Children & Families get a HEAD START Celebrating Christmas

Photo: A little girl with Santa ClausJOHNSON CITY – BCFS Education Services’ Head Start helped dozens of local children and families make merry this holiday season, with help from several organizations in the Johnson City-area.

On December 16, BCFS Education Services hosted a Christmas party for children and families enrolled in the Johnson City Head Start program at the Settlement Event Center, courtesy of the LBJ National Park Service. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus made a special appearance at the party and spent quality time talking with each child. The parents enjoyed snapping photos of their children on Santa’s lap. Several local markets donated the food and drinks.

The next morning, several Park Rangers from LBJ National Historic Ranch stopped by the center, armed with guitars and a whole lot of holiday spirit. Park Rangers Dave Schafer, Brian Perry, Kathleen Fry and Patrick Pelarski sang with the children, read Christmas stories and helped the children make ornaments. Several honored guests were present that day – including a grandmother who was a Park Ranger for the LBJ National Park Service for more than twenty years, and other grandparents who traveled all the way from Minnesota.

Head Start provides education, health and social services to pre-school children, helping to build strong foundations for success rooted in academic achievement and healthy living. Center Coordinator Karyn Rogers says family members are always encouraged to participate in classroom activities year-round, since research shows that parental involvement in a child’s education is beneficial to the child’s development and educational outcomes.

“We have wonderful families and children in our program,” says Rogers. “We love working with every single one of them – it’s especially joyful to celebrate the holidays with them. We are so proud to be part of the education and social service initiatives started when Lyndon B. Johnson was president.”

BCFS Education Services has been operating the Stonewall Head Start program since July, with centers in Johnson City, Fredericksburg and Harper. Services are provided to children and families at no cost. Classrooms are open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 3:00 pm.

The Johnson City Head Start center is currently enrolling 3 and 4 year olds. To apply, call Karyn Rogers at 512-801-5018 or Sarah Cox at 210-919-9224.

Head Start aims to propel children ages 3 to 5 from disadvantaged backgrounds toward academic success and prosperity through the provision of educational, health, nutritional and social services. The program promotes school readiness by enhancing the child’s social and cognitive development, while advocates for the child’s family connect them to helpful community resources.

BCFS Education Services currently operates 91 Head Start classrooms in 24 sites across Texas. BCFS Education Services is a part of the global system of health and human service organizations led by BCFS.

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BCFS Education Services is part of a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations led by BCFS, focused on boosting educational readiness and outcomes in the classroom, as well as ensuring families have the resources, tools and information needed to start their children’s lifetime of learning off on the right foot.