Touchpoint Banner

History isn’t just about people who make it to history books—history is made every day by all of us, by the decisions we make and the work we do. What if we celebrated Black History Month by looking for Black leaders out in our community who used to be Head Start children? Let’s highlight a few!

Black Leaders in the Head Start Alumni Community

  • Victor Jones is now a civil rights attorney and the father of two wonderful daughters. He is a Head Start graduate from more than 30 years ago.
  • Crystal Banks attended one of the original Head Start programs in Alabama in 1968, and she is now a 25-year Head Start veteran working at Sheltering Arms in Georgia.
  • Thomas Parker was the superintendent of Allentown public schools in Pennsylvania, and he is now with the Mott Foundation. He is a proud Head Start graduate, so much so that he brought his Head Start experience into his work in the Allentown public school system.
  • Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack is a Harvard professor and a former Head Start child!
  • Dr. Bernadine Futrell, of course, who is now the director of the Office of Head Start, stepped into a Head Start classroom to start her trajectory towards success.
  • And NHSA’s own Malkia Payton-Jackson is a Head Start graduate, working hard to lift up our alumni program and find these incredible Head Start graduates who are doing such good work in their communities.

I encourage you this Black History Month to look in your own community, find your Black leaders across the decades and celebrate them—raise their level of recognition and help your children learn their stories as examples of who they can become when they get older.

Love Note: Children’s Dental Health Month

This month’s love note goes to a very important partner of ours: Colgate. You may be aware that Colgate does a lot of work to support dental health in communities throughout the country. We encourage you to work with them to bring information and supplies to your parents and children.

In Case You Didn’t Know: Dual Language Learners Celebration Week and Academy Resources

Dual Language Learners Celebration week is coming up in February. We invite you to check out some great NHSA resources around dual language learning. This is an important part of the programs that serve our children throughout the country—it’s important to recognize and it’s important to look for new ways of serving those children.

There are new Academy courses coming your way! For teachers, we’ve got a class on positive transitions, one on music and movement, and one on gardening. We are doing these kinds of different courses that give teachers that boost they need in the middle of the year.

We also have a financial wellness course. We know one of the big issues for early childhood staff is low wages, and this course helps to teach people how to manage their money, no matter what their earnings are. We think financial wellness is equally as important, if not more so than physical wellness, because when you’re financially well, a lot of other things fall into place.

And finally, we have Policy Council Basics. It’s a great way to get an overview of Head Start and learn some of those big pieces that sometimes are missed by folks who join Policy Councils.

Related Content

Deborah Bergeron

Dr. B is the NHSA's deputy director of Community Engagement and Innovation. She supports high-quality programming and is a constant reminder to the folks on the ground that they are the backbone of Head Start and Early Head Start.