We're excited to invite you to our 25-year Early Head Start celebration. Join us in Butte on June 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. for a BBQ and family fun. You'll also have the opportunity to tour the center.
We're hoping to raise $25,000 to renovate the kitchen that serves breakfasts, lunches and snacks to the children who attend the center. Go to this link to donate and find other ways you can support AWARE Early Head Start here.
Lucille Riddle, an Early Head Start Family Advocate, loves her job.
“I love to help families and advocate for them because there are families that don’t know how to get resources. It is hard for families to reach out sometimes so once we build that bond with them, it’s a lot easier. To help families and see them succeed is just amazing,” Lucille said.
Christina Bugni, Early Head Start education coordinator, echoes those remarks.
“Each of our centers, they all have their own family advocates, which are kind of like a case manager. They help connect families to the services they need in the community. They come up with goals, help them meet their goals and give families a voice so that they’re able to stand up for and believe in their kids,” Christina said.
AWARE’s Early Head Start family advocates help the family anywhere they may be struggling or need help to succeed. This could include monthly parent education opportunities, budgeting resources and even things like setting them up power/utility resources like the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program.
AWARE’s Early Head Start is a low-income program, but it accepts children and families who may be over those guidelines. The program also works with children who have disabilities and can connect families to additional services as needed.
"The young ones that we’re forming are our future. As a school, we’re ensuring that we wrap around not only the kids but the families as well. We give them the support they need for the three years they’re here, so when they move on, they’re able to continue being successful. Our goal is to help kids grow up and out of poverty, so they can become nurses, lawyers, and successful adults," Christina said.
“It’s just amazing, and I wish more people understood and knew what our program was and why we have it. This program has done so much for families and for me to build my career here, I don’t know that I would’ve done that anywhere else,” Lucille said.
Parent involvement is a cornerstone of Early Head Start and is key to the quality services provided. Parents have many opportunities to participate in their child’s education and development, and it is encouraged through the help of our family advocates. Families are further supported by social, behavioral health and disabilities services.
Early Head Start center-based services are offered in Butte, Helena, Belgrade and Billings. If you’d like to learn more about AWARE’s Early Head Start programs, please click here.
This is part of a series highlighting the history and impact of Early Head Start in Butte during the last 25 years. If you’re interested in volunteering or making a donation in support of Early Head Start click here. For more information, please contact Bryon Higgins at email@example.com or 406.563.8117.