Letter to the Editor: A Head Start for Idaho Families | By Cathy Brey and Kaylin White

Cathy Brey, Director and Kaylin White, Family Services Manager
Pocatello/Chubbuck School District Head Start Program
330 Oakwood Drive
Pocatello, ID 83204-3911
DRAFT 10.14.15

As the nation celebrates Head Start Awareness Month and Head Start’s 50th Anniversary this October, we must make clear to leaders in Washington that Idaho’s at-risk children and families depend on the critical services provided by Head Start.

At Pocatello/Chubbuck School District Head Start Program, we take a comprehensive approach to preparing children for Kindergarten. When children’s teeth hurt or their bellies aren’t full, when they don’t have shoes that fit or coats that keep them warm, it isn’t possible to be ready to learn. We do all we can to support families to ensure Head Start children have these basic necessities in place so they are ready to learn and can go on to be successful.

We also work to stabilize our families, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to prosper and advocate for their children. Through strong partnerships with agencies and organizations throughout the community, we are able to help families access services that will help them back on the path to self-sufficiency.  This includes information related to adult education and job training, as well as identifying employment opportunities. I have seen many Head Start parents go on to complete college or job training, own their own homes, and become community leaders— even running for public office and working for elected officials. 

Investment in education begins with the youngest and most vulnerable of our population— these are the citizens who will be taking care of us in our old age.  If we do not believe in them and invest in their success now, our nation will pay a much higher price down the road.

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