Classes begin Monday in new Head Start building
By JANE UTECHT, Staff Reporter
The Madison ICAP Head Start building is ready for students.|
After five years of planning and working, the $1.6 million facility is ready for what it was intended to do: serve children.
"We are so anxious for the children to see the center," said Cindy Dannenbring, ICAP executive director.
An open house for Head Start students was held Thursday evening; the first day of class is Monday. A community open house is scheduled for Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon.
The new 6,650-square-foot building will house the Head Start program and features a large room with windows that open out to a large playground on the south side of the building. This room will serve as the lunchroom and library and will offer the space for Head Start to host play and learn sessions two times a month for the Early Head Start families.
Just off the lunchroom are the two classrooms for the 3- to 5-year-olds. There are also offices, a conference room and a kitchen, since the children are provided with meals throughout the day. The Early Head Start program, which is administered to children 0-3 years old through home visits, is also based out of the new building. The mechanical equipment is all in a mezzanine area above the classrooms, freeing up the main floor.
Dannenberg's favorite part of the new building is the atmosphere, "how bright it isand cheerful."
Libby Grindeland, child development specialist for the new center, struggles to pick one favorite feature in the new building. She likes the fact that there are four sinks in each classroom.
"That opens up kids' ability to be self-sufficient," she said, whether they are brushing their teeth or washing their hands. The lunchroom is another favorite feature, making the center "more parent friendly."
"We encourage our parents to volunteer, and this makes it more conducive for that," said Dannenbring.
The new center will make the parents feel less like a visitor and allow them to be invited and encouraged to participate.
The space that housed Head Start for 20 years, in the building directly diagonal across the street from the new center, will be converted to office space and a bigger storage area for the Food Pantry.
"We are very excited about that," Dannenbring said.
The Head Start program serves 40 children, but ICAP takes applications year-round. In case someone moves away, for example, they want to have families on a waiting list.
"We don't want any children to go without services," said Grindeland.
Interested families may call ICAP at 256-6518.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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