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Stout speaks about Head Start volunteering at Woman’s Club

Photo submitted to Times Observer Susan Stout, Warren/Forest Counties Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. Head Start volunteer.

The Warren Woman’s Club program of March 2 featured Susan Stout, a weekly classroom volunteer at a local Head Start program.

She was accompanied by Nicole Phillips, Head Start education coordinator.

The Mission of EOC is “communities, changing lives, and empowering individuals and families to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through a comprehensive system of collaborative services and resources.”

Head Start is one of those programs of the federal government which help children ages 3 to 4 and their families. The Warren/Forest Counties Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. has three Head Start centers in Warren County with a total of 12 classrooms of 16-to-20 three-and-four-year-olds in each.

The total enrollment is currently 198. High requirements of a four-year early childhood certification for teachers and excellent support staff are essential. Ms. Stout told of the health, dental, vision, hearing and developmental screenings which take place for each student. Two home visits and two parent conferences take place annually. Empowerment of parents is important and they are part of the governance of Head Start on the Parent Council.

Stout told of a typical day in a Head Start classroom. Yoga takes place until all students arrive. Breakfast follows with toothbrushing with the popular character, Blippy. Then comes circle time, small groups, free play, lunch, music, storytime and outdoor play weather permitting. Otherwise indoor table play occurs. Teachers and staff are committed to encouraging each child to learn to be 1) Respectful, 2) Responsible and 3) Safe. Methods are taught to show care and concern for each student during the day with compliments and assigned duties. Leadership is enhanced with a Turtle Helper each day. Techniques for managing one’s own emotions in a good way are taught. Head Start does positive assessment from fall to spring with great improvements shown. National research has shown great success with this program making students ready for pre-school and ultimately kindergarten. Nicole Phillips indicated that teachers and staff must have clearances, fingerprinting, a physical and TB test as requirements for employment.

Stout’s glowing presentation proved how much she loves her time volunteering in this worthwhile program.

After appreciation was shown to Ms. Stout and Ms. Phillips, for their shared experiences with Head Start, hostesses Nan Cashman and Diane Scarcella were thanked by Woman’s Club President Ruth Barnes Shaw for their hospitality, sunny daffodil table decorations, and choice of menu. Lynda Slocum catered the luncheon. Salsa Sokolski was welcomed as a new member.

Members were encouraged to attend the Usable Discards sale in the ballroom Friday, March 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 7, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Step into Spring 2nd annual vendor/artisan event will be Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the Easter Bunny available to meet children of all ages and have a photo taken.

Connie Michel will offer a Bridge Refresher Course Mondays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Club in April and May. Sign up by calling Club Manager Anne at 723-5910.

A Walk through Monet’s Garden is the evening fashion show theme on Thursday, May 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. GG My Love will show fashions and accessories of all types.

The next luncheon is March 16 with Cody Hiller and Joan Eighmey offering some classical music.

Fiber Arts will meet Monday, March 9.

The Team Up for new membership drive begins in April. Call 723-5910 for details.

For more information on Warren Woman’s Club, go to www.warrenwomansclub.org.

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