No Head Start cuts

December 12, 2012

No Head Start cuts

I work. I volunteer. I am a committed involved mother, and I can’t afford preschool for my son.

Early education stimulates school readiness through giving children the proper skills in cognitive, social and physical well being. The Head Start program educates at an appropriate level while screening children for behavioral, vision, hearing, speech, physical, dental and cognitive standards. In doing so, they identify potential troubles and coordinate help for the families to address problems early and set the children from the beginning on a successful path to education and health.

I am so grateful for this for my son. In the few months that he has been a part of Head Start, the guidance from his teacher and interaction with his peers has enormously improved his speech and understanding of social interaction with his peers and he takes pride in his growing competence. I am continually impressed by the program’s excellence and efficiency. If Head Start were not available for my son, he would be left with my best attempts to ready him for kindergarten.

As a productive constituent who is more than willing to give of myself to do my part for my area through my job and my volunteer efforts, I applaud and thank profusely the government for funding such an important and vital organization. My son thanks you. Now he can write that.

The fiscal cliff facing us and proposed sequestration would devastate the program. About 100,000 children across the country would find it taken from them. In Pennsylvania alone, we would have to turn away about 2,160 Head Start Children and about 360 pregnant mothers and young toddlers and infants from the Early Head Start program.

The deficit needs to address ineffecient programs. But come to our centers and see children learning the value of leadership that they may then serve as models of in kindergarten. Watch a child with disabilities learn to tackle her obstacles early and gain confidence that she may have lacked. Hear from kindergarten teachers who can speak of the success of a Head Start-prepared child entering school versus one whose first experience happens at kindergarten. This program doesn’t just have meaning and value, it has results. But we aren’t done. There are children being served and who need to be served tomorrow. We will be here with them. Come stand with us. Support no cuts to Head Start.

Frankie Bernard



Submit a letter to the editor