Doing More Good with Head Start & The Child Advocacy Center

 

Faith Boehmer, takes a moment to reflect as a volunteer on Action Pathways Head Start’s Policy Council, a committee comprised of parents and community stakeholders charged with making decisions that guide and direct the Head Start program. The Head Start Policy Council works collaboratively with the Board of Directors in governing Head Start but does not interfere with day-to-day operations. Members of this council, most importantly, are charged with advocating for Cumberland County’s early childhood development efforts for kids aged birth to five. Faith, also the Program Coordinator for the Child Advocacy Center, brings her expertise in creating awareness around child abuse, keeping Head Start children safe from sexual predators and what can be done from such an early age to protect our children and keep them safe.

“We [Child Advocacy Center] want to bring awareness to teachers and the larger Head Start community,” Faith says. “We all should be advocating for children……serving on Head Start’s Policy Council enables me to give my input in a number ways; from important decisions about hiring new staff to new initiatives and promoting collaborations vital to the safety of our community’s children.”

In fact, Faith is one the persons responsible for including Action Pathways Head Start in the CAC’s annual 19 Days of Prevention held in November. For the first 19 days, the Child Advocacy Center in partnership with other local nonprofits; state and county agencies, as well as; community groups and individuals host multiple events to try and create awareness on the ways in which we all can prevent child abuse. To do its part, Action Pathways Head Start invites the community to come read to its preschool classrooms.

“We provide safe-touch literature to Head Start for its volunteers to read during the 19 Days of Prevention. In simple language, it begins to help children understand where people should not touch and encourages them to go to a trusted adult if they need to,” Faith explains. “Serving on the Policy Council really allows me to advocate for Head Start’s children and help them, as well as their teachers, become more aware of the instances in when it occurs.”

Outside of the lessons the literature endeavors to instill, reading to children is critical for the early development and helps them in so many ways. The benefits include:

·         Increased chance of academic excellence

·         Development of basic speech skills

·         Children learn the basics of how to read

·         Children develop better communications skills

·         Mastery of language - Reading to toddlers and preschoolers help them to better grasp the fundamentals of language

·         Increased logical thinking skills

·         Children are better able to handle new experiences, stress and anxiety

·         Increases their ability to concentrate and their overall discipline

·         And most importantly, it teaches them that reading is fun

 

The list could go on, and on, but you get the picture!

It is our hope that you will decide to give a little of you time this holiday season to give to Cumberland County’s children by reading to them. Read to a preschool class and know that you will be helping them to develop their minds and shape thier future.

 

If you would like to give your time to Head Start and its children, please click here and sign-up to become one of our next volunteers.​

Fore more information about Head Start, please visit: https://actionpathways.ngo/earlychildhood​

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