Next year, the federal Head Start program will turn 50 years old. But the celebration and the reflection are starting now, creating an opportunity to revisit the program’s past and consider the changes it will undergo in the future.
Education Week Looks at Head Start
“Few other federal programs so fully embody the heady optimism and charge-ahead spirit of the War on Poverty as Head Start, envisioned 50 years ago as part of that sweeping presidential initiative and brought to life in the summer of 1965,” Christina A. Samuels writes in the Education Week article, “Head Start Endures, Evolves as 50-Year Milestone Nears.”
The article continues with this quote from President Johnson about the birth of Head Start: “Five- and 6-year-old children are inheritors of poverty’s curse and not its creators.” Johnson was announcing the creation of the Head Start Project in a May 1965 speech in the White House Rose Garden. He added: “Unless we act, these children will pass it on to the next generation, like a family birthmark.”
But as the article notes, “the seeds of questions that Head Start has faced throughout its history were in many ways contained in its ambitious beginning.” (more…)