The following is a Letter to the Editor from The News-Gazette in Champaign, IL:
Head Start offers a step-up for kids
As we celebrate Head Start Awareness Month this October, I can’t help but be mindful of my own son’s journey with Head Start. I witness the transformative power of Head Start every day as both a parent and an advocate.
Champaign County Head Start helps families overcome major obstacles to provide a positive learning environment for their kids. My son is an example of this tremendous impact. His reading, vocabulary, critical thinking, math and problem-solving skills have all improved thanks to our local Head Start program.
Head Start is critical because of the additional support the programs provide to families. I am a single dad, so when my son began attending Head Start, I wanted to be actively involved. Head Start provided me with the tools and opportunity to work hard and succeed.
Within just a few months, I became the county policy council chairman and the following year, I was elected a state ambassador for the Illinois Head Start Association. I now plan on running for election for the state board of directors in 2017.
The opportunities that Head Start offers families and their children are never-ending. So many parents continue to advocate for and support Head Start long after their kids have moved on from the program. The strength and long-lasting, positive effects of the Head Start Advantage are endless and continue to grow.
Other endorsements for Champaign County Head Start:
“I am delighted to be involved in an organization that truly expresses and shows gratitude to every component within. I am even more proud to be connected where I know my efforts are supported and appreciated. I love Head Start for my children, my family, and my community. I love how much of a difference the program has made in my children’s lives and my outlook and direction on my own life. Head Start has positively influenced my desire to want to be a model to other parents and a source of support for them.”
“Without the Head Start program, I wouldn’t be able to work as much as I do. During the years, I have been talking and developing friendships with this program. All of the staff are always so wonderful and kind to me. I have never been involved in a school program so helpful.
“I am writing this to let you know, without this kind of program, families like mine wouldn’t be able to do what they need to do to live a proper life. My daughter is now 5 years old and is so ready to be in kindergarten. She knows more than an average 5 year old. I am very proud of her. Thanks to the Head Start program.”