MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. (WALA) – A head start center got a bit of a facelift Thursday, thanks to a group of volunteers.
FOX10 took part in a volunteering event we’re calling “Day of Caring” at the Magnolia Springs Head Start Center in Baldwin County. Magnolia Springs Head Start provides free pre-school to children in the area.
Administrators said Head Start is an important first step in preparing children for academic success.
LEARNING TO LOVE READING
Four-year-old Madison Barlow is getting ready to enter her second year at the center and was at the facility Thursday looking at books. Madison’s grandmother said the head start program here is getting her ready for school.
Kathy Barlow said, “It basically helped her to learn how to interact with other kids. Now, she’ll be in the pre-K program this year, so, I’m sure she’ll learn a lot more.”
That’s what administrators and teachers here are counting on. They’re getting classrooms ready for the several dozen three- to five-year-olds coming back to the program next week.
Head Start Director Velma Smith said, “We ensure that our children receive school readiness skills in order to enhance their abilities to be able to go to the next level.”
Pre Kindergarten Teacher Denise Simmons said, “We prepare a structured curriculum to prepare them for kindergarten. Structured curriculum is recognition of names, recognition of alphabets, numbers.”
Thursday, FOX10 News employees were helping teachers get ready, by painting classroom walls and improving the playground.
Kyle Claude, the Director of Marketing & Promotions, said, “It takes so little for us to take a small amount of our time, a small amount of our resources, and give back.”
Administrators at the center said the head start program also works with parents, so they can help their children, and themselves.
Smith said, “They’re able to volunteer in the classroom, do activities with their children.”
Simmons said, “We prepare the parents to go back to school, to prepare themselves to get housing, so they can better help their children.”
And, when school starts next week, Madison Barlow will continue to get hands on experience learning about her favorite things.
When asked what she wanted to talk about, Madison said, “Stories and books and dinosaurs.”
About 60 pre-schoolers are signed up for the fall program.