School News

News for Little Giants Preschool

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
MARION (March 15, 2013) — At the annual Literacy Fair, Marion Community Schools Head Start students – and parents – learned all about the power of a story.

John McCracken, associate professor of education at Indiana Wesleyan University and a passionate proponent of storytelling and early access to books, kicked off the event Friday, March 15, 2013, captivating the kids in attendance with two tales, one about a thieving fish and the other about an overachieving tugboat.

John McCracken, IWU professor, reads a story aloud to MECC students at Head Start's annual Literacy Fair on Friday, March 15, 2013, at Tucker Career and Techonology Center. To see more photos, click here.

The students in the Head Start program, as well as MCS’s Special Needs Preschool – and their family members in attendance – then split up into smaller groups and heard more books read aloud, all in keeping with the ocean theme of the event. They then took part in related activities, including puzzle building, object sorting and more. The event then culminated in a pizza party.

McCracken encouraged family members in attendance to make reading fun for their kids by not just reading a book but putting on a performance of sorts, by using different voices and making the characters in the story distinct. He also urged them to get their children involved by asking them what they liked about the story, or what they think might’ve happened next.

Both the a.m. and p.m. class sessions at Marion Early Childhood Center, located inside Tucker Career and Technology Center, 107 S. Pennsylvania Ave., took part in the Literacy Fair, and each child got to take home his or her own copies of the four books read in conjunction with each of the activity sessions.

MECC students listen as John McCracken, IWU professor, reads a story aloud at Head Start's annual Literacy Fair on Friday, March 15, 2013, at Tucker Career and Techonology Center. To see more photos, click here.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Marion Community Schools’ Head Start program will suffer under $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts that went into effect Friday, but most local law enforcement and school officials are still waiting to find out how they’ll be affected.

Head Start Coordinator Heather Pratt said the program will not have to cut from its 168-student enrollment or 19-person staff as it loses about $53,000 from its annual grant of about $1 million.

Head Start’s six classrooms, five at Tucker Career and Technology Center and one at Frances Slocum Elementary School, will not be so lucky.

Pratt said luxuries including books for children to take home and keep; semiannual take-home instructional bags; and “kindergarten bags” that help students stay sharp over the summer after graduating from Head Start could be cut.

The cuts will also make it much more difficult for Head Start to expand, she said.

“In 2012, we had 237 applicants (for 168 spots),” she said. “This number does not include the number of families that came in requesting information on how to apply for Head Start.”