application for a child to be considered for enrollment.

It is a free preschool child development program with classes at six locations in the county. Sites are in the communities of Barnesville, Flushing, St. Clairsville, Martins Ferry, Bellaire and Powhatan Point.

To produce positive effects, Head Start is designed to work with the family in developing the whole child, including social and emotional development and self-regulation. Classes are four hours a day, Mondays-Thursdays with a snack and lunch served daily. Children are introduced to pre-readiness skills, such as colors, shapes, letter recognition, math, language, and literacy development.

Parents are welcome to volunteer in the classroom, arrange field trips, represent their center at monthly policy council meetings, join the parent committee, decorate bulletin boards, and share their musical talent, their love of reading or their creative ability with the children.

Studies show that children starting kindergarten without first attending a preschool program enter school an estimated 18 months behind their peers. It is not too late to give your child a head start, call 740-695-0293, ext 5.

Head Start Teachers, at a minimum, have an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education or related field. A child development associate is requirement for the teaching assistant/family service specialist. Call 740-695-0293, ext. 268, if you are interested in educating today’s preschoolers and tomorrow’s teachers, emergency responders, store managers, community leaders, nurses, chiefs, truck drivers, news reporters and parents.