Dino-Mite Literacy Event: Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County

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Early Head Start Childcare Partnership (EHS-CCP) is a center-based program for infants and toddlers.  EHS CCP partners with eligible daycares to create EHS CCP infant /toddlers’ rooms within the daycare. But how is this different from the current head start and Pre k...

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 Head Start and Early Head Start of Fayette County enrolled families were invited to “A Dino-Mite Literacy Event” held at the Uniontown Mall on November 16, 2022. The event’s activities were focused around social emotional skills from the books “Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug” and “How do Dinosaurs say I Love You.”

Upon arrival and throughout the event, families were greeted by “Tiny” the T-Rex. Tiny engaged with the children and encouraged them to do the Dino Stomp, a song that children participate in during their time in a classroom at Head Start. Children and families had the opportunity to participate in several activities.

All activities focused on social emotional skills of emotional functioning, relationships with adults and other children, and sense of identity and belonging to align with the program’s school readiness goals. The activities were a Calm Down Dino Dig, Our Family is Dino-Mite hand print craft, Dinosaur Self-Portraits, Characteristic Comparison to Dinosaurs, Emotion Matching, How Would the Dino Feel Game, Dinosaur Puppets, Dinosaur Emotion Masks, Dinosaur Emotion Sign Language, reading of the book “Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug” and two music and movement songs.

Families ended their adventure with Tiny the T-Rex as they enjoyed a snack from the Dinosaur Grazing Table that included fresh fruit and vegetables for the herbivores and sliced meat and cheese for the carnivores. Lastly, families also had the opportunity to take a family photo at the photo booth.

One hundred ten HS/EHS staff and management members were joined by 2 representatives from the Albert Gallatin School District, 2 representatives from the Uniontown School District with 4 Rutledge Scholars from Penn West, and 1 representative from the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Our partners for the event also took part in planning various social emotional skill activities, reading the story of “How do Dinosaurs say I’m Mad?” providing children of all ages of books, and provided children with the book “How do Dinosaurs go to School?” The event was also attended by 2 representatives from the Private Industry Council to provide information to families on the programs offered at PIC, such as Dad’s Matter, CareerLink, and Veteran’s Programs.

In attendance were 54 families; 100 adults, 41 Head Start children, 21 Early Head Start children, and 34 siblings. There were also 4 families that attended that were shopping in the mall 2 of which completed a pre-application for interest in enrolling their child in Head Start/Early Head Start. The event had 205 people in attendance.

At the time of adults completing a post-event survey, children were provided a plush t-rex, dinosaur action figure, dinosaur stem kit, and the two books of “Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug” and “How do Dinosaurs say I Love You.”

Feedback from the families included statements from parents such as “Great Event for Kids,” “Love it,” “Our favorite part was the snack.” and “Can’t wait for more events like this.” Head Start and Early Head Start has some big footprints to fill as we continue into the program year and plan upcoming events!




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