Each year, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, a moment to commemorate the generations of Hispanic Americans whose achievements and contributions have shaped our identity as a country.
As I reflect on the theme of this year’s celebration, “Honoring our Heritage. Building our Future,” one particular experience in my own life’s journey as a Hispanic American woman comes to mind, and that is my time at Head Start.
A comprehensive early learning program designed to break the cycle of poverty, Head Start has been life-changing for at-risk children and their families, offering culturally responsive services that are becoming more and more crucial in vulnerable Hispanic communities throughout the country.
As of last year, 38 percent of the children served by Head Start were of Hispanic or Latino origin. Head Start programs meet the diverse needs of these communities by providing a safe space for children and families, engaging parents and encouraging bilingualism to promote success.