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Commissioners to read to Head Start students

March 1, 2011

The Morning News — Leslie Mielke Michelle Dye, coordinator of the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (ECAP) Head Start Blackfoot Center, spoke with Bingham County commissioners Tuesday about the Head Start program in Blackfoot.

BLACKFOOT — Bingham County commissioners will soon be introduced to youngsters attending Head Start at the Blackfoot Center, 206 N. Ash, Blackfoot.
Commissioners have volunteered to read to the youngsters in the near future.
The ages of Head Start kids range from 3-years-old to 5.
"Now days, children are expected to know their colors and numbers and be pre-readers before entering kindergarten," said Michelle Dye, coordinator of Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (ECAP) Head Start Blackfoot Center.
Among the various activities are music classes, the investigator's club for math and work stations where the children can be part of a dramatic play, do science projects or work on computers.
Children are served breakfast and lunch during the morning session; lunch and a snack during the afternoon session.
"Children eat all kinds of neat things," Dye said. "They really like ranch dressing."
Thirty-four children, ages 3 through 5 are taught in this program. The morning session lasts from 8 to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday. The afternoon session goes from noon through 3:30 p.m. Seventeen children are in each session; 34 children are taught each school.
Friday is preparation day for the Head Start teachers. There are seven employees at Head Start. The adult to student ratio is 2 adults to 17 students.
"We depend on parents," Dye said. "Parents are a child's most important teachers."
The school year extends from September through May each year.
To qualify for Head Start, students must be 3-years-old by Sept. 1.
Dye said she accepts applications "all the time."
"Head Start is federally funded," Dye said. "To qualify, a family's income must be within 100 percent of the poverty level."
To apply, parents or guardians can go to EICAP.org to apply online. Applications are also available at the Blackfoot Center at 206 N. Ash in Blackfoot.

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