New Head Start center opens in southwest Alachua County, providing quality early learning services to residents

Press release from Episcopal Children’s Services

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The newest Episcopal Children’s Services Head Start Child Care Partner (CCP) center opened its doors yesterday to the residents of Newberry, Florida. I Rise Performing Kids Academy is now enrolling for Head Start services for children and families in Southwest Alachua County.

I Rise Performing Kids Academy held an open house on Friday, August 26, to allow families to tour the center, learn about the program, and enroll their children. A parent attending the open house was eager to get her son enrolled at the center as the location of I Rise Performing Kids Academy is closer to home and better for her daily activities: “I live in Newberry, so when they told me they were opening a center in here, I said, ‘Good! I’ll transfer.’ It’s smaller and more engaged than other programs I’ve tried. Before this program, I was afraid he wasn’t getting what he needed, so I’m glad this resource is available,” Kara Oyarvide commented.

“Every child deserves a strong start in life, and expanding our services throughout Alachua County allows us to continue serving the children and families who are most vulnerable and in need of our programs,” said Chief Executive Officer Connie Stophel. “The ongoing expansion of our services is a result of our ability to continually meet and exceed the rigorous Head Start Performance Standards for program design, development, and delivery.”

For the past 25 years, ECS has provided high-quality, comprehensive Head Start and Early Head Start services to children, birth to five, pregnant women, and their families. The Head Start program is designed to meet the needs of three- and four-year-olds in a classroom setting through the whole child approach, helping children grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially.

I Rise Performing Kids Academy is located at 24621 Doc Karelas Drive in Newberry, Florida. The center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is led by center manager, Jasmine Moore. Call 352-660-2013 for more information or log on to www.ecs4kids.org.