Lowe: 50 years of support through Head Start program (letter)
Summit County is an expensive place to live so people often find it hard to believe that there are families in our community living below the poverty line. Many of the parents we work with at Summit Head Start 0-5 have housekeeping, restaurant, or construction jobs, and have to share housing with several families just to make ends meet. Because Summit County has a Head Start program, many of our most vulnerable children now have access to quality early learning. In addition, many of our parents benefit from childcare that allows them to secure stable work.
Children prenatal to age 5 enrolled in Summit Head Start 0-5 receive health screenings and support to ensure optimal health and nutrition. We know that by helping these children get off to a healthy start, they will be ready to succeed in Kindergarten. Teachers report that at-risk children coming from Head Start are better able to participate in a group setting, follow routines, and enjoy learning. Parents are also more prepared, able to advocate for their child and navigate systems that might otherwise being confusing.
Summit Head Start 0-5 is a partnership between Summit County Government, Early Childhood Options, Family & Intercultural Resource Center, Summit School District and Summit County Preschool. The Head Start model has ensured that our partners have leading roles in the design of interventions that enable us to meet the individual and unique circumstances of the people we serve. We bring the community together to ensure the children most likely to fall through the cracks are given a chance to meet their full potential.
As we celebrate Head Start Awareness Month and Head Start’s 50th Anniversary this October, let’s all recommit to ensuring Head Start is a window of opportunity for generations to come.
Elizabeth Edgar Lowe
Director, Summit Head Start 0-5
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