Twelve local Head Start teachers get schooled

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Twelve Belmont County Head Start teachers and 12 teaching assistants attended a staff retreat and training at the Days Inn at 52601 Holiday Drive on Thursday. The eight-hour training was conducted by Shawn and Sheryl Brown, heads of Role Model Productions. The Browns are consultants for early childhood classrooms around the country.

“We use music, poetry, story-telling, to reach into a child’s mind and plant seeds for social and emotional development. Right now it’s about class. It’s instructional support, classroom support, and classroom management,” Shawn Brown said. “Our message is to make learning fun. If you’re working with preschoolers, and they’re not having fun, something’s wrong.”

The Browns operate under the brand “The Super Fun Show,” which is a program offering children’s concerts and CDs. Brown says he has shown teachers through concerts how to use music to manage children in large groups.

“I show them how to use the music for transitions, for exercise, for curriculum enhancement, and establishing routine and order. It can all be done with music,” Brown stated.

Role Model Productions was developed by Brown in 1993 in Southern California to work with inner-city at risk youth, and has now grown to be an educational entertainment company operating nationwide. Sheryl Brown is also a licensed marriage and family therapist.

The couple’s seminar offered advice on analyzing children’s social and emotional state, imagining the world through a child’s eyes, avoiding memorization to focus on input and opinion learning, developing reasoning skills, and much more in the educational domain.

Education and Mental Health Manager Fran Steed said the training was successful, allowing the teachers to gain valuable knowledge.

Head Start is a child development preschool program operating under the Community Action Commission of Belmont County. Children in the Head Start program are taught basic skills required for kindergarten such as shapes, colors, numbers and letters, in addition to cooperation, sharing and social skills. There are six centers with a total of eleven classrooms located in Martins Ferry, Barnesville, Flushing, St. Clairsville, Bellaire and Powhatan Point. The Head Start centers are open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Applications are currently being accepted and can be found at Call 740-633-8964 for more information.

Warner may be reached at