The Kansas Head Start Association in Lawrence serves communities across the state. The organization promotes and supports integrated early education programs. Staff and members get a chance to collaborate about potential and existing programs in an upcoming KHSA event.
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TERRAN SMITH: The Kansas Head Start Association gives children the opportunity for early education. Families who meet federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Head Start. There are currently 29 programs in the state that offer education for children ages 3 to 5. Students aren’t the only ones learning from Head Start says Executive Director Lori Alvarado.
MS. LORI ALVARADO (Executive Director, KHSA): The primary purpose of KHSA is to serve as the advocacy, education and leadership development umbrella for the Head Start programs in the state of Kansas.
SMITH: The organization brings communities together by pooling resources and sharing ideas to ensure early education and strengthen existing programs.
MS. ALVARADO: The higher quality our programs are, the better our children and families will be because they will have access to the highest quality services.
SMITH: The Pathways to School Readiness Conference is one of many events to do just that. The meeting will be November 8 and 9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Wichita. Erick Vaughn, Fiscal and Program Manager says the organization is—
MR. ERICK VAUGHN (Fiscal and Program Manager of KHSA): —trying to educate them about what they can to implement the integrated preschool classrooms in their school district.
SMITH: The conference also targets administrators, teachers, and other staff who work with the children through the Demonstration Learning Communities Project.
MR. VAUGHN: It was just kind of one of those awesome opportunities to bring everybody together and just have formal learning opportunities through workshops. But there will also be opportunities for networking, and for programs just to connect and share ideas and get to know one another.
SMITH: Head start stresses the importance of family involvement within early education. The organization emphasizes this value to create the most beneficial programs possible for both the children and their families in communities across the state.
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TERRAN SMITH, Lawrence Non-Profits