Research has proven that children whose parents are actively involved in their education have more success in school.

Holiday Superstore

Holiday Superstore 2023

The Holiday Super Store began as a way of encouraging the parents of the students at Charlie Thomas Head Start to get involved at the school. On the first day of the school year parents are asked to sign an agreement which details how they can earn points.

The parent(s) earn points beginning at the start of the school year until a designated time in November of the same year for the following:

  • Attending parent training programs at the Head Start Center.
  • Seeing that their child or children have perfect class attendance each week.
  • Obtaining a letter or statement signed by their employer that they have not missed work each week except for holidays or approved leave.
  • Helping as a volunteer in a Head Start classroom.
  • Helping as a volunteer in the Head Start office.
  • Assist with fund raising activities.
  • Helping the Staff when the children take field trips.
  • Enrolling in and attending Trade School, College or obtaining their GED.

Opening Doors will purchase and distribute gifts based on points earned for participation in the activities stated above in the Parent’s Agreement.

Parent Recognition Program

Charlie Thomas Head Start
First Day of School 2019-2020

A vital part of the Head Start program is parent participation. Opening Doors encourages the parents of the children in the Charlie Thomas Head Start program by recognizing them for the time they spend volunteering at the school. This program is for the period of January through April.

Program Guidelines:

  • Only parents or legal guardians with children in the program may participate (i.e. grandparents, aunts, sisters, uncles, brothers and other relatives are not eligible).
  • A parent must volunteer at least 10 hours each month (January, February, March, April) to be eligible for recognition at the end of the school year.

The parents with the highest number of volunteer hours will receive an award. Only one award will be given per family.

Unity in the Community

Opening Doors sponsors an annual celebration, “Unity in the Community,” in conjunction with Charlie Thomas Head Start Center. The children, staff and families of the Head Start Center join the members and families of St. John’s United Methodist Church for a special morning of communal worship and singing and the showcasing of the talents of the children of the center. In 2015, the students celebrated successful African Americans by reciting information about their chosen individuals; others sang or danced to a standing room only crowd. Following the service, the United Methodist Women of the church provided a simple lunch in the gym where all gathered together for food and fellowship.

Summer Reading Program

Each child is provided age-appropriate books, crafts and toys in a backpack before school ends for the summer. The intent is that the parent(s) will use these books and crafts to help the child continue learning during the summer months.

Gardere Initiative

Opening Doors maintains an active presence in the Gardere area by being a member of its vibrant  Gardere Initiative. For our part we offer St. John’s Family Life Center as a place where teens from the Gardere neighborhood meet monthly for educational and recreational activities.

Another successful program sponsored by the Gardere Initiative is SOAR, which teaches financial literacy to Gardere residents. SOAR offers an opportunity to complete financial  projects such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy, and other assignments culminating in cash rewards for the participants. Members of Opening Doors are facilitators in this program.