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Day 2 Recap: Cornell Brooks, Opening Session, National Crayon Day and More!

“Life is a gift to be given to others in service. That is what Head Start is about.” - Cornell Brooks, President of the NAACP, at the Opening Session.

What an exciting day! With the 50th Anniversary Conference in full swing, we were excited to celebrate Head Start’s excellence and our new Quality Initiative designees, kickoff a new partnership with The Crayon Collection, and house 5,000 Head Starters at the Opening Session, where we heard both rousing anthems and inspiring keynote addresses. (Not to mention dozens of educational sessions!)

The buzz in the air these past few days at the conference have made it clear for all just how much educators and early childhood/Head Start Professionals care about the quality of their programs and the significant work they do each and every day.

The highlight of the day was having Cornell Brooks, a staunch advocate for social justice causes (and a Head Start Alum!) speak. “It is no ordinary time when we dedicate ourselves to the proposition that every child matters,” Mr. Brooks said. “When we do, we understand the proposition that our country matters.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro was equally passionate about renewing our commitment to Head Start and looking towards the next 50 years. "We need to make a bigger and larger commitment to all of our children,” she said. “It is a national responsibility.”

We were so fortunate to also have Dr. Edward Zigler, the “Father of Head Start,” join us in honoring the program’s 50-year history. We can’t wait to share photos from the evening, including of the immense line of Head Starters eagerly waiting to get a picture with Mr. Zigler and have a copy of The Hidden History of Head Start signed.

It has been a wonderful start to the conference, complete with looking back at Head Start’s amazing history and getting energized for it’s exciting future!