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Would you want to run a race where the starting line was way behind the other runners? That's a situation many of our young children face when they begin school.
Spend a couple of hours in a local kindergarten or first grade to see the wide range of readiness to learn in the pupils. Many children have benefited from being in a Head Start program before starting school. It helps them to be ready to start on more equal footing.
Budget cutting, especially at the federal level, means that hundreds of children in Virginia will not be in local Head Start programs. They will miss the opportunity to be ready to master basic skills. Five- and 6-year-olds know when they are at the bottom of the class.
We must let our state and local officials know that Head Start matters to the children in our community.
It's important to address the financial shortfall so that every child can succeed. This decades-old program has helped thousands of children.
Also, consider volunteering in a local school or enrichment program, such as those provided by the Bragg Hill Family Life Center and the Boys and Girls Club. Ask your local school or preschool group if you can help purchase books and supplies.
Our children can be lifelong learners if given a good start in their education.