Area Head Start sites receive ‘Shoes from the Heart’ deliveries

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 4/28/21

Missouri Ozarks Community Action’s Head Start facilities in Owensville, Belle, and Rolla recently received shoe deliveries through  the non-profit “Shoes from the Heart” group …

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Area Head Start sites receive ‘Shoes from the Heart’ deliveries

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Missouri Ozarks Community Action’s Head Start facilities in Owensville, Belle, and Rolla recently received shoe deliveries through  the non-profit “Shoes from the Heart” group based in Macon, Mo.

The 501c3 group provides new children’s shoes and encourages the Head Start facilities to make an event out of the presentations. Children in the program opened their boxes of shoes together and had the chance to try them on in a a group setting. 

Shoes from the Heart operates with the help of local grants. It started out as a Sunday School service project and has expanded from there.

MOCA serves families in eight regional counties at 14 locations including Crawford, Camden, Gasconade, Laclede, Maries, Miller, Phelps, and Pulaski with the capacity to serve 440 students ages 3 to 5-years-old through Head Start.

The Gasconade County Head Start facility in Owensville is currently accepting applications for the fall 2021 term starting Aug. 23.

Head Start is a comprehensive child development program that serves children ages 3-5 and their families. It is a child-focused program having the overall goal of increasing the social competence of young children from low-income families. 

Head Start describes “social competence” as the child’s everyday effectiveness in dealing with their present environment and later responsibilities in school and life. Social competence takes into account the interrelatedness of social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.

Head Start services are also family-centered, following the tenets that children develop in the context of their family and culture and that parents are respected as the primary educators and nurturers of their children. Head Start offers family members opportunities and support for growth and change, believing that people can identify their own strengths, needs, and interests and are capable of finding solutions.

To support the overall goal of improving social competence, Head Start embraces a core set of values, including commitments to:

• Establish a supportive learning environment for children, parents, and staff, in which the processes of enhancing awareness, refining skills, and increasing understanding are valued and promoted.

• Recognize that the members of the Head Start community — children, families, and staff — have roots in many cultures. Head Start families and staff, working together as a team, can effectively promote respectful, sensitive, and proactive approaches to diversity issues.

• Understand that the empowerment of families occurs when program governance is a responsibility shared by families, governing bodies, and staff, and when the ideas and opinions of families are heard and respected.

• Respect the importance of fathers in children’s lives and welcome male involvement into the program as a contribution of an irreplaceable aspect in the fullness of children’s lives.

• Embrace a comprehensive vision of health for children, families, and staff, which assures that basic health needs are met, encourages practices that prevent future illnesses and injuries, and promotes positive, culturally relevant health behaviors that enhance life-long well-being.

• Respect the importance of all aspects of an individual’s development, including social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth.

• Build a community in which each child and adult is treated as an individual while, at the same time, a sense of belonging to the group is reinforced.

• Foster relationships with the larger community, so that families and staff are respected and served by a network of community agencies in partnership with one another.

• Develop a continuum of care, education, and services that allow stable, uninterrupted support to families and children during and after their Head Start experience.

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