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Last updateTue, 23 Oct 2018 12am

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    Monday, October 22, 2018-3:57:53A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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October is Head Start Awareness Month

BOARD of Education acting Chairwoman Janice Tenorio on Friday signed a proclamation designating October as Head Start Awareness Month.

Head Start was launched in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, interim Education Commissioner Glenn Muna said, adding that its goal is to provide comprehensive health, nutrition and education services to children living in poverty.

For 53 years, Head Start has helped 32 million children and their families in communities throughout the nation, the proclamation stated.

From left, Head Start Director Lathania Santos, Board of Education acting Chairwoman Janice Tenorio, Head Start Policy Council Chairman Jacob Lizama, BOE member Herman T. Guerrero and interim Education Commissioner Glenn Muna.From left, Head Start Director Lathania Santos, Board of Education acting Chairwoman Janice Tenorio, Head Start Policy Council Chairman Jacob Lizama, BOE member Herman T. Guerrero and interim Education Commissioner Glenn Muna.

“As a comprehensive early learning education program, Head Start helps children at risk of being left behind build the abilities they need to be ready for kindergarten and life,” stated the proclamation.

It added, “During a critical period in a child’s life, Head Start sets young people on the path to success. We know that investments in early childhood education boost graduation rates, increase earnings, and reduce violent crime. Three-year to four-year-olds who attend high-quality preschool — including Head Start — are less likely to repeat a grade, less likely to need special education, and more likely to graduate from high school. The head start in life leaves a lasting impact on our students and fuels their curiosity, helping them to grow up with a passion for learning, a fair shot at good-paying jobs, and a more secure future.”

This year also marks the 23rd anniversary of Early Head Start nationally, “created to enhance the impact of Head Start by serving children from six weeks to age three, as well as expectant mothers — ensuring all children receive the best care possible. This expansion has made a real difference for thousands of infants, toddlers, and their families.”

In 1984, the CNMI Department of Education, now known as the CNMI Public School System, was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a grant to operate the Head Start program.

Head Start teachers and staff gather for a photo at the Head Start Center in Chalan Kanoa on Friday.  Photos by Lori Lyn C. LirioHead Start teachers and staff gather for a photo at the Head Start Center in Chalan Kanoa on Friday. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Head Start Director Lathania Santos said since then the local program has served more than 17,000 children, “supporting them in every aspect of their development — from early learning and health and nutrition to social and emotional well-being.”

 Santos said PSS was also awarded the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grant. “Four years later, we continue to be the lone grantee in the outer Pacific that serves children  six weeks to three years old.”

She said the first Head Start Awareness Month proclamation was signed on Oct. 22, 1982 by President Ronald Reagan. “Since then, October has been a month for our community to celebrate the life-changing impact of Head Start,” Santos added.