By Cassidy Boyd
Skagit Valley College’s Skagit/Islands Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program has been chosen to be awarded the Edward Zigler Innovation Award for the 2017-2018 program. The Edward Zigler Innovation Award is to “celebrate programs…to create high impact services to children and families” according to nhsa.org, The National Head Start Association’s website.
According to the Skagit Islands/Head Start website, sihs.skagit.edu, the program “provides high quality, happy, early-learning environments for children birth to five. We also provide culturally responsive services to the entire family, including home-based services to pregnant women.” By being a part of the program, children will be well prepared when it comes time for them to begin kindergarten, will be more prepared for higher education, and to overall be “law abiding, economically successful adults.”
The program offers a home-based option, a preschool option, and a toddler option. According to nhsa.org, head start children score at the normal level with language, literacy, math, and letter-word knowledge, some “show significantly better social-emotional, language, and cognitive development. Children who attend Early Head Start and transition to Head Start are readier for kindergarten than children who do not attend Head Start” Compared to those who are not members of the program, “Head Start children have better social skills, impulse control, and approaches to learning. Head Start children also decrease their problem behaviors, such as aggression and hyperactivity.” The end results of the program don’t just show in young students, “Compared with children in parental care, Head Start children performed considerably better on cognitive and social-emotional measures in kindergarten and had fewer attention problems and exhibited fewer negative behaviors” according to nhsa.org
Skagit/Islands Head Start Program is currently serving 579 children in Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties. To learn more about Head Start or ECEAP, visit sihs.skagit.edu