Attending the institute with Head Start management teams from across
the country were Beth Fleshman, Head Start director with the
Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois; Marcia Hieronymus,
education services manager; and Lynnette Bruce, family community
partnership manager. They participated in numerous workshops that
focused on Head Start's School Readiness Initiative and the Parent,
Family and Community Engagement Framework, which recognizes the
importance of the family in the learning journey of children.
"It was a humbling experience to be part of such a large
gathering of individuals who are dedicated to making a difference
every day in the lives of the nation's most vulnerable children and
families," commented the Community Action team attending the
Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes, director of Head Start, welcomed over
3,000 Head Start leaders, who heard from leading experts in early
T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., emeritus professor of pediatrics at
Harvard Medical School, is one of the world's foremost authorities
on pediatrics and child development. Brazelton spoke about the
extraordinary work that Head Start has done for 46 years in linking
the importance of the parent to the child's success in learning.
Also speaking was Jerlean Daniel, executive director of the
National Association for the Education of Young Children, the
nation's largest organization of early childhood education
professionals working with and on behalf of children from birth
through age 8.
"As you know better than anyone, the early years are critical,"
said Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
secretary. "They're when the most rapid development happens in our
children's brains. The children who get the support they need during
these early years are the most prepared for kindergarten. Early
learning programs like Head Start can set off a chain reaction of
success that follows children through every stage of their lives."
[to top of second column]
Community Action Head Start serves 418 infants, toddlers and
children ages 3-5 in the six-county service area of Piatt, DeWitt,
Logan, Mason, Menard and Fulton counties.
Community Action is a private, nonprofit organization that
provides low-income families and seniors in the six-county area with
a variety of services. For more information, visit
[Text from file received from
Community Action Partnership of