For 50 years, Community Action Partnership Ramsey & Washington Counties' Head Start program has served the Ramsey County community.
Over 1,000 children and their families are impacted by the agency's Early Head Start and Head Start services. In addition to 13 Head Start centers operated by CAPRW, the program also partners with three private child care centers and St. Paul Public Schools.
One example of a partnership is with Agape (St. Paul Public School High School for teen parents who are pregnant or parenting). CAPRW operates six Early Head Start classrooms in this location so that teen mothers can attend school in the same building where their children attend Head Start.
Also, faced with the shortage of teachers, which is not unique to CAPRW Head Start, the Financial Opportunities department, along with the YWCA of Minneapolis, created a partnership three years ago to offer a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential program .
The program provides an opportunity to train teacher aides to become assistant teachers. The third CDA cohort began classroom training on October 6. There are 11 participants in this year’s cohort, including five current Head Start staff, two Head Start parents, and four community members.
There are more than 30 languages spoken by CAPRW Head Start children and families, which brings a rich culture of diversity to our agency.
Recently, CAPRW held a cultural fair at Phalen Park, bringing families together to support and celebrate each other. Over 600 parents attended with their children, many dressed in cultural attire, and were treated to food and performances, including Somali sambusas, Hmong eggrolls, Congo Root drums and music, Aztec and Peruvian dancers.
CAPRW is proud of the impact that Head Start has in the community. This heartwarming email from a newly enrolled Head Start family is one example of the impact:
"I was so relieved to have him at a place like Head Start, where I know he's going to be well cared for. Just the way he and I have been greeted and welcomed has been so amazing. The intentionality behind his placement in the program, watching people supporting his independence thoughtfully and intentionally, the excitement and passion the teachers and other staff show with the children, etc... It's all so wonderful."