La Feria News

Parents Attend Head Start Open House

Santa Rosa Center Hosts Annual Event

Everybody loves  story-time. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN

Everybody loves story-time. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN

The Head Start/Early Head Start program was created in 1965, under the Economic Opportunity Act, as part of the “War on Poverty.” This federally-funded program was designed to provide pre-school children from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds with the preparation and support they’ll need to enter the public school systems later and succeed in life. The program is alive and well, and provides welcome and needed services wherever they exist in the country.


Classroom teacher Veronica Reyes and Head Start Manager Josie Lerma have fun with their charges in the baby’s room.

The stated philosophy of the government-run agency serves as a basis for its curriculum and implementation according to the Santa Rosa Head Start Area Manager, Josie Lerma.

“We believe that growth and development are multidimensional; therefore, Head Start/Early Head Start offers comprehensive services on education, medical, dental, and nutritional health and social services,” she said. “Also, we believe that parents are the most important people in children’s lives.” “That is why,” she continued, “we urged parents to attend our annual “Head Start Open House” during our October Head Start Awareness Month event. We want them involved, and I can say the turnout this year at our Santa Rosa East Elementary Building was great..”

Volunteer Parent Laura Gaytan reads to the kids.

Volunteer Parent Laura Gaytan reads to the kids.

La Feria News attended the morning-long event last week to learn more about what Head Start does. First of all, Head Start/Early Head Start programs are a project of the Neighbors In Need of Services, Inc. (N.I.N.O.S.) of Cameron and Willacy Counties. N.I.N.O.S. provides services to 41 (forty one) centers like the one in Santa Rosa throughout Cameron and Willacy Counties. Other counties nation-wide have their own local programs.

Head Start Manager Josie and Early Head Start teacher, Veronica Reyes guided us through the various class rooms and play areas at the complex located just behind the Administration building of the Santa Rosa I.S.D.

Veronica happened to be quite involved with her 0 to 18-month-old charges as we started out. “This is the Baby room,” she explained: then, we moved to the Toddler room where 18-month-old to 36 month-old children were having fun seated on the floor in a circle as their teacher taught them word and numbers games.

The morning tour was complete with a final gathering of children of all ages in the 3-year-old to 4-year-old’s room. They came to listen and watch a special program as the teachers read from several children’s illustrated story books in both English and Spanish. The excited children giggled and shouted answers as the teachers read stories about animal friends from their books.

The event ended with cookies and refreshments and a lot of climbing and shouting outside on the slides, swings and other playthings. Pleased parents and grandparents said they’ll be back for next year’s Head Start Open House. See you there.

Volunteer Parent Mary Agado and Santa Rosa teacher Kristel Tijerina teach Head Start children.

Volunteer Parent Mary Agado and Santa Rosa teacher Kristel Tijerina teach Head Start children.

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