Although the snow is still flying and fall is two seasons away, it is time to register for education programs for the Fall of 2011.
Long before children enter kindergarten, they are learning about the world around them: colors, smells, sights, sounds. Education may be seen as "starting in kindergarten," but learning starts much earlier. In fact, nearly 90 percent of brain development occurs before the age of five. Research shows children who do not have quality early learning experiences start behind when they enter school. Research also shows students who start behind; stay behind. This is why it is so important for young children to have quality early learning experiences.
Warren County has a wide variety of quality learning opportunities for its youngest learners; including Head Start, preschools, child care centers, home providers, Pre-K Counts, and kindergarten.
Photo submittd for publication
Reads to students
Katy Gess, a teacher at Jefferson DeFrees Family Center, is reading a book to several of her pre-k students.
Head Start is a comprehensive child development program which serves income-eligible children ages 3 to 5 and their families. The program promotes social competency and school-readiness and includes parent involvement and health screenings.
Preschools offer learning opportunities to 3 and 4 year olds from September until May. Classes are held 2-3 days per week for several hours each day. Children learn social, emotional and school readiness skills through activities and play.
Full and part time child care is available in daycare centers and homes; providing a safe environment for working families. Children have opportunities to learn, make new friends, and develop school readiness skills. Through a partnership with the Warren County School District, the district reading and math curriculum are offered in many child care facilities and preschools.
Pennsylvania established a voluntary quality enhancement program, Keystone STARS, which recognizes licensed child care providers who exceed state health and safety regulations. Facilities are eligible for a 1, 2, 3 or 4 STAR ranking depending on the quality of their program, staffing qualifications and business practices. This is a great tool for parents to use in selecting a child care facility. For more information, visit www.pakeys.org.
For several years members of Warren's early learning community have been working together to create seamless transition opportunities as children move from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. According to Ann Buerkle, principal at South Street Early Learning Center, "I know kindergarten teachers appreciate all the efforts made by parents, preschools and daycare practitioners to provide children with early learning experiences. The collaboration between the preschool and school-aged professionals has lead to a successful transition for children as they enter the kindergarten environment."
EOC's Early Care and Education Coalition coordinates a Pre-K Scholarship Program which assists families with the cost of early learning opportunities. Because of this program, the financial barrier of early learning has been significantly decreased in Warren and Forest Counties. For more information on the scholarship program or to learn which facilities participate in the scholarship program, contact Tish Montgomery at 726-1361.
While February may seem early for registrations, early enrollment helps the facilities plan for programming and staffing, allows families to prepare their child for a new learning environment and guarantees enrollment for programs which fill up quickly. For more information about early learning opportunities or child care, please call the CCIS at 726-1361.
Creative Preschool: Open enrollment. Contact First United Methodist Church at 723-4930, Patti Moore at 726-1526, or Jane Crouch at 723-7224.
Grace Promise Preschool: Packets are available at the Grace United Methodist Church. Registration will begin on Feb. 1 and will remain open until all slots are filled. Contact Trish Gentilman at 723-9440
Ruth M. Smith Center Preschool: Open Enrollment. Contact April Barr 968-3239
Sugar Grove Imaginative Preschool: Registration will begin on Feb. 1 and will remain open until all spots are filled. Contact Julie Harrington at 489-3105
YMCA Preschool: Preschool registration begins Feb. 7 for currently enrolled children. Open registration begins Feb. 14 and will remain open until all available slots are filled. From 9 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 7 and 14, registration will be held in the lobby. Other than those times, see Kim Slocum or Linda Ditka to register. Kathy Lindsey at 726-0110, ext 112.
Youngsville First United Methodist Preschool: Open registration begins Feb. 14 and continues until all classes are full. Stop by for a registration packet Mondays/Wednesdays/Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Tuesdays/Fridays from 9 11:30 a.m. See a preschool staff member for questions and forms. Contact Christa Monza at 563-4201 for more information.
Don Mills Early Childhood Learning Center: Open enrollment. Contact Barb Swanson at 723-5730
St. Joseph's Preschool: Enrollment is open and will remain open until slots are filled. Stop in the school office during school hours to register. Pre-K Round-up will be held April 8. Contact Dr. Howard Ferguson at 723-2030
Clarendon United Methodist Preschool: Contact Gloria Chase at 723-5435
Therapeutic Learning Classroom: This classroom is held once a week and is available to children who do and do not qualify for Early Intervention. Contact the Intermediate Unit 1-800-677-5610 x 8461(Kim Sanders) to request an evaluation for your 3-5 year old. Contact Liz McChesney at 1-888-621-9892 x 803 for registration information.
The Center-Based Early Intervention Program: This is a two- to four-day program provided for children with special needs. Contact the Intermediate Unit 1-800-677-5610 x 8461 (Kim Sanders) to request an evaluation for your 3-5 year old.
Autistic Support Classroom: This is a four-day a week program provided for 3 to 5 year old children who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Contact the Intermediate Unit 1-800-677-5610 x 8461(Kim Sanders) to request an evaluation for your 3-5 year old.
Applications for enrollment are taken daily. Classes operate four days/week and follow the public school calendar, 12 classrooms in six centers. Five centers in Warren County and one in Tionesta. Call Julie Blum at 726-2400 ext 3027 or 1-800-231-1797 ext.3027 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts
Warren-Forest EOC offers two Pre K Counts programs. One at the EOC Head Start program in the McClintock Building on Pennsylvania Avenue and the other at the Jefferson DeFrees Family Center.
Registration is ongoing. Contact Stacy Cottillion at Jefferson DeFrees at 723-6350 or Julie Blum at Warren-Forest EOC Head Start at 726-2400 extension 3027.
Child Care/Summer Care Registrations
Enrollment is on-going throughout the year for daycare facilities. For summer care, contact providers for enrollment dates as summer programs fill up fast.
Care with Grace Day Care and Summer Program: Care with Grace Daycare - openings for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Contact Ariel Mickle 814-723-9440 x18. Forms also available online at carewithgrace.yolasite.com. Grace Summer Camp - now taking registrations. Ages 6-10. Contact Ariel at 723-9440.
Henry R. Rouse Children's Center and Summer Program: Contact Michelle Reilly at 563-2890
Jefferson DeFrees Family Center and Summer Program: Contact Stacy Cottillion at 723-6350
North Warren Presbyterian Day Care: Contact Sandy Goodwill at 723-6441
Russell UMC Day Care: Contact Tammy Belin or Wendy Kobejek at 757-5085
Ruth M. Smith Center: Contact 968-3239
YMCA Child Care and Summer Camps: Contact the YMCA front desk or Kathy Lindsey at 726-0110, ext. 112.
Don Mills Camp Talk-A-Lot: Contact Barb Swanson 723-5730
WCSD Kindergarten Registration
Registration packets will be available at each school, on-line at www.wcsdpa.org, pre-K sites, and child care providers. Families are encouraged to come to registration prepared with a completed packet, birth certificate and immunization record. Registration takes approximately one hour and includes a vision screening, a review of health information with nurse, and a visit with a kindergarten teacher.
Allegheny Valley: Thursday, Feb, 17. Times: 8:30-10:45 a.m., 1 to 2:30 and 4 to 6 p.m.
Russell: Thursday, Febr. 10. Times: 9 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 and 4 to 6 p.m.
Sheffield Elementary: Thursday, Feb. 10. Times: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
South Street Early Learning: Wednesday, Feb. 16, last name starting with letters A-N; and Thursday, Feb. 17, last name starting with letters O-Z. Times: 8:30 to10:30 a.m., 12:30 to 2 p.m. and Thursday only 4 to 6 p.m.
Sugar Grove Elementary: Thursday, Feb. 17. Times: 8:30 to 10 a.m., 1 to 2:30 and 4 to 6 p.m.
Youngsville Elementary: Tuesday, Feb. 15. Times: 9 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 and 4 to 6 p.m.
Kindergarten registration for students attending Allegheny Valley Elementary School from the City of Warren for the 2011-2012 school year will be held at Allegheny Valley.
The geographic boundaries for these students are the areas west of the Conewango Creek including Water St. and Struthers St.; Division St. north to Quaker Hill with Conewango Ave. as the border; the area of Pennsylvania Ave. East from Grant St. to the city limits including Mead St., Fisher St. and Hemlock Road to Bauer St. and Whitney St. and on the south side, all streets north of Route 6 to and including Crescent Park and Old Dorcon Road.
Any student living in these areas will register at Allegheny Valley Elementary School. If you have questions about where to register your child, call the school district transportation office at 723-6900 or South Street Early Learning Center at 723-9340.
St. Joseph Catholic School: Kindergarten registration is currently open and will remain open until slots are filled. Stop at the school office during normal school hours to register. Kindergarten Roundup will be held on March 3. Contact Dr. Howard Ferguson at 723-2030.
Warren County Christian School: Kindergarten visitation date is Feb. 18, between 1 and 2:30 p.m. Contact Richard Kolcharno or Christine Clark at 563-4457.