CAMDEN — Preble County Head Start celebrated its fifth year in operation on Tuesday, Aug. 14. They also debuted a brand new classroom at the Camden office building.
When Butler County ESC took over Head Start, it was decided to be in every single school district, instead of just “busing” the children. Last year, a class was opened at Twin Valley South. In Lewisburg they have a classroom located on U.S. 40, while they are in the school building at National Trail. They have a full day class at East Elementary in Eaton.
Preble County Head Start Site Manager Christi Reveal explained, “We want parents to be in their neighborhood and kids to be with the kids they are going to Kindergarten with. Head start is income based, so it gives an opportunity for people who wouldn’t be able to afford Preschool to have a quality program. I look at running it — and the county looks at running it — like we’re going to give these kids everything any other program would have.
“Community wise, I think if you’re working with families they need to see you at fun stuff too. I think if you partner with the other community agencies, it makes for a better community altogether. We started with four classrooms, and now we have six. They were all half day classrooms, and now we have National Trail, Twin Valley South, and East Elementary where the kids go all day long. They get breakfast, lunch, snack, and a nap along with all the education pieces. Our staff has also expanded, I think there are 17 of us now.
“We partner with Early Head Start, which is housed in this office. We added home visiting a couple years ago, which is for parents who can’t get their kids to school – maybe they’re not ready or maybe they have a medical illness. We started that program, which allows one of our teachers to visit those families and make lesson plans together, play games together, and learn together. Last year we added transportation to the Lewisburg site. Three years ago we added transportation to the National Trail location.”
There was a head start classroom at Camden Primary School, but Preble Shawnee had to move that location due to needing the space. Now, there are two classrooms located at Camden Head STart, 8263 U.S. 127. The first will open this year, with an a.m. and a p.m. head start class, while the second classroom will not open until 2019. This year’s classroom will open on Sept. 4 with 34 kids.
“This building was completely renovated. This is our fifth year in Preble County with Head Start through Butler County ESC. This building was completely renovated, new furniture, new everything, just to have a good preschool classroom for the kids in Camden,” Reveal said.
She added, they replaced the floors, walls, doors, windows, air conditioning unit, furniture, and playground.
“I’m excited, because these classrooms look awesome, but my office is also over there and I’ve never had a classroom behind my office, so I’m hoping to be able to see and be with the kids a lot more. I think it will be good when we can get both classrooms together, because the teachers can collaborate. I think it will be a good spot and I hope everyone in the community sees it as a good spot,” Reveal said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH