Don’t cut Head Start
My 3-year-old attends Community Action Southwest’s Head Start program. Since he started in August, I have seen a huge change in his behavior and his social and learning skills.
When he started in August, he hardly knew the alphabet, could only count to 10, was not potty-trained, had severe separation anxiety and few social skills.
Since being in the program, his cognitive skills have skyrocketed and he is above average in his class, completely potty-trained, has no separation anxiety and excellent social skills.
My 5-year-old did not have the opportunity to attend Head Start, and he is now in kindergarten. He is behind in both his cognitive and social skills. I believe if he would have had the benefit of Head Start, he would be where he is supposed to be in his classes and wouldn’t need as much help from both myself and his teachers.
Head Start has helped me connect with other parents in the area and work toward a common goal for our children. As the secretary of policy council and the secretary of the parent committee, I am very involved in what goes on with our children in and out of the classroom. I am not sure what I would do if I did not have the Head Start program available.
I am not sure if people realize how much the proposed 8.2 percent cuts would affect Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the amount of cuts in Head Start alone is 2,160 slots. For Early Head Start, the numbers of children being cut are 360. This is nine kids out of every 100!
Yes, the deficit and the fiscal cliff should be addressed, but I don’t agree that our children’s education and future should be put on hold and affected because of the economic hardship we are all in.