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On Your Mark. Get Set. GO!!!


President Johnson believed that "children are the inheritors of poverty's curse, not its creators," and introduced Head Start to make sure that children like this boy are not captives of poverty.

You are five years old and just when you were starting to think you were pretty cool for learning how to tie your shoelaces, the bell rings, school begins, and you're off on a scary race for a good education.

Sure, it is not exactly like running the 50-yard dash, but school sometimes seems like a race. There are so many test and report cards and you are always moving up to a new grade.

Imagine you are in a race with your friends to the end of your street. They have brand-new scooters and all you have is a lousy pair of flip-flops.
Cart wheeling before Congress
Doesn't seem very fair if your friends do not give you a head start, does it? Just like in most races, in the race for a good education you want to be sure to have the right equipment or a least get a head start in front of those who do.

Now, imagine you are five years old, at your first day of first grade, you don't know your ABCs but all of your classmates know how to read! That is what the first day of first grade is like for a lot a kids that come from families that don't make enough money.

Ms. Ellen has been a teacher at Head Start since the Great Society began in 1965!

A lot of the kids in Western Philadelphia, where Trekkers Jennifer and Becky and myself are, grow up within broken homes that are surrounded by gunfire and drugs and with parents that work around the clock. These kids do not have enough support to give them the tools they need to do well in school.


Fortunately, for many of these kids, President Lyndon B. Johnson had them in mind when he persuaded the American people that the time had come for the country to use its wealth help kids in need and to create a 'Great Society'.

Trekker Stephen stops in to get a heads up on the help up at Head Start

One of the most important thing s that President Johnson did was create the Office of Economic Opportunity. This office helped people by creating medical care for many poor people. And, the office also created many community programs so poor people could work to help themselves.

She's only as high as my hip, but Sasha is one of Head Start's precious gems

The office also created Head Start. Head Start gives kids a boost, or a head start, in their communities.

Head Start helps with things like nutrition, education for children under 5, and education for parents. They help pre-schoolers be ready for elementary school.

The books may be small, but the knowledge gained is unlimited and huge

"If it wasn't for Head Start, a lot of these kids who don't have people reading to them at home, don't have that one-on-one, would enter school (and not be ready)," said Carlyn Burton, a teacher's assistant and mother of a former Head Start student.

Communities have can count on Head Start to help parents and children with education. We agree that with a good education, "we have the chance to change a nation".


Please email me at: stephen@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Stephanie - Wait! It's mucky here and the food is bad
Rebecca - America's royal family