As Head Start Turns 50, Larsen Hears PNW Success Stories

May 18, 2015 Issues: Education

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, marked the 50th anniversary of the Head Start program today by learning about local Head Start successes from across the Pacific Northwest. He also called for continued funding of education opportunities for the youngest students.

“We need to be giving our students every opportunity to succeed. A strong start from the beginning with programs like Head Start is one of the best ways we can help students of all backgrounds become effective, lifelong learners.

“Today I talked with Head Start leaders from the Pacific Northwest to hear about a few of the program’s many successes. In Skagit County, Head Start will be holding an event next month to recognize their graduates over the years. Three Head Start graduates who are now students at Western Washington University are serving as interns for the Washington state Head Start association. And I heard from a parent who shared how Head Start has helped her children and illustrated the importance of getting parents involved in their children’s education.

“I appreciated hearing about the positive effects Head Start is having in our communities. I strongly support Head Start and other early education opportunities that help our youngest students get ready for kindergarten and lifelong learning,” Larsen said.

As part of his asks for the FY2016 budget, Larsen requested full funding for the Head Start program. 

During 2014, Head Start served more than 1,300 children in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties. Since Head Start’s inception, the program has served more than 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas all over the country.

Head Start, along with Washington state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, promotes school readiness of young children from low-income families through partnerships in their local community. In addition, Head Start programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services vital to early childhood development. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.

Larsen’s event comes as a part of House Democrats’ “Building on Our Legacy, Embracing the Future” initiative, which highlights some of the major legislative achievements of 1965 and the ongoing fight to protect them. Fifty years after the enactment of groundbreaking legislation on these priorities, House Democrats continue to stand for guaranteeing voting rights for all Americans, making college and early childhood education more affordable, defending Medicare and Medicaid, and protecting the environment.