Carroll Huggins, KI BOIS Community Action CEO, announced that the KI BOIS Head Start program has been selected to receive an Early Head Start (EHS) grant of about $300,000 that will serve birth to three-year-old children.
Head Start Director Donna Carolan and Assistant Head Start Director Sherry Hullinger are working towards opening the prospective EHS Center in Sallisaw and plan to be operational by Jan. 8.
Hullinger said the Early Head Start Center will be in the old band room on the campus of the old Tommie Spear Middle School.
“It’s the best place,” Hullinger said. “There’s a grassy area out front for play and a lot of parking.”
The KI BOIS Sallisaw Early Head Start Center will be in collaboration with Sallisaw Public Schools and Superintendent Scott Farmer. Hullinger said the old band room will be renovated using KI BOIS Early Head Start funding to meet federal, state and local guidelines and utilized as the Early Head Start Center. A building permit has been applied for and bids are now be called for to renovate the building.
The KI BOIS Sallisaw EHS Center will provide two classrooms with a total of 16 infants and toddlers. There will be two teachers in each classroom plus a part time aide in each classroom. There will also be a Family Service Worker and a full time center director. The students will stay with the same teaching team from the time they enroll until they transition to their pre-school classrooms at 3 years old. Participation in the Early Head Start Program is at no cost to the participants who are selected using an income-eligible based criteria.
Early Head Start offers services for prenatal mothers and infants and toddlers up to 3 years of age. The services provide families of infants and toddlers with support and resources through a parent education program, home visits and family child care options. Early Head Start also assists expectant families in achieving healthy prenatal outcomes.
The KI BOIS Community Action website www.kibois.org will announce job openings and will provide student applications for the new EHS Center.
Huggins said, “We look forward to serving Sallisaw with this new program in addition to our Head Start Center located next to Marvin’s (now Shoppers Value Foods) that serves 3 and 4 year old children and has been in operation in the Sallisaw area for 40 years.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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