Fort Hays State University in partnership with the Hays and Garden City Head Start programs has accepted a $149,600 grant for Hispanic-serving institutions from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families.
The partnership seeks to increase the number of Head Start teachers with two and four-year degrees in early childhood education and to increase the competency of Head Start staff in enhancing children's language development and early literacy in the home language as well as English.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Web site, "These grants are part of our effort to assure a high quality educational experience for each Head Start teacher and each Head Start child," said Dr. Wade F. Horn, assistant secretary for children and families. "We recognize that Head Start teachers must not only receive high education to do their jobs well, but also that their education must be appropriate for the culturally diverse population that Head Start serves."
The project is named "Fort Hays State University-Head Start Higher Education Hispanic/Latino Service Partnership." FHSU faculty will work with Head Start teachers in the 16 counties served by the Hays and Garden City programs.
The official project abstract says that instruction will be delivered to the teachers through interactive television, face-to-face classes and online classes.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects the partnership "to develop culturally appropriate models for teacher training." In the Garden City servicing area, the total Hispanic/Latino population more than doubled between the 1990 and 2000 census. Many schools in the target area report that over 50 percent of the total student body is Hispanic.
FHSU faculty include Dr. Placido (PLAH-see-doh) A. Hoernicke (HOR-ni-kee), project director and chair of the Department of Special Education; Dr. Thomas A. Newton, project advisor and chair of the Department of Teacher Education; Robert B. Scott, project coordinator of diversity and assistant professor of special education; Dr. Linda L. Hyatt, early childhood project coordinator and assistant professor of special education; and Dr. Ronald F. Fahey, program design consultant and associate professor of special education. Other faculty will teach courses and provide inservice training to project participants.
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