Catholic Charities in the News

As the charitable arm of the Diocese of Phoenix, we help the most vulnerable in seven counties in Northern and Central Arizona.


Catholic Charities Expanding Westside Head Start Program to Littleton Elementary School District

PEORIA, Ariz. (Sept. 11, 2020): Catholic Charities’ Westside Head Start Program is expanding into the Littleton Elementary School District to assist parents in better fostering their children’s education and development and to enhance the potential for success and kindergarten readiness.

Classes are currently conducted virtually via Zoom on parents’ cellphones or computers. For those families without access to a computer to receive assignments and communication, the Westside Head Start education team will deliver packets and supplies to children and families so that every child has access to lessons.

Program hours are 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for children 3-to-5 years old. The program capacity is 59 children. When permitted, students will attend the program in new, specially designed age-appropriate classrooms at the elementary school.

To enroll, parents can go online to to access the application portal in both English and Spanish.

“I am excited that we have such a premier site for our families and experienced heart-centered teachers,” said Westside Head Start Center Director Alisa Whyte. “Our staff are really passionate about their work. Combining the facility with this exceptional staff really exemplifies our mission to serve the most vulnerable with quality services.”

Westside Head Start Area Manager Suzanne Boursaw added that “this site will provide a great partnership with Littleton Elementary while serving families in the Avondale community.”

Catholic Charities Westside Head Start provides comprehensive early, continuous, year-round childhood education through a holistic approach by working with the whole family. Programs emphasize pre-reading, language, math, cognitive skills,

and health, social and emotional competence to prepare disadvantaged children for school and to maximize their potential for a bright future. Westside Head Start offers classes in Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, Littleton, Peoria and Tolleson.

“Comprehensive early childhood education like Head Start programs can prepare children for kindergarten, but children’s continued success requires the support of teachers and leaders in their next school environment,” said Westside Heat Start Executive Director Yatin Dua. “Westside Head Start’s focus is on bridging the gap between early education and public schools, which played a tremendous role in selecting sites for our Duration project. Westside Head Start understands the need for better coordination between Head Start and K-12 education.”

Students and families eligible to enroll in Westside Head Start include expectant mothers, children ages 0-5, and children with special needs, foster children and homeless children. Enrollment, other than for families with a member who has attended Westside Head Start or expectant mothers, can be done online at Expectant mothers and families with members who have attended the program should call 623-486-9868.

About Catholic Charities:

Founded in 1933, Catholic Charities provides care for the vulnerable of all faiths in central and northern Arizona through programs in foster care, early education, veteran services, refugee resettlement, and homeless outreach. Housing for Hope, a separate 501c3, is an affiliate of Catholic Charities and provides affordable housing. Learn more by visiting or Social connections include and

Jean Christofferson
Catholic Charities Community Services