PAYETTE, Idaho - This Wednesday, 6 On Your Side is celebrating its 12th Annual Community Baby Shower and we're so proud to say, because of all your support, another education-based nonprofit is joining our mission this year to give all babies a happy, healthy start.
The four-year-olds at the Payette nonprofit love to learn. From their letters and sounds to their colors. Even answering questions.
The Head Start program in Payette is truly living up to its name, giving its youngest community members a head start on life.
"Every time we drive by he's like, 'School! I want to go to school'." Home Visiting participant Taylor Smith said.
Lorenzo just turned three, so he's not in the pre-k program yet, but he's on the same track as where many of the children started, with the Head Start Home Visiting program.
Teacher Barbara Cabrera spends an hour and a half every week in the homes of parents with newborns to three-year-olds. She takes them through age-appropriate curriculum and parenting materials. But it's more than just a training session. Home-based Head Start teachers are trying to make the lives of new families better in every way.
"You get the parents and you see them there for the whole year and they say, 'Oh my gosh, I learned so much from the Head Start program. The home-based program gave me all of this info, the stuff that helped me get that boost and helped my child get the boost they need'," Cabrera said.
That boost is also tangible. Parents who participate in the Home Visiting program are allowed to stop by Head Start's makeshift store and pick up what they need.
"Some parents can't afford diapers so when they have a home visit they get these tickets and these tickets are money to use at the store to buy things like Pullups, diapers, bottles - whatever they have in the store," Smith said.
Smith said the program serves people of high need.
The Payette community rallies around the program to help fill the store. There's no doubt, on Wednesday during our Community Baby Shower, the store will once again be overflowing with donations. That means the smiles on the faces of the children served will shine even brighter in Payette.