Cassville Head Start accepting applications

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

14 openings in Cassville, classes start Aug. 25

Qualified families and guardians can still enter their 3- to 4-year old children into the Cassville Head Start, located at 97 Smithson Dr., before classes begin Aug. 25.

The Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation -- which oversees the Head Start program in Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney, and Webster counties -- has 14 openings in Cassville as of Monday and no openings at the Butterfield Head Start, 10402 W. First St.

Each child must be three or four years old by Aug. 1, and 4-year-olds receive priority, along with foster children and children receiving temporary assistance for needy families and supplemental security income, said Alice Wingo, the resource development director for OACAC. Cassville serves 20 children in the morning and 20 children in the afternoon. Butterfield serves 19 children from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each class runs until May.

OACAC has a bus service to Butterfield and Cassville, and it might bus some of the Butterfield children to Cassville if there is enough interest, Wingo said.

The following information will be necessary during the enrollment process: Proof of child's age; Proof of total gross income for the past 12 months or past calendar year (federal tax form is required); Social security numbers for all family members; Child's MC+/Medicaid/MO HealthNet or private insurance card (including military); Child's immunization records; Custody papers (if applicable).

Head Start is a preschool program not just childcare, Wingo said. It provides medical and dental care, mental health opportunities and meals.

"Part of the program is to work with families to help them learn how to better help their children in school," she said. "So, the kids will actually have homework that they take home to work with their family. That way it keeps the families involved in the learning process as well."

Head Start helps the children to socialize in a way that is acceptable in a classroom, Wingo said. They learn to follow basic rules and guidelines from their teacher. For example, when the children have a meal, it is served family style. They will sit at the table and pass the food around to the other children.

The children wash their hands before a meal and brush their teeth after a meal, and they also discuss the importance of these hygienic principles.

"As far as learning, they are young, but they are going to be learning letters and numbers and about nature," Wingo said. "When they go outside, they will do some things with observations, and they'll have story times, and they'll read together."

Area qualified families and guardians can start enrolling their children by calling a toll free number at 866-282-3430 or they can call Mikki Saunders, the OACAC family advocate in Cassville, at 417-847-8011. Visit www.oac.ac for more information about the Head Start program.

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