Head Start efforts earn Child Focus honors

Child Focus was recently honored on a national level due to their efforts in the Head Start program. The local Head Start program, which is coordinated by Child Focus, was recognized for excellence in child literacy and father involvement efforts with their children.

“We’ve been making both areas, fatherhood and literacy, a big part of our agency for quite some time,” said Berta Velilla, Director of Early Childhood Programs for Child Focus, Inc. “We started our fatherhood initiative and have probably tripled the number of males involved in our program in the last three years. We have a couple of big events. One is a fish-a-thon that happens in the spring at Pattison Park. The park stocks the lake with fish and we have a catch and release fish day, where dads, uncles, grandparents or significant male role models can participate with the Head Start children. We have a big family event, where they can have a good time together. We also distribute books during that event.”

Velilla said that the recognition came as part of a nomination process from the region in which the Clermont Head Start program is located. That region includes the states of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.