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Enrollment for Head Start to start

The Oregon Trail School District Head Start at Sandy Grade School is enrolling for the 2016-17 school year.

Open to students age 3 to 5, the Head Start program is geared to youngsters whose families meet certain economic criteria. Those are families with income at or below the Federal poverty guidelines, who receive certain types of public assistance, who are applying on behalf of a foster child, and families who are currently homeless.

The program is free to qualifying students.

“It’s a great opportunity to get them into the school and get them ready for kindergarten,” said Hali Vollans, a Sandy Grade School Head Start teacher.

There are two Head Start classrooms at SGS. Eighteen students are in each class. Between morning and afternoon classes, three classes are offered. The morning classes are held from 8-11 a.m., and afternoon classes are held from 12-3 p.m. Morning students receive a free breakfast, and afternoon students receive a free lunch. Transportation also is provided.

As part of the program, students follow what Vollans called a “creative curriculum” that includes building social skills, listening exercises, practicing following directions and learning how to share. They also participate in other educational activities, such as painting, coloring and writing. If necessary, the Head Start program can also help families find insurance, childcare, learn English and discover other important resources in the local community.

Head Start also holds health, vision, dental and hearing screenings in the classroom throughout the year.

“It’s a great service, not only for the kids, but for the families as well,” Vollans said.

More enrollment information in English and Spanish can be found at clackesd.k12.or.us/cie/ohspp.html. Applicants can also call 503-675-4102 for bilingual assistance.

— Elizabeth Kellar