Head Start Program Has Spaces to Fill | VideoKristin Clouston | 8/8/2012
The pre-schools in Mandan, Beulah, Carson, Hazen, Hebron and New Salem are empty now. But all have spots open for three to four year olds whose families meet federal income guidelines.
"I think people don`t think they`ll qualify, so they don`t try. I think some parents are apprehensive about sending their little ones to school so early," said Joey Kolosky with West River Head Start.
He also says newcomers might not even know the program exists
"If you`re an oil worker that came up from Alabama or came from somewhere else in the country and you`re living in an RV you qualify because you technically don`t have a home."
Head Start is a free, government-funded program
"Our funding is set at 160 children and we have to fill those slots in order to keep our funding," Kolosky said.
Less funding would mean fewer spaces for kids next year. The program is designed to get children socially, emotionally and academically ready when they start kindergarten.
"We have our kids knowing all their letters, their numbers, knowing how to write their name when they leave our doors at the end of their last year."
School starts September 4 and classes are from 8:00 until 1:00 Monday through Thursday. You can apply online at westriverheadstart.org.
The centers are also hiring teachers and paraprofessionals.