Community Action Head Start wins award for adult literacy efforts

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Community Action Head Start wins award for adult literacy efforts

ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 27, 2009) – The Minnesota Literacy Council awarded Community Action Head Start with a Community Partnership Award on April 25. The award is given to organizations that have positively influenced adult literacy in Minnesota.

Community Action Head Start, together with Saint Paul Adult Learning and Saint Paul College offers a free 12-week training program for low-income adults interested in working in the early childhood education field. “The goal is to build the students’ skills to create employment opportunities and to be successful in the St. Paul College’s child development program.” said Clarence Hightower, executive director of Community Action.

The Community Action program is unique because students volunteer in Head Start classrooms where they complete special assignments from their early childhood classes. Such assignments include dramatic play, music and movement, art, math, and science. Students learn more than they would in a traditional adult basic education class. “The greatest impact is the increased involvement and literacy within the students’ own households. They develop new parenting and academic skills to interact with their children.” said Hightower.

Currently, thirty-two students volunteer 96 hours a week in the Head Start classrooms. Some students have been hired by Community Action Head Start in entry level positions after completing the classes.