At 4, preschooler Giselle already is an experienced student. Giselle is part of our Midway Head Start Center, which provides early learning services for children ages 3-5. Like her three older siblings who graduated from Midway’s Head Start program before her, Giselle will start kindergarten prepared — not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
“All of my kids were ready for kindergarten,” said Griselda, Giselle’s mother. “They learned how to read, they learned their letters, their numbers. But my kids are shy. So Head Start really helped them learn how to be independent. It gave them confidence. They made new friends and were used to going to school.”
That’s an important ingredient in school preparedness and success, according to Master Teacher Ruby Perez Vargas, who teaches Giselle and taught her three other siblings as well. “Parents may teach the ABCs, but here we also teach the children how to make friends, how to learn, how to handle parent separation. It’s all about exposure. It’s not all new to them. My kids are a step ahead when they get to kindergarten. Their anxiety is less and their confidence is up.”
Griselda came to the Midway program at the suggestion of a friend who enrolled her children here. That was six years ago. Today, Griselda is President of the Parent Policy Committee at the Midway Head Start Center. The group makes suggestions for menu and budget items, organizes volunteer activities and gives parents a chance to come together to discuss the rewards and challenges of raising children.
“My experience here has been great,” Griselda said, “especially with teachers. I am very thankful.”