As the need for early literacy grew, the demand for quality early learning education grew. This is when our visionary, Gicele Wray-Lindley launched Shining Star Child Development Institute. In July 2004, Shining Star opened our first location which serves the South Chicago/Deering community. Here we offer quality early childhood education and dual language services to children and families ages 6 weeks to 6 years old.
In 2007, Shining Star expanded our services to the Chatham/Grand Crossing community (one of Chicago’s most at-risk communities) with the purchase of our site at 854 East 79th Street Chicago, IL 60619. At this site, we currently provide quality early learning and comprehensive children and family services to 61 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old.
In 2013 Shining Star expanded our services from providing traditional quality early learning to children to providing both early education and family support services. We call this taking a holistic approach to child development. Our partnerships with Shining Star Youth & Community Services, the City of Chicago Department of Family Support Services, and the Office of Head Start, Shining Star now offer a full array of comprehensive services through Head Start.
As the demands for quality early learning education for Latino-American families in our South Chicago and Chatham/Avalon Park location started to grow, the need for Shining Star’s expansion grew. In July 2009, Shining Star Early Learning Academy (338-348 E. 103rd Street) was launched and currently serves the Roseland/Rosemoor community.
In July 2012, Shining Star expanded our services to the East Side Community with the purchase of (the former East Side Chicago Public Library). This center located at 10540-44 S. Ewing Chicago IL 60617 is a brand new construction, state-of the art facility furnished with open floor plans, high end early learning equipment and contemporary interior designs. Here we provide quality early learning education and family support services to 102 predominantly Spanish speaking children (ages 6 weeks to 6 years old).
Head Start is a Federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children's growth in many areas such as language, literacy, and social and emotional development. Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child's first and most important teacher. These programs help build relationships with families that support family well-being and many other important areas.Today our Head Start program provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. Our Head Start staff recognize that parents are the first and most children spend time in stimulating settings where they from good habits and enjoy playing with toys and working on tasks with classmates..
Our Head Start Program helps our children to become more prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, and ready to succeed in primary school. Our Head Start Program also gives children the opportunity to be examined by skilled professionals for any health problems.Professionals arrange vision and hearing test. Nutrition activities and dental exams are also offered as well. A mental health professional is available for children and families with special needs Shining Star is excited about our transition to Head Start.