Somerset Community Action Program is an organization which mobilizes resources, both public and private, to enable the members of the community to become self-sufficient. This may happen at an individual, family, or neighborhood level and is accomplished through the development of employment opportunities, the improvement of human performance, productivity, motivation, and the bettering of conditions under which low-income families live, learn, and work. The programs within SCAP seek to strengthen the community's capabilities for planning and coordinating federal, state, and private sector resources related to the elimination of poverty. SCAP is conducted and administered with members of the community. This participation includes both the training and employment of the members in service delivery jobs and volunteer positions as well as their participation on policy-making groups, including the SCAP Board of Directors. Through this participation, it is believed that low-income persons may pursue involvement in other community policy-making groups, including elective offices.
Somerset Community Action Program is proud to host The Head Start Program as both a concept and a community facility. Since 1964, Somerset County Head Start has served preschool children utilizing federal funds. At the present time, we are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to serve 3 to 5 year old children. The sponsor and grantee for the Head Start Program is the Somerset Community Action Program. The program direction is set by the Policy Council, which receives input from the classroom and working committees. The purpose of these meetings is for parents to make policies, which are collectively implemented by staff. It represents drawing together all resources (family, community, and professionals), which can contribute, to the child's total development and readiness for school.
Somerset Community Action Program offers individuals, children, and families in Somerset County community and programmatic resources to support their educational, economic, and professional growth.
SCAP's mission is to increase family self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life in Somerset County. This is accomplished through community and social programs that allow the individual children and families in the programs to develop meaningful skills to better manage and develop their quality of life.
SCAP offers the following community programs:
Somerset Community Action Program is a private non-profit organization, which has provided service in Central Jersey for nearly 45 years. The program was one of the first Community Action Agencies authorized in response to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society Programs. Some community programs offered include family and job counseling, computer literacy, employment training, parenting workshops, language development, and weatherization.
Somerset Community's Head Start program's mission is to improve the lives of low-income families by providing comprehensive child development services that are family focused, including education, health, nutrition, and mental health. Our mission is accomplished by involving parents in the total operation and administration of the program supporting the growth of children, families, and staff through encouragement, nurturing, and community empowerment.
Head Start recognizes the family as a fundamental socialization vehicle for all children. Through parent involvement children are encouraged to developed powerful leadership capabilities that will prove beneficial throughout their lives. The best interest of the child is promoted by Head Start through the High Scope curriculum (www.highscope.org) while incorporating the needs and aspirations of the family and community.
The Head Start program and the Child Development program uses the High Scope Curriculum, which is a research based curriculum that has demonstrated over time its effectiveness in preparing disadvantaged youth for the first grade and on. "HighScope teachers give preschoolers a sense of control over the events of the day by planning a consistent daily routine that enables the children to anticipate what happens next. Central elements of the preschool daily routine include the plan-do-review sequence, small- and large- group times, greeting time, and outside time." (www.highscope.org)
The concept of creating this program is a collaborative effort from all the sectors; Families, Communities and Professionals who may have devoted time to contribute to the child's total development and total awareness.
Parent Policy Council
Emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents as volunteers and in the administration of Head Start. By serving on the council and other committees, parents are at the forefront of the program's operation and have a voice in determining program content. By participating on committees, many parents have increased their self-confidence and improved their ability to make vital decisions, parents learn how to manage an organization that has great complexity and scope. Parents can volunteer their services as teacher aides in the classroom, nutrition and health services, and in a variety of integral roles through the program.
To become a member of the parent council please contact Freda Ofori via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Hamilton location (732)-846-8888
Policy Council Liaison
The SCAP staff is a group of people working hand-in-hand putting together and maintaining a program that benefits the entire community of Somerset County.
Every staff member and volunteer agrees to adhere to the following High Scope curriculum, which rests on four basic philosophies. First, to respect and promote the unique identity of each child's family and refrain from stereotyping on basis of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion or disability. Second, to follow program confidentiality policies regarding information about children, families, and other staff members. Third, ensure no child will be left alone or unsupervised while under their care. Finally, to use positive methods of child guidance and will not engage in corporal punishment, emotional or physical abuse or humiliation.
|Freda Ofori||Executive/Head Start Directoremail@example.com|
|Jyotsana Dani||Assistant Director / Financefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sandra Espinal||Executive Program Assistantemail@example.com|
|Aliya Anderson-Smith||Community Services Program Managerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Purvi Bhatt||Senior Bookkeeperemail@example.com|
|Alicia Carman||Weatherization Managerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dionne Germain||Child Development Program Manageremail@example.com|
|Karen Hotze||Health and Nutrition Managerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Family and Community Partnership Manager
|Amisha Shah||Education Manageremail@example.com|
|Nick Bhatt||Information Technology|
|Joanne Hickey Esler||Mental Health|