Edison Community College Student of the Year
April 27th, 2018
Fairborn teacher, Mary Mohr, was honored Friday evening at Edison Community College as the ECE Student of the Year!
StoryPoint, Kids Learning Place partner
April 19th, 2018
StoryPoint Troy is excited to announce their partnership with Kids Learning Place, a local preschool. Kids Learning Place has 19 locations in West Central Ohio that aim to enrich the lives of children from 1-5 years old.
StoryPoint Troy connected with Christina Gerken, the director of Kids Learning Place, to start a weekly, intergenerational program between their residents and the preschool children. Each week the residents switch off by either volunteering at the daycare or having the children come to StoryPoint Troy for a visit. On the weeks that the residents go to the daycare, they lead circle time, play games, read and even rock the babies in the infant room. On the weeks that the children visit StoryPoint Troy, the residents and kids will bake, craft, color and then parade their artwork throughout the community for everyone to see.
StoryPoint Troy is proud to be partnered with a local day care, as it enriches both the lives of the children and the seniors, according to Brooke Schutte, the Life Enrichment Director at StoryPoint Troy.
“It warms my heart to see the children interact with the seniors. I see the youthfulness in our residents’ eyes,” she said.
StoryPoint Troy has found this program to be very therapeutic for the residents, especially those who don’t get a chance to see their grandchildren and great-grandchildren very often, she said.
To learn more about StoryPoint, please visit www.storypoint.com
Head Start Programs Awarded 5 Star Rating
April 13th, 2018
Staff, students and parents of the Kids Learning Place Head Start classrooms operated by Council on Rural Services in the Benjamin Logan and Indian Lake elementary schools recently celebrated the receipt of the five star Step Up To Quality award with a bowling activity at TP Lanes in Bellefontaine.
This is the highest rating available from the quality rating and improvement system administered by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Christina Neill is head teacher at Ben Logan and Michelle Parsell is head teacher at Indian Lake and both preschools are full day (six and 1⁄4 hours) operating weekdays following the schools’ calendars. Additionally, the Kids Learning Place Head Start center located at the Discovery Center offers a six-hour full year option that runs from July 1 through June 30. That site was the first Logan County center to be awarded starts under this system in 2015 and will be renewing their SUTQ application with a five-star process this fall.
To achieve this award, classrooms must meet high standards
in the following areas:
Learning and Development
Administrative and Leadership Practices
Staff Qualifications and Professional Development
Family and Community Partnerships
To enroll in Head Start for the 2018-19 school year, call (937) 292-3092 or (866) 627-4557 or apply at www.kidslearningplace.org.
Browns Backers are winners off the field
December 21st, 2017
UNION CITY – The Cleveland Browns continue to have trouble finding a way to win on the field, but their fans are definitely winners. The Union City Browns Backers have become known for their support of organizations in Darke County, Randolph County and as far north as Portland, Ind.
Each week at Danny’s Place in Greenville, you will find many of the Browns Backers watching the game, holding raffles and other fundraising events to give to charities at the end of the season. Last year, the local Browns Backers gave to The Journey Home and the Union City Head Start. This year they will be giving a donation to State of the Heart Care while continuing their support of Head Start.
The club recently visited the students at the Head Start location and brought along a few gifts. The Browns fans purchased a set of socks for each student as well as giving them a few trinkets to encourage them to be Browns fans.
The visit to Union City Head Start has become an annual tradition for the Union City Browns Backers club.
2017 Head Start Annual Report
December 5th, 2017
Council on Rural Services publishes an annual report assessing Head Start/Early Head Start progress for children and families served. Head Start furthers our vision of empowering individuals and families to achieve stability, hope and confidence and stability in the communities we serve. The 2017 report reveals considerable progress in kindergarten-readiness and family educational and employment goals for program participants.
Council on Rural Service Programs joins the St Mary’s Chamber of Commerce
November 2nd, 2017
The St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes new member Council on Rural Service Programs (CORS) as its newest member. CORS, is a non-profit social service agency, runs Early Start and Head Start Programs in nine counties, and runs youth programs – Gateway Youth Program and Achievement Center for Educational success – in two counties.
In early 2017, CORS was awarded a large grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration for Children and Families to expand its Head Start Programs. These expansions included services and a location in St. Marys, Kids Learning Place.
Kids Learning Place is located at 1659 Celina Rd., St. Marys and is now open. The St. Marys location has two new, six hour, full day Head Start classrooms with 40 child slots. Currently, they are full in both classrooms. The facility offers a Home Base Option as well. In the home based open, a home visitor goes to the child’s home for a 90 minute visit each week for instruction and parenting education along with case management.
“The best thing about Kids Learning Place is the experience and services we provide to not only the child, but the entire family,” Cheryl Feathers, Early Childhood Services Coordinator.
Grants help to expand Head Start Services in area – WLIO Lima
March 7th, 2017
On March 4, 2017 WLIO Lima aired a piece regarding the recent news that Council on Rural Services is expanding in Auglaize county. Check out the video above or at https://youtu.be/LmYQOumEef4. A big thank you to all those involved.
CORS nets Head Start funding; could help St Marys Location
February 28th, 2017
ST. MARYS — As a part of a $290 million nationwide expansion award announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration for Children and Families, the Council on Rural Services (CORS) received an award of $915,794 for a supplemental preschool grant.
“It was wonderful,” Council on Rural Services Public Relations Coordinator Deborah Brayfield said. “One of the things that’s changing, the new Head Start rules that came down and performance standards, says that we have to move to having fullday centers instead of part-day centers and they have to be completed by 2021. This will put us on track for starting that movement to having fullday centers. This was our first step on that, of moving from part-day centers to full-day centers.
“It was wonderful to get it and to be able to serve children (for a) longer period of time. We have some full-day centers in other counties right now, but we don’t have any in Auglaize County at this point.”
The funds were allocated by Congress as a down payment toward ensuring almost all preschool-age children in Head Start attend programs that operate full time, as announced in the new standards that must be fully met in 2021.
“We wrote a grant and submitted it,” Brayfield said, “and we were waiting to hear back. The money that was allocated was all over the United States, and we were waiting to hear back if ours was approved. We heard back from the Head Start program department of health and human services.” The grant includes funds to increase staff by approximately 22 positions and startup funds to fully equip the three new classrooms. All these full-day classrooms will open in fall 2017.
To comply with the new standards, all of the CORS Head Start funded centers must expand minimum teaching time to 1,020 hours per year. The awarding of the grant enables Kids Learning Place to start meeting the benchmark by converting the Head Start services in several locations. One of those locations, St. Marys, will open two new, six hour, full day Head Start classrooms with 40 child slots. CORS is currently searching for an available facility in St. Marys and hopes to open a center in St. Marys in the fall. “Right now, we don’t have an area (to teach the children),” Brayfield said. “We’re really looking for a building and things like that. If people know about a building that would be licensable for children and everything, we’re really looking at that and want to get that underway.”
CORS, a non-proft social service agency, runs Early Start/Head Start programs in nine counties and runs youth programs — Gateway Youth Program and Achievement Center for Educational success — in two counties. Head Start, a federally funded preschool program for children ages three to five, gives children from low income families, families experiencing homelessness, families with foster children or families of children with disabilities the chance to come into the program and attend preschool free of charge.
“It’s important for them,” Brayfield said. “There’s so much new research out that says early childhood is when children learn the most and the best and will get them more of that early childhood education while they’re still young before kindergarten.” Children used to attend preschool classes through the Head Start program at a facility in St. Marys, but the facility closed when funding changed.
Currently, children in St. Marys who are enrolled in the program attend classes at the Wapakoneta facility. The Wapakoneta facility, a facility with four partday classrooms where preschool children come in the morning and afternoon in two different classrooms, is being changed into a full-day program. As a result, Auglaize County will now have two full-day centers in Wapakoneta and hopes to open two full-day centers in St. Marys. For the full-day schedule in Head Start programs, children will attend preschool for six hours instead of the 3.5 hours on the part-day schedule. Currently at the Wapakoneta location, there’s two morning classes children attend and two afternoon classes children attend for 3.5 hours. Finding a facility in St. Marys for children to attend preschool classes will not only enable CORS to serve more children, but it will shorten the bus ride for children, as they will no longer have to ride all the way to Wapakoneta.
“Overall, we’ll able to serve more children because we’ll be serving the St. Marys children in St. Marys, which will make more room for children in Wapakoneta, where we’re busing them now,” Brayfield said. “The kids will be on the bus (for a) shorter length of time; it will be much better all the way around to have a neighborhood center versus going all the way to Wapakoneta.” For more information or to suggest a possible facility for the St. Marys location, contact Brayfield at 937- 778-5220.
CORS Awarded Supplemental Head Start Funding
February 13th, 2017
Through an increased federal investment in quality for early childhood education, Council on Rural Services (CORS) is receiving an award of $915,794 for supplemental preschool grant. This is part of a $290 million nationwide expansion award announced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (HHS).
Congress allocated the new funds as a down payment toward ensuring that nearly all preschool-age children in Head Start attend programs that operate full-time as announced in the new standards that must be fully met by 2021. These new Head Start standards place higher emphasis on a vision of evidence-based, data-driven and outcomes-focused services. These new standards are a significant and positive step forward for the future of Head Start and the success of the children and families later in life.
Within the new standards, all CORS Head Start funded centers must expand minimum teaching time to 1020 hours per year. The awarding of this grant enables Kids Learning Place to begin meeting this benchmark by converting the Head Start services in these most critical locations:
• Van Wert County will convert their existing part-day classrooms and now have two 6-hour full day Head Start classrooms with 40 child slots.
• Auglaize County in Wapakoneta will convert their existing part-day classrooms and now have two 6-hour full day Head Start classrooms with 40 child slots.
• Auglaize County in St. Mary’s will open two NEW 6-hour full day Head Start classrooms with 36 child slots.
• Logan County will re-open a Bellefontaine classroom and convert it to a full day Head Start classroom with 20 child slots.
• Darke County will increase the hours of their existing Union City classroom to include the full day standard of 1020 hours per year.
This grant includes funds to increase staff by approximately 22 positions and startup funds to fully equip the three new classrooms. All these full day classrooms will open in the fall of 2017.
All the above existing classrooms currently have awards for the highest recognition of “Five Stars” in Ohio’s “Step Up to Quality” program through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Dan Schwanitz, CEO at CORS said, “What CORS is most proud of is that for over 40 years we have been a leader in early childhood education in Ohio. We have a history of achieving outcomes for children both by supporting their health and learning and by enabling their families to achieve their own goals for education, employment, stability, and success. This additional funding will continue to expand these outcomes.” Kids Learning Place currently offers Head Start services to 1,364 children in their nine county service area through funds from HHS and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
“Last September we transitioned 589 children to kindergarten who are ready to learn, healthy, and developmentally on target,” said Liz Pfenning, Early Childhood Director. “They have self-help skills and can regulate their behaviors and feelings in-group settings. As important, their parents are involved in their schooling; they have the leadership skills and confidence to advocate for their child’s needs and to participate on parent committees. We here at CORS build lifelong learners in children and parents who set and achieve goals.”
For more information about the changes call our toll free number 1-866-627-4557 and talk with Liz Pfenning. Also, check our Web site at www.kidslearningplace.org or “like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kidslearningplace.
Council on Rural Services provides education and support through Kids Learning Place™, Head Start, Early Head Start, Gateway Youth Programs, and Achievement Center for Educational Success (ACES), in their nine county service area
2016-17 Semi Annual Report
January 11th, 2017
Since 1974, Council on Rural Services has been providing quality comprehensive educational and support services to individuals and families while building partnerships with people of all ages and inspiring them to seek new opportunities that increase their potential for growth. For 39 years, the early childhood education program of Council on Rural Services (CORS), known as Kids Learning Place (KLP), has helped provide quality education and care for over 30,000 children. Kids Learning Place centers meet Ohio’s child care licensing requirements and Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) standards. In addition, KLP meets the safety, health, education, and tracking requirements established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Children are exposed to research based curricula employed by certified and degreed teachers in every classroom ensuring they receive the highest level of quality early childhood education possible.
Council on Rural Services (CORS) established a self-assessment process in order to continuously improve the quality of services and programs. The evaluation process utilizes data gathered throughout the program year to learn about the effectiveness of our services and programs. Data is monitored continually, analyzed quarterly, and reports are produced semiannually to drive decision-making. This report is intended to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the program’s semi-annual progress based on the four outcomes developed from the four long term goals stated in the continuation grant. The four outcomes are: 1) Improve the health and wellness of children and families; 2) Ensure our children are school ready; 3) Continuously improve CORS Head Start systems to serve as best practices for the nation; and 4) Fully engage parents in the HS/EHS program