Virginia's First Lady visits programs across Virginia

Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam, and Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway, visit Head Start classrooms and other early childhood facilities in a Back to School Tour.  

In June 2018, First Lady Pamela Northam announced a new initiative to bolster early childhood education in Virginia and improve student outcomes for youth across the Commonwealth. The First Lady will lead the effort to improve the quality of and access to early childhood education programs across Virginia, support the early childhood education workforce, and ensure that Virginia makes the most of early childhood education resources. “We believe that all children should have access to opportunities regardless of the circumstances into which they are born. Early childhood education is the best investment we can make in our future workforce,” said First Lady Pamela Northam. “I look forward to bringing my experience as a parent, therapist, science educator, and environmentalist to continue advocating for our youngest and most vulnerable Virginians.”

News coverage of First Lady's visits.


Dr. Deborah Bergeron visits Prince William County Head Start Program

 Dr. Deborah Bergeron, Director of the Office of Head Start, visited Prince William County Head Start program on June 5, 2018.  Dr. Bergeron visited three Head Start classrooms to learn more about a collaboration between Head Start and the high school students enrolled in ECE at Gar-Field High School,  an inclusion classroom at Mullen Elementary School, and Victory Elementary School were she visited a Head Start, Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus, and a Title 1 Pre-K programs. 

Dr. Deborah Bergeron serves as the Director of the Office of Head Start. Known as "Dr. B" to former students and teachers, she has spent three decades in pre-K–12 public education as a classroom teacher and elementary and high school administrator. In the course of her career, Dr. B also started, grew, and ultimately sold her own educational services company. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University. She earned a master’s in education leadership and doctorate in education policy from George Mason University.

During her tenure as a school administrator, she specialized in school improvement. Her focus was on academic achievement and school climate. Dr. B will use her experience as an elementary principal and her strong background in pre-K–12 instructional leadership to provide unique insights into how Head Start can support our most vulnerable children to become school ready. She hopes to spend a great deal of her time visiting Regional Offices and specific Head Start programs. Dr. B most looks forward to spending time with all of the children, teachers, and program directors who are her inspiration!



Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: Teaching Children at Head Start

By Jennifer Lazzo 

Head Start. It’s an easily recognizable name, but do you know what the program is designed to do? Head Start provides young children from low-income families and children with disabilities with one free year of education, preparing them to enter kindergarten ready to listen to instructions, play well with fellow students and lead by example. The students, along with their families, participate in health, nutrition, mental health and family engagement activities as well.

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