Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
These Clayton County Head Start students show some Colombian sass during International Day festivities.
By Kathy Jefcoats
FOREST PARK — El Salvador, Japan, Australia and Solomon Islands, just to name a few, were represented Thursday during Clayton County Head Start International Day.
The end of year salute to nations started in 2004 and includes a parade of students dressed to represent the country they have studied. There were Jamaican sailors, dancing El Salvadoran girls and even boys in grass skirts from Ghana. They carried banners announcing their country and paraded from the Head Start building up the parking lot to the grandstand.
Proud parents, relatives and supporters jockeyed for positions with digital cameras, cell phones and even tablets to get the best photos and videos of the students.
After announcements were made, students and parents made the rounds of booths where they picked up literature from the Board of Health and the WIC program, among others. Pamphlets in hand, families wandered onto green playing fields where students played soccer, ran obstacle courses and jumped into sacks for, what else? Sack races.
Lafayette Williams Sr. was there with his children, Nevaeh, 4, and Lafayette Jr., 2. His daughter finished Head Start classes this year and his son is looking forward to joining the program in a year or so.
"He sees his sister go to class and he's ready to do the same," said Williams Sr. "We've got to get these kids back to basics. There's so much technology out there but they need to learn to slow down and learn the basics."
For example, his said his son loves wrestling and would watch television matches for hours, if allowed.
"Instead, we go outside and play so he can learn wrestling, if he wants, from doing and not just watching," he said. "These kids have got to learn to slow down. Back in my day, we had to actually do stuff, not have stuff done for us."
Inside the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theater, actor/educators Kate Dorrough and Brooke Reinhart used an old-fashioned puppet to speak to children about summer safety. Mumford Safety Tales helped the children sing and clap to a ditty about having a swim buddy.
“Always find a grown-up,” goes the song. “Never swim alone.”