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Head Start & future

| Thursday, May 16, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Head Start & future

In response to the editorial “Preschool for all? Look who benefits — and who won't” (April 24 and TribLIVE.com): The purpose of Head Start programming is to prepare children from low-income families for school; it's just that plain and simple. It was not designed to raise high-stakes test scores in third grade or to totally eradicate the effects of poverty in our nation. It was designed to give children from impoverished homes the opportunity to be prepared to enter kindergarten with strong, developmentally appropriate skills that research has indicated are necessary for early school success.

Our children are the nation's most precious and fragile resource for the future. Head Start programs work with our most at-risk children to help develop and mold that precious future.

James Heckman, University of Chicago, writes that underdeveloped human potential burdens our economy and leaves us with a workforce that is less than what it could be. The potential of these most vulnerable children is just waiting to erupt and may never be realized because they just happen to be on the wrong side of the “have”/”have not” continental divide. It's just that plain and simple.

Sarah McCluan

The writer is supervisor, communication services for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

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