Another domain in the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood tree is early literacy support, and parent and community education. Grant manager Dr. Stephanie Shine and Director Denise Stovall oversee Texas Tech Early Head Start. The Early Head start program is a partnership between Texas Tech University and the Lubbock Housing Authority. Early Head Start is a program for pregnant women and families with children between the ages of 6 weeks to 3 years. There is no charge for this program. This program is comprehensive and serves families that live East of University Avenue, inside the South Loop, and the Arnett Benson area. The philosophy of TTU Early Head start is believing that children reach their highest potential in an atmosphere of caring and respect that offers many opportunities to learn in ways that meet the needs of each individual child.
In addition to the care and education of children onsite at Early Head Start, home visits are another service provided which brings early literacy to your front door. Home visitors like Swanna Carrillo make multiple weekly trips into homes to read and provide educational activities for children. In addition, they also evaluate eating, sleeping, behavioral and developmental habits with the caregivers. The interactions are a learning experience for both the child and the caregiver as the activities learning objectives can be repeated or expanded on by the caregiver until the next home visit occurs.
Also, Early Head Start is not just for children. Weekly socializations are held on site that are specifically designed for parents. During the socializations, parents and caregivers participate in learning activities for adults as well as interact with other parents, while their children are socializing in another location. This provides time for parents to have adult interaction as well as develop new parenting skills, and socialize with other parents about the challenges and successes of raising a child.
“The parents are getting to know that there is a chance for their child to have an early head start, they really want to make sure that these children are getting that seed planted so they can go out and spread wonderfulness into the world.”- Swanna Carrillo