Head Start is a program that gives young children of low-income families a fighting chance to succeed in school.
Capital Area Community Services Head Start is located in Old Town and has more than 1,600 kids and families involved. Services are provided to pregnant mothers and children up to four years old.
Head Start Director Lucy McClintic said families have to go through an interview process so Head Start can place the child in the proper school.
“Families with low income turn in an application and then have to be interviewed so we know what type of services we need to provide for them and what school will be best for the child,” said McClintic.
Children are placed in schools in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton and Shiawassee counties. Once the child is in school, the services from CACS Head Start do not stop.
“We do a screening test before the child is placed and then once the child is in a school, we do regular evaluations to check on their progress,” said McClintic.
Colleen Berry, mother of three-year-old Danny, said Head Start has given them more than they could have ever imagined.
“Not only do they make sure Danny is doing well in school but also make sure I have the tools and resources to provide to Danny so he can succeed,” said Berry.
McClintic said CACS Head Start provides comprehensive services to the families. They want to make sure these young children are experiencing success outside of the classroom as well as inside the classroom.
CACS Head Start gave out Thanksgiving baskets to participating families, and they will givet Christmas gifts so every child has a present to open on Christmas Day. There is a donation bucket in their main office for children who need dental work but cannot afford it.
Head Start also has events within the schools for all families with young children.
“We host events like math and game night so families can interact with their preschooler,” said McClintic. “It is awesome to see the smile on the kids faces.”
CACS Head Start has been helping children in disadvantaged homes since 1965 and will continue to help them as long as they can. Head Start makes sure these kids are prepared in school and not letting where they come from hold them back in school.