This year, the blended classroom of NRCA Floyd Head Start and the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) moved to Check Elementary School, located at 6810 Floyd Highway North, Copper Hill. The classroom serves 13 Head Start children and 5 VPI children. All children receive full Head Start services for health, family, and education services. NRCA also operates a three-year-old Head Start classroom at 120 Epperly Mill Road, Floyd.
Annette Craighead, Floyd County Public School employee, is the lead Teacher at the Check Head Start/VPI classroom and Vivian Gibbons, NRCA employee, is the Family Educator/Assistant Teacher. The children are transported daily by the Floyd County school bus system.
The family-oriented Check Elementary staff have embraced the Head Start/VPI classroom. Invitations to Check Elementary events have welcomed Head Start/VPI to the community. Sheryl Helm, NRCA Director of Early Childhood and Family Services, stated, “Principal Lin has been a great support and understands the importance of early childhood education. Mr. Lin respects that children learn through play, teaching them to be creative and to problem-solve later in life.”
NRCA Floyd Head Start Site Administrator, Alison Harris, noted the advantage of spreading the preschool experience throughout the county. Location at Check Elementary has reduced time on the bus for the Check children and has allowed the teaching team to focus on the curriculum.
Head Start works with the families to best meet their needs and encourages home activities that continue to strengthen each student’s learning. Faith Nichols, NRCA Floyd Head Start’s Family/Health Advocate, provides family services and goal setting with the parents.
Nutrition is an important component of the comprehensive Head Start model. Although snacks are not required according to school USDA regulations, generous donations from Healthy Floyd, Plenty!, and private donations are available for the children’s afternoon snacks.
When asked about the new location, Ms. Gibbons noted, “The new classroom is great! The teamwork and collaboration with the Check staff have been tremendous.” Ms. Helm added, “Head Start is thrilled to be at Check Elementary.”