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Region VI Head Start Association



ARKANSAS • LOUISIANA • NEW MEXICO • OKLAHOMA • TEXAS
“Elevating Possibilities Together”
DIRECTORS • PARENTS • STAFF • FRIENDS

 

 

project head start began in earnest in 1965, an eight-week summer program for preschoolers. These 40-plus years later, head start has grown into the premier provider of early childhood education and social services for children in poverty. In that time, millions of children who lived in poverty have gone on to achieve greater and greater success, opening doors for future generations to experience the same triumph over adversity.

 

the region vi head start association had its beginnings in a meeting at the regional office in dallas on a late summer day in 1979. Mr. Earl richardson presided at that historic meeting, on the request of head start personnel at the texas tech workshop.

 

the director of the head start bureau, mr. Jim robinson, had made it known that the five states – arkansas, oklahoma, texas, louisiana and new mexico – were in need of an association to give unified direction and advocacy for families in poverty. Directors, parents, staff members and friends of head start would be involved.  

 

from these seeds of promise, leaders began organizing the region vi head start association, following through with its goals to secure an organizational charter, provide unity and keep parents informed to advocate for preschool children in poverty. Throughout its beginnings, the association received its charter, developed bylaws, established goals and objectives, assisted and encouraged the five states to form state associations with four classes of members, reviewed and approved each state association’s bylaws, planned and implemented annual training conferences, responded to requests from the regional office, reviewed and responded to national issues affecting head start and supported the national head start association.  

 

as the association grew, it was supported by regional office personnel, state association officers, parents and friends of head start. Each year, a state volunteered to host a training conference, offering the latest research and developments in head start. Each year, the training grew in its scope to incorporate legislative updates and other informational meetings.  

 

throughout the 1980s, as administrations and attitudes toward impoverished families changed, head start’s standing was challenged. Leaders in the region vi and other head start associations united to stand strong for head start and the families it serves, aiding parents in helping defeat legislation that would undermine head start’s mission.  

 

as the 1990s began and the united states was engaged in war, head start and the local associations continued to assist families living in poverty. Training conferences shifted focus to include more research-based initiatives, such as early head start for pregnant women, infants and toddlers. The region vi head start association led the way in organizing up-to-date training for head start professionals in this new field. Head start’s responsibilities continued to grow as the region vi head start association adapted to a changing political atmosphere.  

 

in the midst of the new century and millennium, the region vi head start association remains a strong advocate for children and families in poverty and for its membership, parents, staff and friends of head start. As state-funded pre-kindergarten grows in quantity and quality, region vi head start association training conferences have become institutes of learning for all early childhood professionals and head start has become a universal model.  

 

today, the region vi head start association’s member organizations serve more than 120,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their families and nearly 20,000 staff members. The association has incorporated and operates smoothly with participation from directors, staff, parents and friends who are constantly meeting the challenges of producing a perpetual upgrading of services and information for families and children.

 

 

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