Tri-County Head Start

Newsletter Winter 2017

Happy Holidays from our Executive Director

Each year around the holidays, I try to find a quiet spot and think about what I am most grateful for. Being grateful allows me to celebrate the present. One of the real joys of the holiday season is taking the opportunity to say thank you to all of you. Whether you are a parent, a staff member, a volunteer, a board member or community partner, together we are changing lives and influencing the future. Children who participate in Head Start receive many benefits. These advantages appear immediately, last a lifetime, and even have an effect on future generations. Scroll down to read the article in this issue from our board member, Vanessa, who shares her family story about the impact of Head Start.

Tri-County Head Start is a special place for children and families. Thousands of families have benefited from our local programs since the beginning in the early 70s. To this day, we strive to do even more. In the last year we have renewed our commitment to focus on quality program enhancements including salary increases for our hard-working teachers. We have also begun facility improvements, from a new roof to updating classrooms and playgrounds at sites that are in need of attention.

Over the next year, we will continue to build capacity of families to support young children’s learning, work in collaboration with community partners, use data to support ongoing continuous improvement, continue facility improvements, and drive innovation in early childhood practice.

A heartfelt thank you and wishes for a peaceful and joyous new year.


Lisa Stone- Muntz

Wow! Look At What Some of Our Sites Have Done

Reflecting on our Program Year Thus Far

  • With our commitment to facility improvements we are happy to have received the Qualistar Healthy Beginnings, Active Futures grant for playground upgrades at the Mesa View Head Start in Cortez. This includes new flooring, a new toddler classroom, upgrades to the kitchen and a new roof. We are excited to see new climbing structures, outdoor chimes and drums, nature bowls and other play items. Also included is a new infant/toddler playground, tree trimming and new fencing.

  • TCHS was awarded a 2017/18 Cost of Living Adjustment for classroom teachers. Over the next few years, we will continue to increase the salaries for our hard working teachers.

  • This program year each site's monthly Parent Committee meetings have had increased participation. Fundraisers are in full swing and parents are excited to support the program. The hard working Policy Council members, that were voted in by the parent committees, have participated in the monthly meetings. They are your voice at each site and we thank them for their time and talents.

  • We welcome the partnership of our Early Childhood Councils MECC and ECC La Plata. They have been a great support to all early childhood centers and especially Tri-County Head Start. Both Councils have provided training for our staff and assisted us in community grants.

Board Member Moment: Vanessa Martinez

My name is Vanessa Martinez. My family’s story exemplifies the multi-generational approach which is a cornerstone of our local Head Start program. My parents were some of the first students served at the Mancos Head Start at the Mt. Lookout Grange in the 1960’s. Head Start was there for my parents again when all three of their children, including myself, attended the same program in Mancos. With the help of the Head Start program, my mom became a nurse and my dad a paramedic all while their children went to preschool. Years later, Head Start was there for me when my son turned three and enrolled in the Mancos Head Start program. The Head Start connection continued when I began working for Tri-County Head Start in Cortez. My job with Head Start helped me pursue my masters in Mental Health Counseling. In 2017, I was asked to join the Tri-County Head Start Board of Directors. I am honored to give back to the organization that gave me and my family so much.

Thanks to all who support Tri-County Head Start

During this season of giving, we want to thank all of our donors that are supporting Tri-County Head Start and our overall goal to prepare our children and families for success in school.


Tantrums, Defiance, Aggression—Oh My!

Challenging Behaviors

As young children are just beginning to develop self-control, challenging behavior is common and expected in the years from birth to three.

Young children are also developing self-regulation—the ability to calm or regulate themselves when they are upset. This process leads to some challenging moments for both adults and children. Learn more about how to respond to challenging behaviors like crying, aggression and defiance, and how to support your child’s development of self-control and self-regulation with the video.

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10 Tips for Helping Your Child Cope With Holiday Stress

For most children, the holidays are happy, fun and exciting times. There’s a break from school and a chance to see friends and relatives. There may also be special food, music and family traditions. However, for some children, the holidays can also be stressful and confusing. Family plans and celebrations may be complicated by divorce, separation or remarriage. The holidays can also be a difficult time for children who have lost a parent, sibling or close relative.

The holidays often remind children of what’s changed and what’s now different. For example, a child from a divorced family may feel sad on some level because he misses the “intact” family he used to have.

There are a number of things parents can do to help children cope with holiday stress.

Please click on the title to read the entire article.

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Tri-County Head Start

Sites: Roberta Shirley Center, Durango

Florida Mesa, Durango

Needham, Durango

Park, Durango

Mardel Gallegos, Pagosa Springs

Mesa View Head Start

Teddy Bear Preschool, Mancos Early Learning Center