Head Start of Shawnee Mission celebrates Week of the Young Child

For immediate release April 11, 2013

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – On April 17, community guests invited by Head Start of Shawnee Mission will visit Head Start early childhood education classrooms during story time to read to infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Special guest readers scheduled during a 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. story time: *State Representative, Barbara Bollier, Mission Hills Republican; *Lewis Diuguid, a member of the Editorial Board of The Kansas City Star; *Carol Gonzales, Shawnee city manager; *Patty Mach, Shawnee Mission School Board president; *Susan Metsker, constituent services aide to U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas; *Judge Kevin Moriarty of the Johnson County District Court; *Mike Myers, regional director of the Kansas Department of Children and Families; *Jason Wesco, president and CEO of the Health Partnership Clinic of Johnson County

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. The 2013 Week of the Young Child™ is April 14-20 and the theme is Early Years are Learning Years®.

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

Terrie VanZandt-Travis, executive director of Head Start of Shawnee Mission, says, “The more young children are read to, the greater their interest in reading. Reading out loud exposes children to proper grammar, enhances their spoken language skills, and improves their ability to express themselves verbally.”

It is a win/win situation, VanZandt-Travis says, when the guest readers see the excitement on the children’s faces and the children are exposed to various reading styles.

Head Start of Shawnee Mission, located at 8155 Santa Fe Drive near downtown Overland Park, provides quality early childhood learning experiences and comprehensive child and family services to 226 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.

Contact: Renee Miller 913-649-9714, Ext. 228 rmiller@smks-headstart.org

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