The Caterpillar Visitors Center recently welcomed 600 children and parents from the Tazewell Woodford Head Start program for a field trip sponsored by Product Development & Global Technology (PD>). Head Start is a federally-funded preschool and family development program for low-income children from 3 to 5 years old. Head Start supports early childhood literacy and family reading in an effort to prepare children for kindergarten.
Additionally, Head Start’s Men That Care program encourages men to be active participants in their Head Start children’s lives; however, many times barriers such as finances and transportation get in the way of the ability to take their children to places such as zoos or museums. PD> employees coordinated the visit for Head Start children and their guests to the Caterpillar Visitors Center. Bonnie Jones, director of the Tazewell Woodfield Head Start, felt the Caterpillar Visitors Center was the perfect venue to engage fathers, stepfathers, grandpas and uncles in a field trip with their children.
“This was the best Men That Care activity we have ever had. Although some of the 179 [adults attending] were moms, I am guessing that at least 160 were dads, grandpas, or uncles,” said Jones.
Caterpillar also provided a gift bag for each of the 300 students who participated. Each bag contained a Caterpillar toy tractor, a Caterpillar pencil, and Caterpillar tractor temporary tattoos. Head Start teachers also received Caterpillar backpacks filled with thermal mugs and notepads as a way of saying thanks for their service to the community.