103 Sistersville Pike
West Union, WV 26456
DODDRIDGE COUNTY EVEN START
Looking back at our past program year in scrapebook pictures and goals attained truly reveal how dedicated our staff and families have been to assure the success of the Doddridge County Even Start program. The success of our program is indicative of the commitment our families have towards reaching their goals, their achievements proof that Even Start works. We all love our work, helping families, watching their pride in attaining goals and becoming stronger with the skills necessary to meet further challenges. Knowing how to set a goal, make a plan and carry through makes anything in life possible....to be able to ASPIRE!
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS
The Adult Education Class has adopted several projects in our community. The school play ground behind the "Old" West Union Grade School was on the verge of being condemed, through volunteer help and money donated it has now been brought up to code and is a safe place for children to play. Their effort has raised over $1000.00 which has funded a new sandbox, swings, paint and hopefully a new fence. Volunteer's have painted all the equipment, shoveled out dirt and hauled mulch in.
The class has also joined the Adopt-A-Highway Program adopting the highway in front of our campus one mile in each direction. These community service projects have helped our families meet their volunteer hour requirements.
FAMILIES LEARNING AND PLAYING TOGETHER
DayDreams Early Childhood Learning Center is an exciting place to hang out! Every day there is something new to do, we take nature walks on the Rail Trail finding lots of places to stop and explore or make our own boats out of egg cartons and look they float! On nice sunny days the community park becomes our classroom with family activities and a picnic. This year we have lots of Dads with us, they enjoy the Parenting Activies, spending the time learning with their children.
Using our digital cameras we have documented walks through the community with land marks to look for or horses to feed or maybe a stop at the Volunteer Fire Department. One family writing assignment given by Ana, our Parent Educator, take a picture of a house and develop a haunted house story. Parents used their cameras to take pictures of Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles giving their children a family history, with shared stories and memories.
Lisa's says,"My children have learned how to use the cameras in their education, they take pictures of shapes and words. My child writes stories about the pictures she takes, my younger girls need to learn to focus on the pictures and not cut heads off."
Allie writes: You can make one good moment last a life time. Thank you so very much for the cameras now I can take pictures of my kids, where before I could not!
What Even Start Means to Me and My Family
My name is Sarah and I have been particpating in the Even Start program through Opportunity Council. When I started the program I was 17 years old and a stay at home Mom for my 2 year old son, Dominic. When I say "stay at home mom" I really mean I stayed at home. I had no friends and no support from the people around me. Since I have been enrolled in the Even Start program not only do I feel I've gained friends but also family.
The Even Start staff has helped me so much in the past year, some in ways that they may not even realize. I have become more independant, and have gained more self confidence. Thanks to my new family I feel like I'm a better person and a better parent. Also, with the encouragement of the staff I was able to pass my GED test with high scores! Now I feel better about doing something with my life.
Not only has the staff helped me in many ways they have also helped my son. When we started coming here almost a year ago, my son had never had a chance to play with other kids but most of all he wasn't use to being away from Mommy. Dominic also had trouble developing his speech before we started the Even Start program and now it seems like he's picking up something new each day. He has better manners than most 2 year olds I know, and to be honest I think he has better manners than most adults I know. Now he gets excited when he hears that we are on our way to school. He's made so many friends and I believe that he may also think of the staff here as his family too! He has come so far in the past year and I don't think that I could have done it my
Thanks to the Even Start program we have come so far and have reached so many goals. I hope that this program will continue so that it a can continue to help families like mine.