Provide comprehensive services for young children birth to five and their families in education, health, family engagement and building support systems to achieve school readiness and lifelong skills.
*Provide meaningful, culturally responsive educational experiences that will help children grow intellectually, socially and emotionally.
*Provide health services such as dental, developmental, vision and hearing screenings for early identification of health problems as well as provide supports services in nutrition and mental health. 
*Build respectful relationships with families through providing opportunities for families to engage with their child in and out of the classroom, training and classes for personal development, as well as involvement in the program through planning and implementation of activities through committees and policy council.

Vision Statement

“Getting the Gila River Indian Community’s young children birth to five and their families ready for school and ready for life”

Program History

The Gila River Indian Community Head Start Program has been in operation since 1965. It provides services to children from low-income families who are three to five years old. The Head Start Program provides comprehensive, health, nutritional, educational, social and other services. In addition to Head Start, the Gila River Indian Community also has an Early Head Start Program providing services to families with infants from 6 weeks to age 3.
Parents are encouraged to participate in program development, family and community partnerships and their children’s physical and educational development. The Program provides training and educational opportunities for parents. Participation in the program promotes involvement and understanding of child development to support and educate parents of young children. The Gila River Head Start Program believes that parents are their child’s first teacher.
Children with disabilities are an inclusive part of this Head Start Program and a minimum of 10% of the total funded enrollment will consist of children with disabilities. Head Start and Early Childhood Special Services will collaborate with parents and Center Teaching Teams to determine the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) of children with disabilities. 

Head Start Administration

Carolina Banda-Kelley, Head Start Manager
Phone: (520) 562-3423 ext. 2243
Email: Carolina.Kelley.HDST@gric.nsn.us

Frances G. Gonzales, Administrative Assistant
Phone: (520) 562-3423 ext 2227
Email: Frances.Gonzales@gric.nsn.us

Lori Stinson, Education Coordinator
Phone: Phone: (520) 562-3423 ext. 2242
Email: Lori.Stinson.HDST@gric.nsn.us

Pearl Gore, Health Coordinator
Phone: (520) 562-6901/3423 ext 2231
Email: Pearl.Gore@gric.nsn.us

Alma Valencia, Family Service Coordinator
Phone: (520) 562-3423 ext. 2229
Email: Alma.Valencia@gric.nsn.us

Starleen Somegustava, Disabilities Coordinator
Phone: (520) 562-6901 ext. 2222
Email: Starleen.Somegustava@gric.nsn.us

Louvina Johnson, Nutrition Coordinator
Phone: (520) 562-6901 ext. 2273
Email: Louvina.johnson@gric.nsn.us

Raul Sepeda, Transportation Coordinator
Phone: (520)562-6901/3423 ext 2274
Email: Raul.Sepeda@gric.nsn.us


Head Start and Early Head Start Support Staff

Lisa Chimerica, Head Start Secretary III
Phone: (520) 562-6901/3423 ext 2225
Email: Lisa.Chimerica@gric.nsn.us

Andrea Moristo, Secretary III
Phone: (520) 562-6901/3423 ext 2272

Myona Garcia, Secretary II
Phone: (520) 562-6901/3423 ext 2245
Email: Myona.Garcia.HDST@gric.nsn.us

Brianna Jackson, Clerk I
Phone:(520) 562-6901/3423 ext 2247
Email: Brianna.Jackson@gric.nsn.us


Gila River Head Start & Early Head Start Annual Report 2012-2013