Head Start, the federal child and family development program, celebrates its 50th year in 2015.
Head Start was only two years old when the Southern Ute Montessori Head Start and Early Head Start first opened its doors in Ignacio.
At a birthday party Monday, Head Start children, parents, teachers and staff celebrated the Southern Ute Montessori Head Start and Early Head Start.
Southern Ute Montessori Head Start and Early Head Start serves members of all racial and ethnic groups in the Ignacio area, plus part of the Bayfield community south of U.S. Highway 160.
It is operated by Southern Ute Community Action Programs (SUCAP), with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as the federal grantee providing oversight.
Head Start is the national commitment to give every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, an opportunity to succeed in school and in life.
For 50 years, the national Head Start and Early Head Start programs have improved the lives of more than 32 million children and their families, according to SUCAP staff. Head Start alumni — or “Head Start babies,” as they often call themselves — are in all walks of the nation’s life.
When Head Start was first launched in 1965, the idea of providing comprehensive health, nutrition and education services to children in poverty was revolutionary, if not radical.
The Head Start model, developed over the decades, has been built on evidence-based practices and is constantly adapting, using the best available science and teaching techniques to meet the needs of local communities.
The program is accepting applications now in some age groups. For more information, call 563-4566.