Johnson rewarded for 20 plus years at Andalusia Head Start

Published 9:15 am Saturday, April 23, 2022

Faye Johnson has called Andalusia Head Start her home away from home for over 20 years and recently taught students a unit about replicating buildings of Andalusia with boxes.

“Head Start holds a special place in my heart. I enjoy teaching the children as well as helping each child develop the necessary skills needed to advance to new levels and developmental milestones. Keeping each child safe over the years has been one of my main priorities, along with loving them and respecting each one for his or her own unique abilities. I, along with my coworkers, work well together as a team to ensure that each child receives a quality head start of learning in these crucial but most important early years. It has truly been rewarding to watch the children over the past 20 years grow and advance to new levels as well as become productive members of society,” Johnson said.

Faye Johnson’s class at Andalusia Head Start was excited to display the buildings they made with their parents during a recent unit.

According to Johnson, some of the children she has taught in their early years are now teachers, nurses, medical field employees, truck drivers, welders, United States servicemen, business managers, and business owners. “As is always the case, Mrs. Faye is proud of each one, and I love you still. I pray that God gives me the strength to continue to work with the children and make a difference in their lives. One of our special quotes here is, ‘once a Head Start family…always a Head Start family.’”

Johnson and her assistant Regina Turner recently taught a unit, which highlighted buildings in Andalusia.

McDonald’s also donated Khaleah Jackson a gift certificate for building the local fast-food establishment.

“Our unit topic of studies is on buildings, and we asked the children questions about what they knew about buildings. We talked about what is used to make a building, how to keep the building strong, and who works in each building. That’s when we decided to come together and make buildings represented in the city of Andalusia. We wanted to include our parents in working with their children. Mrs. Kimanisha Trawick often comes up with ways we can bond with the children. We are so proud of the children as well as their families for what they did and are all in awe about all of the things they have done,” Johnson said.

Head Start coordinates a family-bonding project each month, although some units last longer and require six weeks until completion.

“These projects go along with the exercises the children are studying. We are making sure parents are taking the time out and bonding with their children. Mrs. Faye’s class had the privilege of doing buildings this time. We would like to thank the parents for taking the time to work with the children and can’t stress enough how much a parent-child connection is. Bonding is very important because as a parent, you are your child’s first teacher, and we can’t proceed without the help of the parents,” Trawick said.

Johnson added that the children were very excited to learn the unit.

“We taught them the tools that are used to make buildings. Some of those were hammers, nails, and glue to help keep the building strong. We talked about architects and how cement is used as well. In every activity we did, the children started out making towers with blocks in our centers. We made a treehouse and turned our dramatic play area into Walmart, Pic-n-Sav, and places like that. We gave them a virtual tour of the buildings here in town, and they were excited about that. Regina and I came together for this project and want our children to continue excel in their learning because these are the very important years of their lives. We want our children to give them that strong foundation for regular head start that they need to move forward in life and be productive in society.”

Andalusia Head Start is located at 602 Seegers Street and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 334-881-0181.

“We are blessed to have this celebration of learning with buildings and what better way to celebrate than building our city and our community,” Johnson said.