The 2017 Francine Bunch Memorial Award Goes to Shawnte Sanger

Shawnte Sanger was awarded the Francine Bunch award on April 20, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Head Start Association Conference held at the Penn Stater in State College, PA. Each year, PHSA honors one staff and one parent who exemplify the characteristics of Francine Bunch, the late Parent Involvement Coordinator for the Lancaster Child Development Program’s Head Start. In addition to the positive impact that Francine had within the program and the city of Lancaster, she played a critical role in the organization of the Pennsylvania Head Start Parent/Staff Association and the Region III Head Start Association.

 

Shawnte is a current parent of an enrolled Head Start child and an enrolled Early Head Start child in Fayette County. Both of Shawnte's children received EHS services in the home based setting previously. Shawnte also has an older daughter who was a Head Start graduate in 2000.

 

Shawnte served on the Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County Policy Council as a delegate for the Masontown Parent Committee and also as the Chairperson of Policy Council. Shawnte was also voted in as a representative from the Policy Council to the PHSA Board and is currently on the board. Shawnte had to step down from her role on Policy Council when she became a staff person in 2016. Shawnte continued her involvement in her parent committee meetings monthly and as a PHSA Board member, along with being a full-time staff person (providing home based services in the Early Head Start program). Shawnte is also involved on the program's School Readiness Committee, and also participated on the Personnel Committee while on Policy Council (along with several other committees).

 

While being an enrolled parent, and then an enrolled parent and staff member, and being actively involved on the PHSA Board, Shawnte continued her studies at Carlow University, where she is still enrolled, working on her Master's Degree in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood. She will begin student teaching this summer.

 

Shawnte began her adventure in Head Start working as a Bus/Nutrition Aide and then an Instructor Aide with an Associate Degree in Child Care Management and continued on to obtain her Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from California University of PA.

 

Shawnte has been active in the community, especially with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. While raising her oldest child, Shawnte was involved in the local girl scouts, MADD [Mothers Against Drunk Driving], was a cheerleader parent (the first group to get started at the school her child attended) and band parent, and a T-Ball assistant coach. She has been a member of Faith Assembly for the past 10 years.

 

Shawnte has been a positive role model for other parents being involved on committees and attending parent meetings, parent trainings and other program events, as well as helping to plan events.

Shawnte worked well with her enrolled families and co-workers while being employed with the Private Industry Council in previous years and this current program year. Along with her three children and her husband, Shawnte cares for her 59 year old mother, and her aunt who is diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Autism. Shawnte says “I believe challenges make us better individuals. I always wanted to be a teacher and am still a teacher. I teach my children every day to believe in themselves. I believe that if every teacher/parent teaches children to think positive and dream; they will be able to achieve and believe they can accomplish anything life pitches at them in their journey in life.”

Shawnte continues her commitment to the program and the families in Fayette County by continuing to be involved in her local parent committee, the PHSA board, and participating in Early Head Start socials, as well as volunteering in the classroom with her preschool age child.

Shawnte has shown the characteristics of Francine Bunch by promoting Early Childhood Education, being a voice for quality Early Childhood Services, and being the voice of children with special needs and other challenging disorders. Shawnte shows compassions and understanding and has shown strength in dealing with her own personal challenges in working with agencies to seek services for her own child. Shawnte is an advocate not only for her child, but for all children and families trying to navigate their way through the systems to receive the needed services to be able to be successful in life.

Youth Program Application- Experience Works

The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland and Fayette Counties is currently accepting applications for the Experience Works! Summer Youth Employment Program.  The program is for youth 16 to 24 years old.  Participants will be placed in worksites in their local area.  They can work between 20 and 40 hours each week throughout the summer and will earn $9.00 per hour.   In addition to valuable work experience, they will participate in career exploration and workforce development to assist them as they move forward on their career path.  For more information contact Debbie Cohen at (724) 836-2600, Extension 228. 

 2017 Summer Work Experience Participant Application

Head Start of Beaver County Recruitment for the 2017-2018 School Year

Head Start of Beaver County, a program of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), will be taking applications for our locations throughout Beaver Countyfor the 2017-2018 program year, beginning in March. A Head Start Day will be held on March 16, 2017 at our Beaver Valley Mall location from 10 am to 6 pm. This will be an opportunity to meet teachers, tour a sample classroom, ask questions, and fill out an application. Local agencies will attend also to provide information on additional resources. Information about this event can also be found on the program’s Facebook page.

 

Head Start of Beaver County provides comprehensive early childhood education services to low-income families with children from age three to age five, including inclusive services to children with disabilities and other special needs.

 

The Head Start programis provided at no cost to the parent. It prepares preschoolers to make the transition into kindergarten. Children learn to get along well with other children; explore and learn through play; and learn about numbers, letters, words, and many other things.

 

Head Start services are offered through both classroom- and home-based options. Through home-based programming, instructors visit families in their homes weekly to work on children’s learning goals. They also help parents find ways to meet family needs through community resources and services.

 

Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), children are served healthy and nutritious meals and snacks while attending Head Start classrooms and home-based socials. Parents may participate in program planning and decision-making and volunteer in the classroom to learn more about how to help children learn and develop.

 

Research has consistently shown that children who enter school ready to learn succeed academically later in life. To complete an application for Head Start, pleasecall the office at 724-728-2110 or visit the website at www.privateindustrycouncil.com.

 

SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018 HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START RECRUITMENT

Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County, a program of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), will be taking applications throughout Fayette County for the 2017-2018 program year, beginning in March. A Community Day will be held on March 10, 2017, for those interested to meet teachers, tour the classrooms, ask questions, and fill out an application. Information on times and locations is provided on the program’s Facebook page.

 

Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County provides comprehensive early childhood education services to low-income families with children from birth to age five and pregnant women, including inclusive services to children with disabilities and other special needs.

 

The Early Head Start program provides home-based services to pregnant women and children up to three years of age and their families at no cost to the parent.

 

The Early Head Start Child Care Partnership program provides center-based services that support high-quality care to low-income families with infants and toddlers enrolled in participating child care centers, also at no cost to the parent.

 

The Head Start program, which is also at no cost to the parent, prepares preschoolers to make the transition into kindergarten. Children learn to get along well with other children; explore and learn through play; and learn about numbers, letters, words, and many other things.

 

Head Start services are offered through both classroom- and home-based options. Through home-based programming, instructors visit families in their homes to work on children’s learning goals. They also help parents find ways to meet family needs through community resources and services.

 

Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), children are served healthy and nutritious meals and snacks while attending Head Start classrooms and home-based socials. Parents may participate in program planning and decision-making and volunteer in the classroom to learn more about how to help children learn and develop.

 

Research has consistently shown that children who enter school ready to learn succeed academically later in life. To sign your child up for Head Start or Early Head Start, please call the PIC office at 724-430-4818 or visit the website at www.privateindustrycouncil.com.

 

Mill Run Head Start/Early Head Start Parent Event

             On October 27, 2016 the Mill Run PIC (Parents Impacting their Child’s Success) Head Start/Early Head Start Parent Group held a Fall Festival Event from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Mill Run Head Start/Early Head Start Center. The events are held to promote parent and child interaction while also making connections with other families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children from birth to three years of age while in their home (home-based services); Head Start serves children ages three to five years old in either a classroom or home-based program.

The evening consisted of various child and family activities. The children were given donated pumpkins and foam leaves to paint and express their creativity in any way. Parents created two photo booth back drops in which children could choose from: one with hay bales to sit upon, corn stalks as the back drop, and a fence decorated with various fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds, and a sign reading “Mill Run 2016.”; another booth was with a large spider. A hole was cut out from the spider’s face for the children to put their heads through so they could become the spider. The families also participated in games which allowed them to interact with their child(ren). They played tic tac toe and had spider races. The families used straws to blow the toy spiders down a race track. Fun was had by all.

            Ending the fun-filled evening, families were provided a snack, consisting of milk and animal crackers. Forty-five attendees were present for the event: 18 adults and 27 children. Due to the success of the Fall Festival Event, the Head Start/Early Head Start Parent Group is planning a Winter Wonderland event scheduled for the Mill Run Head Start/Early Head Start families on December 22, 2016. If you are interested in learning more about or applying for Head Start or Early Head Start please contact us at 724-430-4818.