Collaborations Offer Parents Strong Options

posted 11/8/22 -- After a 25-year partnership, LCCAA Head Start and Lorain City Schools have prepared thousands of children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Meanwhile, thousands of parents and educators have learned more about the Head Start model.

“It helps expose more people to Head Start and our founding principles and how we’re here to support the family,” said Asst. Director Stefanie Drew. “School readiness is a focus, but the rest of our work is just as important. We’re truly focused on the child and the family. There’s a reason the Head Start model has been successful.”

In Lorain City Schools’ buildings, the Head Start classrooms are staffed by an LCS teacher and an LCCAA assistant teacher and an LCS paraprofessional. Collaborative classrooms are located in seven LCS buildings and the three classrooms opening at Central Plaza will also be collaborative.

“If parents choose LCS, they’re getting the best of both worlds,” said Collaborative Administrator Diana Riffe.

Advantages of the school based classrooms include having multiple children in the same building. Preschoolers with older siblings attend the same school they do. They are also gradually exposed to the experiences they will have as they advance to higher grades.

“They get to see older kids, their siblings, there’s a whole family connection,” Riffe said. “The experiences they get – by the time they go to kindergarten, it’s not a transition for them.”

Drew said the collaboration helps the entire program. The school based model is just a different way of delivering services.

“Because I’m aware of what they offer, I’m able to advocate for the families,” she said. “There are things we can support each other with and there are a lot of little differences that make us special.”