“I heard about the Focus: HOPE Head Start program from my auntie. Her kids started here and now they’re in college. I was a little nervous before Dontae started in Early Head Start because he came in when he was one, so I was skeptical with him being little. But once he got used to it, he was learning on the go. He started writing his name when he was about one and a half, two, so I was like, “Okay. I see improvement.”
Dontae loves it. He’s had just about had all the teachers in here. He’s actually upset that they’re out of school now for summer break. He wants to come every day. I know because he’s bored at home in the morning. Like, “Ma, I gotta go to school today?” I say, “No baby, you don’t have school today.” He wants to go.
Every year he has advanced to another level. I can see his growth, his learning, the relationships he has developed with the teachers and administrators and how well he got to know them. When they had him take the test for the kindergarten, he did really good. He knew beyond what they expected him to know. I was happy about that. It’s been a good experience these four years. It’s so hard for me that they don’t have a kindergarten class because I want him to stay here.
I’m on the policy committee. It gave me insight into the focus of the center. I learned why parents are required to be there, to be involved. Every month there is something on the calendar. They have different classes for parents that I’ve attended, like stress classes, career days, safety classes, cooking classes. These have helped me develop and be a more involved mother, not letting situations affect my daily life.
I look forward to coming to these meetings, seeing what opportunities there are, making sure I stay on top of what they have to offer. Head Start is like a family to me – a home.”