Virginia Head Start Association, Inc

Success Stories

Fauquier Community Action Committee, Inc. Success Story

Head Start helps whole family grow and succeed

My main goal for putting my child in Head Start was for her to make friends and learn to play with other children (she had not had many opportunities to be away from me and was very "clingy"). What I got was much more. Our family caseworker, Doris, quickly recruited my husband and me to become active advocates for our child and all the children in Head Start by joining the policy council. When I joined I was very quiet and soft-spoken. Since at the meeting I often took notes, I was nominated to be secretary of the policy council, and that appointment helped me to branch out and become more vocal. The next year I became policy council president and a very active Head Start volunteer. 

Head Start gave me many opportunities to become a better parent and to help others.  I had the opportunity to attend literacy training in Pennsylvania and become a parent mentor. With my parent mentor training I learned new and exciting ways to teach literacy to my child and was able to share that with other Head Start parents at parent center meetings. Once I had been shy, quiet parent; now I was able to give a short talk in front of a room full of parents and Head Start staff.  I was even invited to a staff meeting to share with the teachers some of the ideas I had learned about parent involvement and some literacy activities.  I am grateful to the many opportunities Head Start has given me.

My daughter, the reason I started this, is now a successful first grader who is doing very well, thanks to the educational instruction she had from her Head Start teachers. She is in the top 10 in her class in the Accelerated Reader program and receives high marks from her teachers.  Next week she will be performing in the school chorus in a program called "School House Rock Live" – a musical that she had to try out for. I am very proud of her accomplishments and I know that they all started with her Head Start education.

I am also still a very active volunteer at my daughter's school.  I am currently vice-president of the H.M. Pearson P.T.O. and have been nominated to be president next year. Although my term for policy council has ended, I continue to serve as a board member for Fauquier Community Action Agency and enjoy being able to serve Head Start and the many other great programs Community Action offers the community. I am also a Fauquier County Public School substitute teacher and those who know me now would never believe a few years ago I was a very quiet and shy parent.

All of this is thanks to the many opportunities Head Start has given me and my family!

Submitted by Jennifer Darnell
County: Fauquier