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HDS Head Start Program

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What's New at Head Start

To date, the Office of the Mayor-President has been instrumental in securing funding for the construction of several Head Start Centers. Funding has consisted of a mixture of Community Development Funds and City-Parish Government General funds. The most recent facilities are two four-classroom annexes and an 8-classroom facility.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Head Start Program realizes that grandparents are being called upon more and more to raise their grandchildren. There are various reasons that grandparents are now having to be parents for the second time around. Recognizing the fact that these care giving grandparents need assistance in various ways, the “Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children Support Group” was organized in the East Baton Rouge Parish Head Start Program in February 2002. This group meets on the third Friday of each month. Consultants and community resource people talk to these caregivers at each session to give them information on how they can obtain assistance in meeting some of the needs and concerns that they have identified (ex. legal assistance, medical assistance, advocacy services, etc.) These sessions also serve as a support group where the grandparents can talk and share with others that have the same or similar responsibilities.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Head Start Program and the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System are excited about the partnership agreement signed by both parties. There have been many benefits in strengthening children and families. Research shows that at-risk children begin school with a big strike against them–not enough early exposure to books. We are proud to be able to help erase this strike and make a big plus for our children by increasing their exposure to books and the library. Head Start children have monthly field trips to the library in their area. During their visits they are involved in story time. Our program involves local librarians in Head Start center’s parent meetings and staff training sessions. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library is also encouraging children and their parents to come to the library, both to check out books and to take advantage of free educational and self-help programs.