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Feb. 24, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Head Start strives to offer accessible education opportunities to as many children as possible. Through government funding, the organization provides guidance for families to reach goals that may have seemed unachievable.
Eastern Oregon University oversees a La Grande location and partners with the organization to advance educational opportunities in rural Oregon. EOU Head Start Director Robert Kleng said Head Start is a great resource for EOU students who are also parents of young children. In previous years, there were more eligibility restrictions to attend Head Start, but more recently, the qualifications have widened to include more people.
“With Preschool Promise [a new program this year], we can accept children 0-200% of poverty. This means a family of four making about $55,000 a year. That is the majority of families in Union and Baker counties,” Kleng said.
Head Start provides families with a life coach to help navigate and balance goals, allowing opportunities for parents of EOUHS (EOU Head Start) students access to education as well.
“EOUHS is a crucial program partner to make progress on that admirable objective [of providing access to education], because EOUHS has strong relationships with underserved populations working to reach their unique potential,” Kleng said. “The EOU Board of Trustees understands the huge return on investment when resources are used to support a community’s youngest learners.”
Plus, many EOU students find rewarding practicum placements within the EOUHS program. As a locally designed nonprofit program, placements are available for students in a variety of degree programs, including Early Childhood Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Sociology-Anthropology, Community Healthcare, and Accounting/Grants Management.
EOU students with children 0-5 years old, can apply to access Head Start resources in Baker, Elgin, La Grande and Union. To learn more about Head Start, visit eou.edu/head-start.
Written by PR Intern Emily Andrews
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