Dinner with Data

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June 21, 2017

Dinner with Data
 
The Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency Early Childhood Program’s second annual Dinner with Data event took place Monday at the Terrace Bay Inn. The Early Childhood Program provides Head Start, Early Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program services to children and families across all three counties.
 
Head Start and Early Head Start are federally-funded programs provided under a set of performance standards that aim to provide children and families with the services and support that they need to be healthy and ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Project Head Start legislation in a Rose Garden ceremony in 1965 as part of the war on poverty. The recommendations for Head Start at the time included supporting and increasing physical health and abilities, emotional and social development, verbal and conceptual skills, and to create a climate of confidence for future learning and success for children. What made Head Start different from other preschool programs at the time is that it addressed the needs of the family and emphasized their importance as a child’s first and most important teacher. Heading into the 53rd year of Head Start, that is still a foundation of the program. Head Start strives to “increase the sense of dignity and self-worth within the child and his family.”
The Dinner with Data event was planned as a way to gather data regarding successes and challenges from the program year, and present them to community stakeholders in an effort to gain guidance and resources, as well as strengthen partnerships as the program plans for the coming school year services.
During the past two years’ worth of events representatives from Public Health, Smiles on Wheels dental screening program, Department of Health and Human Services and Senior Services and Nutrition Programs have come together with the Early Childhood Director Myra Smeester, ECP Management staff, CAA Executive Director Julie Moberg, as well as Governing Board members and Policy Council members to review data and discuss options for the upcoming year.
This year the group discussed immunization rates, ways to improve the number of children that have lead testing completed, challenges for dental services to low-income families, and possible improvements to transportation services. The program hopes to expand this event and gain participation from additional community partners each year.
For more information about Early Childhood services through the program, please call 786-7080 or email earlychildhood@mdscaa.org.