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HeadStart moves into new facility

Staff writer

These HeadStart students try out a puzzle at the new facility.

The RUCD HeadStart program recently held a ribbon cutting to open their new facility. It is located at 675 North 400 East in Huntington. Michelle Cornett, the on-site coordinator cut the ribbon to officially open the new facility.

HeadStart and Early HeadStart are comprehensive child development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. They are child-focused programs and have the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families.

In 1964, the Federal Government asked a panel of child development experts to draw up a program to help communities meet the needs of disadvantaged preschool children. The panel report became the blueprint for Project HeadStart.

Project HeadStart, launched as an eight-week summer program by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965, was designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Recruiting children age three to school entry age, HeadStart was enthusiastically received by education, child development specialists, community leaders, and parents across the nation. HeadStart serves children and their families each year in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories, including many American Indians and migrant children.

In 1969, HeadStart was transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Office of Child Development in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and has now become a program within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. A well-established, though still an innovative program, HeadStart has had a strong impact on communities and early childhood program across the country.

The program is locally administered by community-based non-profit organizations and school systems. Grants are awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services Regional offices, except for the American Indian and Migrant programs, which are administered in Washington, D.C.

Emery County Commissioners Ira Hatch and Drew Sitterud were among the dignitaries present for the grand opening. Also present were: Sharon Earl, Linda Jewkes, Kent Wilson, Mike Hurdsman, Lynnette Mitchell who is the director of the HeadStart Program, staff members, Emily Olson, Michael Flemett, Crystal Burnside, Corina Shelton, Laura Madrigal, Don Fancy and Merilyn Nielson.

HeadStart is still enrolling students for two class sessions each day. For more information call Michelle at 687-5301.

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