Head Start Parents, New Online Learning Resources Are Available!

HCHRA has added two more websites to provide fun learning activities your child will enjoy.  Below is a list of tools you can use to help keep your child on track for success in school.  Be sure to check back next week to see what else is new.

ABCYa provides games that touch on all academic areas — from ABCs to holidays.  It was created by teachers, and is aligned to standards. It never collects personal data, and is FREE on PCs.
www.abcya.com

Education.com
 provides printable worksheets and online activities to help children learn letters, numbers, words, and fine motor skills.
https://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool

Seussville lets children enjoy interactive reading games and activities featuring classic Dr. Seuss books and characters. The site includes a character guide, videos, book catalogue, Seuss biography, and tips for parents.
www.seussville.com/play/

Starfall provides opportunities for young children to have fun while learning their ABCs and reading skills through positive reinforcement in a brightly colored environment full of activities, games, and songs.
www.starfall.com/h/index-kindergarten.php

The Health and Nutrition Preschool Activities website has health and nutrition activities and crafts for families to complete at home.
www.first-school.ws/THEME/nutrition.htm

Scholastic: Clifford the Big Red Dog
 is a fun-filled learning resource for beginning readers.  The site features interactive storybooks, games and bilingual stories.
www.scholastic.com/clifford

Parenting the Super Kid at Meal Times provide nutritional activities for parents and children and helps build on the practice of family-style meals at home.
www.superkidsnutrition.com/pr_parenting-kid-meals/

StoryPlace
 offers preschoolers a virtual library experience.  Children can participate in story-time, watch videos, and play games.  The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.
www.storyplace.org/

myON
 is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Address
www.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities.

If you have questions or need assistance, call us at (601) 923-1822 and leave a message including your contact information.  Although we are working remotely, calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).

HCHRA Offices Will Open May 4, 2020. Head Start Centers Will Remain Closed.

As announced last week, in compliance with government mandates to help protect children and families from the spread of COVID-19, all HCHRA Head Start centers will be closed for the remainder of the school year.  All other HCHRA staff will return on Monday, May 4, 2020, unless otherwise notified, and all other HCHRA offices will resume normal operations.

Based upon the guidelines issued by public health experts and governing authorities, work schedules and agency operations are subject to change. Updates will be posted here on our website every Thursday morning until further notice.

HCHRA staff will continue to work remotely to provide timely and professional service.  If you or someone you know has any concerns that need immediate attention, please dial 601-923-1822 and leave a message stating the nature of your call.  Be sure to include your contact information.  Calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).  You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org.

Let’s remain vigilant about hand washing, disinfecting and practicing social distancing to help protect those who are most vulnerable and get us all back to living normal lives as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Head Start Centers to Remain Closed Through April 17th

In response to ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19, and in accordance with Governor Tate Reeves’ executive orders, Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start centers will remain closed through April 17, 2020.

As we go through this very unusual and challenging time, HCHRA is encouraging our Head Start families to spend time together reading and learning.  To support those efforts, we are happy to provide our families with access to myON and The Healthy at Home Toolkit.

myON is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Address
www.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities. So, let’s get started today!

We will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 while we seek guidance from our local and state officials to determine school plans moving forward.  We will be sure to keep you informed of any new developments.  We miss our students and families and can’t wait to see your smiling faces again.  Until that time, let’s all do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.

If you have any concerns that needs immediate attention, please dial 601-923-1822 and leave a message stating the nature of your call.  Be sure to include your contact information.  Calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding weekends). You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org.

Spring Break Extended Through March 27, 2020 for HCHRA Head Start Program

Due to the escalating health concerns related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start has decided to extend Spring Break through March 27th.  All Head Start centers will remain closed and all parent meetings have been cancelled during this time.

We regret the inconvenience the school closure may cause, but in an effort to protect the health and safety of our Head Start children and families and the staff, we must comply with the recommendations of our federal, state, and local leaders to close schools.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of any new developments.

To learn more about COVID-19 and what precautions you should take to protect you and your family, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. The Mississippi State Health Department also has a hotline set up to take questions from the public.  It is currently available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The number is 1-877-978-6453. 

Head Start Centers Closed Until March 18, 2020

Due to growing health concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start will extend Spring Break until Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  Children will not attend school on Monday or Tuesday.  All teachers and central office staff will report to work as normal on Monday, March 16 to prepare for the return of our Head Start students on Wednesday, March 18.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation while we seek guidance from our local and state officials to determine school plans moving forward.  We will be sure to keep you informed of any new developments.

HCHRA Head Start Posts Exceptional Gains in Literacy for 2017-2018

As three- and four-year-old students begin to return to Head Start classrooms for the new school year, HCHRA teachers are beaming with pride from last year’s results. According to newly released HCHRA data from the 2017-18 Head Start school year, HCHRA students showed a 19% gain in Star Literacy test scores.

Star Literacy scores represent how well a student understands concepts and possesses specific skills that are important in the development of reading. These scores represent a snapshot of where the student currently stands as it relates to literacy.

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, data showed that HCHRA had an average student score of 400.  A score of 300-487 places a child as an Early Emergent Reader.  Students in this category are beginning to understand that reading involves printed words and sentences, and that print flows from left to right and from top to bottom of the page. They are also beginning to identify colors, shapes, numbers and letters.

To ensure that each student was ready for kindergarten, HCHRA’s Head Start Program developed the “Early Literacy Race to 500” campaign. The goal of “Race to 500” was to ensure that HCHRA students transition from Early Emergent Reader to Late Emergent Reader.  Late Emergent Readers score 488-674. Students in this category identify most of the letters of the alphabet and can match most of the letters to their sounds. Students are also beginning to read picture books and familiar words around the home.

By the end of the school year, test results showed that HCHRA reached an average score of 476 among all four-year-old students tested.  “While short of our goal, I am proud to say that our Head Start staff delivered high-quality instruction and provided an excellent learning environment to ensure we saw exceptional gains in our students,” says Kenn Cockrell, president and CEO of HCHRA.  “We had multiple centers to surpass the 500 mark, and a few students even scored over 800 – a remarkable accomplishment.”

The gains came a year after HCHRA made curriculum changes and implemented evaluations that were better aligned with their curriculum. HCHRA also recognizes parents as the child’s first and best teacher.  To reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom, HCHRA provides parents with at-home activities they can practice with their children to help them strengthen literacy skills until they return to the classroom.

Just last year, all Head Start programs across the state were wrongfully categorized as not having positive results in early literacy.  “When you group all students together, without considering income or opportunity, data is not properly analyzed, inaccurate generalizations are espoused, and programs are not fairly evaluated apart from the others,” said Cockrell.

Cockrell went on to explain that the teachers and staff at HCHRA are held to a high standard of accountability, which often surpasses federal requirements.  “In addition to ensuring that our education tools and methods produce results, we utilize measurement systems that ensure accountability and clearly communicate results to funders, community members and leaders throughout Hinds County.”

HCHRA operates 16 Head Start centers and satellite locations throughout Hinds County and has successfully run the Head Start program for more than 41 years.

Head Start Centers Closed Wednesday, January 17. Central Office and Neighborhood Services Centers Open at 10 a.m.

Due to the severe weather conditions in our area, all Hinds County Human Resource Agency Head Start Centers will be closed on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.  The centers will reopen on Thursday, and children may report to school at their usual time.

Central Office and all HCHRA Neighborhood Service Centers will open at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

Should severe weather conditions persist throughout the day, HCHRA will post any updates or changes to Agency operations here on our website.  If no additional updates are posted, HCHRA offices will be open on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Head Start Centers Closed Tuesday, January 16. Central Office and Neighborhood Services Centers Open at 10 a.m.

Due to the threat of severe weather conditions in our area, all Hinds County Human Resource Agency Head Start Centers will be closed on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.  The centers will reopen on Wednesday, and children may report to school at their usual time.

Central Office and all HCHRA Neighborhood Service Centers will open at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

Should severe weather conditions persist throughout the day, HCHRA will post any updates or changes to Agency operations here on our website.  If no additional updates are posted, HCHRA offices will be open on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

Willowood Developmental Center Head Start Classrooms Will Open on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Willowood Developmental Center Head Start classrooms will reopen on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.  The center will remain closed until that time in anticipation of water pressure being restored to safe operating conditions.  The health and safety of our students and staff is very important to us, and we thank you for your patience as we have had to make adjustments during this challenging time.

As a reminder, don’t forget to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday on Monday, January 15, 2018.  The King Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America.  On this day, we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence.  It is also a day of service all across the nation to help build the beloved community of King’s dream.

 

Still Doing Our Part

Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s Head Start In-Service Training held on October 9, 2017 at the Jackson Convention Complex, led to another informative and engaging learning source for the staff of HCHRA. Professionalism, Accountability, Responsibility and Teamwork is what the acronym stands for in the theme “Together: Let’s Do Our PART”.

Workshop sessions included subjects on School Readiness, Digging Deeper: Looking Beyond Behaviors to Discover Meaning, Fair Labor Standards Act, and A Comprehensive Overview of the 2017 OHS Monitoring Protocol Process. Family and Community Services shared topics on An Overview of Community Action, Virtual ROMA, and Doing What Works – Performance Targeting. Early Head Start offered topics on Routines and Environment, Emotional Support & Self-Regulation, Facilitated Exploration and Exploration & Language Modeling.  There was also a session on CPR and Standard First Aid and Safety Training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s Quality Assurance Specialists, Kynetta Shinard and Verlillian Williams attended the In-Service workshops and gained valuable insight and knowledge they say they can readily apply during their monitoring assessments for each of the Head Start centers. Shinard was impressed with knowledge she acquired in the Family and Community Service session.   “I  learned what Community Action Agencies are, I received a better understanding of the utilization of virtual ROMA and I developed a better understanding of CSBG (Community Service Block Grant)”, said Ms. Shinard.

Ms. Williams added, “The teacher sensitivity portion of the Emotional Support & Self-Regulation session really engaged me. We learned how to recognize and use natural instincts to provide comfort and support to babies, and gained a greater understanding of how infants and toddlers communicate at a very early age.” Ms. Williams also learned a new acronym from the Emotional Support & Self-Regulation session concerning teacher sensitivity and it is “H.E.L.L.O.”


is to have a conversation

E  is to extend into thick questions

L  is to listen and ask questions

is to listen and expand

O  is to (always) offer new words


In-Service learning sessions continued on November 20, 2017 as HCHRA staff once again convened at the Convention Center.  Various topics in the November training from Children’s Services included Classroom Management for Head Start Classrooms, Breaking the CLASS Ceiling: Maximizing Outcomes in Instructional Support, Fun with Phonics, and FY 2018 Head Start Monitoring Protocols.  Facilities and Field Services sessions focused on Basic Hand Tools, Environmental Health and Safety Practices, and Maintaining a Clean and Safe Environment.  Family and Community Services encompassed COPA Training – Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance Procedures (ERSEA), Family Goal Setting and Planning, and Virtual ROMA.  Nutrition Services offered sessions on Foodborne Illnesses, Cross Contamination, and Civil Rights.  Transportation Services workshops included topics on Defensive Driving, How Transportation Staff Promotes School Readiness through Effective Communication, and Bridging the Gap in Transportation Safety in Schools.  CPR and Standard First Aid and Safety Training was again offered as part of the In-Service workshop sessions.

In addition to training offered each month, Hinds County Human Resource Agency offers a minimum of one pre-service and four in-service training session for Head Start staff each school year.  This is part of the Agency’s ongoing commitment to ensure that staff is properly trained, and equipped with the knowledge and tools to provide the best possible environment for children and families who are a part of the Head Start program with HCHRA.