October is Head Start Awareness Month
According to the 2011-12 annual report, the Early Childhood Connections program served a total of 346 children in the 0 to three program. Of that amount, 324 were in Ellis County, nine in Rush County, three in Rooks County and 10 in Russell County.
The 0 to 3 program has a center based program with two classrooms in Munjor.
The 3 to 5 program had a total of 226 children, 171 in Ellis County, 17 in Rooks County, 32 in Russell County and six in Rush County.
The ages 3 to 5 program had six classrooms in Hays elementary schools with morning and afternoon sessions. There are two classrooms at Lincoln and Roosevelt, and one each at Washington and O'Loughlin.
The classroom in Russell also has morning and afternoon sessions. A collaborative classroom in Washington Grade School in partnership with Ellis USD 388 includes children who pay for the program and others served by ECC.
ECC also partners with North Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative Inter-local 636 in Phillipsburg to place children in classrooms in Stockton and Plainville.
Home-based services were provided to 12 families in Ellis, Rush, Russell and Rooks counties. Home based services are provided to families if there's no classroom nearby or the family feels the child is too young for a classroom.
"We go out and provide them with lesson planning and activities for the week," said Donna Hudson-Hamilton, ECC director.
* JUDY SHERARD, HDN