Kids eat free this summer!

June 26th, 2020

Posted in Community Happenings, Community Resources, Head Start, Uncategorized

WCAP Early Childhood takes a trip to the Belfast Farmers Market

September 11th, 2019

For the past four summers, WCAP’s Early Childhood programs have been collaborating with Midcoast Maine Community Action’s Women’s Infants and Children (WIC) program to bring families to the farmers’ market. From July to October, WIC provides eligible pregnant women and children from 9 months to 5 years Farmers’ Market benefits, in addition to the monthly foods they already receive as a benefit of WIC. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a part of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services with a focus to increase the use of fresh, unprocessed, locally grown fruits and vegetables by WIC participants. Families who qualify for Head Start also qualify for WIC benefits. The Jabine Head Start center in Belfast is less than a mile from the Belfast Farmers’ Market, which happens every

For a trip to the market, WIC meets families at the Head Start center, issues farmers’ checks and then leads the group to the market. After a stop at the information booth and a discussion around cashing benefits, families are then encouraged to explore the market and use their checks. These Farmers’ Market benefits are $20 per person eligible. During our August trip, 11 children and 8 adults, including 3 staff took the trip to the market. WIC Farmers’ Market benefits valued at $180 were issued. This partnership allows families to access locally grown fruits and vegetables, ask questions and learn about seasonality, recipes, and how vegetables are grown. It is an opportunity for them to learn about programs like Maine Harvest Bucks, which allows them to double their SNAP/Food Stamps when shopping at the market, making eating local more affordable.

Posted in Head Start

WCAP Early Childhood Program announces new partnership with RSU 71

August 23rd, 2019

Waldo Community Action Partners (WCAP) Early Childhood Program will partner with RSU 71 for the upcoming school year to provide multiple pre-k classrooms in Waldo County.

Following the recent closure of a local nonprofit, WCAP and RSU 71 entered into partnership agreement to preserve early childhood education services in the community. There will be four classrooms; two located at East Belfast Elementary School and two located at Gladys Weymouth Elementary School in Morrill. The classrooms will blend public school and Head Start services to ensure an efficient delivery of programming for all families.

In addition to public pre-k services through collaborations with RSU 3, RSU 20, and RSU 22, WCAP’s Early Childhood Program has been providing Head Start and Early Head Start services in Waldo County since 1965. Head Start promotes the school readiness of children under 5 through education, health, social and other services. WCAP is actively accepting applications for both public pre-k and Head Start classrooms throughout Waldo County at this time.

Families who are interested in enrolling their child in pre-k or Head Start should reach out to WCAP at 338-3827 or they can complete the first application step on WCAP’s website at

Waldo Community Action Partners is a charitable, educational, private non-profit organization located in Belfast, Maine. It is designed to utilize and mobilize public and private resources to assist low-income Waldo County residents in the alleviation of poverty and address its underlying causes. WCAP’s mission is “building strong families and communities by empowering people to achieve economic independence and self-reliance”. For more information, visit or call (207) 338-6809.

Posted in Head Start, Uncategorized

Free Parenting Classes

December 21st, 2018

The Waldo County Child Abuse Prevention Council will offer 1-2-3 Magic, a free parenting class for parents or caretakers of children ages 2 to 12, that teaches evidence-based tools in a fun, supportive environment.

This program keeps parents in charge and is proven to be effective. Parents and caregivers will strengthen their relationships with their children, learn how to control negative behavior while encouraging good behavior.

In collaboration with Waldo Community Action Partners, 1-2-3 Magic will be presented in two 2-hour classes. The first class will be held Monday, Jan. 7, and the second on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Classes will be held at Belfast Head Start, 275 High St., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A light meal will be served, and childcare is available. Everything is free.

Broadreach is the representative of the Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Council of Maine for Knox and Waldo Counties, delivering programs supported by the Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Children’s Trust.

Registration is required. To register or obtain more information, call Helen Rogers at 930-9445 or 338-6675, or email

Posted in Head Start

Morse & Memorial Parent Group meeting postponed

March 13th, 2017

POSTPONED: The Morse & Memorial (M&M) Head Start Parent Group meeting scheduled for March 14 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. has been postponed until a later date. We will keep you posted once it has been rescheduled.

Posted in Head Start

Policy Council meeting cancelled, rescheduled for Feb. 15

February 8th, 2017

The Head Start Policy Council meeting scheduled for February 8, 2017 has been cancelled. It has been rescheduled for February 15 at 5 p.m. Please stay warm and stay safe if you have to drive tonight!

Posted in Head Start

Local veteran donates dozens of little red wagons to WCAP Head Start

September 14th, 2016

“I have cart number 5,000 in my shop,” said 91-year old U.S. war vet Bill while he waited for a pint-sized representative of WCAP’s Belfast Head Start Center to arrive and accept some of his hand-made little red wagons for her classmates. Bill has been making the wagons for orphans and other young children all over the U.S. for years and calls what he does Carts for Kids. WCAP was lucky enough to receive some of these wagons and to meet Bill, who was full of heartwarming stories. “The best thing that ever happened to me was getting a call from someone at a school for the blind that I made some of my wagons for. They said one of the little boys, who had been having problems bumping into things and breaking his glasses, went everywhere with his little red wagon in front of him now and it keeps him safe.”

Posted in Head Start

WCAP Head Start celebrates 50 years with a reunion

July 23rd, 2015

Rep. Erin HerbigHead Start alumni both young and old gathered together Thursday, July 23, 2015 to commemorate 50 years of Head Start in Waldo County. The event opened with a welcome from Waldo Community Action Partners’ Executive Director, Keith Small, and a word from Rep. Erin Herbig. “I got into politics to work on economic development opportunities for young Mainers because I grew up around here and know how challenging things can be at times,” she shared. “I’ve been in office for five years and I know more and more now the best way to improve your own economic situation is always education… I’ve always supported Head Start and I just really appreciate everything that you all do and I think it’s wonderful that you all came out today because it is all about family and about education and that’s how we move communities forward.” Following her remarks, Rep. Herbig presented Executive Director Keith Small with a heartfelt letter, which read:


“Dear Friends, I wish to congratulate you all on 50 years of exceptional service to the children, families, and people of Waldo County. In 50 years time, you’ve touched many people’s lives and have enriched our communities. The Waldo County Head Start program is an integral part of enhancing children’s educational, social, and emotional development and supporting families. This program is the reason that many of our local children are more prepared for school, healthier, and ready for whatever comes their way. Nationally, Head Start has been the career model for providing the whole child an opportunity for success in school and life. Since the summer of 1965, more than 32 million children have benefited from Head Start comprehensive services and have become business women and men, professors, teachers, lawyers, mayors, members of congress, athletes, foundation presidents, grammy winning musicians, poets, and parents. It is no different here. The stories of former head start students are inspiring and show us what can happen when we support our children and families. Again, congratulations on all your successes here and here’s to 50 more years. Best regards, Erin Herbig.”


Faith GarroldFaith Garrold, who was a Head Start Director for WCAP starting in 1998, expressed similar sentiments. Having gone from being a Head Start Director to the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for R.S.U. #3, Garrold saw firsthand the impact Head Start’s services in Waldo County. “Head Start has always had a very familiar place in my heart… I saw the results of Head Start children coming into our school system,” she said. “Over the 5 years that I was here, I had a lot of personal experiences. As a program, we had a lot of important experiences. Not least of which is we were fortunate enough to go to Washington D.C. and pick up a Quality Program Award from the Federal government.” Despite having been given the opportunity to fly to Washington and see the program she had been leading receive such an award, it was a different moment which Garrold remembered as the one she was most proud of. “At Unity Head Start, we admitted the first severely handicapped child,” she told onlookers. “This was a child who had to be tube fed. She came with a nurse to help her but the program just accepted her as they did every other… I think that’s such an important part of Head Start.”


Austin MerandoAfter a musical performance from a past Head Start father, event attendees took the floor and swapped stories about their experiences with Head Start. Shawn-Nee Johnson, a mother who started her involvement with the Head Start program in 2012 said that she didn’t necessarily have a memory to share so much as a moment. After a challenging morning getting her son off to school, she could not believe the excitement and enthusiasm her son returned from home from Head Start with day after day. Moxi Palmer, who was a Head Start child 20 years ago, said that Head Start encouraged her to learn and keep learning.


In typical reunion fashion, attendees were invited to revisit the classroom. WCAP’s Early Head Start socialization classroom, which was extended as an addition to its Belfast Head Start Center in 2012 soon filled with Head Start parents, staff, and children both past and present. “It looks so different now,” Austin Merando, who attended Belfast Head Start in 2001 reminisced. “I miss the loft.”


Shawn-Nee JohnsonLater in the programming, a personal video message from Senator Susan Collins was shown, congratulating WCAP’s Head Start Program on having served more than 5,000 children since it began. Head Start was the first program of WCAP when it was first incorporated in 1965, back when the agency was known as Waldo County Committee for Social Action. The agency as a whole will celebrate its 50th anniversary officially on Thursday August 27, 2015 at the Belfast Shrine Club with a family fun carnival in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The family fun carnival is free and open to the public.

Posted in Head Start

WCAP Head Start Receives National Recognition… Twice

January 18th, 2013


Waldo Community Action Partners’ Head Start program has set the bar high for themselves with the arrival of the new year. This is because not one but two individuals tied to Waldo Community Action Partners’ (WCAP) Head Start program were recognized nationally in 2012. The first was Jason Moody, a Head Start father who serves on the program’s Policy Council, Belfast Parent Group, and holds a seat on the WCAP Board of Directors representing Head Start. He now also sits on the National Center for Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Advisory Board.


Selection for the board, which meets in Boston, MA, involved a nomination and application process that took place over a three month period. Hundreds of applications were received from nominated Head Start parents, Jason being the only representative on the advisory board from the east coast selected. His direct involvement the advisory board provides an avenue for WCAP Head Start and its families and partners to have a strong voice in early childhood education on the national level, better impacting the children and families in our community.



This same community is also very proud of WCAP Head Start’s Debra Palmer. She first entered the Head Start program as a teacher and now serves as the Family Services Coordinator. Debra was nominated to be a recipient of a national award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C. called the Bammy Award in the category of Head Start Staff Member. Once nominated by the National Office of Head Start, Debra received an outpouring of community testimonials, from past students whom she taught as a Head Start teacher to neighbors, coworkers, and friends.


The community support is what won her a place on the Academy of Education’s red carpet, where she wore a floor-length red gown that was loaned to her through WCAP’s Cinderella Project of Maine. The event, which came complete with an orchestra performing on the stage as Bammy Award recipients accepted their awards, took place in September. Debra is the first ever recipient of a Bammy Award in her category and has set the stage for all those to follow.


Waldo Community Action Partners could not be more proud of both Debra and Jason and is confident that the two of them, along with their peers, will continue to be dedicated, compassionate, and irreplaceable members of the Waldo County Head Start community.

Posted in Head Start


9 Field Street, P.O. Box 130
Belfast, Maine 04915
Phone: (207) 338-6809