JOPLIN, Mo. — Some North Joplin Head Start kids had lunch with a special guest, Thursday.

It was Missouri State Representative Lane Roberts. He was invited to visit the facility by Family Development Coordinator Kelly Creech during her trip to Jefferson City last month. She was part of an early childhood education advocate group. She said her goal was to give him a firsthand look at how kids are incorporating the learning of everyday life skills while in the classroom.

It focused on mealtime etiquette, from table manners and setting the table to passing food and serving themselves. So, what was his takeaway from the visit?

“Mostly, I think as a reassurance — that our kids are in good hands. We get so much bad news about child abuse and that sort of thing. To come to an environment where you see children not only safe, but learning and healthy — and they’re obviously having a good time. They enjoy being here,” said Roberts.

“It’s exciting to have him here today — because early head start and head start is my passion. It’s…everybody who works here, it’s their passion and so, we get to show off some of the amazing things that we’re doing,” said Creech.

Creech said it’s important for people to understand how crucial Head Start is when it comes to helping to develop a child’s life skills.