One of the most rewarding services we provide at NKCAC is our Head Start program. Head Start is funded primarily by the federal government, which allows us to provide a free, quality pre-school experience for low income 3 and 4 year olds. The early years are so vitally important for success in life, but many low income parents are not equipped to help their children during these critical years. Head Start not only teaches the kids, but we reach out to the parents, teaching them how to help their children succeed. And Head Start works, too. Studies have shown that for every dollar spent on Head Start, $9 is returned in benefits to society. Children who attended Head Start have improved earnings, employment, health, and family stability. The experience less welfare dependency, crime, grade repitition, and special education. Pretty good benefits, huh? More information on the benefits of Head Start can be found on a fact sheet from the National Head Start Association that summarizes the study literature. Head Start works best when the community is involved. That’s why we work with the school systems in the region to coordinate services and help ease the transition into kindergarden. We work with the Health Department and other health care providers to make sure the children have the screenings and medical and dental care they need to be healthy. We work with area colleges and universities to engage students in learning as they teach us to be better at what we do. We work with STRIVE and Success by Six so that the children have the best and most creative minds in the region working on their behalf. And there are the dozens of volunteers, donors and supporters who lend a hand in a variety of ways. We can always use more help. More community involvement, more donations, more bright minds helping us help the 444 children we serve. Getting involved takes a phone call, 581-6607, or an email, and it takes you.