CAO Highland Headstart opens doors for Annual Fall Festival


Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.


Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.


Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.


By Joseph Pratt

[email protected]

The Community Action Organization (CAO) Scioto County Head Start and Early Head Start program welcomed hundreds of children and their families to its Annual Fall Festival at the location of the Highland Head Start on Thursday evening.

Food and snacks were available for the guests, informational booths were ready to speak, adults were able to receive flu shots, a petting zoo was available for children, games were giving away cakes and prizes, and much more. Guests were instantly welcomed at a registration booth, where volunteers walked them through what was going on. The yard was full of games, a petting zoo, and local mascots.

The cafeteria was set up with dozens of local professionals that give information on community organizations that lend support. Some of the opportunities for families included finger printing from Western Southern, flue shots from the Scioto County Health Department, Portsmouth City Health Department gave information on its clinics and vaccinations, Southern Ohio Medical Center was present to speak on sugar, and more.

Every corner of the event was packed with a different game or activity for kids to enjoy.

“We’ve been doing family events like this for more than 20 years,” Carla Womack, of CAO Headstart, said. “We continue the tradition because we want to show the families we invest in them. It isn’t about sending their child to school. It is a family experience at our headstart and we want them to feel comfortable here.”

Womack said that most students ride a bus to school and parents don’t get the opportunity to visit often, which is important to the faculty.

“We have an open door policy and we want the families to feel welcomed,” Womack explained. “The Annual Fall Festival gives us the opportunity to have many of these families in the building to meet everyone and check things out.”

Womack said that while the event is targeted towards school families, many community members show up to participate. Womack says she is happy that numbers reached over 450 guests, but is relived for the weekend after all of the planning that went into it.

“We are glad we were able to welcome families into the school and learn about different health opportunities and events in the community,” Womack said. “We feel like it was a fun and successful evening. I am blessed and honored to be a part of it.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.
http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_20150924_173514.jpgJoseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.

Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.
http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_20150924_173328.jpgJoseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.

Joseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.
http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_20150924_173915.jpgJoseph Pratt | Portsmouth Daily Times
The CAO Headstart program welcomed the community for the Annual Fall Festival this week. Families participated in games and attractions, and received free information and food.
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