Young Students & Families Get a Head Start with VariQuest!
As Kristi Edmonds, Child Development Services Coordinator with Anoka/Washington County Head Start trains highly qualified staff and provides mentoring services to new staff, she focuses on the overall experience of the classroom. Her main goal is to guide and support the everyday needs of the classroom and curriculum implementation. To help with this effort, the decision was made in June of 2017 to invest in the VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800, using State and Federal Grant Funding. This revolutionary, digital die-cut system, created specifically for schools, brings lessons to life with more than 5,000 shapes, 229 bulletin board collections and 18 font styles.
Check out this colorful bulletin board, recently made by their staff with ease, to greet preschoolers as they “inch” their way into a new school year!
Anoka/Washington County Head Start, based in Coon Rapids, MN, provides education, nutrition, mental health, school readiness and parent engagement services to children and families from income-eligible households. With nearly 115 dedicated staff, this Head Start program is equipped to foster a learning environment for their 707 enrolled children and families to learn, grow and thrive!
Eager Early Learners
Head Start – ACCAP (Anoka County Community Action Program) operates and manages 8 centers of 3-5-year olds, along with home-based programs for pregnant moms and children through age five. “Our classrooms use a formal curriculum titled, The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool,” says Kristi, which includes 10 different studies that classrooms use, including –
• Beginning of the Year
• Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
• Tubes and Tunnels
• Simple Machines
To cultivate an interactive learning environment for their eager learners and bring more meaning to their lessons, the Cutout Maker is at the heart – getting a regular workout by all departments including, Education, Program Design and Management, Administrative Services, etc. “There are SO MANY OPTIONS for cutout shapes for the program to use,” Kristi says, “It is used by someone each day, with lots of use at the beginning of the year and when the study topic changes.”
As we know, parental involvement is crucial at any stage of a student’s learning career, and at Anoka/Washington Head Start they are very thoughtful in providing engaging take-home activities with the help of the Cutout Maker. A family event hosted by the Early Head Start Child Care team, used The Very Hungry Caterpillar as its theme, providing a copy of the story, along with cutout manipulatives to go with it for future re-telling of the story at home.
Another take-home activity they use is a “Healthy Food Choices” wreath where children and parents make proper nutrition fun!
Together, They’re Moving Mountains
As we know, it takes a village to ’move a mountain’ and that’s just what Anoka/Washington County Head Start is doing, with the help of the Cutout Maker, to ensure the success of students and their families. Congratulations to their devoted staff and best wishes for a successful 2018/2019 school year!
For more information on how the VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools could benefit an Early Education Program at your school, request a personalized meeting with one of our expert Education Consultants today!
- Develop a learning environment where young children and families thrive
- Create interactive visuals that match topics of study
- Plant the seeds today for a brighter tomorrow