Local, county, state and federal legislators found out what it is like to attend a Head Start/Pre-K program. State Rep. Clint Owlett, PA Head Start Association outreach coordinator Michelle Smith, state Rep. Tina Pickett’s field representative Patti Martin, Blossburg mayor Shane Nickerson, state Sen. Joseph Scarnati’s field tepresentative Deb Rudy, Tioga County commissioners Erick Coolidge and Roger Bunn attended a Legislative Luncheon and classroom tour on April 1.
Attendees received an overview of the program, a ride on one of the program’s school buses and a tour of the Blossburg 2 classroom located in the Blossburg Elementary School.
Legislators engaged with local Head Start children to learn how the children’s play is really their work. Jody Thomas, executive director, provided an overview of the program, Marvin Hall operated the school bus to transport the legislators to the school and Bill Swingle, Blossburg Elementary School principal, gave a tour of the hydroponics and library.
Jen Monahan, teacher; Jen Shedd, teacher aide; and Kayla Sherant, classroom aide/bus monitor substitute; and children showed legislators all of the activities they do every day, including things like woodworking, technology, art projects, writing, reading, dramatic play which prepares them for entering kindergarten.
Board members in attendance included Sam Rotella, Southern Tioga School District superintendent; Brooks Eldredge-Martin, retired executive director of Bradford County Regional Arts Council; PJ Barnes, board chair and past Head Start parent; and Joann Ogden, former Laurel Health System board member and Blossburg resident. Each provided reasons why early childhood education is important and how Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. touches children and families.
Jody Thomas asked legislators to increase federal and state funding to provide additional slots for children and to increase PA Pre-K Counts cost per child.
Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. offers programs for pregnant mothers, families and their children, newborn up to the age of 5. For more information call 570-638-1400, visit www.bradfordtiogahs.org or find them on Facebook.