Page 1

Winter 2017


SAND BOX Where Young Learners Play to Learn






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Easy-to-use handheld OAE Screener for students of all ages

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HAPPY 2017

REGION VII HEAD START FAMILY! My wish for you this year is that you find purpose and experience passion in what you do for children and families each day. Much of that passion is showcased within the pages of this issue of the Region VII Head Start Sand Box TM magazine. I want to take a moment to thank our contributors whose stories and contributions crafted this issue into a wonderful picture of who Region VII Head Start is, and the lasting impact your dedication has on the community. From caring for tiny smiles, to protecting little feet, and inspiring growing minds, this issue has it all. As you read the inspiring stories in this issue, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the importance of what you do each day. I also want to thank our dedicated business partners who chose to invest their marketing dollars in the production of this publication. They too, believe in what you do, and they want to be a part of it. Their ongoing support of Region VII Head Start makes this powerful publication possible, by offsetting much of the production cost associated with the copy you are holding right now, and the hundreds of copies making their way around the region, and nation. I encourage you to reach out to these wonderful organizations, and learn more about the products and services they provide to Head Start programs. OK, I’ve taken enough of your time. I release you to play in the Sand Box. Enjoy!

Winter 2017

What’s Inside? 5

Farewell from Dr. Enriquez


The Head Start Advantage


Project Eagle’s Educare School

10 Resiliency 12

A Fitness Journey


From Frustration to Success


Growing Futures

20 Oral Health Matters! 22

New Shoes!


Salina, KS Parade of Lights


R7 Office of Head Start Update

28 Head Start Management Systems Wheel 30 Calendar of Events

Inspired by you,

Mike Baugher D irector of Executive Services,

and Publisher of the Region VII Head Start Sand Box TM magazine


Contact us at: R7HSA, 233 SW Greenwich Dr., Ste. 105, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082 Phone: 816.550.6388 Email: mikebaugher@r7hsa.com | R7HSA.com The Region VII Head Start Sand Box™ Magazine is published by Region VII Head Start Association. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect R7HSA’s opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. R7HSA does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in the Region VII Head Start Sand Box™ Magazine is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


United States Capitol Building Interior, Washington, D.C.

A Farewell Letter from Dr. Enriquez Dear Head Start program staff and parents, I am blessed beyond words to have spent the last 20 months working with such intelligent, committed, and loving colleagues as yourselves. It is with a mixed heart that I announce that, as the Obama Administration is coming to a close, so is my time at the helm of the Office of Head Start. Simultaneously, it is a pleasure to remind you of the successes that we have accomplished together as we enhanced the Head Start legacy for future generations. We strengthened Head Start, set our sights on creating high-performing agencies, opened and enhanced communication systems, reported on lessons learned from the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) and the Designation Renewal System (DRS), and worked in unison to publish the new Head Start Program Performance Standards. These accomplishments were designed to position present and future generations with quality tools to help them become even more successful! Though each of our Head Start families is unique, it is our job to help them become as strong and stable as possible, regardless of what they believe or who they are. Our Head Start community consists of traditional two-parent households and non-traditional families made of a single mother or father; children raised by grandparents, relatives, or older siblings; and families whose parents are both of the same gender. We have students who open gifts on Christmas, who are taught the Torah, and who proudly wear head scarves as part of their Muslim faith. Some of our families are indigenous Native Americans, some are descendants of the pilgrims, and yet others moved to the United States within the last year and may migrate to work and bring food to our tables. Our Head Start family is a snapshot of this country, and we are faced with the task of creating an environment that celebrates and harnesses the strengths of all of these differences. As partners, staff, and parents, I know you strive to get better at that—and I thank you for all you do! You serve more than one million children annually, but it is your passion to focus on the “one child in a million,” as though each were our own, that makes me most proud. You are the face of Head Start, made even more beautiful by the loving attitude and hard work you bring to Head Start every day. I have traveled our nation and met magnificent and highly competent people throughout all levels of Head Start. It is not just your minds, but your hearts and minds working in unison that must continue guiding us forward with compassion and focus. Therefore, I leave the Office of Head Start with the knowledge that it remains in capable hands—hands that are guided by passionate hearts and sharpened minds. As always, I am deeply humbled and honored to have worked with each and every one of you. My very best wishes for you from this day forward. Yours sincerely, Dr. Blanca E. Enriquez Director at the Office of Head Start

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


Studying the Head Start Advantage Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director, National Head Start Association


s we roar into 2017, the Head Start community is fueled by tremendous, bi-partisan support. A host of new studies continue to bolster the case for Head Start’s comprehensive approach to early childhood interventions that target very young disadvantaged children and their families. Furthermore, Head Start teachers, administrators and partners are embracing the continued pursuit of excellence and opportunities to magnify impact and maximize outcomes.

As local programs, Head Start grantees are expected to adapt to their communities’ needs and resources. The report views these variations in access, hours of service, teacher credentials, and more as a weakness, whereas we view much of this variation as a strength. From the schedule of the program calendar to different comprehensive services provided for children and families, Head Start intentionally allows for variation in program features to best meet the needs of each unique community it serves. Local Head Start programs provide differentiated services while consistently maintaining high levels of quality instruction.

In fact, the recent report “State(s) of Head Start,” graphically and strikingly reinforces that Head Start has lived up to its promise to The report then goes on to deliver locally designed, quality cherry-pick data and offer a early learning programs. The narrow interpretation to assert report asserts, unequivocally, that some Head Start programs that increasing access to are of lower quality. But the data YASMINA VINCI, Executive Director the Head Start advantage is that the report itself provides, in of the National Head Start Association (www. a winning proposition for addition to several other metrics, nhsa.org), was the first Executive Director of vulnerable children, families only prove that Head Start is the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), has held indeed the nation. And while some of the highest quality leadership positions in local, state, and national the Head Start community programming available to young early childhood education organizations, and wholeheartedly agrees that children. Specifically: is serving on a number of governing Boards of increased federal funding is national and local organizations. critical to expanding access, we • The report narrows in on a do take issue with the alleged single metric of quality, CLASS “faults” the report finds with some programs: variation Instructional Support (IS) scores, which it uses to and quality-two of the very areas our community argue that there is a wide variation in program quality considers strengths. across Head Start programs. However, by the report’s own graphs and analysis of the CLASS IS scores,


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

most of these scores fall within a narrow band and represent little practical significance in variation of quality. In fact, most of the states the report designates as “low quality” based on this metric rank above the national average. • There are two other domains of CLASS scores, Classroom Organization and Emotional Support, in which Head Start considerably exceeds the quality benchmark. The report touches upon these consistently high scores briefly, but ignores their strong evidence of quality. The report’s own findings note that Head Start surpasses the research-based threshold for high quality in the Emotional Support domain in every single state. For the Classroom Organization domain, there is only one state that falls below this threshold with any statistical significance, while the rest reach this threshold or far surpass it. • A recent report conducted by Mathematica analyzes quality in Head Start using ECERS-R, the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised. The report finds that observed classroom quality in Head Start improved significantly from 2006 to 2014, based on the ECERS-R domains of Teaching and Interactions and Provisions for Learning. • As individual states develop their own Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, or QRIS, the country has gained a new metric for rating and comparing all manner of early childhood education programming. In states that have implemented their QRIS, most Head Start programs are rated in the top-quality categories.

Metric after metric, report after report, researchers continue to find that Head Start provides high-quality early learning opportunities to America’s poorest children. Faced with the enormous task of providing comprehensive, educational and twogeneration services to our nation’s most vulnerable children, Head Start programs across the country continue to use creativity and innovation to meet and exceed expectations. While we applaud the report’s call for increased funding to expand access to Head Start, it is important to recognize the limitations of the analysis, particularly when it comes to comparing services state-by-state and providing a narrow interpretation of quality. Head Start serves our nation’s most vulnerable children, and the depth and breadth of the program’s impact cannot be understood by looking at just one metric of each category. The report’s simplistic analysis of a complex program casts a negative light on our nation’s strongest and most effective approach to delivering quality early learning services to the most vulnerable children and families. And, implying that Head Start is of low quality is directly at odds with the report’s call for increased federal funding to expand access to more eligible children. Follow Yasmina Vinci on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ YasminaNHSA

National Head Start Association 1651 Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314 Telephone: 703-739-0875 · Toll-free: 866-677-8724


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


A Typical Day in an Early Head Start Classroom Project Eagle’s Educare School by Scott Hanson, Marketing Communications Specialist, The Family Conservancy


e sat in on an Early Head Start (EHS) classroom in Project Eagle’s Educare School at the Children’s Campus of Kan-

sas City in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. When you enter the classroom, one thing is immediately apparent. While the room is spacious and bright, almost everything in it is small. The table tops, chair backs, a sink, and most of the residents don’t rise higher than your knee. Even the class size is smaller than you might expect. At full capacity, this group is just eight students with two teachers. It’s no small effort that makes this classroom and the opportunity for these students a reality. The room is one of two EHS classrooms that was made possible by a recently completed renovation. With the added space, The Family Conservancy (TFC) partnered with Project Eagle to administer EHS services to 16 additional low-income families through the new EHS-Child Care Partnership grants.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

A typical day for the children looks something like this: Morning The students begin to arrive. Most of them are carried in, a little sleepy, resting their heads on their parents’ shoulders. Once they get to the classroom, every student gets breakfast. This transition is often a difficult time for students. To help with this shift, the teachers have created a poster board of family photos that hangs by the children’s cubbies. When the children see the photos, they feel connected to their families during the day. 10:00 a.m. On this day, one group is gathered around a table with a bucket of kinetic sand, and the other is seated on the floor around a large piece of paper. Dividing the kids into two groups allows the teachers to develop relationships and meet the individual needs of each child. The kids in the first group dip their hands into the sand as their teacher encourages them to squeeze. The encouragement to use their words and explore the sand continues throughout the activity. “How does it feel in your hands?” One little girl beams with pride as she shows off her creation, “Look, I made a ball.”

teachers engage in conversations promoting manners, social skills, and building relationships. After lunch, the children and teachers clean up while singing a cleanup song, “Clean up, clean up, put your things away …” Songs are very common in the classroom. Besides being fun, they help transition children from one activity to the next and provide opportunities to develop language skills. Afternoon After lunch, the tables are cleared and the children take a nap. The kids have had a busy morning; their bodies need time to rest. One of the many goals of EHS is to help children learn healthy living skills. After their nap, the children get together in the designated circle time area. For the children, gathering in the same spot at the same time, helps them get used to routines — something they will gradually be exposed to as they get older. While circle time is always at the same hour and in the same location in the classroom, the activities vary daily, further allowing each teacher to individualize the activities. Common activities include singing songs and reading stories.

While this activity is fun, it isn’t just play. It helps the children build strength in their fingers, develops motor skills they’ll need for writing, and encourages creative thinking. 10:30 a.m. After their group activities, the kids head to their cubbies, gather coats, mittens, and hats, and meet by the door to go outside. Throughout the day, teachers are doing much more than helping; they are guiding and supporting. One boy has trouble zipping up his coat. After a few failed attempts, his teacher bends down, zipping up the first few inches of his zipper. “Can you finish zipping up your coat?” she asks. The boy has a little trouble grabbing ahold of the zipper, but eventually gets it, and pulls the zipper all the way to his neck. Outside the children are able to exercise and utilize motor skills, like running and jumping. The kids also perform manipulative skills like pulling wagons, and lifting and carrying movable objects. 11:30 a.m. At lunchtime, the children eat family style. All of the food is placed in serving bowls on the table, and children serve themselves with help from their teachers. Children and

Above & facing page: Project Eagle’s Educare School at the Children’s Campus of Kansas City in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

As an EHS-Child Care Partnership grantee, The Family Conservancy ensures access to this type of quality early education for 116 Kansas children — ages birth to three, from low income families. TFC reaches these families by creating partnerships with existing family and center-based child care programs. TFC’s role stretches far beyond making EHS available to Kansas families. TFC’s EHS team works with existing center-based and family child care providers to improve the quality and capacity of their programs — training teachers, improving the safety and function of environments, and implementing a high-quality curriculum that supports child development. This work makes everyday interactions like those highlighted above possible, and the high level of care supports the development of a variety of skills that will help children be successful, not only when they enter kindergarten in a few years, but for the rest of their lives.

The Family Conservancy, 444 Minnesota Avenue, Suite 200, Kansas City, KS 66101, Direct phone 913.742.4123, www.tfckc.org Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


What’s in a Word… Resiliency [ri-zil-ee-uh-ns-ee] Susan Killeen, M.A., LPC, NCC, Director of Mental Health Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation (JFCAC)


t times, a word enters our common vernacular that

determination and enthusiasm. We have interpreted the term

indicates a shift in cultural perspective. If we are paying

‘resilience’ as a characteristic that helps children be able to cope

attention, it alerts us to direct our energy toward a need in the

with adverse events in a manner that is consistent with emotional

world. ‘Resiliency’ is such a word. It has become a frequently used

stability. We believe it is this trait that provides children with the

term that, if we are listening, is giving us an important message.

ability to form positive social relationships and to expand healthy self-regulatory behaviors. It is a fundamental component of

So, what does it mean and why should it matter to us? Resil-

Emotional Intelligence (EI). Finally, we are confident that children

ience, as defined in Webster’s Dictionary, means “the capacity

who build resiliency will be capable of recovering from difficult

to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” It is further

life experiences in a way that reduces long-term emotional and

explained as the ability of a substance or object to bounce back

behavioral problems.

to its original form. As it is being applied more commonly as an attribute to humans, the word ‘resilience’ is teaching us to set

With this in mind, we have implemented an evidence-based

our focus toward being intentional, front-loading ourselves and

project to assist children in developing their emotional intel-

children for success.

ligence. Specifically, we seek to help children strengthen their self-regulating skills and teachers & parents better manage stress

The Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation (JF-

associated with their roles as caregivers. The ‘Building Resiliency

CAC) has taken this prompting toward proactive intention with

Project’ will utilize Mindfulness, Self-Regulatory Breathing, Med-


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

itation, Attachment-Oriented Intervention, and Social Emotional

It is a huge undertaking but one we at JFCAC believe will be

Learning in a unique manner within our Head Start program. It

worth it, as we recognize that it is not possible to protect our

has a statistical design and will be regulated by researchers and

children from experiencing the stressful challenges of life. We are

statisticians with hope that it will provide a powerful tool toward

certain resiliency can provide them with the tools they need to re-

empowering the next generation.

spond to the adversities of childhood and to navigate adolescence and adulthood successfully. Acknowledging that it is our respon-

This project is being guided by Dr. Nirbhay Singh, a Profes-

sibility and privilege to set our children on a course for success,

sor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of

we are paying attention to the word ‘resiliency.’ It cautions us that

Georgia, Georgia Regents University and the CEO of MacTavish

ignoring our children’s needs for emotional intelligence would be

Behavioral Health in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Singh has prac-

grievously neglectful and motivates us toward a holistic model of

ticed, researched, and taught meditation practices and is the de-

education. We believe in developing the whole child and recognize

veloper of Meditation on the Soles of the Feet procedure for anger

that emotional intelligence is just as vital as achieving scholastic

management and Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support

intelligence. As Aristotle wrote, “Educating the mind without

for parents, teachers, and staff. He has implemented Social-Emo-

educating the heart is no education at all.”

tional Learning programs with infants, children, and adolescents in preschool, school, and community settings. Dr. Singh will be assisted by a team of experts in the fields of Attachment, Child & Family, Speech & Language, and Occupational Therapies, both externally and internally within Head Start.

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Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


Finding the Hidden Link: a Creston resident’s fitness journey Scott Vicker, Managing Editor, Creston News Advertiser, Osceola Sentinel-Tribune svicker@crestonnews.com


isa Reid became a Head Start parent during the 2014-2015 school year. Even as a single parent, she jumped on board serving on Policy Council, attending parent/

child events, attending a training in Kansas City and then becoming the chair during her second year. As it was obvious from the start of her chairmanship, her leadership skills excelled, and she was eventually asked to serve as a parent rep on the Iowa Head Start Association board. Because of a great volunteer program at her previous job at Bunn-o-matic (they produce Bunn coffee makers), Lisa was able to serve on the interview committee through several employee hires. This experience helped when she became aware of a job position at Iowa Works, which is connected with the MATURA Community Action Agency. She utilized those skills to gain employment and now is an Employment Specialist Lisa Reid

for adult and dislocated workers. She also will begin a community adventure as part of the local High Lakes Leadership Academy, where local individuals can make the transition from “a citizen on the sidelines” to an active community leader. In the midst of all these changes going on in her life, Lisa decided to make a health change as well.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

Joining CrossFit was an accident — well, almost an accident. Lisa Reid was on a lunch break sitting at home on her phone scrolling through Facebook when she read a


She was going to put herself first. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

post linked on Creston’s CrossFit

“I was afraid to be judged or be made fun of behind my back,” Reid said. She didn’t know what to do. She called a friend. Then, she pro-

TYL page: “Cyber Monday is upon us and, with that spirit in mind,

crastinated more. She waited an hour or two to notify the CrossFit

we have decided to roll out our free month hunt today. Hidden some-

manager that she had found the missing link, and even then, she con-

where on our website is a link to a free month membership (three

vinced herself it was too late. Someone must have found it before she

classes a week for one month a $72 value!)...Good luck to everyone

had, she told herself, and that calmed her momentary dread thinking

and happy hunting!!”

about stepping into a CrossFit gym.

Determined to meet a challenge, Reid clicked the link to the web-

“I kind of prayed he didn’t write me back,” Reid said.

site and carefully read each and every word on the website to find the hidden hyperlink. And, in a moment, her determination turned to dread. She had found the missing link. “Oh, God, what do I do now?” she recalled asking herself in a panic. “Do I really want to do this?”

But he did write her back, and Reid did start her CrossFit free month. She joined the gym permanently, going to the gym three to four times a week and preaching the benefits of the program to anyone who would listen.

Reid had been following the CrossFit Facebook page for more than

She also joined other CrossFit-ers for a Whole 30 diet program,

a year, ever since CrossFit came to Creston in April 2014. And, diet

cutting out sugars, grains, dairy, and legumes from her diet for a

plans and workout routines in general were familiar to her. For a lit-

month. At the end of the month, she had lost 17 pounds.

tle while, her day included Curves, a 30-minute workout session for women exercising their bodies through a variation of strength and

“It was a very life-changing learning experience,” she said. “I’ve

cardio training. She had also tried a YMCA gym membership for a

never put that much effort into eating well for 30 days and had such

while, and sometime after that she started a Y fitness class with a

great results.”

friend. The learning experiences Reid found at CrossFit came with chal“I’ve always been conscious of my weight and health,” Reid said.

lenges, more difficult than finding a hyperlink on a website. A month

“I’ve tried to do things about it several times. They just haven’t

or two after she began, the CrossFit gym turned the intensity up for


its annual Games Open, a five-week, five-workout competition undertaken by CrossFit gyms across the nation.

That self-consciousness was often coupled with a sense of shame. What may have been a new challenge for someone else, like learning to code or trying a new recipe, just thinking about starting CrossFit

“‘It will be fine,’ I told myself,” Reid said. “I quickly learned that was not true.”

was a terrifying prospect. Near the very end of the five-week competition stint, the challenge “I was the biggest I ever was, and I found myself avoiding pictures

was 84 thrusters and 84 burpees, each exercise movement demand-

and mirrors,” she said. “I would get ready in the morning and put my

ing the entirety of the upper and lower body. Already sleep-deprived,

makeup on and do my hair, but I couldn’t ever remember looking at

Reid was not mentally ready for the physical demand. With each

myself in the mirror.”

thruster and each burpee, she kept repeating aloud, “This is so stupid. I can’t do this.”

It wasn’t the push-ups or thrusters or burpees that terrified her. It was the perception others would have of her when a woman, size 22,

Finally, she had enough. With tears streaming down her face, she

walked into the place they had spent many hours dedicated to disci-

put the barbell down and walked straight out of the gym in the mid-

pline and perseverance — the very things she was severely lacking at

dle of the session.

that time in her life. “Why is she here? She can’t even do this,” Reid thought they would think, even if they didn’t say it aloud.

She had quit. “I had never seen anyone just walk out in the middle of a WOD,” Reid said. Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


The weekend passed, and Reid walked back into the gym. She

Post, who lost more than 100 pounds, echoed the same sentiment.

didn’t have to come back, and she didn’t have to continue with the

“She really needed to do something for her,” Post said. “It’s hard

competition. But she was going to complete what she set out to

when you are a single mom, and you have school schedules and activ-

do. When the set was finished, she crashed on the floor and cried.

ities, to juggle exercise with that.”

“It was a whirlwind of emotions,” she said. “I was proud of myself.

The isolation Reid often craved before starting CrossFit made

To say I was proud of myself was mind-blowing, especially for some-

nearly impossible any efforts for lifestyle change previously. When

thing I struggled with. I had never done that before.”

Reid recounted the timeline of her fitness journey, from persistent thoughts of shame to walking into the CrossFit gym for the first time,

Fitness was never on Reid’s radar as a child. Most, if not all, of her immediate and extended family was overweight. Her father died

from the CrossFit Games Open to her now ongoing struggle to keep up the work she began, name after name returned to her memory.

when she was eight, and living in a single-parent home with a low income, convenience and prices dictated what would be on the dinner

“I could give you a list a mile long,” she said.

table. Reid never remembered health or exercise talked about in the home.

While finding a missing hyperlink was a seeming accident, the support Reid had along the way made for a more than 10-minute-long

A single mother herself, raising her 5-year-old daughter, Reid, too,

monologue about everyone, friends in-and-out of the gym, random

has struggled to make health a priority. Often times, that struggle

strangers, and mentors who all were an active, present force for her

compounded the day-to-day stresses of life.

emotional and physical recovery.

“Everything kind of suffered,” Reid said. “My relationship with my daughter suffered. My relationship with friends suffered. My daily

“If you don’t have those people encouraging you, you will fail,” Reid said. “I think it is what helped me be successful.”

things suffered. I just wanted to hide and kind of stay there.” Now, health means something different for her. She was initialTwo of her friends, Carrie Austin and Taycey Post, had been with

ly convinced her triumph would come when she could see a physical

Reid through the highs, lows, and in-betweens of her fitness journey.

change in the mirror or a lower number on a weight scale. That moment did come, but the confidence, determination, and patience she

Austin, who had encouraged Reid to do the Y classes with her a couple of years ago, had a fitness journey of her own and lost more

flexes now on a regular basis amid her struggle came from finding another sort of hidden link in her fitness journey: a new outlook.

than 70 pounds. “Saying that you are proud of yourself, I don’t think a lot of people When they shared their struggles together, she was quietly waiting

say it, or at least not outwardly,” she said. “That was a moment for

and hoping for the moment to come when Reid would find herself on

me, an eye-opening moment that changed my physical and emotional

the other side.


“I knew it was something she was going to have to do,” Austin said. “She was going to put herself first. It’s not an easy thing to do.”


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


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An interactive morning greeting builds a connection between a student and his teacher.

From Frustration to Success: A Social-Emotional Journey Michelle Salas, Early Education Specialist, Heartland Early Education, Salina KS


iggles and smiles shared between students and their teacher at the morning greeting as handshakes, tickles, and

Key ideas were pinpointed that guided our process. First, we had to recognize and identify the needs of the students. Then,

high fives are exchanged begin the school day on a positive note.

we had to analyze the varying expertise of staff and label possible

This is the beginning of each session in our Head Start classrooms

training needs. Recognizing parents as the first teachers of their

at Heartland Early Education, and the beginning of our journey to

children, as well as their level of engagement in supporting learn-

increase the emotional wellbeing of our students.

ing, was another key point. Knowing that we needed to build upon what we knew, we identified resources, curriculum, and materials

Meeting the social emotional needs of our students is a vital

currently in use in our program. We also utilized the vast knowl-

component of Head Start. However, observations of classrooms

edge and experiences of our staff, including the preschool program

and hands-on experiences dealing with the increasingly challenging

coordinator, early education specialists, social emotional coach,

behaviors showed us that more needed to be done to meet the

and mental health therapists who gave input regarding the content

social emotional needs of our students. Staff were frustrated, not

of the lessons.

at the children, but because they wanted to make a greater impact in reframing the behaviors they were seeing. Sparked by a concept


The preschool teachers were presented with the concept that we

shared by Early Childhood Connections (Hays, KS) and driven

would dedicate the first weeks of school to developing routines and

by the need for change, we began the process of compiling social

expectations in the classroom, while building strong and mean-

emotional lessons and expectations for our classrooms.

ingful relationships with students. We knew we needed to give

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

them permission to “slow down” the beginning of the year. And,

We had forged forward with high hopes, and were not disap-

knowing that it takes time to make connections with children and

pointed! Teachers felt better equipped to handle challenging

to make them feel safe so they can learn, we made the decision to

behaviors. Visitors to the building noticed how calm the class-

allow for ten weeks of social emotional-focused learning in each

rooms were. Children transitioned more easily following long

classroom. Yes, that meant that our primary focus would not be

breaks during the school year. Parents remarked their children

on academics, but on front loading the social skills our students

were handling upsets at home with better skills. The number of

needed in order to become successful learners. With the approval

Student Improvement Team meetings decreased. Children exhib-

and support of our program coordinator and our Head Start direc-

ited strong emotional ties to classmates and awareness of needs of

tor, we moved forward!

others. Children were better able to attend in class and self-regulate, and they were ready to learn! Those types of positive results

During the summer, the Early Education Specialists worked

were well worth the time investment we made at the beginning of

to provide a visually appealing format for the lessons. Planning

the school year. Now in our second year of utilizing the ten-week

pages were developed for completion by each classroom team to

social emotional program, we as a program feel confident in saying

identify step by step expectations for routines, transitions, lining

it has been a success!

up outside, etc. A daily overview included large group components, such as breathing exercises, circle rules, and a review of the

Those same smiles, seen at the beginning of each session, beam

visual schedule. A focus for staff was identified weekly, as well as

again as teachers sing and wave goodbye, sending each student

self-reflection questions. Slowing down the start of the year meant

home with the knowledge that he or she is cared for, will be

gradually introducing centers. Social stories identifying the rules,

missed, and will be welcomed back to school the next day.

how to play, and when to clean up were developed to be read prior to children playing in each center. In addition to the daily overview, a small group lesson page was also developed. These small groups were intentionally focused on teaching social emotional skills incorporating the resources and curriculum already utilized by our program.

Attentively listening, a teacher assistant waits for a student to choose a greeting.

Our goal was that we wanted our teachers to solely focus on developing strong social emotional relationships with their students, as well as teach consistent classroom routines. Therefore, all planning and preparation for lessons was done for them prior to the start of the school year. Binders were completed for each classroom. The classroom planning pages, daily overview, and small group lessons were divided into weekly sections. Additional guidance was added where needed. Laminated visuals for rules, greetings and small group activities, as well as templates, were included in the appropriate weeks. Parent letters and weekly take home activities correlating to school lessons were vital in extending the social emotional learning into our families’ homes. Additional social stories for the bathroom, riding the bus, and outdoor play were printed, laminated, and bound for each classroom. When the school year began, teachers were excited to receive their binder full of materials! In order for our social emotional program to be successful, we knew we had to make a time commitment to meet with staff and be open to suggestions for improvement. Weekly meetings were held with our teachers, teacher assistants, Early Education Specialists, mental health staff, and preschool program coordinator. Each week was reviewed, and the next week’s plans were previewed. Open conversations took place to share celebrations, suggestions and brainstorm! Notes were taken and ideas for the next year were documented.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


A group of preschoolers from one of the classrooms at Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc.

Social-Emotional Support Leads to Kindergarten Readiness By Vicky Fluke and Megan Campbell


ason* enrolled in the Head Start program at Growing

in with Jason’s grandmother for a time. She was worried because

Futures Early Education Center, Inc. in 2014 at the age of 3.

the two women did not get along well, and Jason seemed to react

During an Ages and Stages (ASQ) Questionnaire, Jason’s teacher,

so strongly to yelling or arguing of any type. Ms. Vicky, Ms. Jenny,

Ms. Jenny, noted that he scored high on social and emotional

and Jason’s mom decided that play therapy at Growing Futures

issues and that his communication indicators were very low. Ms.

would be a good support system for Jason so that he could receive

Jenny called Growing Futures’ Mental Health and Disabilities

therapy while at school, and his mother wouldn’t have to worry

Services Specialist, Ms. Vicky, for support. Together, Ms. Jenny,

about him continuing to get mental health support after they left

Ms. Vicky, and Jason’s mom talked about his ASQ scores and how

the shelter. In therapy, Jason revealed details of devastating abuse

he was doing both at home and at school. Mom disclosed that

that he had suffered at the hands of his paternal grandfather.

she and Jason were staying at the local shelter due to domestic

Jason’s mom, with the support of Ms. Jenny and Growing Futures

violence that they had experienced at the hands of her ex-boy-

Family Support Advocate, Ms. Rachel, called the Department for

friend. Mom was looking for a job, but thinking about moving

Children and Families to make the abuse report.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

Vicky Fluke, Mental Health and Disabilities Services Specialist

After about three months in play therapy, it was suggested

Jason continued to receive on-site speech therapy at Growing

that Jason see a speech therapist to help address some of his de-

Futures with Ms. Fanisha three times a week for 30 minutes.

lays. Ms. Vicky immediately called upon program partners from

Sometimes Ms. Fanisha would do their sessions in Jason’s

the local school district for assistance. Jason began working with

preschool classroom with his peers, and other times they would

a speech therapist, Ms. Fanisha, who helped to get him on an

meet in a private space at Growing Futures, so they could work

Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

one-on-one. Jason was in speech therapy for two years and was dismissed in May 2016. Not only did he close the gap with

During the IEP meeting with Growing Futures and the

peers his age, but he would enter kindergarten without an IEP!

District staff, Jason’s mom started to cry. She was overwhelmed

On Jason’s last day of preschool, Mom came to Ms. Vicky and

by not only the discovery of the abuse but Jason’s speech issues.

told her how much she appreciated everything Growing Futures

Ms. Vicky stayed with Jason’s mom and talked with her about

had done to help her son. She had been going to counseling for

what a great job she was doing by getting Jason to a safe place

a few months, moved in with her mom, got a job, and reported

and getting all of the services that he needed – she was being a

that she “upped <her> quality of life.” She believes that Jason

great advocate for her son. Vicky provided Jason’s mom with a

felt secure going to kindergarten because his teachers at Grow-

referral to Growing Futures’ community mental health partner

ing Futures were so caring. She thanked Ms. Vicky and left us

so she could talk to a professional about taking care of her own

with this message - “Growing Futures is a very special place.”

mental health needs. *Name changed for privacy/confidentiality

Growing Futures Early Education Center, Inc. formerly Head Start of Shawnee Mission, Inc. 8155 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS 66204 (913) 649-9714, ext. 247 www.growingfutureseec.org Our mission is to nurture children and strengthen families to enrich the community.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


Physician Alert: Oral Health Matters! Bob Russell, DDS, MPH, Public Health Dental Director Iowa Department of Public Health Simple Screening Protocol


id you know that poor oral health contributes to worsening

patients? Rest assured there are many resources to help you nav-

chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease,

igate the simple steps you need. Along with the support of your

and even stroke? Are you aware that children have died from lack of

local I-Smile Coordinator, there are excellent online resources from

timely and appropriate care from an acute oral health emergency?

credible professional associations for you to review and update your

Oral health care is a component of health care, and, as primary

knowledge. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a complete

care providers a part of your charge; however, this should not be

training protocol for physicians and primary care providers at their

overwhelming as you have a support network here in Iowa to assist

web page https://brightfutures.aap.org/materials-and-tools/guidelines-and-


pocket-guide/Pages/default.aspx Also, the American Academy of Family Physicians has an extensive oral health protocol at http://www.aafp.

The I-Smile Dental Home program, developed in 2006, was creat-


ed to provide support to you, the primary care physician, to link your patients to a dental home, to educate you and your staff on protocols

The addition of oral health screening to your practice should not

to provide basic dental screenings and fluoride applications, and to

be overwhelming or complex, nor are you asked to be an expert in

direct you to resources to answer your questions.

oral disease identification. The goal is to identify simple risk factors for the development of future dental disease, scan the mouth and

There are 24 I-Smile Coordinators throughout Iowa located in 22

notice any suspicious change that doesn’t appear normal, and activate

local public health agencies throughout the state. As you consider

your I-Smile dental home system. That’s as simple as it gets! In ad-

implementing oral health screening services in your practice, your

dition, you or one of your staff may apply a simple a fluoride varnish

first step should be to reach out to your local I-Smile Coordinator.

coating as a non-invasive preventive measure to the teeth to increase

This can be done by accessing the following link: http://idph.iowa.

resistance to dental decay.

gov/ohds/oral-health-center/coordinator. You will find a map and list of I-Smile Coordinators with contact information. You can use this information to find a coordinator near you.

It’s not rocket science, but if you never tried it before, it can feel as if it will be difficult. The good news is that in Iowa – you have

help! Contact your I-Smile Coordinator and let’s get started and

Are you concerned that you aren’t trained in dentistry or do not

protect and improve the health of Iowans today!

know enough to be effective in providing oral health advice to your

Screening should be instituted at the 12-month well-child visit, with the child examined in a lap-to-lap position or supine on the examination table. If a child is in pain, refer to a dentist or to the I-Smile Dental Home System immediately. Once you have identified a child in need of an oral health screening, put on a pair of gloves. You will need a tongue depressor or toothbrush and a light source: • With gloved hands, move the lip to view and feel the teeth, and soft tissues on the outer side of the mouth. • View and feel the teeth and soft tissues inside the mouth. Use a tongue depressor or toothbrush to move the tongue to allow a full view of the teeth and soft tissue.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

What to look for: • An abscess on the gums above or below the teeth. An abscess often looks like a “gum boil” with signs of infection such as swelling and pus drainage. If you suspect an abscess, refer to a dentist or the I-Smile Dental Home System immediately. • Are teeth coming in and being lost appropriately for the child’s age? Have there been any injuries to the mouth or teeth? If so, refer to the I-Smile Dental Home System. If you suspect abuse, call the Iowa Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-362-2178. • Teeth that appear to have unusual color or shape, the presence of chalky appearing white spot lesions, stains, plaque, or brown or dark spots or “holes” which can be signs of a cavity. If you suspect untreated caries, refer to I-Smile Dental Home System.

- Newborn Oral Finger Swab 0 - 6 months

fits over an adult finger; make wet with water and rub over the upper and lower gums to remove food debris.

- Infant Finger Toothbrush 6 months - 2 years

also fits on an adult finger; can use with water or a smear-size amount of toothpaste to remove dental plaque as the teeth start to erupt.

- Baby Toothbrush start to use when 2 - 3 years

Volunteers prepare dental kits for Head Start families.

A Lifetime of Smiles

Partnership Benefits Nebraska Early Head Start Families

- Toddler Toothbrush can be used 3 - 4 years

5 - 6 years

his was the third consecutive year the Nebraska Office of Dentistry and Oral Health, and the Head Start State Collaboration Office have partnered with Head

programs, received a family dental kit that included a child and adult tooth brush, a small tube of toothpaste, and a two-minute timer and easy-to-follow educational material. This year, the focus was on engaging parents with infants and toddlers, in their child’s oral health. Early Dental Health Starter Kits were given to every pregnant woman or parent with a child enrolled in Early Head Start or an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program. The kits contained newborn oral finger swabs, an infant finger toothbrush, a baby toothbrush, a toddler toothbrush, a child toothbrush, a tooth timer, and information on infant oral health care.

who has better brushing skills and more space in his mouth. Use with a pea-size amount of toothpaste.

- Tooth Timer and all of these items

Start Grantees, to promote the importance of oral hygiene. During the past two years, parents with preschool-age children enrolled in a Head Start center, and home-based

by young child who can start to brush on their own. Use with a pea-size amount of toothpaste.

- Child Toothbrush for larger child

Joan Luebbers, Head Start State Collaboration Office, Nebraska Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood


your baby can first hold things; it has soft bristles and a large grip handle. Use with smear-size amount of toothpaste.


should be used for two minutes, twice a day, every day.

Oral hygiene aids should be utilized only under adult supervision and suggested ages may vary. Toothpaste should contain flouride as recommended by the American Dental Association. To find a Dentist contact the Nebraska Dental Association at 402-476-1704 or http://www.nedental.org/oral_health/find_a_dentist.html For more information, contact the Office of Oral Health and Dentistry: dhhs.ne.gov/dental This publication is funded by Grant Number 2B01OT009036-15 PHA-OTH-121 (99993) 7/16

Another exciting feature this year, was the expansion of the partnership to include families from MIECHV, Early Intervention, and Sixpence. Prevention funds from the Office of Dentistry and Oral Health, and a contribution from the Head Start State Collaboration Office, provided for 8,500 Starter Kits to be assembled. They were given to families during home visits with staff throughout the year, continuing to engage parents on the benefits of good daily oral hygiene habits for a lifetime of smiles. None of this could be possible without the volunteers who help each year. As in the past, several Lincoln Girl Scout and Brownie troops brushed up on their packing skills and filled dental kits. Other volunteers included local high school students, church groups, girls’ soccer teams, senior citizens, and state employees. The feedback from programs and families has been amazing. “We are so excited to distribute them to our Early Head Start families.” “Thank you so much for including our program.” “We are including the kits with a lesson using What to Do for Healthy Teeth.”

SPECIAL THANKS to Doctor Charles Craft and Jessica O. Ball from the Nebraska Office of Dentistry and Oral Health for using their prevention funds to promote early dental care for infants and toddlers from lowincome families. They are both strong advocates of oral health and prevention.

“Every introduction of dental health starts a ripple effect in families that reaches out to other family members, relatives, and neighbors.” “This is real prevention work.” “Our families appreciated the kits.” And many more. Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


Richmond, MO Head Start Center preschoolers Ryan (left), 5, and Keegan, 5, shriek in delight at their new shoes from Shoes from the Heart .

Photos by Leah Wankum Richmond News

Young Souls Delighted with New Shoes Shoes from the Heart delivers 36 brand-new pairs to Richmond preschoolers From the Richmond News, Tuesday, November 8, 2016. By Leah Wankum, Richmond News Editor.


ust last week, kids in the local Head Start Center had holes in their shoes. This week, Shoes from the Heart co-founder

After trying the shoes on, the children looked around to see what their classmates got and, of course, showed off their new

Donnie Bonuchi did something about it. Bonuchi and Julie Hayes,

kicks. As Keegan, 5, shared “early Christmas” beside his friend

another volunteer with Shoes from the Heart, surprised 36 children

Ryan, 5, in the afternoon class, Keegan kept admiring his new

with brand-new shoes during Wednesday’s morning and afternoon

shoes. “They’re awesome because they fit on my feet,” Keegan

classes at the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency’s (MV-


CAA) Richmond Head Start Center. What makes each shoe delivery special for Hayes, who is also “It’s amazing, because it’s like shoes are the last things they

a board member for Shoes from the Heart, is knowing the children

get,” said Kelly Rardon, coordinator and one of the teachers of

don’t see themselves as low-income or financially needy. “It’s not

the Richmond Head Start Center. “And then you have kids that

the kids’ fault,” she said. “They’re just kids and excited about a

come with shoes that are like three times too big, so they can grow

new pair of shoes.”

into them.” It was like Christmas came early on Wednesday. The classroom floor mat in the Head Start Center was littered with

Head Start is an MVCAA program that assists children with

shoebox paper. Ecstatic preschoolers mostly age 3 to 5 shrieked

financial, physical, and/or mental needs. Shoes from the Heart first

with delight, but some just stared in awe at their new shoes.

delivered shoes to the Richmond Head Start Center last fall.

Shoes from the Heart’s desire for 2017 is to provide 22,000 shoes for children in Missouri who are enrolled in Head Start. 22

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

“Last year, when (Bonuchi) came, one of my kids’ shoes, the sole

help.” Bonuchi said Shoes from the Heart mostly distributes to Head

was almost completely coming off of it,” Rardon said. “I mean,

Start centers but also gives to school districts, survival houses for

because of the families that we serve, sometimes shoes is the last

domestic abuse cases and the state Division of Family Services.

thing that they actually think about buying, and it’s something that is very much needed for these children.”

Rardon, who went to school with Cindy Bonuchi in Richmond, said her classmates took up a donation for Shoes from the Heart in

Bonuchi co-founded Shoes from the Heart with his late wife, Cindy,

Cindy Bonuchi’s honor at their reunion last year, just after she died.

who died in July last year. Bonuchi said his first reason to keep the

Even though Donnie Bonuchi received that donation, Rardon said

nonprofit going is because this was Cindy’s passion, but he also

he had other reasons to come to Richmond and drop off 40 pairs

does it for the kids. “Seeing the kids’ faces, that’s what makes it

of new shoes at the Head Start center. Because his wife’s roots were

worth it,” he said. Shoes from the Heart started in 2012, when Donnie

in Richmond, Donnie Bonuchi wanted to honor her desire to make

and Cindy Bonuchi’s Sunday

a contribution to her hometown.

School teacher challenged them

“(Bonuchi) got the Head Start num-

to “give back to the community, no questions asked.” The couple wanted to start a nonprofit to give away shoes to those in need, but Donnie Bonuchi said he took some convincing at first. “It took


ber, I’m not sure exactly how,” said

I love my new shoes because they’re big. I feel 7.” ~ 5-year-old Colton

us until we were at University

Rardon, who sent the class donation to Shoes from the Heart. “I don’t even know that he knew I worked here or not. She wanted to come to Richmond and give shoes somewhere.” Bonuchi said he isn’t sure how many

Hospital (in Columbia), and we were there sitting one day, and in

people actually volunteer for Shoes from the Heart, but as the non-

walked this family, and they had four kids,” Bonuchi said. “They

profit keeps growing, so does the number of volunteers, including

either had holes in their tennis shoes, they had on duct tape, or mis-

Hayes, who has also volunteered as a board member for the past

matched shoes, and I got one of those elbows, and I was like, ‘OK.’”

two years. Hayes said she was hooked the first time she delivered shoes to children and got to see their reactions. “We’ve had hard

In its first year in 2012, Shoes from the Heart distributed about

times in our own lives,” she said. “And we’ve had a lot of families say,

500 pairs of shoes in Macon. The nonprofit has been doubling its

‘You know what? As soon as I get back on my feet, I’m going to pay

numbers and reach ever since, expanding to two-thirds of Missouri

it forward.’ And that’s what it’s all about.”

counties as well as parts of Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. Bonuchi said the nonprofit is on track to distribute 20,000 pairs of shoes by

Wednesday’s delivery was no exception. The classroom radiated

the end of the year. For every $10 donated, Shoes from the Heart can

pure joy, gratitude, and innocence that day, from the second the

provide someone with a new pair of shoes. “Our guidelines are: We

children opened their shoeboxes to the moment when Bonuchi

have no guidelines,” Bonuchi said. “Everybody has circumstanc-

and Hayes gathered their things to leave. “Thank you for the new

es come up in their lives, whether it’s a farmer having a bad year,

shoes,” 5-year-old Colton hollered to Bonuchi and Hayes as they

somebody that just got divorced, somebody who just got laid off or

walked out the door. “I love my new shoes because they’re big. I

lost their job, something like that. So we help out the people like

feel 7.”

that, clear to the poorer poor. Anybody that needs help, we try to

Preschooler Bentley, 5, reaches for his new pair of shoes from Shoes from the Heart during Head Start’s morning class.

Head Start preschooler Autumn, 4, smiles as she touches her new shoes she received from Shoes from the Heart at the Richmond Head Start Center. Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017 23

Bus 11, driven by Randy Eastman, Transportation Supervisor, is ready for the Parade of Lights 2016.

Heartland Enters the Salina Parade of Lights By Megan Wagoner, Program Coordinator

This year, Heartland Early Education in Salina, KS, kicked

Prior to the parade, Heartland staff volunteered their time to

off the holidays by participating in the Downtown Salina Parade

deck the bus in over 20 strands of donated lights, a Christmas

of Lights! Our parade entry was none other than a big, yellow,

tree, reindeer antlers, and a big red nose! Once the parade start-

Heartland Early Education school bus.

ed, children, families, and staff rode the bus or walked alongside down the mile-long parade route. Mrs. Claus and her favorite elf

Heartland Early Education has recently established a marketing committee with one of the goals being to increase visibility

(a Heartland family consultant and her husband) even made an appearance!

and awareness of our program in the communities we serve.


Participation in the parade provided a fun and festive way to be

One of the best parts of being in the parade was hearing the

active in the community and provide visibility to our program.

cheers from our past and current students. Many children waved

The evening of Saturday, November 19th brought thousands of

and called out to the bus driver, Mr. Randy, Heartlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transpor-

families to downtown Salina, lining the streets with young chil-

tation supervisor, and the other Heartland staff they knew. Cur-

dren, making this a perfect marketing opportunity!

rent and past children, families, and staff attending the parade

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

loved seeing their teachers and family consultants walking

Clockwise from top left:

the parade route.

• Susan Tucker, Early Head Start Family Consultant, and husband John.

As we made our way down Santa Fe Avenue with our wag-

•H  eartland Early Education Staff and parents gather before the parade starts.

ons full of treats, staff also handed out 300 packages of Gold-

•H  ead Start Staff, L to R: Nicole Weigel, Head Start Teacher, Joslyn Wilcox, Head Start Teacher, and Kylie Gordon, Head Start Teacher Assistant.

fish crackers to parents with young children with a Heartland

• Ashley Long, Head Start Teacher, and daughter Brecken.

recruitment postcard attached to each package of crackers.

• Michelle Miller, Early Head Start Family Consultant, and daughter Aubrey.

Staff who participated in the parade have already started discussing plans for decorating the bus for a repeat appearance at next year’s parade.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


Region VII Office Head Start Team January 2017





PROGRAM SPECIALISTS Pamela Lucas Elizabeth Cox Latrice Davis Melissa Chindamo Darlene Taylor Mustafaa El-Scari

REGIONAL GS MANAGER Dana Moses ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Carla Craig-Koch EC SPECIALISTS Bethanie Grass, IT Kathryn Katie Ingham, IT Wynona Martin, SW Pam Kruger - Disabilities Lana Messner Rebecca Evans

GRANTS MANAGEMENT OFFICE TEAM LEAD Jennifer Curtiss PROGRAM ASSISTANT Rita Huey GRANT SPECIALISTS Evelia Acosta Amanda DeBerg Charles (Doug) Branson

CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTRACT MANAGER Carol Kuhns ASSISTANT MANAGER Joy Loesch CONTRACT STAFF Otha Hill – Assistant Keisha Cage-Cannon – Program Tina Youngers – Program Deana Tatum – Program Valerie Mgrdichian – Grants Roosevelt Draine – Grants Veronica Knight – Grants



Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 601 E. 12th Street Room 349 Kansas City, Missouri 64106 Office: 816.426.2290 Website: www.acf.hhs.gov

Grant Update Linda K. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


e now have two major programs—Head Start and Child Care—seriously working together to maximize resources, share knowledge, and cut through the red tape to improve things for children and their families. We have shared health and

safety model standards and a professional development pathway that can guide us from the new minimum training requirements in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to the ultimate goal set for Head Start programs to have a bachelor’s-degreed teacher in every classroom. In the Kansas City Regional Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care, we have two program specialists dedicated to the coordinated work between these two offices: Melissa Chindamo with the Office of Head Start and Tressa Roecker with the Office of Child Care. A particular emphasis is supporting the implementation of the Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants. In addition, we are intentionally looking at Head Start grantee issues through a state perspective with shared resources and expertise. In 2015, twelve EHS CCP grants were awarded in Region 7. Additional grants will be awarded by March 2017 with the $135 million increase in FY2016 funding.

EHS CCP Grants Awarded In Region 7 In 2015 Included: IA IA IA KS MO MO MO MO MO MO NE NE


Drake University Tri-County Child And Family Development Council, Inc. Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc The Family Conservancy Children’s Therapy Center Of Pettis County, Inc. Missouri Valley Community Action Agency Youth In Need, Inc. Community Action Partnership Of Greater St Joseph Douglass Community Services, Inc Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation Blue Valley Community Action Inc Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative, Llc

he Department of Health and Human Services is awarding approximately $290 million to 665 Head Start and Early Head Start programs to expand the number of programs that offer full school day and full school year services (Head Start 1020 hours

annually and Early Head Start 1380 hours annually). Congress allocated these funds as a down payment toward ensuring that nearly all preschool aged children in Head Start attend full day center-based services. For Region 7, prior to the awarding of these funds, 51% of grantees offered some Head Start services for 1020 hours annually. Only 19% of these grantees offered Head Start services at 1020 hours for 40% or more of their enrollment slots. As a result of the award to increase duration, 82% of grantees will offer Head Start services for 1020 hours. For Early Head Start, prior to increases in duration funds, 82% of grantees offered Early Head Start center-based services at 1380 hours annually. As a result of increased duration funds, 89% of grantees will be able to serve 100% of their center based slots at 1380 hours.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017



o deliver high-quality services, Head Start programs rely on a range of managerial, planning, and oversight systems. The National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO) designed the Head Start Management Systems

Wheel to help programs visualize and plan around those systems. Are you meeting your community’s needs? Do you deliver your services as efficiently as you would like? The wheel can help you develop the systems you will need to answer these questions, and identify ways to build on your strengths and address areas for growth. The Management Systems Wheel can be used as a framework for developing and refining your managerial, planning, and oversight systems. Its interactive features make it user-friendly and easy to explore: • Hover text introduces the key features and components of each system. • Easily accessible PDF documents in English and Spanish can be used as training tools and discussion prompts. • Live links provide access to the wealth of related resources found across the ECLKC. Throughout, targeted links connect these critical systems to their respective Head Start Program Performance Standards.

INTRODUCTION The Head Start Management Systems Wheel is a visual representation of the twelve program management, planning, and oversight systems that are critical to sound program infrastructure and high-quality service delivery. Leadership and governance, the bedrocks of effective management, are depicted as surrounding all twelve systems. Head Start program leadership consists of three key entities: governing body/Tribal Council, Policy Council, and management staff. The governing body/ Tribal Council assumes legal and fiscal responsibility for the program, the Policy Council sets direction, and the management staff oversee day-to-day operations. Together, they are a powerful force that provides leadership and strategic direction. These management systems are crucial to the effective operation of the services in the inner blue circle, which, in turn, result in quality child and family outcomes.

CORE INGREDIENTS • Leadership & Governance • Program Planning & Service System Design

Explore the Management Systems Wheel: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/operations/mang-sys

• Data & Evaluation • Fiscal Management • Community & Self-Assessment • Facilities & Learning Environments • Transportation

QUESTIONS? If you have questions about the Management Systems Wheel and its related resources, please contact PMFO at pmfo@ecetta.info or call 1-888-874-5469.

• Technology & Information Systems • Training & Professional Development • Communication • Recordkeeping & Reporting • Ongoing Monitoring & Continuous Improvement • Human Resources

Scan this QR Code

with your mobile device to view the Head Start Management Systems Wheel instantly. Internet access required. Data rates may apply — check with your mobile provider. Download a QR Code reader at your App Store.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

agement Systems Wheel anagement Systems Wheel

pmfo@ecetta.info • https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/operations • Tel: 888 874-5469 pmfo@ecetta.info • https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/operations • Tel: 888 874-5469 This product was prepared under Grant # 90HC0011 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, by the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations in association with the Foundations of Budget.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017


CALENDAR OF EVENTS REGIONAL OFFICE TRAINING Interested grantees should contact their Program Specialist Foundations of Budget Development* Kansas City Regional Office, Cafeteria Conference Room February 7 – 8, 2017 Target Audience: New CFOs

Practice Based Coaching Training* Kansas City Regional Office, Cafeteria Conference Room March 14 – 16, 2017 Grantee coaching teams of 5 participants. Space for this Cohort is limited.

New Directors Training* Kansas City Regional Office, Room 864 Training: March 28 – 30, 2017 New Director in position 2 years or less.

I Am Moving I am Learning National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness National training to be held in Kansas City. Anticipated date in late April. Look for more information from the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. *No registration fee. Grantee covers travel and per diem costs.

REGIONAL ASSOCIATION EVENTS 2017 Region VII Head Start Leadership Conference

INSPIRING INNOVATIVE LEADERS June 13 – 16, 2017 Overland Park Marriott, Overland Park, KS More details to come! 30

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017

CALENDAR OF EVENTS STATE EVENTS IOWA Director Networking: Implementing New Program Standards

February 7, 2017, Holiday Inn & Suites, Des Moines Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines, IA

Mental Health Networking

February 7, 2017, Holiday Inn & Suites, Des Moines Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines, IA

Dual Language Learning and PLA Networking February 21, 2017, Location TBD KANSAS Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports February 16–17, 2017, KHSA Partner, Wichita, KS Educare Best Practices Training February 17–18, 2017, KHSA Partner April APM/Networking

April 6, 2017 from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, Webster Conference Center, Salina, Kansas

Region VII: Child Plus User Group Meeting

April 10–11, 2017, KHSA Partner, Courtyard by Marriott, Wichita East, 2975 N Webb Road, Wichita, KS 68226

MISSOURI MHSA Board Meeting & Missouri State Meeting with Regional Office February 9 Family Engagement Specialists Community of Practice February 10 Community Action Network Legislative Day March 1 Missouri Conference on the Young Years March 10-11 Early Head Start & Child Care Partnerships Community of Practice March 17 Child Advocacy Day April 6 Education Coordinators and Coaches Community of Practice April 7 MHSA Family Leadership Conference April 11-12 MHSA Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony May 11 Health, Mental Health & Disabilities Services Community of Practice May 12 Head Start Trauma Intensive Collaborative Training May 22-23

NEBRASKA NeHSA Advisory & Board of Directors

April 12 9am-1:30 & 1:30-3:00 / July 12 9am-1:30pm & 1:30pm-3:00pm Directors meet the day before—April 11th 1pm-4pm / July 11th 1pm-4pm Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Winter 2017





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Region VII Head Start Sand Box Winter 2016-17  

Region VII Head Start Sand Box Winter 2016-17