First of all let me just start out by explaining a little bit about Head Start. Head Start is a preschool, or pre K program that caters mostly to children that are part of low-income families. They also specialize in helping children with disabilities. Created in 1965, Head Start is the most successful, longest-running, national school readiness program in the United States.
It provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Head Start works on 5 different areas of development: Social/Emotional, Fine more, gross motor, cognitive and language development.Their daily curriculum includes all 5 areas of development. Nearly 25 million pre-school aged children have benefited from Head Start. I became involved in Head Start when I was just 4 years old. I attended Head Start as a student. Three years after graduated from Head Start, my mom began working for them.
She started out as a cleaning lady and after a few years moved up the chain to cook and then eventually a teacher. So, since I was about 7 years old I was volunteering. I loved being around the children, the teachers and just the setting in general.When I was old enough, I also began working at Head Start as a teacher’s aide. I later went to work for the University of Idaho Children’s Center, where I figured out that I wanted to work with children as a career. In recent years there has been talk with in the federal government to pull the funding for Head Start. The reasons that are circulating are that there is no proof that Head Start works long term, although there is proof that I works tremendously until around the third grade where children begin to even out with one another.
They say that in order to justify the need for the nearly 6 billion dollars that Head Start receives yearly, there needs to be hard proof that it is a program that works. To that I say: Talk to any parent of a child that attended Head Start. Do some research on the internet? If Head Start were a program that did not work then why would it me the longest running program out there. The NAEYC has given them annual accreditations for over 25 years. Head Start, in the area of Pre K education is considered the standard. It is what all programs are expected to mimic.There is proof that long term, all children that attend Head Start are 9% more likely to complete high school or the equivalent.
African American students of Head Start have been proven to be 12% less likely to be convicted of a crime. Head Start is not meant for getting people ready for life after school but to bridge the gap for children that are struggling to start grade school. Without Head Start many of those children would go into kindergarten without the proper knowledge of numbers, letter recognition, the alphabet and many other skills.I have a statement that I would like to read from a parent of a child with disabilities that did attend head start: “Having a child with disabilities is not easy. Since enrolling in Head Start, I have received the best possible care for my child. They are very supportive in helping get the services that I need to help my child succeed. Head Start is always there when I need someone to talk to or when I need some help for my child.
Since my child has been in Head Start, his doctors can’t believe the progress that he has made. No one ever thought that it would be possible for him to get where he is now.We owe it all to Head Start. ” Head Start Parent from Evansdale, Iowa -Gavin -Charlie’s Story Now if Head Start were a program that did not work would it have made such a large impact on all these children? And these are just a few of the over 25 million children that have benefited from Head Start. So I say to you that if on the ballot you see anything that will pull funding from this wonderful organization, that you will at least take the time to visit a local center and observe what goes on daily; take the time to talk to a parent that has a child in head start and listen to their experience with the program.
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