CAPC held its annual Kite Day on March 15, 2019 at the Gibson Center, Head Start’s program headquarters in Pensacola, Florida.
It was a sunny and warm Friday morning in Pensacola, with just the perfect breeze. The streets surrounding the Gibson Center were lined with cars and the sound of children’s laughter radiated for blocks. The clear, blue skies above were streaked with a mosaic of color.
It was Kite Day for students at Head Start centers across Pensacola, Florida!
Head Start is a program under the Community Action Program Committee, Inc. (CAPC), that caters to preschool-aged children from low-income families. A national program, Head Start serves over 900 students in the Pensacola area, alone.
The mission of Head Start is to assist children under the age of five in becoming physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally adjusted before they enter public school. A priority of the program is to promote parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Kite Day is among the events implemented by Head Start to carry out this mission.
Because parents are our first teachers, their active involvement plays the most significant role in children’s social and emotional development. Research shows that children whose parents participated more in their education exhibited higher academic achievement and better classroom behavior. They are more likely to have higher self-esteem, a better attitude toward school, more motivation and less absences.
Students celebrated the impact of positive male role models in their lives.
Sponsored by CAPC’s Male Involvement Initiative, Kite Day focused on fostering the relationship between Head Start students and their dads, grandpas, uncles and brothers.
At the beginning of the day, children and their parents worked together to assemble the kites, which were coated in images of characters from movies like Frozen and Despicable Me.
Initially, some groups had trouble getting their kites off the ground. But with teamwork and encouragement, the sky was soon filled with color. As the morning progressed, so did the excitement in the air. Children, who at first acted timid,
ran full-speed alongside their parents, watching their kites fly high in the sky.
Moms, grandmas, sisters and aunts joined in on the Kite Day fun, too.
It was a perfect day for flying kites while honoring the most important people in students’ lives.
Essential to the success of the Head Start program is the active participation of parents in decision-making regarding their children’s education. At Head Start, parents and teachers work as a team to ensure children thrive both intellectually and emotionally.
CAPC provides a myriad of resources and initiatives for parents, including GED courses, technical and vocational training, medical and dental support services, childcare assistance and more.
Parents with children in the program are given preference for employment with Head Start when positions that they qualify for become available. They are encouraged to volunteer in classrooms, on field trips and at meal times. Many parents also serve on Policy Councils and Committees.