The Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County, a program of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. celebrated the official start to summer with a field trip. On Wednesday June 26, 2019, 164 Early Head Start, Head Start Home Based, and Early Head Start Childcare Partnership families from Fayette County visited the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. 55 Head Start and 165 Early Head Start enrolled children enjoyed a self-guided tour throughout the zoo, along with 304 adults and 92 siblings. Families were able to learn more about animals from the jungle, tropical forest, the African savanna, forests and water habitats.
While some families transported themselves, others chartered a bus provided by the program. Upon arrival at the zoo, each family was given a drawstring bag which included their tickets for entrance, a t-shirt for the Head Start or Early Head Start enrolled child, snacks, bottled water and a zoo animal story book. Families were all provided lunch at the Garden Tent that included hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, homemade chips, fresh fruit and bottled water. Families had the ability to explore the zoo with Head Start and Early Head Start Staff as well as the Private Industry Council’s President & Chief Executive Officer Tim Yurcisin, the Chief Operating Officer Shujuane Martin and the Vice President of Business Services Sean Sypolt.
Throughout the zoo, there were stations for children to engage in learning activities. Each animal exhibit had an informational sign for families to learn more about the animal. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium also has an application for smart phones that families were able to utilize going throughout the zoo to hear more about the animal exhibit there were visiting. Families also completed a survey on their learning experiences for the day. Some families shared that this was the first time their child was able to come to the zoo and they were very appreciative of the opportunity to spend this time with their family. Overall, staff and families greatly enjoyed their time at the zoo!