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Parental involvement in young children’s educational growth is critically important. The Head Start model encourages active parent participation in children’s learning experiences.

When parents and teachers work well together, everyone benefits. Parents and teachers can provide each other with unique insight and different perspectives about the same child, culminating in a more complete understanding of that child, their abilities, strengths, and challenges. The teacher will know much more about the curriculum and the school culture, while parents know more about a child’s personality, tendencies, and family life. A successful parent-teacher partnership also shows a child that an entire team of adults is on their side.

Policy Council

Head Start Policy Council is a group of parents elected to their post to assist with the governing of the Head Start program. Together the group works to create activities for parent involvement and engagements, program recruitment, as well as budget planning.


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Recent Goings On

Certificate Days – It’s hard to believe another school year has come and gone! Both WCAC’s Southbridge and Webster Head Start Center celebrated our little one’s accomplishments with Certificate Day festivities. We thank our teachers and staff for an amazing year – and thank our families for entrusting their little one’s care to us. We wish all of our little ‘graduates’ all the best in Kindergarten – we know you’ll make us proud! See pics from Southbridge here and from Webster here.

Into the Woods – Throughout the month of May, WCAC Head Start classrooms enjoyed field trip to Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester, MA. The children, parents and faculty enjoyed exploring the outdoors while learning about plants and animals in their natural habitats. Audubon staff guided students through the wild life sanctuary on an educational nature hike. The children even found a few salamanders while exploring some habitats! We are most grateful to National Grid and Mass Audubon for this amazing opportunity. Photos here.

MultiCultural Celebration – WCAC’s Head Start Centers recently hosted their annual MultiCultural Celebration! Kudos to teachers and staff for cooking up so much yummy goodness – children and their families enjoyed tasty treats from around the world! Special thanks to the volunteers from MAPFRE Insurance who helped out! Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness. Check out photos from Southbridge here. and from Webster here.

Book Buddies – Today WCAC’s new Webster Head Start welcomed new Book Buddies from MAPFRE Insurance which has committed employee volunteers to visit on a monthly basis to share a story with each of our four classrooms as well as help with a craft or other activity. We are most grateful for this wonderful support – thank you MAPFRE employees! Check out all the fun here.

Sweetheart Dance – WCAC’s Southbridge Head Start would like to thank everyone who contributed to their recent Sweetheart Dance, in particular Southbridge Public Schools, Elise Capillo of Epic Marketing Solutions and DJ Shawn Clark of Mass of Muzik. With a special shout out to our parent volunteers. These photos go to show just how much love and happiness the children and their families have for one another. These children really know how to warm your heart.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss – Members of the Retired Southbridge Teachers Association visited WCAC classrooms as guest readers as part of our celebration of Dr. Seuss at our Southbridge Head Start Center. Oh the places we will go! Check out the fun here.

WCAC Webster Center Grand Opening – Special thanks to everyone who helped make our new Webster Head Start Center a reality! What an incredible morning we had celebrating with our great community funders, supporters and partners. We are most grateful to our elected officials for their strong advocacy and great leadership – special thanks Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Ryan Fattman and Representative Joe McKenna. The project represents the largest capital campaign undertaken in the agency’s 54 year history. See pictures from the big day here!

Nature’s Classroom – Worcester Community Action Council’s Head Start program has been named the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the National Grid Foundation to support a science and nature curriculum in all of the agency’s twelve classrooms. Check out pictures here from a workshop on winter birds – which included making bird feeders, looking for birds with binoculars and learning about water temperature – with and without ‘blubber’ gloves!

Pizza Party – Say cheeeese…. cheese pizza that is! Special thanks to our good friends MAPFRE Insurance for providing a pizza party for each of WCAC’s Head Start classrooms last week! Originally intended as a prize for the winning classroom in our recent Gingerbread House contest, the MAPFRE volunteers decided that all the the kids did such a great job decorating, everyone deserved some pizza! See the yummy fun here.

Winter Wonderland Fun – Today WCAC’s Head Start program was visited by friendly volunteer ‘elves’ from MAPFRE Insurance who spent time decorating gingerbread houses with every classroom. Covered in sprinkles, candy and a good amount of frosting, a fun time was had by all! Completed houses were put on display for the children and staff to pick a favorite. (Check out our separate Gingerbread House photo album to vote for YOUR favorite design!) Additionally, the children showed off their new winter coats which were recently distributed through WCAC’s Coat Drive for Kids – MAPFRE employees donated more than 100 new coats to the drive! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are fortunate to have such wonderful community partners! Check out pictures here.

Read for the Record 2018 – Thank you to all our ‘celebrity’ readers who made the time to join us for today’s Read for the Record event! Our Head Start students, teachers and staff appreciate your willingness to share your love of reading with them to emphasize the critical importance of early literacy programs! Special thanks to Southbridge Credit Union for once again sponsoring this event – providing us with copies of the book Maybe Something Beautiful for each classroom to keep in their class library (both English and Spanish) AND a book for each child to take home to keep! Jumpstart’s Read for the Record brings together millions of people each year in classrooms, libraries, community centers, and homes across the US. This annual campaign was launched over a decade ago to highlight the importance of building early literacy and language skills for EVERY child, so that all children have the opportunity to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. Check out the fun here.

Lunchdate with MAPFRE – Special thanks to Fundación MAPFRE for its generous support of our Head Start nutrition program! Children enjoy a healthy breakfast, lunch & snack each day – making sure they are healthy and ready to learn! Yesterday they enjoyed a visit with some MAPFRE volunteers who shared stories and stayed for lunch. Thank you, thank you, thank you! See photos here.

Turnback Time Farm – Mud, muck, mayhem and more! WCAC’s summer Head Start classes enjoyed a visit to Turn Back Time Farm in Paxton – including a working farm, nature playground, beaver ponds and an extensive trail system. Is there any better way to learn than to get your hands dirty doing so? Special thanks to Greater Worcester Community Foundation for a grant to support this field trip. Click here for photos of all the fun!

Getting Buggy With It – WCAC’s Head Start classrooms today enjoyed a visit with local author @KateNarita who shared her book, 100 Bugs! The children then went on a ‘bug hunt’ counting and matching numbers. Thanks to the generosity of Greater Worcester Community Foundation and Southbridge Credit Union everyone got to take a copy of the book home to enjoy. Click here to join the hunt!

Space Week – Preschoolers enrolled in WCAC’s Summer Head Start classrooms had an out-of-this-world time last week learning about space, stars and rockets! Fun included sorting stars, a special movie, an outdoor rocket experiment and of course, a dance party! Click here for pictures.

Busy Little Bees – WCAC’s Head Start summer classrooms celebrated National Pollinator Week with a visit from a local Bee Keeper! Children got to sample local honey, try on the keeper’s gear, see a honeycomb and enjoyed watching The Bee Movie! Click here for photos.

Click HERE for archive of Head Start Happenings.

STATEMENT FROM WCAC

In the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, we are still searching for words adequate to express our disgust and horror over the actions of those responsible for his death; our deep sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community; and our anger over the repeated dehumanizing and fatal oppressive actions that threaten our nation. On behalf of the Worcester Community Action Council, we unequivocally condemn the police brutality that led to Mr. Floyd’s death. We join the call for justice, unity, peace and reform.

Worcester Community Action Council is directly and indirectly affected by the tragic events in our country that have reopened wounds that were never healed.  Our board of directors, staff and clients feel the impact of these events in deeply personal ways, and struggle with the feelings of fear, mistrust, separation, and anger.  We stand together in solidarity with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the country who are demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to the systemic and intentional acts of oppression imposed upon communities of color.  George Floyd is now among countless, precious Black lives lost due to the imbalance of power in this country that has been perpetuated by racism.  Systemic racism must end.  We must hold ourselves accountable as allies to act as a relentless force for positive change.

Community Action was created in 1964 from the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the federal Economic Opportunity Act in the “War on Poverty”. In our role in the community, WCAC must renew and strengthen our calls for an end to the poverty and inequity that threaten our society.

We will be a strong voice against injustice, oppression and hate by advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social and economic systems.

We will continue to work to stabilize individuals and households through our programs while deepening our resolve to create economic self-sufficiency through financial building blocks.

We will continue our leadership role in the City of Worcester’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative in partnership with the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Public Schools, recognizing youth employment and education are pathways for success.

We will continue to invest resources in our youngest children across Southern Worcester County from ages zero to five as we help prepare them for long-term success in school and life.

We will use our agency’s purchasing power to support African American, Latinx and Immigrant- owned businesses by purchasing goods and services.

We will support a diverse staff at all levels to work within our own agency staff to examine, change and navigate ourselves and our community into a just and equitable era.

We will listen to the needs of our community and routinely shift our work to address these needs directly.

We will partner with you, and like-minded organizations, to support initiatives that help our community heal, unify, and become stronger.

Together, we can make meaningful reforms, and change the course of the future for our children.

Signed,

Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director                    Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair

Statement endorsed by WCAC Board of Directors 6/2/2020