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Head Start teacher finds a family at CPC

Fayona Thompson moved to York from Baltimore in 2018. She found support and more from the team at Community Progress Council.

Fayona Thompson loves her job. It’s evident by the contagious smile on her face when she talks about her students, her vibrant energy in the classroom.

She’s a better teacher, she says, because of the support she receives from everyone at Community Progress Council (CPC), an agency that offers an array of services to low-income families throughout York County, including the Head Start early childhood education program.

“We are in this together,” she says. “If I need anything, even if it’s personal, I know I have somebody to talk to. Everybody is there to help piggyback off of each other.”

 

Connecting with families

Fayona moved to York from Baltimore in 2018. Since then, she says she’s never felt alone: “CPC is like a family.”

That sense of family extends beyond the staff. Any time her students’ families have needed help with housing, food assistance, or even a bus pass, Fayona has watched the team at CPC come around to help.

When COVID-19 forced Head Start to go virtual, she hand-delivered school supplies to students’ porches.

“I really get to talk to the families on a daily basis,” she says. “I’ve built a really good relationship with them.”

 

Curriculum that makes a difference

Fayona has found that level of support not just for her families but also in her classroom. One of the aspects she has valued most about teaching at Head Start has been the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) curriculum. PBIS helps students develop emotional and behavioral skills to deal with tough situations.

Through implementing the curriculum, Fayona has watched her students excel. One student, a child on the autism spectrum, was impulsive and aggressive when he first started with Head Start. Using PBIS techniques, Fayona helped him learn to deal with his anger. He started using words, trying new foods, sharing toys, and asking friends to play with him.

When Fayona saw the boy in a store outside of school, he came up to her and gave her a hug.

 

Personal growth takes priority

“I’ve learned leadership skills, communication skills, partnership, friendship, family skills,” she says, “just really paying attention to the details with your parents and your children.”

While working for CPC, Fayona is taking advantage of the Tuition Reimbursement program to work on her degree. As a mom of two, Fayona had put her own education aside while her children were young.

When she learned that CPC would help reimburse the cost of college, she jumped at the opportunity. Fayona is working on a bachelor’s in education from Eastern University and hopes to add a focus on special education.

A career awaits

Join Fayona and many others at Community Progress Council as a Head Start teacher. A competitive salary, full benefits and generous PTO, and growth opportunities are available. Apply today.

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