Monday, May 19, 2003
Some 39 Head Start preschoolers in Hood River County are starting summer vacation sooner than originally planned when their program was forced to close early due to state funding cuts.
Mid-Columbia Children’s Council’s Parkdale Head Start Center closed Friday, as did one classroom of the two classrooms at its Pine Grove center. Also affected are 29 of the children MCCC serves in The Dalles, bringing the total to 68.
Funding to MCCC’s Head Start programs comes from both federal and state grants, according to Executive Director Suzanne VanOrman. The particular classrooms closing early are funded by Oregon Pre-Kindergarten (OPK) Programs.
For fall 2003, “we are planning business as usual,” VanOrman said. “We may have some reductions in what we do, but planning to do the same thing. Unless the money really disappears it’s really hard to say.”
“We’ll assume we’ll pretty much have what we had,” she said, in part because programs serving 80 or fewer students, including Early Head Start, are currently protected.
“But that depends on how deep the cuts go,” VanOrman said.
For 2002-03, the program first absorbed as much of the OPK cuts as she could manage, without resorting to cutting services to children and families, according to VanOrman. But finally, she had no choice but to shorten the school year.
“We managed to maintain the classes as long as we could by not filling a position and by making appropriate cutbacks,” VanOrman said.
The future is uncertain for Wasco and Hood River County families planning to send their preschoolers to OPK in the fall. So far, there is no news from the Oregon Legislature about next year’s budget for OPK.
Sixty people attended graduation ceremonies Wednesday at Parkdale, and the cafeteria filled up for a graduation potluck at Pine Grove.
“There were four adults there for every child,” VanOrman said.
More like this story
- CASA launches 2017 Playhouse Raffle
- YESTERYEARS: Ross, Daphne Hukari Animal Shelter opens in 2007
- ‘Guy, Guitar, Girl’: young actor seeks film support
- A ‘transforming gift’
- Author signing June 3 at HR Farmers’ Market
- Sports briefs for May 24
- Fresh and Local: Farmers Markets in the Gorge
- Gorge Scenic Area planning grant uncertain
- Wrong-way chase and arrest
- Ex-deputy sentenced for luring a minor
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge