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Meet Shawna Meiser

Summit Early Learning has new director

Photo submitted by SHAWNA MEISER
New Head Start Director Shawna Meiser stands eagerly in front of her new place of employment, Summit Early Learning.

LEWISTOWN – Summit Early Learning, located in Lewistown, has hired a new Head Start Director: Shawna Meiser. Her role consists of overseeing the administrative aspect of delivering the Head Start services. Head Start is a comprehensive program that targets three areas: children’s health, early learning, and family well being. Head Start looks at the whole picture, including empowering the parents with the tools that they need to help their children succeed.

Meiser has goals such as expanding program participation by families most in need in the community in order to serve the most vulnerable children and provide them services. Meiser believes it is important to spend time monitoring changing community needs, especially in light of COVID.

“Our landscape is constantly changing as far as the needs of the community. We will be doing community assessment and taking a look at any changes and improvements we can make to be that responsive service to families and children.”

Meiser has been a resident of Union County for over 10 years and has worked in the non-profit field for 15 years. Most recently, Meiser was the regional director of Girl Scouts in the heart of Pa. She oversaw 16 counties, including Mifflin County. Prior to that, she was in Columbia County, directing the Bloomsburg Children’s Muesem.

Meiser wants to let families know that Head Start is not just a pre-school program.

“We offer early Head Start, which starts with pregnant moms. Women who are expecting can get in touch with us, and we can begin connecting with them and providing resources even before their baby is born. And then, as soon as the baby is born, we are able to follow up and support the infant as a newborn and hopefully into their preschool years.”

Another thing Meiser mentions is that “community partners are critical in the success of all agencies lifting up families in our area and finding the tools that they need.” And she encourages churches or other organizations that haven’t had conversations with them to please reach out to cooperate.

“I’m really interested in spending a lot of energy towards creating the next generation of life-long learners and to open up and make learning opportunities accessible to all children.”

Families interested in enrollment can call (570) 966-2845 or email enrollment@summitel.org

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