State Representative Michael Peifer recently spent time with children and teachers at the Hawley Early Learning Center. 

State Representative Michael Peifer recently spent time with children and teachers at the Hawley Early Learning Center. 

The site, formerly the Hawley Kindergarten Center, houses three specialized early learning program-Early Intervention, Head Start and Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts. While the three programs differ in the type of curriculum offered and children served, all are charged with getting three- and four-year-old children ready to start school. The arrangement of all the different programs’ classrooms in one building allows tremendous opportunities for children with disabilities and typically-developing children to play together and learn from each other. 

As a supporter of early care and education, Representative Peifer was invited to tour the Early Learning Center to see, first-hand, the programs that are preparing Pennsylvania children for success in school and for success in life. After spending time in each of the classrooms with the children, everyone gathered in the lunch room to enjoy a special snack.

Acknowledging that early childhood programs play an important role in developing the skills children need to be successful in school, Rep. Peifer commented that he was pleased to see that the Wallenpaupack School District made the programs so accessible to the community. He also commented on how the bright and pleasant atmosphere of the school and classrooms would stimulate learning.

The Early Intervention classroom at the Hawley Early Learning Center is staffed with teachers and aides from the Wayne County Consortium for Early Intervention. Children, ages three to five, who are identified as having developmental delays, participate in early-learning activities and therapies while in the classroom. Early Intervention services are provided free to charge to all eligible children.

In addition to receiving early intervention services in Hawley’s classroom, children identified as having developmental delays may participate in early intervention by working with a teacher and/or therapist in a public preschool, Head Start, child care site, home or other classroom setting. Staff providing early intervention services include certified teachers and therapists who work in cooperation with parents to help children succeed. Information on early intervention for children ages three to five can be obtained by calling 937-3065. To contact the program providing early intervention services to children from birth-three, please call 253-9200.

The Hawley Early Learning Center is also home to Head Start classrooms. Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program designed to enhance a child’s development prior to school. Recognized as a key early learning program, Head Start is designed for families that meet income eligibility requirements. For more information on the Head Start program, families can call 570-963-6633.

One of Hawley’s two Pre-K Counts classrooms is also located in the Hawley Early Learning Center. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is designed for children who are between age three and until the entry age for kindergarten and who are at risk of school failure, either because of income (300 percent of the federal poverty level, or a family of four earning $63,600), language (English is not the first language), cultural or special needs issues. (Hawley’s second Pre-K Counts site is at Hawley Treasure House.)

Representative Peifer’s visit was arranged by Wayne County’s Interagency Coordinating Council. Members of the council include Early Intervention, Head Start and the Wayne County Children’s Coalition. Other members include the Wayne County Family Center, that operates the popular “Parents As Teachers” program and conducts play groups throughout the county. To contact the Family Center, please call 226-0977.