NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - United States Sen. Tim Scott getting into the back-to-school spirit. He visited Mary Ford Child and Family Development Center in North Charleston to hear about its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Head Start South Carolina is a federal program that promotes school readiness for low-income families.
Sen. Scott visited classes at Mary Ford's campus Tuesday morning. This campus currently serves 86 students. It can also serve up to 25 adults.
"If I could do one thing all day long, it would be to hang out with the kids," Scott said. "It's important for the kids for the kids to become acclimated to a good, healthy definition of community. More important than teaching kids, the saying is somethings are caught not taught, today you saw the family setting of everyone sitting together."
Mary Ford has multiple family literacy programs for all ages.
"We're a collaboration of Early Head Start, Head Start, and a GED program for our parents," Head Start program specialist Camille Hendrix said.
Charleston County School District serves more than 1,000 kids in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, making it the biggest program in the state.
South Carolina serves approximately 13,000 students total.
"It tells you where the growing populations are and, hopefully, speaks to the success of this program," Scott said. "Folks are finding it difficult to find jobs. Well, why is that? Part of it is a social skill, soft skills. When you're two-years old and you're learning to sit at a table and interact with other folks, that is a powerful and positive foundation."
Sen. Scott said it is a blessing to see this kind of success coming from his hometown.
"For me, as a kid that grew up in a single-parent household in this neighborhood, I lived in Accabee. This is a community where my youngest days were spent here so to see the success coming from this community is heartwarming for me."
"It's just wonderful to see people from areas that we know are challenging when they were growing up, be so successful in life," Hendrix said.
Head Start programs accept children as young as six weeks up to age five. If you're interested in learning more about the benefits, click this link.