Education in Action: Building Young Minds Through Firsthand Experience

Construction at Head Start’s new location offers opportunity to educate students on the building process

Early Head Start and Head Start programs are critical tools to providing under-served children with the building blocks for academic success. Students at NVFS’ Head Start facility in Arlington will soon be receiving this education in a new facility — and are literally getting to learn about building blocks as part of the process.

“This is an opportunity for children to learn what’s behind the walls and transform their perspective on buildings so that, whenever they enter a room, they know about all the various parts that make up a building,” says Malinda Langford, NVFS senior vice president of programs.

The Head Start program — currently housed at the George Mason Center, which will be utilized in Virginia Hospital’s expansion project — will be moving a 15,649-square-foot space at 2920 S. Glebe Road that has been purchased by Arlington County. As the building is being updated to accommodate the program, Langford has been taking photos as new pieces are constructed to show the children how a building is made. This includes images of the framing and drywall process, so they understand what is behind the walls.

The 4-year-olds classroom will get to see the construction process firsthand as part of a planned site visit once the facility is near completion in November.

“The children will be able to connect the pictures they’ve seen with the tangible components of the building — the walls they can now touch, the light switches they can turn on and off, and the doors they can open and walk through,” Langford adds. “It will be a great learning process for them to be able to see the whole picture.”

Other exciting updates from our Early Childhood Education programs include:

  • A partnership with Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts to provide music education to our Head Start students through in-classroom teaching experiences at the Arlington center
  • A partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation to not only invest in the training of our early childhood education staff at Early Head Start and Head Start, but other area teachers as well to ensure that an educational foundation is provided to children across our region
  • Increasing access to parent resources to provide them with the tools to understand and continue the nutritional education and mental health training the children are receiving in the classrooms