Head Start of Shawnee Mission participates in Kansas Reads to Preschoolers

For immediate release November 7, 2012 Contact: Renee Miller 913-649-9714, Ext. 228 rmiller@smks-headstart.org

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – On November 13, 2012, Head Start of Shawnee Mission will participate in Kansas Reads to Preschoolers, with invited community guest readers scheduled to visit Head Start early childhood education classrooms. Special guest readers include a local TV news co-anchor, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office commander, magazine publisher, and local business representatives. The activity is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at 8155 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kan.

A Kansas University men’s basketball alumni will participate as a guest reader on November 16, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.

Guests will be reading Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn, this year’s title for the one-book/one-state, Kansas Reads to Preschoolers reading initiative. Kansas Reads to Preschoolers is a statewide event, with the goal of having every Kansas child from birth to age five read to during the week of November 11-17, 2012.

Head Start of Shawnee Mission, a 501(c) 3 organization, seeks involvement opportunities with community friends to help provide needed program support.

“Providing early literacy opportunities to young children is key to developing reading skills and we are delighted to have community friends partner with us in this effort,” said Terrie VanZandt-Travis, Executive Director of Head Start of Shawnee Mission.

VanZandt-Travis notes that children who are read to from an early age have a larger vocabulary and better language skills when they start school, making it easier to learn to read. Children living in poverty face a disadvantage with limited access to books.

Head Start of Shawnee Mission (located at 8155 Santa Fe Drive near downtown Overland Park, Kan.) provides quality early childhood learning experiences and comprehensive child and family services to 231 poverty-level children (ages birth to 5) and their families, empowering low-income families to maximize their success.

For more information about the program, visit www.smks-headstart.org.

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