Head Start enrollment begins

Published 12:02 am Saturday, January 21, 2012


“Today is Fri., Jan. 20, and I learned to cook hamburgers with a pan on the stove,” said Saranel Brundidge, an Andalusia Head Start student.

“And look, I can write my name,” she said.

Brundidge, who just turned 5, is among the 60 students currently enrolled at Andalusia in the Head Start program.

With locations in Andalusia, Opp and Florala, the program is a federally funded child development program that provides services to 3-to-5-year-old children of low-income families. Enrollment priority is given to children from families meeting the federal poverty guidelines. Head Start also actively recruits and enrolls children with disabilities.

And enrollment recruitment is under way now for the 2012-2013 school year, said Center Director Denise Davis.

“Head Start is a great program because it combines all aspects of an early childhood program,” she said. “It covers their education, their physical well-being with dental and health screenings and even parental support.

“Education-wise, the program helps students meet those milestones,” she said. “Our goal is to get our 4-year-olds ready to go to kindergarten and to be successful when they get there.”

Davis said the program also teaches students social skills.

“It’s not easy to learn how to play together, to share or to even walk down the hall in a straight line,” she said. “Those are all huge skills that we help students master.”

In Opp, there are currently 77 students served in four classrooms, and in Florala, 40 students in two classrooms.

Enrollment recruitment is ongoing in all three locations; however, space is limited, Davis said.

“These classes fill up fast, so if you’re interested in having your child attend the program, you should get your application and information in as soon as possible,” she said. “

At the time of making an application, one must also provide:

• a certified birth certificate;

• proof of income (taxes);

• Medicaid Card and proof of disability (if applicable); and,

• an up-to-date immunization record (Blue Card).

Additionally, parents or a legal guardian is the only person who can make an application for the prospective student.

There is no charge for the program and students attend classes Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on a calendar that follows the local school system. Breakfast, lunch and snack are served each day.

For more information, call Florala Head Start at 334-858-3060, Opp Head Start at 334-483-4451 or Andalusia Head Start at 334-881-0181.