Deb Florenz, director of Children’s Services for Community Concepts
Head Start program gets national award

PARIS – Community Concepts’ Head Start Program has been awarded the designation of Program of Excellence by the Administration for Children and Families Head Start Bureau in Boston.

This top award is given to a select few programs across New England with a record of high performance and whose programs demonstrate a positive impact on the lives of children, families, staff and the communities they serve.

Community Concepts operates 16 Head Start and Early Head Start sites in Oxford and Franklin counties. Head Start is a preschool program for children ages 3 to 5, focusing on each child’s educational, social, medical and nutritional needs. Early Head Start offers the same components for pregnant women and families with children from birth to 3 years of age.

“One of the most exciting things about this award is the recognition of our strong community support and partnerships,” said Deb Florenz, director of Children’s Services for Community Concepts. “We really focus on parent participation and community partnerships as a way to meet the needs of each individual child and family.”

“I am so proud of our program our wonderfully dedicated staff, our parent partners and all the community supporters,” said Florenz. “We will share in this superb honor”.

Some of the other criteria for the award included strong resources within the organization, involvement of fathers, a strong family focus and continuous program improvement. Head Start programs are monitored every three years to review their success in achieving the program’s national goals. The Program of Excellence designation was given to the Oxford County program and was announced at the Regional Head Start Conference in Providence, R.I., on Dec. 2.

Anyone interested in contacting the Head Start Program can call Community Concepts in South Paris at 743-7716 or Wilton at 645-9512.

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