Mayor Demings reading to school children

Mayor Demings Celebrates Literacy Week with Head Start After School Program

Community & Services

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings surprised the staff and students enrolled in the County’s Hal P. Marston Head Start Center on Wednesday, Jan. 30 as a part of “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!

Mayor Demings sat with students and read “One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Scott, as well as “Phillip Willing Howard III” by Orange County employee Eddie Engram, to a class of about 20 students. Both books focused on the importance of helping others and being kind to others.

“The dedication of the teachers and staff at Orange County’s Head Start programs is reflected in the positive impact that is displayed by the families and communities they serve,” Mayor Demings said. “These children are the future of Orange County and have a special place in my heart. I know these bright students understand the importance of reading and how these skills will benefit their future and education.”

Literacy Week is part of the Florida Department of Education’s “Just Read, Florida!” statewide reading initiative that prioritizes reading in Florida’s schools and among all the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them.

The Orange County Head Start Division (OCHS) promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families.

OCHS has a shared governance system between the Board of County Commissioners; the Policy Council –  which is made up of parents 51 percent and 49 percent community partners; and Orange County staff. Head Start serves more than 1,536 children ranging from 3 to 5 years old at 22 centers across Orange County serving families and communities who are economically disadvantaged.

Photo Caption: Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings celebrates Florida Literacy Week with Orange County’s Head Start afterschool program at the Hal P Marston Head Start Center

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