Catholic Charities’ Westside Head Start Program is expanding into the Littleton Elementary School District, which covers schools in Avondale and Tolleson, to assist parents in better fostering their children’s education and development and to enhance the potential for success and kindergarten readiness.
Classes are currently conducted virtually via Zoom on parents’ cellphones or computers. For those families without access to a computer to receive assignments and communication, the Westside Head Start education team, located at 7400 W. Olive Ave., Peoria, will deliver packets and supplies to children and families so that children have access to lessons.
Westside Head Start offers classes in Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, Littleton, Peoria and Tolleson.
“I am excited that we have such a premier site for our families and experienced heart-centered teachers,” Westside Head Start Center director Alisa Whyte stated in a news release. “Our staff are really passionate about their work. Combining the facility with this exceptional staff really exemplifies our mission to serve the most vulnerable with quality services.”
Program hours are 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for children 3 to 5 years old, and the program capacity is 59 children. When permitted, students will attend the program in new, specially designed age-appropriate classrooms at the elementary school.
To enroll, parents can go online to catholiccharitiesaz.org/all-locations/youth-development to access the application portal in both English and Spanish.
“This site will provide a great partnership with Littleton Elementary while serving families in the Avondale community,” Westside Head Start area manager Suzanne Boursaw stated.
Catholic Charities Westside Head Start provides comprehensive early, continuous, year-round childhood education through a holistic approach by working with the whole family. Programs emphasize pre-reading, language, math, cognitive skills, and health, social and emotional competence to prepare disadvantaged children for school and to maximize their potential for a bright future.
“Comprehensive early childhood education like Head Start programs can prepare children for kindergarten, but children’s continued success requires the support of teachers and leaders in their next school environment,” Westside Head Start executive director Yatin Dua stated. “Westside Head Start’s focus is on bridging the gap between early education and public schools, which played a tremendous role in selecting sites for our Duration project. Westside Head Start understands the need for better coordination between Head Start and K-12 education.”
Students and families eligible to enroll in Westside Head Start include expectant mothers, children ages 0-5, and children with special needs, foster children and homeless children. Enrollment, other than for families with a member who has attended Westside Head Start or expectant mothers, can be done online at catholiccharities.org/all-locations/youth-development.
Expectant mothers and families with members who have attended the program should call 623-486-9868.