On Wednesday, Richmond County Head Start hosted a special children’s event in conjunction with National Head Start Awareness month. Parents, teachers and students came together at the South Hamlet Head Start Center with brightly-colored banners, balloons and costumes to represent the local Head Start program.
According to Eric Faulker, a contract administrator with Union County Community Action, Inc., the Head Start and Early Head Start Programs in Richmond County are operated by Union County Community Action, lnc. (UCCA) and serve children from birth to age 4. Both programs ensure children receive comprehensive education following best practices in Early Childhood Education and National Head Start Standards, healthy and nutritious meals, and physical, social, emotional, behavioral development, and disability services.
On Wednesday morning, students lined the street donning crowns and costumes representing their class, and marched across the street to cheer for their classmates and teachers.
The group came together to sing before gathering to release a group of colorful balloons into the clear skies sky above.
Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue served as the guest speaker during the celebration, and he told the crowd that he too was a product of Head Start at Fayetteville Street as a child.
“The definition of Head Start is to start before others in a race,” Blue said, “and that’s what it’s all about.”
He followed with a short history of the program from its beginning in 1964, and noted that the program serves more than a million children and families each year in the United States.
“The most crucial days of a child’s life are the first 2,000 … ,” Blue said, addressing both parents and children at the event. “Remember that time, that invaluable gift, once it’s given to you, can never be returned. You have time to mold and shape these children’s lives to do anything they want to do … The sky is not the limit — you are unlimited as to what you can do.”
Following his speech, the mayor was presented with a certificate of appreciation for delivering his message to the children this year.
For more information on 2012 Head Start Awareness, contact Family Services Manager Kishi Tillman at 704-283-1114, ext. 223.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.