From clean-up songs to healthy snack time, Noor Hassoon sure has her hands full every day as an assistant teacher at Catholic Charities’ Westside Head Start (WSHS). WSHS provides comprehensive, early childhood education through a holistic approach by working with the whole family. The program provides a variety of class times and learning styles in order to fit the needs of each child. Dedicated teachers and assistant teachers, such as Noor, provide bright futures for children every day and Noor wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My favorite part about my job is getting to help children learn in new ways,” she says. Noor works with a staff of talented individuals who have a knack for connecting with children in innovative ways in order to help them succeed in their academic pursuits. Noor first became involved with WSHS as a parent. Her children attended the program and inspired Noor to help teachers make an impact in children’s lives, such as they did for her children.
“Westside Head Start feels like my big family … they welcomed us with open hearts and souls, helping my family with resources and education for my kids,” Noor says. “Their teachers encouraged me to study, get a degree and apply for a job with them.” And today, Noor is highly praised for her teaching abilities and her passion for connecting with not only students, but parents. Since she has been in the program before, she understands what parents may be going through and is able to help them achieve their own goals as well.
“(Noor) is a wonderful addition to our staff as she embodies the possibilities available to program parents,” Martin Lozano, a recruiter for WSHS says. “She also makes a specifically valuable contribution as she is one of very few program staff who speak Arabic, and we have a number of Arabic speaking families enrolled.”
WSHS continues to strive for excellence for all families, no matter their religious background. Thanks to staff members like Noor, they are able to give children the education and nourishment they need to be effective learners and leaders.