Head Start BOLD Thinker: Kristina Bedikian

A relentless champion for children and families with a skillful ability to forge community partnerships and a tireless work ethic makes Kristina Bedikian a 2020 BOLD Thinker.

Kristina Bedikian is the Nutrition Coordinator for Acelero Learning Early/Head Start Clark County, where she has worked for 10 years. Nutrition services are a critical piece of Head Start’s comprehensive model of support. …


Head Start BOLD Game Changer: Willing Chin-Ma

In early spring, NHSA named 14 individuals as 2020 BOLD Prize winners in recognition of their extraordinary leadership in response to the unique challenges they encountered in 2020… Over the course of this summer, NHSA is sharing insights from each BOLD Prize Winner about leading through unprecedented times and overcoming uncertainty and adversity to support both staff and the children and families Head Start serves.

Employing a holistic, culturally responsive approach to supporting families with forward-looking leadership focused on compassion and socio-emotional wellness makes Willing Chin-Ma a 2020 BOLD Game Changer.

Willing Chin-Ma is the Managing Director for Early…


Head Start BOLD Thinker: Jessica Moore, Highland Park, MI

In early spring, NHSA named 14 individuals as 2020 BOLD Prize winners in recognition of their extraordinary leadership in response to the unique challenges they encountered in 2020… Over the course of this summer, NHSA is sharing insights from each BOLD Prize Winner about leading through unprecedented times and overcoming uncertainty and adversity to support both staff and the children and families Head Start serves.

Growing the expanse and impact of leadership by involving others as decision-makers and giving space for creative problem solving makes Jessica Moore a 2020 BOLD Leader.

Jessica Moore is the Early Childhood Services Director…


Head Start BOLD Thinker: Deb Hendricks

In early spring, NHSA named 14 individuals as 2020 BOLD Prize winners in recognition of their extraordinary leadership in response to the unique challenges they encountered in 2020… Over the course of this summer, NHSA is sharing insights from each BOLD Prize Winner about leading through unprecedented times and overcoming uncertainty and adversity to support both staff and the children and families Head Start serves.

A willingness to take essential risks and an “all-in” investment in children and families’ betterment makes Deb Hedricks a 2020 BOLD Thinker.

Deb Hendricks is the ERSEA Coordinator for Marion Community Schools Head Start…


Head Start BOLD Leader: Maggie Evans

In early spring, NHSA named 14 individuals as 2020 BOLD Prize winners in recognition of their extraordinary leadership in response to the unique challenges they encountered in 2020… Over the course of this summer, NHSA is sharing insights from each BOLD Prize Winner about leading through unprecedented times and overcoming uncertainty and adversity to support both staff and the children and families Head Start serves.

A collaborative, empathetic approach to leadership and a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to understand and address the unique needs of ABCD’s migrant and seasonal farmworker families make Maggie Evans the 2020 BOLD…


Due to limited funding, tens of thousands of young children living in deep poverty lack access to Head Start and Early Head Start. Write Congress TODAY to urge them to start with Head Start in any expansion of our nation’s investment in early childhood education and support.

Deep poverty exists when family income is below 50% of the federal poverty line, or less than $10,400 for a single parent with two children.

Nationally 9% of young children live in deep poverty, but that figure is double — 18% — for young Black children and 15% for American Indian Alaskan Native…


How one former Head Start parent brought EHS to her community

Sequatchie Valley Early Head Start caregiver (source: Christy Vandergriff)

Before Christy Vandergriff became Assistant Director of Program Operations at Sequatchie Valley Head Start in Tennessee, she was a single parent searching for work with an interest in early childhood education. With the support of Head Start, both personally and professionally, Christy has built a career in early education and is facilitating the same positive experience for another generation of children and families.

“I had gone to college but dropped out and I was a single mom with two kids, and I was working a factory job,” Christy reflected. …


Meet Malkia Payton-Jackson, Head Start alumna

I am thrilled to join the National Head Start Association as Director of Alumni Engagement. I attended Head Start in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it is where I met my first best friend. Interestingly, when you speak to Head Start alumni, there is a bond, a shared positive sentiment. We each have a memory that induces a smile or wistful glance. For me, it is that of a best friend; for others, it is a favorite snack, toy, activity, or teacher.

It is a bit of a mystery why Head Start evokes such a strong sense of nostalgia and connection. My…


May 2021

Transcribed below:

Hello, NHSA! It’s so great to be with you, Dr. B here, and I’m super excited to reach out to the Head Start and Early Head Start community every month through NHSA Touchpoint. This is a new way that NHSA is working hard to connect with you, and we hope you enjoy this different way of receiving some of our information.

A Love Note

Of course, we like to start with, I start with a love note, so I am going to send a love note out to Southeast Kansas Community Action Program and their neighborhood community health center for…


Booklist for children under 5 and the caregivers that support them

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! Did you know Head Start and Early Head Start support nearly 32,000 Asian American children and more than 7,000 Pacific Islander children? Part of what makes Head Start unique is its impact for children and families in every U.S. state and territory, including 11 grantees on the islands of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Palau, and the Northern Marianas.

Head Start’s diversity is what makes our community strong. This month and every month, we’re proud to celebrate the many unique AAPI cultures in our programs! …

National Head Start Association

NHSA is a nonprofit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life.

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