Head Start and Early Head Start Now Recruiting!

Do you want to give your child the head start for school?! Coastal Georgia’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs are now open for enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year. Children three (3) (on September 1st, 2022) to four (4) years old who live in Bryan, Camden, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Tattnall, or Wayne Counties are eligible for free quality pre-school and family support programs, through Head Start. Children six (6) weeks up to three (3) years old, as well as expectant mothers, in Bryan, Camden, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Tattnall, or Wayne Counties are eligible for family support programs through Early Head Start. To qualify, families need to submit an application and provide eligibility documents. The application and documents should be submitted to the Head Start or Early Head Start center located at 724 N. 4th Street Jesup, GA 31545. Space is limited so it is important that families apply today! Applications and information regarding eligibility documentation is available by calling the center at (912) 427-4527.

A number of services are available through LIFE Inc.

By Marquise Morgan

LIFE Inc.’s Jesup office is proud to share news of some of our recent developments within Wayne County with our Family Connection partners. We have had success working with the Area Agency on Aging to deploy ramps to various people, including a “Mrs. A” right here in Jesup. We also have developed a new service program centered around assisting people with COVID related expenses.

Mrs. A’s LIFE Story

Ms. A of Wayne County was one of our later AAA referrals, but nonetheless we were able to help her promptly after receiving the AAA info. Mrs. A was a soft-spoken women with post-polio syndrome that had also recently broken her leg. She mentioned the challenge her daughter and granddaughter had getting her down steep steps as a major challenge to her health and mobility.

Our procedures for assessing the need and getting a ramp built are quite intensive. For example, for Mrs. A, we took pictures of the property, measured the door frame and driveway, and sent the info. to Nationwide Ramps for an estimate. After that, we assess our funding options and approve the ramp with a waiver for the consumer. From there, it’s all up to Nationwide’s experts to deploy the sturdy and practically indestructible aluminum ramps for the consumer.

Mrs. A was absolutely elated over the ramp, thanking us profusely and commenting on how much it has eased her and her family’s logistical issues. In a testimonial, she said “it was truly a blessing and we thank you. I appreciate what LIFE has done for me and the ramp has greatly helped”. We were of course happy to help and even more pleased to hear that she felt it had a measurable improvement on her well-being.

Life Logo

COVID-19 Service Programs

Another development that has the great potential to be a boon for Wayne County would be our CARES ACT funded COVID-19 Service Programs. Using our relief funds, we have assembled a service delivery program to assist with various areas of need among our community. This includes food, rental and housing assistance, assistive tech and living aids, home modifications, utility assistance, transportation, assistance for medicine, childcare, and other things that can be linked to COVID related issues. This wide net will allow us to broadly deliver services to assist in a wide range of COVID related problems that a person may be having. Our qualifications for this program are roughly the same as our standard ones for service delivery (live in one of our 20 service counties; Must state that they have significant disability; must be a consumer). This also includes the added caveat of having to fill out some paperwork and do an intake with us to determine their qualifications for the program and to make sure the issue has a relation to COVID-19. Of course, if it not COVID related, we can still help them with our other core services. Without that, they are not eligible for the COVID-19 Service Delivery.

We are excited to be expanding our home modification program and to bring this COVID Services program to the people of Wayne County. If you have any questions, please contact our Jesup office at 912-385-2214, or email us directly at mmorgan@lifecil.com or rblack@lifecil.com. We hope to hear from and we’re here to help.

Coping with the Holiday Season

While Christmas is known as “the most wonderful time of the year”, it can also be a catalyst for stress, pressure, and conflict for many people. Some are feeling overwhelmed by the expectations, COVID 19, family issues, etc. and become depressed during the holidays. A lack of time, money, and the pressure of gift giving can often contribute to stress. I’m sure we all can relate in some form or fashion. Ultimately, it can take quite a toll on our mental health trying to keep the merry and joyous season all straight in our head. We’d like to share some advice that may help you stop stress and keep the season jolly!

First, as the season starts approaching, don’t let it be something you are already dreading.

Think positively…for example, say to yourself ‘This year is going to be different. I’m going to give with my heart and not let my circumstances control my emotions.’ By learning to recognize your holiday triggers, you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. 

Next, don’t let your mental health be overlooked during the holidays.

Many peoples’ feelings and emotions are amplified by the festivities of the Christmas season and new year. Don’t let this prevent you from reaching out if you need help with the problems you are experiencing. There are people that care about you and will take time to make sure you are in a good place.  

Also, Christmas is a time for re-connection with loved ones, whether that’s through Christmas cards, phone calls, Skype or family Facetimes. This Christmas, instead of simply exchanging small talk with family and friends, don’t be afraid to ask how they are really doing. Let the people close to you know that they can talk to you if they are ever feeling depressed or lonely, and vice versa. We understand that this year has been extremely difficult for some.

Lastly, we want our Wayne County community to support one another. 

During this time, check in with a support group, a therapist, a faith community, or friends who understand. Let your loved ones know that however you can support them, you will! It may be something as simple as picking up a few gifts for a neighbor or meeting up with a friend for a walk. 

We know that mental illness, emotional struggles, and other concerns can hinder someone from enjoying this holiday season. We have professional help available through our Mental Health Task Force team. If you or someone you know needs to speak to someone today – give our Mental Health Task Force a call. Weekdays 9am – 5pm: 912-530-8889 or After Hours: 912-256-2150.

We encourage you to share this article with your friends and family. If there is someone in your circle that could use help, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can be part of making a difference in our Wayne County community. Wishing you a joyous holiday season along with a little planning and positive thinking!

Give Your Child a ‘Head Start’ for Fundamental Success

head start program

Head Start is a quality child care service provided to three, four and five year olds founded by the Georgia Head Start Association to help these students become prepared for kindergarten. Fortunately, they have partnered with other agencies including Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, Inc. to provide services in Wayne and surrounding counties. Since 1967, Coastal GA Area Community Action Authority, Inc. has been providing a pathway to self-sufficiency for individuals facing challenging times. With the COVID pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, Head Start gives children the opportunity to continue to learn.

Head Start students are provided educational activities using the Creative Curriculum and children’s knowledge is tracked with outcomes provided to parents. When speaking with Tanisha Towns, Center Supervisor for Wayne County, we talked about how the enrollment is a little low this year. She states, “We can fully operate at a maximum capacity of 102 students but with the COVID virus, we currently have 63 enrolled.” She also states that they do require all students to wear masks, sanitize appropriately, and social distance. Another factor that comes into play is that parents are not allowed in the facility. Head Start staff meets the parents outside for drop off and pick up each day. Considering the circumstances, 63 students is still a great number to foster an enjoyment for learning, developing a positive attitude about school and helping each child reach their maximum potential.

So you may be wondering…who is eligible for this Head Start Program?

  • Families who meet income requirement
  • Homeless and foster children
  • Children with special needs

Nutritional meals and snacks are provided and mind you – all of this is at no cost to you! After all, they want to stick to their motto of ‘Helping people, changing lives, and building families’. Everyone deserves the best life possible. Reach out to someone you may know that could benefit from this impactful organization.

More information about Wayne County Head Start can be found in our Resource Directory. We encourage anyone to use the resources available on our website to meet your needs and help others do the same.

Find us on social media to send us your latest news and updates to share!

Please consider liking/following us on our social media to stay up to date with our community news and events. We can be found on Facebook at Family Connection – Wayne County, GA and Instagram at wcfamilyconnect. Also, if your organization would like to educate, inform or update Wayne County citizens on a topic or event you’ve been working on – reach out to us so you can be featured here on our website! Other promotional shout-outs will be in the Family Connection column of the Press-Sentinel, our social media, and an email sent to our collaborative members.

Additionally, the Wayne County Family Connection Collaborative would like to invite anyone in our community to be a part of our group.  For more information, contact Lana Wright at 912-256-2150.  Our meetings are held on the 4th Monday of each month with the next meeting being held at the end of January. Stay safe Wayne County community!