Idaho Head Start Stories
"I am currently a Child and Family Educator at WICAP Head Start. I was a Head Start student, then a parent and now a staff member for WICAP. As a parent, WICAP was an awesome support for me in many ways. They gave me resources and tools I didn’t have or even know they existed. I love my job. I get the chance to work with children and their families. I get to build a relationship with families and with these relationships, I’m able to get an insight on what resources they might need to help them out as a whole family. We also have a family fun night, which is a free night for our families to be able to get together and have fun and in the same process learn ways to help educate their children. I love to watch the growth in my students and their families."
– Nellie H.
"I’m a Parents as Teachers Home visitor with South Central District Health Department. I’m a Head Start Parent alumni and former staff member and currently serve on the Policy Council for CSI Head Start. I’m a big believer in early childhood education and early intervention services. I have a big story. I have 4 children, 2 have medical issues and one has speech and language delays. I’ve had many early intervention services through Head Start throughout my children’s young lives. My ex-husband was a combat injured veteran, so we dealt with those wounds too. Because of my experience I gained a lot of respect for what families go through. I wanted to be a part of rebuilding families. I work a lot on crises; once we get past families basic needs – to rebuild them into more secure parents and families."
– Miriam S.
"I’m a rancher. I have 3 children. I got involved in Head Start at first to support my children, but then I realized how important it was for all the children in Idaho and nationwide. And, it’s just a great organization, it’s addictive. I really like supporting young children and the future of the United States. This year I’m Chair of the Policy Council. I really like coming to meetings and keeping up on new topics. Last year, I went to the Idaho Head Start Association meeting. I really enjoyed going to Boise and learning about new activities parents could get involved in and bringing that information home to our local program and teaching parents and children and bettering everybody for the future."
– Justin P.
My experience with Head Start has come a long way. I was a Head Start parent. That is the reason I got to know Head Start. My kids went to pre-school and have had a wonderful experience with Head Start, like a support system all the time, and I was able to give back to my community when I went back to school and studied early childhood education. That’s another reason that I wanted to go to school, because I got to know Head Start since being a parent. I wanted to give back to my community. I got hired by a Head Start program and I’ve been working with Head Start for 14 years now. And now, I’m a home-based home visitor and I provide services for parents in their home and provide activities for growth and development of their children and help them obtain more resources and support systems in their home.
– Veronica M.
I first got involved in Head Start 27 years ago. I have 4 older children aged 36 to 29 and all of them except the oldest went through Head Start. After my first one went through, I loved the program. It helped me come out of my shell and meeting with the other parents. It gave me the opportunity to learn different techniques in teaching my children. The socialization was great. I became a Policy Council representative and really loved it. I loved getting involved in the decisions made on behalf of our children and knowing that the rules are being met the way they are supposed to be. I’ve done a few of the audits. I love doing that. It’s just been a great, rewarding experience for me. I just finished with my youngest daughter, who is 5. She’s in kindergarten. We were in a home-based program in Filer. It was pretty awesome.
– Ruby H.
"What do you like about Head Start?"
"I like the Playdough and the other kind of Playdough."
"Do you like your teacher?"
" Yes, I like that she … I don’t know, I just like her."
I work for Emiliano Zapeta Head Start in Burley Idaho. We have a really good partnership with our school districts, both Cassia and Minidoka. We serve a high number of children with disabilities. Disabilities of all kinds. We have a really good partnership with Health and Welfare too. They are very good at providing therapies on site, so we’re always collaborating and meeting constantly discussing things that we can do to ensure that the children don’t stay behind and that they develop appropriately for their age and most importantly meet their goals.
– Rebeca A.
I’m with the Community Council of Idaho. I’m an administrator for the program. Head Start has so much to offer parents and children. Parents are given information. They take it and put it into practice and they become so much more powerful with the information they gain. They have no more obstacles. Yes, there may be a few barriers and whatnot, but they know how to go about accessing community resources, or working with others in the community to help them resolve their issues or whatever it may be. But, in the end, parents – their experiences make them who they are. They’re not any less. In fact, it makes them stronger in the end.
– Maria F.
At a very young age, I was taken away from my home. I was in foster care, I moved from home to home. I was enrolled in a Head Start program. I was adopted when I was five. And now today I get to work with Early Head Start and Head Start and give back what they gave to me and it’s a great opportunity. Head Start gave me the tools and social and emotional skills that I needed to be who I am today and to create bonds with people, family and friends. Even though I’m almost thirty I still remember things that I did in the Head Start class and the tools they gave to me to take on hardships I’m faced with in today’s world.
– Patty M.
I’m the Health Services Specialist for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start. I’m a Head Start graduate. Head Start is a great benefit for anyone who enters, because it provides an opportunity for parents to help their children and it’s a great benefit to the children too. I want to tell one story – I was at the Idaho Athletic Club starting an exercise class, a guy was waving at me. After the class, he came up to me. He said “teacher, do you recognize me? I’m Mikey. I was one of your Head Start students”. I was a Head Start pre-school teacher too back in 1994. He told me he was at Boise State University, in Sports Medicine. He was doing really well for himself. I was so proud of him. I thanked him for coming up. It reminded me of how valuable the work I do is.
– Amanda F.
I’m a cook. I really like the program because it’s very good for the kids. I have two kids in the program and I see the progress in them. I really like the program.
I’m the Associate Director of Head Start in Boise. For me, Head Start is about making a difference in children’s and families lives; and the services we provide to them; and helping families grow and become better parents. It’s our future, the children are who we need to look out for. We support families in building that relationship with their child, and helping their child learn to be successful throughout life.
- Jenny W.
What I like about Head Start is that Dante has learned his letters, to write, which was something we were struggling with at home. He’s become more disciplined, bedtime wise. He has fun, he has friends, he has a social life before he goes to kindergarten, which will be a little bit harder for him. But I like that he has that extra step, that extra bit of knowledge going into kindergarten so he won’t be as lost. And, as I said, he knows how to write his name completely. So, I like that about Head Start. I like that the teachers are very friendly and willing to work with you, and we kind of both develop ideas and bullets and targets about what we should be working at to get him to where he needs to be. That’s what I like about Head Start.
- Karen C.
I like my school because it has little beads to connect to – to put them on – to make a bracelet. I have a pet fish in the class and I have new shoes. The teachers are named teacher Trish and teacher Liz and that’s the one who’s gone.
What I love about Head Start is what we do for families. I was a homeless child. I lived in a vehicle the majority of my childhood. So, being able to provide services to families who are in the same situation I was in when I was growing up means a lot to me.
- Teresa C.
I came from an abusive, drug using home and found myself pregnant at 16. Being a teen mom I was scared. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Head Start came into my life. They quickly valued my family. I have watched myself and my 4 children grow through the program. They have helped me to recognize and identify my family’s mistakes, weaknesses and strengths. Head Start worked with me to achieve my GED. I have gotten to watch my 4 kids (2 of them with disabilities) struggle, overcome and grow during hard times, learning to cope and having resources at hand.
- Denis J.