In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson launched Project Head Start as an eight-week summer program designed to help break the cycle of poverty. This would be accomplished by providing preschool aged children from low-income families with a comprehensive program that meets their emotional, social, nutritional, physical and psychological needs.
Head Start currently serves almost one million children and their families nation-wide, in urban and rural areas that include both immigrant and Native-American communities.
A.C.E. Integration Head Start in Bushwick, Brooklyn was implemented in 1994 for the purpose of focusing on the needs of children. Our goal as a preschool is to stimulate learning in all developmental areas, while dedicating resources to the health and nutritional needs of enrolled children. Additionally, we place a great deal of emphasis on fostering each individual child’s social skills. This is achieved by encouraging kids to Accept themselves and others, while also expressing their Creativity and utilizing the environment — or Ecology — for learning. Thus, the acronym A.C.E.
At first, the new organization and its board elected to open and operate the Head Start program at a temporary location until the permanent site could be renovated. This was a short-term objective, with the long-term goal being to build a multi-service Head Start program that would offer literacy classes, career training, counseling services and more. The center’s governing bodies and staff determine organizational goals on a regular basis, but this only occurs after the program has been thoroughly evaluated. Strengths and weaknesses are defined, and a self-assessment aids in coming up with suggestions for program improvement moving forward.
Presently serving the Bedford Stuyvesant and Bushwick communities, Hospital Clinic Home Center Instructional Corp. is an ACS contracted agency for Head Start/Early Learn services. Our program “integrates” children with a variety of different abilities and backgrounds. This exposes young students to the kind of diversity that can shape their acceptance and appreciation of others. Although our focus is on children from disadvantaged families, we are also equipped to accommodate those who may have specific needs due to preexisting medical conditions.
Everyone deserves a Head Start, after all.