EAST LIVERPOOL – An event for the community is planned June 28 at the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County’s East Liverpool Head Start Center.
The open house is planned from noon to 3 p.m. at the newly renovated Head Start/Early Head Start Center at 16924 St. Clair Avenue.
Tours of the center will be available, and light refreshments will be provided, according to officials.
The Community Acton Agency of Columbiana County Inc. began leasing the former First National Community Bank and Farmers Bank building in 2020. At this time the agency had just been awarded a new five-year Head Start grant and was expanding to include infants and toddlers in its scope of service by opening the first-ever Early Head Start Center in Columbiana County, according to Christine Malloy, director, Department of Early Childhood Services.
The first project in 2020 was to remodel the previous administrative quarters into an Early Head Start wing, where the agency saw its very first students attend in the form of 16 toddlers all under the age of 3.
At this same time, the agency was awarded a competitive grant to expand service in the area by another 34 children and their families, according to Malloy. In 2021, the agency opened six new Head Start classrooms for 3-5-year-olds and started renovations to create two new classrooms on the lower level.
“There has always been a great need for high quality early learning services in the East Liverpool area. We have seen this need grow over the past several years and knew we needed to secure a space large enough to fit our growing needs. This building fit the need perfectly,” Malloy noted.
The 2022-23 school year was the first full school year the East Liverpool Head Start Center operated at maximum capacity, serving 170 area children in 10 classrooms. The center currently has a waitlist and wishes there was space to serve more, Malloy noted.
“We are very grateful to the community, especially the families in the East Liverpool for embracing our growth in their community,” she added.
The new site also includes a state-of-the-art enclosed, outdoor playground featuring modern playground furnishings and poured-in rubber flooring, according to officials.
“This building sat vacant for almost seven years after Farmer’s Bank closed,” said Thomas Andrews, CAACC’s CEO. “A true partnership was formed with our landlords, ELPG, LLC and we have taken a once eyesore for the community and transformed it into a beautiful asset serving the community … educating 170 students and employing approximately 40 staff … all toward meeting our mission to strengthen the community, foster well-being and promote self-sufficiency.”
CAACC operates the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Columbiana and Jefferson counties. These federally-funded programs deliver high-quality services of early learning, health and family engagement preparing the community’s most vulnerable and youngest children to succeed in school and in life beyond school, officials said. CAACC also administers and operates Ohio’s Early Childhood Education Grant, as a state-funded pre-kindergarten school readiness program.
CAACC’s Early Childhood Department serves 545 young children and their families at nine locations throughout both counties. For more information and to apply for the program, visit caaofcc.org/headstart.
The 2023-24 school year will begin on Aug. 28 at CAACC’s Head Start locations. Please call 330-424-6693 for more information.
Pictured at the site located at 16924 St. Clair Avenue, East Liverpool, are, from left, Christine Malloy, Director of Early Childhood Services; Thomas Andrews, CEO of CAACC; and Tena Liberati, East Liverpool Head Start Center’s Site Supervisor.