“What you are being asked to consider is not a simple or an easy program. But poverty is not a simple or an easy enemy. It cannot be driven from the land by a single attack on a single front. Were this so we would have conquered poverty long ago. Nor can it be conquered by government alone.” – President Lyndon B Johnson in a message to Congress, March 16, 1964 discussing the War on Poverty, which lead to the creation of Head StartAs we start a new school year for Head Start (and prepare for our upcoming Back to School Extravaganza on Friday, Aug 6th 2pm – 5pm) we also celebrate the 45th anniversary of Head Start in the US. Over these past 45 years Head Start has affected the lives of countless families through comprehensive services that help the whole family succeed while giving the children a true “head start” in their schooling. Head Start Nationally On January 8, 1964, during the State of the Union Address, President Lyndon B Johnson called for the War on Poverty, which would lead to the creation of Community Action and Head Start in the United States. After considering several different names (including “Baby Corps” and “Kiddie Corps”), Project Head Start was formally announced in the White House Rose Garden in May of 1965. Over the last 45 years, Head Start has grown from a summer program that served 650,000 preschoolers in 1965 to a variety of comprehensive programs that served 1,071,734 children in 2007-2008. Visit Support Head Start to find current national campaigns that concern Head Start and how you can help. Head Start in NKY In the Commonwealth of KY, there are more than 16,000 children who receive Head Start services via 32 Head Start Centers and 12 Early Head Start Centers. We at NKCAC are proud to have 20 Head Start classrooms that serve 444 children from Campbell, Kenton, Boone, and Pendleton Counties. The first Head Start in NKY was opened by Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission in 1967. Like all Head Starts at the time, it was a summer-only program. In the 1970-1971 school year, NKCAC Head Start opened the first 9 month Head Start classroom in NKY. This year, the 2010-2011 school year, marks the 43rd anniversary for Head Start in NKY and the 40th year that we have operated a 9 month program! In addition to the 9 month program, NKCAC Head Start now also opperates a daycare before and after school for Head Start kids and a wonderful Summer Camp for children. Head Start is more than a preschool! Head Start truly helps children succeed by surrounding them with learning opportunities while involving parents in the process. Every family works with a Family Advocate who uses the strength-based principles of Family Development Credential to support the whole family in reaching their own goals. Parents are invited to attend free trainings on all different topics ranging from autism and dental health to energy conservation and budgeting. In addition to energetic and exciting classroom activities with their teachers, Head Start students are given chances to learn from other resources in the Greater Cincinnati/NKY area. Each year the Cincinnati Zoo brings a selection of animals to our classrooms to give the kids a hands-on chance to learn about them. The Cincinnati Museum Center comes to the classrooms as part of their “Program on Wheels” and starts science education off on the right foot for Head Start kids. Perhaps one of the most anticipated events of the year (for students, parents, and staff alike) is the Night at the Museum. The Duke Children’s Museum hosts our kids and their families for a night of fun and education in the museum. When the students leave, they are presented with a bag of science experiments to try at home, courtesy of the museum. This exciting partnership is why Cincinnati Museum Center was named Head Start Collaborator of the Year at our annual dinner. Head Start also collaborates with the Kenton County Public Library to host the Library van on a monthly basis at the Elsmere and Covington Centers, giving the kids a great opportunity to check out a variety of books on different subjects. We could go on and on… Head Start doesn’t just teach children, or act as a daycare. Head Start supports the whole family on their journey out of poverty and into self-reliance. To get involved with Head Start here in NKY and donate your time or other resources, check out our website at www.nkcac.org .
Don’t forget to stop by our Back to School Extravaganza on Friday, Aug 6th 2pm – 5pm at our Newport Center to celebrate the coming school year!