By Tim Leeds
Thanks to a local club, kids at Head Start will soon have a place to ride their trikes.
Bev Hagen, family services coordinator for Head Start in Havre, said the Havre Kiwanis Club donated $500 to make a tricycle path for the school a reality.
"Prior to their donation, it was kind of a pipe dream," she said.
The playground at Head Start, all pea-gravel and grass, doesn't have a good trail for tricycles. Because of the donation, Hagen said, the school can start having a concrete path made for the trikes as soon as the weather allows.
Kiwanis and Head Start have a long relationship. Hagen said that whenever the school has work that needs to be done, it can count on the club.
"They've done anything we've ever asked of them," she said.
The relationship has moved to a new level in the last two years, with Kiwanis coordinating donated labor by its affiliated Key Club at Havre High School.
Hagen said she went to Kiwanis two years ago asking for donations of in-kind labor, required by the federal grants Head Start receives. She said Head Start needs more than $200,000 in donations of in-kind labor each year.
The Key Club has been donating work ever since, Hagen said. Each year club members work at Head Start during the two days the high school is out for teacher conventions. Club members also donate their time baby-sitting when Head Start provides training services to parents of Head Start students.
Hagen said the club members work at the school at least three times a year, doing work like painting, staining decks, hauling sand and filling sand boxes, and raking gravel so the playground meets federal specifications.
Any group that wants to help Head Start is welcome.
"We will fit them in," Hagen said. "It's really important to involve the whole community and for the kids to realize the whole community is interested in them."