There are many different ways for parents to be involved at Head Start. See below for some ideas.
Every Head Start parent is automatically a member of Parent Committee. There are multiple Parent Committee events throughout the year. Some of those include Family Pumpkin Carving Night, Breakfast With Dad, Family Reading Night, Science Night, Open House, and the Annual Family Picnic.
The Policy Council is comprised of one parent and one alternate elected by the parents in each Head Start classroom, and one to three community representatives. The Head Start Principal and a Plano ISD Board of Trustees Member also attend the meetings. The Policy Council engages in shared decision making with the Plano ISD School Board. Members of the council are asked to approve Head Start personnel, grant applications, service plans, and additional policy decisions as needed. They also encourage and recruit volunteers for the program. Policy Council Officers are elected by members of the Policy Council.
Parents are invited to eat meals at school with their children. Each parent may join his/her child for breakfast or lunch up to two times per week. The program covers the cost of the meals. Parents who eat with their children are required to eat the same Head Start meal that is being served to the children.
There are many opportunities to volunteer at Head Start. The Head Start nurse can use volunteers to help in the clinic, work in the Head Start garden, and to create bulletin boards. The Family Services Managers have many events throughout the year for which volunteers are needed. Volunteers can also help in classrooms, in the carpool lane, with office work, and on field trips. Each person who volunteers to work with children is required to complete a criminal background check. Go to the Plano ISD Volunteers & Partners home page for the link to complete the criminal background check.
Parents take a survey at the beginning of the year to indicate interest in possible classes that may be offered. Some of the classes that parents take at Head Start include ESL classes, Nutrition classes, Child Parent Relationship Training, Computers at Home Classes, and Budgeting workshops.
One of the favorite activities at Head Start is the soccer club. Parents and children get together about two times per week for soccer practice and soccer games. Parents are very involved in the activities. They help children learn soccer skills, and how to play the game. The focus is on learning to play and having fun.
Activities at Head Start are constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of the current children and parents. Those listed are just a sampling of ways to become involved, but there is always room for a new idea or activity.