So Much More
A few of us ABC Head Start Society staff were at an event on Thursday. We had the opportunity to chat with community members. Some of the community members had never heard of our organization before, or some related ABC Head Start strictly to education. As we discussed ABC Head Start Society, it was wonderful to be able to say "Oh but we are so much more than an education program." ABC Head Start provides support and programming for the whole family. The Head Start program is geared towards children ages 2 - 5 years old AND THEIR FAMILIES because we realize that that is where the big changes happens for our children, families and communities.
A few years ago I walked into a place of business and was wearing my ABC Head Start Society jacket and nametag. The owner of the business was helping me and at the end of our transaction she said, "You work for ABC Head Start?"
I replied proudly, "Yes I do! Are you familiar with what we do?"
She got tears in her eyes and said "Yes, we were a family in your program 17 years ago. We were new to Canada, had no money and had no idea where to turn. Your program not only helped our child but connected us with everything we needed to be successful, and now look - we have a successful family business." She then proudly called her son to the front of the store to introduce me. He was 20 years old and still best friends with a boy he met at ABC Head Start - their families are still connected and support each other whenever they can. If this doesn't demonstrate the life long impact of early intervention I'm not sure what does.
I was reading an article last night and one quote resonated with me and the work we do with families at ABC Head Start. Lilla Watson, an Aboriginal elder and social-justice activist in Australia said, "If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." One lesson I have learned very quickly working at ABC Head Start is I have so much to learn from the families we support, they have skills and talents beyond measure. We just are able to connect them, give them the helping hand they need at the right time. And until all of our communities members are strong and barrier free, well then our community isn't free. We are all in this together. Raising our children to be happy and healthy, supporting families, creating community. ABC Head Start is so much more than an education program.
ABC Head Start Society is a registered charity and relies on the generosity of the community to continue our work with children & families. Please consider donating today.