By Sabrina Westfall
The Head Start in Bridgeport, Ill. is hoping the community can help the school provide a special experience for its students.
Family Advocate Amber Mutchler explained each year the school provides t-shirts and a day out with families.
“Because these families are low income, we want to provide a trip they might not be able to do with their family … Also, on trips out there has to be a parent present. One of our goals is to make sure the parents are really involved with their kids,” Mutchler explained.
The federally funded program is continually seeing cuts, and Mutchler said this is making it hard for them to provide for whole families.
“This is more than just pre-k. When students start here, we want to know what we can do for the whole family,” she stressed. “We help families as a whole. We give the children an opportunity they might not have, and let families know they are doing a good job.”
In order to be able to take the annual trip and bring families closer, the school will accept any donations. Because they are a federally funded program, they are not able to do any fundraising.
“Some government officials don’t believe Head Start is important. I looked at the board that shows how much the students have learned since the beginning of the year, and it’s incredible,” Mutchler said.
Mutchler explained one of the most recent cuts they have seen is in classroom supplies, and they have reached out to parents for donations. She added the problem lies within the fact students have to be considered low income in order to be eligible to attend school at Head Start.
She added the school is planning the annual awareness event where parents volunteer their time and the community can learn about the program.
If anyone wants to make a donation to the school’s annual trip, they can send it to Bridgeport Head Start made out to the Bridgeport Parents Fund, at 832 Madison St., Bridgeport, Ill., 62417.
“Last year someone donated a popcorn machine and a nacho machine, so we have been doing fun events to utilize these items, but the students are tired of doing everything in the classroom,” she noted.