Exactly 50 years ago today in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson announced the creation of Head Start from the White House Rose Garden. This premier federal program is designed to ensure the most vulnerable children across the nation receive access to a quality early childhood education. Since its creation Head Start has improved the lives of 32 million children and their families by laying a foundation for a lifetime of success.
Today, along with the Head Start communities across the nation, Council on Rural Services / Kids Learning Place staff and preschool children commemorated this historic milestone by planting a rose bush at the CORS Administration Building. The rose bush symbolized the success of all the Head Start children and families over the last 50 years.
Council on Rural Services became involved with the Head Start program 40 years ago in 1975 in three counties. This past year CORS served 3,152 children aged birth through 5 years old in nine counties (Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Preble, Shelby and Van Wert) where staff worked to ensure that every child had an opportunity to succeed.
Liz Schoonover, Early Childhood Director said, “CORS mission is more than words; it is ACTION.
Through action, every child learns by completing tasks, overcoming challenges or expressing a goal reached while in the Head Start programs.”
“Through action, parents openly share their gratitude for the relationships with staff, the impact of the Head Start program on their lives and the foundation for school success that together is laid for the children.”
“Through action, staff clearly shows how deeply they care about each child’s well-being, take great pride in preparing children for school and wholeheartedly invest themselves in the Head Start program.”
Liz added, “Through the last 50 years of action, children from Head Start families entered public school healthier, determined, and confident; because Head Start Works! CORS is re-dedicating their commitment as we see the need for Head Start is greater than ever.”
The centers in each county will be planning their own 50th Anniversary Celebration with the children in the fall when the preschool classes return.
If you want more information about Kids Learning Place and enrolling in the Head Start program in the fall, check the Web site at www.kidslearningplace.org or call the toll free number at 1-866-627-4557.