Head Start of Lane County

Head Start of Lane County Many businesses have come and gone in the Lane County district, but one of many have tested the times and survived by remaining open. Head Start of Lane County has had an Executive Director (Annie Soto) for 24 years, and I had a chance to interview her during normal business hours and went through the many services offered at her location. Annie Soto is an astonishing person to be in charge of so many employees that love and care for children’s needs. As she stated she “helps children get ready for school and get ready for life” by quality educational services.

Head Start of Lane County

Head Start Provides A Variety of Services

They also screen children for hearing, vision, height, weight and provide an assessment. These are indicators of where the children’s strengths are for areas of growth. Head Start doesn’t just help the children, but also the parents get help back into the community by getting to go back to school and get better jobs in the community. And for immigrants, they help them with getting drivers licenses and such. All of these services are provided by state funding and the office of Head Start. Annie Soto is very knowledgeable about the history of Head Start of Lane County and was admiring the fact that this establishment was started in 1965 for children and their well-being. Ages run prenatal through age 5.  There are 22 locations of Head Start and approximately 51 classrooms all in the Lane County district, these locations teach children of these ages the many things in life they need to get them ready for life. Head Start works with Lane County Dental to make sure the children’s teeth are treated and cleaned as well as seen by Well Child Services for the medical examination. Including up to date shots, these doctors and dentists get the children up to date medically for entering school.

Variety of Services

Leveraging Social Media for Community Awareness

When I was interviewing Annie Soto, I brought up the topic of social media and her reaction was that social media has brought more awareness to her programs, and plans on keeping the awareness throughout the community, as we all know social media plays a big part in today’s business. Creating the awareness and support for many businesses to stay alive in tough economy’s, this program also delivers meals prepared in Head Starts Large complete kitchen to different schools in the community regulated by Head Start. Challenges that were faced by Annie Soto through the years have been that the program is funded to families and parents in the poverty levels in accordance with low incomes, and the increase in state minimum wages and sometimes parents in these levels are not eligible for the services anymore.

CSK Dynamic Ventures

CSK Dynamic Ventures Supports Head Start of Lane County

These types of programs are very much regulated and micromanaged by the government but this facilities executive director feels that she is always in a learning state of mind to help families and children get through her open doors, and get the education or care needed to live a happier life in the real world. When I had brought up the topic of what would you have done differently over the years and she replied that keeping a hold on staff due to other programs has had its challenges. I had a great interview with Annie Soto, as she demonstrated great knowledge about her business and the community and the well being of children that she comes in contact with.

Head Start of Lane County website:   click here

by Craig Kenney
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