The Economic Opportunities Council is working to build a community of young readers one Head Start classroom at a time.
They were recently assisted in that effort when a lineup of local community leaders took part in the Head Start Community Read Event, visiting early learning classrooms throughout the county and spending time with children during a special storytime.
The fun began in the Early Bird Classroom at Dodgertown Elementary School, where Jonathan Luke, EOC human resources manager, shared “The Cow That Went Oink” by Bernard Most.
“I remember when I was this age. Storytime was one of my favorite things,” said Luke. “I did this last year and I had so much fun doing it. The kids really enjoyed it too.”
“When guest readers visit a classroom, it shows the kids that someone outside of their family has an interest in them,” explained Nancy McCurry, EOC development director. “We really need to get men to visit the classrooms. A lot of the kids don’t have positive male role models in their lives.”
The EOC has assisted at-risk families and individuals to transition from poverty to self-sufficiency since 1965. They currently serve about 275 children through Indian River County Head Start – a free program designed to ensure children ages 3 to 5 are healthy and kindergarten ready.
“Head Start is extremely important. These are at-risk children living at or below the poverty level. Getting them the head start they need to be prepared for kindergarten can make all the difference in their lives,” said McCurry.
To volunteer or for more information, visit eocofirc.net.