The Times West Virginian

Local News

October 22, 2013

Head Start programs aim to boost children’s literacy

FAIRMONT — Literacy skills are the foundation of education, and that’s why Head Start programs across the nation are making it their goal to expose children to reading before they reach kindergarten.

“Head Start has a very strong literacy base,” Wendy Wells, a teacher at Edgemont Head Start in Fairmont, said.

Twenty-one years ago today, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Head Start Awareness Month to recognize the program that helps 3- to 5-year-olds prepare to enter elementary schools.

“We try to cover everything from potty training if they need it to prekindergarten skills,” Wells said.

Through a collaboration with the Marion County Public Library, Wells said Edgemont Head Start creates several opportunities for the students to enhance their reading and listening skills.

On Monday, students enjoyed story time with Christian Cox, Marion County Public Library’s youth services librarian.

“Christian’s very good with these kids,” Wells said.

According to Cox, the sooner students start reading, the better.

“The earlier they are exposed to literature and books, the more inclined they are going to be to read them on their own,” Cox said.

Two Edgemont Head Start students, Judah and Emma, both said they look forward to story time every month.

In addition to his monthly visits to Head Start, Cox said he visits other schools in the county periodically.

“It’s easier for me to do more outreach this way because I can get to them easier than they can come see me at the library,” he said.

Wells said Head Start regularly brings in individuals like Cox to talk to the students.

“We try very hard to involve lots of people from the community,” she said.

In the past, Wells said the students have received visits from the likes of Fairmont State University athletic teams, police officers, firefighters and bus drivers.

“We had our bus driver come in and read to the children so they can see that you have to be able to read to drive the bus — and they think the bus is pretty cool,” Wells said.

In addition to teaching literacy skills, Wells said Head Start focuses on things like social development.

“That’s really why Head Start was started — to get children to be able to get along with others,” Wells said. “We want the children to be very well rounded.”

Email Kaylyn Christopher at or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • WIC participants will soon have another way to get fresh food

    Participants in the Marion and Monongalia County Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) will soon have another way to get access to fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.

    July 24, 2014

  • Farmington couple charged with child neglect

    A Farmington couple was charged with child neglect after the wife allegedly sold drugs out of their home with children present.

    July 24, 2014

  • Children's Hospital Donation 2 - CB.jpg Students raise money for WVU Children’s Hospital

    Children from Sunbeam Early Learning Center visited West Virginia University’s Children’s Hospital Wednesday to make a special delivery.
    Two students, Niasia Payne, 10, and Desiree Balch, 11, held a bake sale at Sunbeam July 9 and 10 to raise money for the hospital and set a goal for $50.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fairmont seeks to rebrand itself

    The city of Fairmont is starting to try to reach out to residents in new ways.
    The city created a new position, Fairmont program manager of marketing and communications, to help facilitate the effort.
    Hanna Weaver said she started the job around four weeks ago. She is originally from the Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands region, and her previous job was working as executive director of the Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    July 24, 2014

  • TWV, ARC sponsoring blood drive Friday at FSHS

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage.
    According to the American Red Cross, there have been 80,000 fewer blood donations given since May than expected. This has created an urgent need for blood donations as the Red Cross may soon face a blood shortage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bridgeport man charged with threatening officer

    A plaintiff in a four-year-old fraud cause is now being accused of not only threatening a State Police officer, but also the lives of the officer’s wife and children.
    Christopher John Domico, 37, of Bridgeport, was arrested Wednesday and charged with retaliation against public officers and witnesses.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mary Jane and Patches -ts.jpg Can-Do campers learn about emergency safety: PHOTOS

    Patches and his fire truck “pumper” made a special visit to the Can-Do summer camp.
    Can-Do summer camp, held at the Disability Action Center, is a week-long camp that is intended for individuals with disabilities. Wednesday began with a lesson about emergency safety.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • Korean War Memorial seeks funds from county commission

    The Korean War Memorial was suggested to be completed in phases.
    Marion County Development office director Charlie Reese was assigned to review and make a recommendation on what steps the memorial needs to complete to earn more funding. During the last meeting, the Korean War Memorial project had requested $8,000.

    July 24, 2014

  • Fairmont reaching out in new ways

    The city of Fairmont is starting to try to reach out to residents in new ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • Police: Plaintiff threatens trooper, wife and children

    A plaintiff in a four-year-old fraud cause is now being accused of not only threatening a State Police officer, but the lives of his wife and children.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads