Listuguj celebrates and offers many programs for the youth in the community. One of these programs is Head Start.
Head Start began back in 2001. It was initially held in what is currently the Haven House building. It eventually moved to the Education Complex until a new building became available specifically for the program in 2017.
Head Start features an early childhood learning curriculum and is a program for children ages three to four in the community. The staff at Head Start consists of General Manager, Tina Martin, and early childhood educators Valery Jacques-Larocque and Mallory Larocque. Here children will learn and participate in several programs with various workstations, such as story time, yoga, fine motor skills activities, outdoor play and even learning Mi’gmaq. The children learn how to maintain structure and routine, how to become independent and interact with other children in the community. Head Start consists of two groups – mornings and afternoons, and each group runs on weekdays for two hours. This type of program will also help prepare them for going to school in the future.
The program is a key point in helping to determine any learning disabilities and ensure children receive the type of assistance they need. Tina Martin said, “If we see any kind of a developmental delay, we’ll be able to have them screened with the permission of parents, we can either get a speech pathologist or an occupational therapist, we can also go through Jordan’s Principle.”
When asked what their favourite thing about working at Head Start is, Martin said, “Watching these children learn and play, and then seeing them graduate from high school.”
Valery Jacques-Larocque simply said, “Watching them grow.”
Head Start has kicked off again this month, and the staff is eager to take part in the children’s education journeys!
By Ann Marie Jacques