We love this letter we received about our New Start location:

Ms. Larkin,

I am a speech-language pathologist for the Wilbur D. Mills Cooperative.  We service students who reside in the Jacksonville area, and New Start is a center that I go to weekly.

I have been an SLP for 17 years, so I’ve worked in a lot of centers.   I am very impressed with the staff and program at the New Start Head Start in Jacksonvillle.  Ms. Perkins, the Site Manager is always very friendly and helpful.  I love the way they have their centers set up.  It’s great to see the children asking and answering questions, socializing, and learning to resolve conflicts during center time.  The entire time, the teachers are involved during center time by directing them to centers, monitoring their behavior, and asking open-ended questions when they are not making a good choice.

I’ve heard Ms. Weaver the classroom teacher say, “Is that a good choice?” and then ask, “What are you supposed to be doing?”  Or she has asked, “How are you supposed to go to the carpet?”  These open-ended questions promote better behavior as well as language skills skills.

I’m impressed with all of the rhyming songs that they use to target phonological Awareness skills. Ms. Weaver is frequently asking a variety of “wh” questions while reading stories which contributes to better language skills as well as early reading skills.  I love the songs they sing to encourage healthy eating habits. The children are constantly encouraged to keep their hands in their lap during snack and lunch times.

At this time, I only have one student in speech therapy, so I have not observed much in the other classroom.  However,  I have met the other teacher, since I have two students in the referral practice in her class.  She is very friendly and appears to be very interactive with her students as well.

I love going to New Start Head Start every week.  You can just feel how much the teachers care about the kids when you walk in the door.


Melanie Knowlton
Speech-Language Pathologist