The Alachua County School Board proclaimed October as Head Start Awareness Month in Alachua County Tuesday.
A crowd of Head Start parents and employees stood up and applauded after the motion passed unanimously.
Alachua County Head Start executive director Natalie Strappy read the proclamation, highlighting the aspects of the federally-funded program that provides educational and social services for children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families.
Strappy thanked the Head Start community for attending the meeting and said the proclamation was no “small feat.”
“This work is definitely a sacrifice, and I appreciate everything that all of you do,” she said.
Head Start has 12 local locations such as Kimball Wiles Elementary School, said LaTonya Doby, a 34-year-old Head Start family liaison specialist and parent.
Doby’s 3-year-old daughter, Miracle, joined the free program two months ago. She said Miracle has improved her social, emotional and learning skills. Her daughter attends the program Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., except for early release at 12:30 p.m on Wednesdays.
“I didn’t think that I would be so excited for my child to go to a classroom,” Doby said. “The teachers do a very good job maintaining the kids and making sure that each child’s needs are met.”
Natalie Strappy, executive director of the Alachua County School District’s Head Start program, invites employees, parents and members of the program to stand and be recognized during a proclamation at Tuesday’s school board meeting.